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PostSubmarine B-59: A Close Call of the Cuban Missile Crisis (Tor Guimaraes, USA, 09/10/17 4:37 pm)
Everyone seems to agree that the Cuban Blockade worked out thanks to the last-minute personal negotiation between Bobby Kennedy and the Soviet government. It was pleasantly surprising how the two sides were able to trust each other's words.
One obscure incident rarely mentioned by people discussing the topic is that there was a Soviet submarine with nuclear capability which had lost communication capability with headquarters, and was being hunted down by US surface ships. The captain of the submarine thought WWIII had started and was ready to launch nuclear warheads. The on-board political officer (obviously a dirty Communist no less) interjected with a clearer head and convinced the captain not to launch the missile and for sure WWIII.
Now, that was scary.
JE comments: Here is Wikipedia on the B-59 incident. The lone officer who refused to approve the nuclear torpedo launch, Vasili Arkhipov, may be the sole reason nuclear war was averted and our planet is still hanging in there, 55 years later. A great unsung hero. (Arkhipov was the sub-flotilla commander, not the political commissar.) See the second link: