back to article RIP Stanislav Petrov: Russian colonel who saved world from all-out nuclear war

Stanislav Petrov, one of the unsung heroes of the Cold War without whose guts and intelligence you wouldn't be reading this, has died at the age of 77, his son has confirmed. Petrov was a former Lieutenant Colonel in the Soviet Air Defence Forces and was duty commander for the USSR rocket forces on September 26, 1983. His job …

Silver badge
Pint

Aaaand that's why I hate MAD.

It's a critical system in which the outcome of it going wrong is death on a colossal scale.

I'll show you mathematicians who believe no error is possible - goes with the territory. I'll show you scientists (usually physicists) who believe no error is possible if you give me a little time. And I'll show you as many politicians as you like who believe no error is possible at the drop of a hat. But you will never, ever find an engineer who believes in the System That Can't Go Wrong. And I'm an engineer.

No vodka icon, so beer will have to do. Thank you Lt. Col. Petrov. Rest in peace and be remembered!

86
6

Re: Aaaand that's why I hate MAD.

Back around the time this happened, I worked alongside $AGENCY1 when they discovered some, ahem, "irregularities". The specifics were of the tell-you-have-to-kill-you variety, but they actually were not that important, other than to say it was basically "sooper seekrit $KNOWLEDGE may have been obtained by $ENEMY".

In the investigation by investigation team #1, it was decided that although a theoretical leak of $KNOWLEDGE was bad, even if it had happened, it would not require "treatment" (I loved those cold war euphemisms), because on its' own, $KNOWLEDGE was not "actionable" without $MATERIAL, and $MATERIAL was impossible for $ENEMY to obtain.

A few weeks later, when working alongside $AGENCY2 on an unrelated matter, it was mentioned that things were being clamped down because they'd misplaced some $MATERIAL a while back. There had been an investigation by investigation team #2, who had decided that although the loss of the minimal amount of $MATERIAL was bad, even if it had somehow been obtained by $ENEMY, it would not require "treatment" because on its' own, $MATERIAL was not "actionable" without $KNOWLEDGE, and $KNOWLEDGE was impossible for $ENEMY to obtain.

Basically, $AGENCY1 and $AGENCY2 were both relying on the other one being fail safe, and of course, they didn't talk.

So, I and a few others did the only logical thing: we held a party for members of both investigation teams.

Suffice to say, watching two groups telling the other "but I thought thought YOU were the ones preventing the apocalypse" was a little more exciting than hoped. This was particularly true as the group that was relying on $KNOWLEDGE being unobtainable was discovering $KNOWLEDGE was being openly discussed at the party.

Good times, good times.

In the end, that collaboration resulted in things being found, so all was well, but the entire experience was not reassuring.

One bright note was that we managed to get reimbursed for the cost of the party. This was the only party I'm aware of that has an expense report justification of "WWIII Prevention".

69
2
Silver badge

Re: Aaaand that's why I hate MAD.

... and yet people worship overpaid brats who can sing a few notes...

17
2
Silver badge

Re: Aaaand that's why I hate MAD.

"I'll show you mathematicians who believe no error is possible - goes with the territory. I'll show you scientists (usually physicists) who believe no error is possible if you give me a little time."

The mathematicians would be right, if confining their opinions to specific cases. Two plus two does equal four. Math, especially since the days of Russell and Whitehead, has quite rightly made a big deal out of refining an understanding not only of what can be understood and defined, but also distinguishing the former from what may be inherently intractable or not even capable of clear definition.

So I'm not sure about those mathematicians you're going to show me. I'm even less certain about the physicists, most of whom are at least acquainted with quantum mechanical theory and are therefore arguably more leery of supposed absolute fact than engineers working in a largely Newtonian realm. (Engineers have the freedom to ignore all sorts of frightful quantum stuff that the physicists have helpfully renormalised for them.) In short, I think the first part of your statement is dubious at best, and some kind of inverted snobbery manufacturing strawmen at the worst.

That said, if you'd confined yourself to non-scientists—managers and politicians—you'd have been much nearer the mark. There are people who function in a political way, who end up not only in the sewer of politics but also in senior management, and they are frighteningly simplistic in their understanding of error and how probability works. This is because as well as being scientifically illiterate (and therefore, they barely constitute adults, in the modern world) they are third-rate minds who foster style over substance, spin over facts, and thrive on deceit and wishful thinking: usually buoyed on levels of hypocrisy most people would find nauseating.

