Scandinavia and the World

Comments #9754671:

Thank you so much Petrov 22 4, 12:12am

'@Draxynnic' "Sounds like two out of three voted to disobey orders there"
Another version was that captain lost his composure, but Arkhipov overruled him as his immediate superior and was fully supported by XO. There is no vote when it comes to orders, and people in torpedo room know who is the boss.

"A tactical nuke wouldn't be the same as a city-killer, certainly, but taking out a fleet with a tactical nuke"
It was a 10 kiloton torpedo, when tested in 1957 it sunk only ships within radius of 500 meters from explosion. 533mm torpedo has a very limited useful range. USS Cony would be sunk, nothing else. Given that U-2 shot down over Cuba didn't lead to nuclear war, I don't see how losing a single Fletcher would change the picture.

"That said, WW3 would DEFINITELY have happened if Petrov hadn't recognised that the alarm was a false one."
Not necessarily. First of all, this:' #9754515' , then this:' #9754170' .
Also most articles about this event are written from his words alone, so there is always a place for sensationalism (first article was published in 1993, the "yellowest" period in Russian journalism) and self-aggrandizement which is always almost inevitable in single-source stories.

"Since he a) technically disobeyed orders"
No, he didn't. Even in his own words he had no specific instructions on how to proceed in this situation.

"if he had fired, it would have certainly triggered a MAD response rather than possibly doing so."
See above mentioned comments, he had no authority to do so. Even if he would just go along and act as if launches were real, Andropov, Ustinov and rest of them would receive the same information "six consecutive launches detected by satellite, no radar detection, no plumes visible". There is a lot of speculation on what would Andropov do and wishful thinking about his paranoid fear of NATO's attack. The fact that he didn't push the button in response to "Able Archer" says something.