Friday, September 28, 2012

Life In The Cold War

The man who saved the world:

Stanislav Petrov was manning surveillance equipment for the Soviet Air Defense Forces when he noticed something strange on the screen. Soon after, warning signals started flashing with the report of an incoming nuclear missile from the USA.

Seeing only one missile, he figured it was a mistake, assuming Americans wouldn’t send only one missile if they wanted a nuclear war.

Soon thereafter, many more started appearing on the screen.

Nevertheless he trusted his instincts, and rather than contact his superiors he waited to see what would happen. He waited past the perceived time on impact. There was no damage - the warnings were due to a system malfunction.

Had Petrov not defied protocol and contacted his superiors, a real retaliatory strike may very well have been fired in response - igniting nuclear war between the USA and Soviet Union.


Erik Johnson Illustrator said...

Wow. An actual history lesson?

I don't come to the Cave of Cool for an education Kal! I come here for kittens and hot broads. Start picking up the pace and give me what I want!!!!!

Hahaha. No seriously, this is a neat little tidbit, reminds me of that story of how something similar happened at NORAD, but it turns out the fired missiles were just a simulation tape that had been left in overnight.

Kal said...

I had a father in the military and when we lived in Europe he trained for the time when the West would have to go againt the Russians. My Mom couldn't visit Ukraine because her husband was a soldier. I learned at a very early age that the missiles could come at anytime. I distinctly remember when Iran and Iraq went to war I felt sure that the end was coming and I was okay with that. Nuclear Holocaust is a good way to die - quick and painless.

DrGoat said...

Go out with your boots on, eh?

Kal said...

Well it's better than bottoming out the submarine and waiting for death to come. Best to explode the Batcave with me and my enemies in it.

Erik Johnson Illustrator said...

Its interesting hearing you talk about the Cold War with such fear Kal. I have an interest in history and have seen Cold War fears presented in books and movies but its been difficult to fully understand the era since I was never in it.

I remember renting "War Games", thinking "Oh that wacky Ferris Bueller and his computer started World War 3!". I had expected some madcap comedy in the vein of "Dr. Strangelove" and was surprised that it was a serious coming of act story that played its situation straight.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

He deserves to be much better known. Thank goodness for his cool head and instincts.

Kal said...

There occasionally is some guy who just makes the right decision at a critical time.

I would dig it if the Nuclear War did happen exactly like it did in Dr Strangelove - everyone is insane in that movie so there was no stopping the inevitable.

Erik Johnson Illustrator said...

Dr Strangelove often feels like more of Coen Brothers movie than a Stanely Kubrick feature with the emphasis on human failure as comedy.

Kal said...

Who can pick a favorite scene? For me it's the one sided phone call between the President of the United States.

"Well OF COURSE I like talking to you Dmitri."