I daresay the intertwined histories of Challenger and Columbia stand as perfect relatively recent examples of "Science-and-Engineering Meets the Idiots", though a dip into the story of the DC-10 is interesting too.

9
2
Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Re: Aaaand that's why I hate MAD.

>>"The mathematicians would be right, if confining their opinions to specific cases. Two plus two does equal four. [...] So I'm not sure about those mathematicians you're going to show me."

Aaaaaand that would be my point. I can find you mathematicians who believe there can be no error in their systems because mathematics can be absolute. You're entire post reads as if you've inverted my point and somehow concluded I'm saying there can be no errors. Especially when you start arguing that politicians are the most likely to think a system can be made foolproof. Please re-read, that is the very point I was making.

8
2
Bronze badge

Re: Aaaand that's why I hate MAD.

The original engineers. mathematicians, etc may know full well the deficiencies in their designs, but by the time it makes it's way up the bullshit Tree, the story is much different.

http://lyrics.wikia.com/wiki/Steve_Savitzky:Mushrooms

4
0

Without MAD we would have had several other World Wars

We live in a Continent twice devastated by World Wars. Since the apparition of nuclear weapons, Western Europe knows a period of peace which didn't happen since the fall of the Roman Empire. So thank you MAD for avoiding us to have to fix bayonets to fight the other line.

2
1
Silver badge

Re: Aaaand that's why I hate MAD.

"Two plus two does equal four."

Only for sufficiently average values of "two" and sufficiently average values of "four".

1
0
Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: Without MAD we would have had several other World Wars

The problem with that is the assumption that there will never be anyone insane enough to ignore the "mutual" consequences of the "assured destruction", and judging by the warmonger mentality of the players, that assumption would seem to be false.

That's without even considering the possibility that such consequences might be triggered accidentally, as per this article.

There had never been a world war prior the WW1 either, but it still happened eventually. The assurance of a sustained period of relative peace is sadly a false sense of security (I say "relative" because the fact is that humanity has never actually experienced an era without war, somewhere, to some extent ... most of which these days is instigated by the US, supposedly in the name of Freedumb®).

The law of probability dictates that anything that can happen, will happen, eventually, and with lunatics like Trump at the helm, it may be sooner than we feared.

1
0

Optional

@Milton... that's precisely the problem that (as he's already noted) H@rm0ny was commenting on.

You assert that "Two plus two does equal four"... which is true if and only if you are working in a base greater than four.

If you are working in base 3, "two plus two" equals "11", while in base 4 "two plus two" equals "10".

And, yes, of course it's a reasonable assumption that one is using decimal arithmetic, but it is an assumption, and unstated assumptions are the cause of a huge number of failures (including, IIRC, Challenger, where assumptions about the ambient temperatures in Florida were overlooked).

2
1

"On the Soviet side, the communist state was so paranoid that earlier that month it had shot down a Korean passenger jet that had accidentally wandered into Soviet airspace,"

I spent a decade as the business partner of the nephew of the bloke who ordered that. Mixed bag, Soviet military types.....

19
0
Silver badge

Well the whole point of MAD is making your opponent believe you're willing to do it. So everything possible is done to make the opposing side paranoid deliberately. Otherwise they'll just cut you to pieces with Salami Tactics.

Nuclear weapons are only viable as a deterrent if the person in charge of them is perceived to be non-rational. Which explains so much.

19
3
Silver badge
Windows

Able Archer (actually the post-Able Archer exercises as I vaguely remember) practically Did It: This declassified US intelligence report from 1990 is one of the most terrifying things you'll ever read

Also good to read at least once per year:

Computer System Reliability and Nuclear War

Before they serve you the latest Reality-Dehanced SCANDAL (YES! SCANDAL! WITH INFORMED SOURCES!!) along with your Soma pills and NY and Washington broadsheet.

(El Reg, please get a web designer who doesn't consider an editing window of about 1/20th of the actual screen surface a good reason to get his head examined or just quit the "industry" in shame)

10
3
Silver badge
Facepalm

Nuclear weapons are only viable as a deterrent if the person in charge of them is perceived to be non-rational. Which explains so much.

Complete utter bullshit. Where do you get that stuff?

If you are perceived as non-rational the only entry in the game matrix means destruction.

