Scandinavia and the World

Comments #9754657:

Thank you so much Petrov 21 4, 9:03pm

@comrade_Comrade Wasn't aware that the nuclear torpedo was under orders to only be used if the sub took actual damage. Sounds like two out of three voted to disobey orders there. :o

A tactical nuke wouldn't be the same as a city-killer, certainly, but taking out a fleet with a tactical nuke, under the circumstances, could have triggered WW3 even if it wasn't targeted at a city.

That said, WW3 would DEFINITELY have happened if Petrov hadn't recognised that the alarm was a false one. So while we probably owe the continued non-nuclear-wasteland state of most of the Earth to those two (and others), on balance Petrov was probably the more significant. Since he a) technically disobeyed orders, and b) if he had fired, it would have certainly triggered a MAD response rather than possibly doing so.