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October , as nuclear warships and submarines gathered in the waters separating Cuba and the United States, one man refused to launch the missiles and saved the world from World War III and certain destruction. Watch Preview. Watch Full Episode. Fifty years ago, in October , the world teetered on the brink of nuclear war. On October 22, , after reviewing photographic evidence, President John F. Kennedy informed the world that the Soviet Union was building secret missile bases in Cuba, just 90 miles off the shores of Florida.
For the next 13 days, the world held its breath as the Soviet Union and the United States confronted each other about missiles stationed in Cuba. While politicians sought a resolution to the standoff, no one was aware of the events taking place inside the Soviet submarine B in the waters off the coast of Florida.
As we commemorate the 50 th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis, Secrets of the Dead chronicles how the actions of one man, during arguably the most dangerous moment of the Cold War, averted nuclear war. It combines dramatizations — set in a claustrophobic submarine running out of air — with eyewitness s and expert testimony to reveal the terrifying events happening beneath the waves. Four Soviet submarines were sent on a mission known only to a handful of Communist party officials.
Their destination was a mystery to be revealed once they were at sea. Under their orders, each submarine was to travel 7, miles from a top secret naval base in the Arctic Circle across the Atlantic to be permanently stationed in Mariel, Cuba where they would serve as the vanguard of a Soviet force a mere 90 miles from mainland America. The commander of each submarine had permission to act without direct orders from Moscow if they believed they were under threat.
The torpedo could only be fired if the submarine captain and political officer were in agreement. Each had one half of a key which, when ed, unlocked the firing mechanism. For the first time in life a commander of a submarine had a nuclear weapon and had the authority to fire the missile at his command. However, aboard the B, three men—not two—needed to be in agreement. As commander of the entire submarine fleet, Arkhipov had the power to veto firing the missile and was one of the only men who knew about the mission in advance. Coordinating producer is Stephanie Carter. For 50 years, THIRTEEN has been making the most of the rich resources and passionate people of New York and the world, reaching millions of people with on-air and online programming that celebrates arts and culture, offers insightful commentary on the news of the day, explores the worlds of science and nature, and invites students of all ages to have fun while learning.
These programs are among the full-length episodes available for viewing on Secrets of the Dead Online pbs. Along with the extensive online video catalog, the series web site provides resources for educators with lesson plans for middle school and high school teachers. Narrator: THE U. S12 Ep6. About the Episode. Behind the Scenes Gallery. Closed Captions. THE U. Subscribe to the Secrets of the Dead Newsletter.Vasili arkhipov bbc documentary
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The Man Who Saved the World