9
15
Silver badge

Re: Able Archer

For a good dramatisation of events surrounding Able Archer, watch the German TV series Deutschland 83.

7
0
Silver badge

>>Complete utter bullshit. Where do you get that stuff?

From my good friend Logic. As a deterrent against conventional warfare it requires an actor who will be so pissed off at losing a conventional war that they will escalate it to nuclear war and change the outcome from loss and potential subjugation to death of their own people on a scale that would make the Holocaust look small. That's not a rational action. As a deterrent against nuclear attack it requires someone to say "well, our hemisphere is dead in around fifteen minutes. Shall I for no gain to ourselves, destroy the other half of my species". That is not a rational action.

If only one side has nuclear weapons then it can act as a deterrent. But I refer to the doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction and this requires you to be perceived as irrational. Nuclear Weapons against another nuclear power that is choosing to only use conventional so far, makes things worse. Launching a wide scale nuclear response against a foe that has already launched the same at you wont protect you or cause you to "win". All it does is wipe out a couple of billion extra people with you.

And MAD is inevitably the penultimate phase with nuclear weapons. If one party has them, that is inescapably just a temporary state. Other parties can and will acquire them.

10
2
m-k

re. utter bullshit

there's a rational thinking behind the claim:

Nuclear weapons are only viable as a deterrent if the person in charge of them is perceived to be non-rational.

(even if it was just made up for the comment).

If, when in charge of nukes, you are perceived as rational (never mind the real you), then your opponents might believe you will _not_ launch a counterstrike, because, rationally, fewer deads is better than more deads (the argument that was touched upon in that para-documentary by the BBC last year, and for which it was criticised here and there).

Only if your opponents believe that you are mad enough to counterlaunch, regardless of the consequences (irrational), will this deterrent work, i.e. will (hopefully!) prevent them from launching in the first place. Unless they are mad enough not to care about consequences. Or reasonably informed about your rationality, to give them a good chance of non-retaliation if they do launch. Etc ;)

7
0
Silver badge
Facepalm

Hang YOUR head in shame, or have it examined.

(El Reg, please get a web designer who doesn't consider an editing window of about 1/20th of the actual screen surface a good reason to get his head examined or just quit the "industry" in shame)

How about grabbing the lower right corner of the editing window and pulling it down as far as you'd like?

8
0

Non-rational

Non-rational is maybe not the best description. You have to be perceived as being ultra-belligerent and very easily provoked. Whether that counts as non-rational in the circumstances is a matter on which opinions will differ.

3
0
Silver badge

Re: Non-rational

>>Non-rational is maybe not the best description. You have to be perceived as being ultra-belligerent and very easily provoked.

Sorry, I'm going to respectfully maintain my position. Being highly belligerent can be rational. Europeans didn't take over America by being pacifists. (Note, I'm solely discussing rationality, not ethics). Easily provoked can also be a rational attitude. People will tread more softly around me because I'm known for having a truly awful temper (there's a downside of course, which is that I'm known for having a truly awful temper). Neither is irrational. The irrationality comes from being willing to carry out actions that are harmful to oneself.

5
0
Silver badge

Did It: This declassified US intelligence report from 1990 is one of the most terrifying things you'll ever read

Which leads to a site that blocks me from reading the article because I have the temerity to be using an ad-blocker.

I'll pass on reading it.

3
0
Bronze badge

>Where do you get that stuff?

He probably gets it from Richard Nixon.

1
0
Silver badge

Re: Non-rational

There's a phrase for that sort of irrationality: cutting off one's nose to spite one's face.

People often accuse me of being like that. They're wrong. Very wrong. I'll happily cut off my face to spite my nose.

Which makes me the ideal person to put in charge of a nuclear arsenal.

2
0
Silver badge
Trollface

Re: Non-rational

>>"Which makes me the ideal person to put in charge of a nuclear arsenal."

Well, I said it relied on having someone perceived as being willing to launch nuclear missiles, not that we wanted to put in charge someone who actually would. ;)

5
0
Silver badge

Re: Non-rational

For some reason, people talk of Pyrrhic victories as though they were a bad thing.

He won. That's better than losing.

Now can I be in charge of the nuclear arsenal? Pretty please.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Non-rational

>>He won. That's better than losing.

>>Now can I be in charge of the nuclear arsenal? Pretty please.

I am reliably informed that when it comes to Thermonuclear War, the only winning move is not to play. So, still no I'm afraid. As a general principle, those who want power most, should be the last people to have it.

3
0

Re: Non-rational

A key thought to ponder: is "MAD" and acronym or a backronym...?

0
0
Silver badge
Unhappy

Still they pontificate

With all the knowledge and experience of systems that are supposed to be faultless yet do go wrong the politicians and generals think this can be winnable.

10
2
Anonymous Coward

"On the Soviet side, the communist state was so paranoid [...]"

Such Russian paranoia seems to be part of their national identity. They have been invaded several times in the last couple of centuries - and the collapse of the USSR left them without their buffer zone of the Eastern Bloc.

With Putin going down that political path again - and Trump proving to look like a loose cannon...

28
4
Silver badge

Ha. The chunk of land that's now Russia has been invaded hundreds of times in the past thousand years, and yes, it does explain the national attitude.

This was my 8th grade history/social science teacher's master's thesis, and he'd gone to Moscow in the '70s when taking a picture of a train would get you vacation time in Siberia for a decade. He'd taken pictures of said trains, had a picture of himself drinking a Coke in Red Square, and a pic of opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan, decades before the Soviet actions there.

He was quite a character and a major influence on me.

19
0
Silver badge
Mushroom

WESTERN LEADERS ARE UP IN ARMS AND SHITTING THEIR PANTS ON TV!

PUTIN VISITS ZAPAD 2018, A "TROJAN HORSE" AND A REHEARSAL FOR SOVIET RUSSIAN INVASION of stuFF WHILE HACKS OF INNOCENT CITIZEN ROUTERS WILL FLIP THE ELECTION FOR LIBER-MERKEL WHILE TRUMP TIES ARE CONFIRMED AS THE TOTAL SURVEILLANCE RUN BY OUR WELL-MEANING TLAs AND CNN AND THE DNC-MANDATED CROWSTRIKE SO CLEARLY PROVE.

Yeah, who is paranoid?

No wait, it's all just dumb electioneering and shifting money to the MIC.

4
5
Silver badge

Such Russian paranoia seems to be part of their national identity.

What? Russia paranoia is more accurately part of American identity. It may have been justified once, but the politicians kept the propoganda going as a way to control the people, such that many of the American public still think of evil pinko commies, and politicians trying to turn America commie".

It's only been relatively recently that "watch out for commies under the bed" has started to be replaced by "watch out for mussie(sic) terr'ists under the bed", thanks to Fox and their new bogey man to scare the less informed. (even though statistically, an American is twice as likely to die from being shot by a toddler than killed by a Muslim terrorist...)

I'm not saying this of all Americans, but whilst the Muslim paranoia is also rife here in the UK, the Russian stuff certainly isn't.

15
3
Silver badge

@Jamie Jones --

You have to remember that some in power think "1984" is an instruction manual. So far, it's working for them.

12
0

P.P.P.Paranoia

Are you telling me that the Yanks aren't paranoid as well?

Building Walls, Threatening to wipe NK off the map, blocking people of certain nations from entering the country, Increasing expenditure for the military, gifting assault rifles and military weapons to the police force.

All in the last 8 months..... Hmm it looks to be both ways.

Basing this on the last 10 years, how many terrorist attacks have there been on the US soil, and since the 'modern creation' of the USA, how many invasions has there happened?

1
0
Silver badge

I missed my edit window so I'll tack this on here.

Inevitably, someone will come along and say how nuclear weapons have provided the longest period of peace in yada yada. Well, that might be true. Of course we have to discount the many wars and proxy wars we've had during all this time, but it might be true. However, coinciding with this period of large nuclear stockpiles we have also had:

• A Europe united by free trade and mutual self-interest (unless you're Greek, but they're not likely to invade Poland)

• Rising wealth and standards of living.

• No Great Depressions as preceded WWII.

• No living memory of the horrors of WWII.

• No recent return swing from an overly-punished defeated nation. (I can make a strong case that there were not two distinct world wars, but only World War Part One and World War Part Two).

• More informed electorate through ever more available exposure to foreign viewpoints.

• A somewhat unified class of international wealthy elites who may profit from the threat of war, but would lose money in an actual world wide conflict.

All of these are strong factors in preserving peace. The threat of nuclear annihilation might be a contributing factor, but one must control for ones variables and there's a substantial list of very significant other factors. And if deterrence is supposed to be the factor, does any rational person not find the conventional horrors of WWI and WWII or Iraq or Libya or Syria not sufficient deterrence to avoid war?

32
2
Anonymous Coward

Yes and here's a but...

Pearl Harbour - America cut off Japan's oil supplies leading them to the only option which was bombing, otherwise they would have no electricity etc.. and the people would suffer.

Fast forward to today and the same is happening to North Korea, they are hell bent on creating a nuclear arsenal and we are now in a situation where neither side can back down.

If the Americans start dialogue and remove sanctions other countries will start to look towards nuclear weapons, if they don't North Korea will have no other option.

Time is not our friend right now.

7
9
Silver badge

>>Fast forward to today and the same is happening to North Korea, they are hell bent on creating a nuclear arsenal and we are now in a situation where neither side can back down.

Yes. It's worrying that some of the same factors are starting to repeat. The EU is fragmenting. (The results of Germany's upcoming elections will be interesting. I have a sneaky suspicion that their ant-Immigrant party AfD will do a lot better than the media predicts). We have a poor financial state in the West. Nothing like the Great Depression, thank goddess, but nonetheless our economies have suffered some serious blows. There are rising tensions as the USA tries to grab influence from Russia and Iran in Syria and there's economic warfare which doesn't get enough coverage amidst stories about Trump tweets and Emmys. And there's quite a degree of discontent in the general population. N. Korea sees its own route to survival being to have nuclear weapons - which isn't surprising given the near daily pronouncements of how the US wants to topple it. And the USA sees no way not to continue because the idea of N. Korea with nuclear weapons terrifies them (and everyone else). The USA would love to use sanctions but if they go any further with this, then they're basically just forcing China and Russia into closer partnership and there's no way China will actually cut links with N. Korea. Why would they? N. Korea isn't a threat to them (that would be like biting your mother's teat) and they equally don't want to see the US hegemony further established on their shores.

Everyone is acting rationally for their little corner of the chessboard. It only becomes irrational if you consider our species as a whole. And nobody does that.

20
6
Anonymous Coward

Of course North Korea is going for nukes, wouldn't you if you were them?

Gaddafi was going for nukes and traded his nuclear programme away for oil and trade, and look how that turned out for him! No one would believe the west in any "Give up your nukes and we'll give you this and leave you alone." negotiation any more.

They also know China will never allow a US backed unified Korea on their southern border, so China will begrudgingly play ball with sanctions only so far.

My prediction: North Korea will get it's nuclear ICBM, and we'll have' the Cuban missile crisis in reverse: The US will put nukes in South Korea. China will have an apoplectic fit and make all sorts of threats. Eventually the US will offer to back down as long as China make Kim give up his new nuclear toys.

Kim will agree, only if China agree to remove all trade sanctions, veto any new ones, and renew their mutual defence pact with North Korea, promising to defend them from any South Korea attack, and from the US, including giving North Korea the latest military hardware.

Kim gets what he wants most: surety of no international regime changing intervention; and secondly (assuming he actually wants this), a slightly better life for the citizens of North Korea.

12
0
Anonymous Coward

you forgot to mention one looming factor, which might fizz out, but might also be pivotal: mass automation

3
0
Silver badge

>>Gaddafi was going for nukes and traded his nuclear programme away for oil and trade, and look how that turned out for him! No one would believe the west in any "Give up your nukes and we'll give you this and leave you alone." negotiation any more.

That's a great example. Which I think most in the UK and the USA aren't aware of. Gaddafi wanted to come in from the cold for years and made a lot of concessions. And then when we got what we wanted we bombed the country back a hundred years. Another example much on the minds of the rest of the world is Iran. They have been complying with the agreed nuclear accords whilst the USA is determined to renege on its side of the deal. I also watched an interview with the President of the Phillipines, Robert Duterte who said he preferred negotiating with Russia and China because he couldn't rely on the USA's word. Now Duterte is not exactly a nice man, but that's irrelevant here. He said the president of the USA (Obama at the time of the interview) would make all sorts of promises but that Congress would then over-rule him and also he'd be replaced every few years with a different president who would do something different.

Now I'm obviously not advocating that the USA move away from democracy. I'm just pointing out that it has a terrible reputation for reliability and honesty world wide. Other countries manage to be democratic and still not renege on international agreements. Though I don't really attribute that to our politicians being inherently more honest so much as I do our countries being less powerful. We fear consequences. I think the USA is simply so powerful that it has gotten used to behaving how it wants. It's also possessed, generally, of a horrifying degree of confidence that it is the Good Guy. Domestically, I think it does a pretty good job of being Good Guys. It has a lot more freedom than almost anywhere else in the world. But internationally, nobody sees it that way except itself.

15
0

"If the Americans start dialogue and remove sanctions other countries will start to look towards nuclear weapons, if they don't North Korea will have no other option."

The US always tends to go for overkill. They were going straight for the jugular with their sanctions before the PRC and Russia talked them out of it.

There's one major problem with an ungraduated response: there's not much difference between getting your own way, and plain outright murder.

Which incidentally happens to be the problem with nuclear weapons. No graduation between bombing a city and committing genocide.

3
0

"No living memory of the horrors of WWII"?

I can introduce you to my grandparents if you like. They both lived through it, and they're both very much alive still with memories of the war and its horrors. My grandfather was an RAF navigator so actively part of what was going on too. You could ask him about it but you might have to speak up. He's a bit deaf these days.

5
0
Silver badge
Alert

Re: "No living memory of the horrors of WWII"?

I mistyped. Thank you for picking up on that. It's too late for me to edit the post but I meant that we DO have living memory of the horrors of WWII and that this is a factor in making another world war less likely. Apologies.

4
0
Anonymous Coward

"Kim gets what he wants most: surety of no international regime changing intervention; and secondly (assuming he actually wants this), a slightly better life for the citizens of North Korea."

I posted the Pearl harbour comment, I like your scenario much better than my pessimistic view but there is one thing that you haven't taken into account and that is capitalism, there is no way on this earth America will let another way of life prosper and survive. Examples, Cuba/Russia/Venezuela (who he just attacked in his speech to the UN)/North Korea, I leave Iran off this list because that's a different reason, China gets off the hook because lets face it they aren't going to pick a fight with billions of people and nukes, plus China has embraced partial capitalism.

Get your bunkers ready.

1
0
Silver badge

In the US, Reagan was publicly calling the USSR the "evil empire" and Russia – a nation armed with tens of thousands of nukes and the rocket technology to deliver them – was convinced he was seriously considering nuclear war.

You need to remember the background. This was shortly before "Able Archer 83". At this point USSR military intelligence already submitted reports on the incoming exercise including that Heads of State will be participating in it and had it assessed as a likely prelude to a conflict in Western Europe.

Today, we like to pretend paranoia for public "reds under our beds" relations purposes like the current howler monkeys performance about Zapad 2017. This modern pretend-paranoia is nothing compared to the paranoia of Soviet military planners in the early 80-es after Pershing missiles were deployed in Europe. Pershing, the early Tomahawk and the pile of reports in the run-up to Able Archer, resulted in Soviet missile forces going to the highest level of alert since the Cuban crisis. The Soviet leadership of the time believed in an imminent NATO attack for real, not for pretend political purposes.

We are lucky it was him and not someone else as that could have been the day the human civilization would have been inherited by the cockroaches. RIP Stanislav Petrov. Human civilization will always be in debt to you.

33
0
Silver badge

Reagan was publicly calling the USSR the "evil empire"

I used to have a sticker up in my cube - the Soviet flag at one end and the US flag at the other. And between the two the words "Two evil empires, one down, one to go".

I got asked to take it down because it offended a visiting US senior manager..

8
0

This post has been deleted by its author

Bronze badge

He was a true hero, someone who despite having saved the world just shrugs it off and says they were doing their job.

I would also recommend reading Raven Rock by Garrett M. Graff which mentions Colonel Petrov and his heroic actions. It also lists how badly the US would likely have fared in the event of the worst happening. Some of it reads like a comedy for example there is a bit where one presidential adviser (I think, I read it on holiday...) advocated a limited strike on just the nuclear targets in the USSR to prevent and deter them. He did concede that if it didn't work it would likely result in the deaths of seven out of every ten Americans.

Colonel Stanislav Petrov RIP

6
0

RIP A hero of the Cold War

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cnrE6OhvZg

I can thoroughly recommend this documentary on the incident.

11
0

Вечная память

Eternal memory for this hero who dragged us from the abyss.

17
0

Page:

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018