Vasili Alexandrovich Arkhipov (30 January 1926–1999) was a Soviet naval officer. During the Cuban Missile Crisis he prevented the launch of a nuclear torpedo and therefore a possible nuclear war. His story is to this day unknown to the wider public, although some believe that Vasili Arkhipov is the guy who saved the world.
Arkhipov was born in a peasant family near Moscow. He was educated in the Pacific Higher Naval School and participated in the Soviet war against Japan in August 1945 serving aboard a minesweeper. He transferred to the Caspian Higher Naval School and graduated in 1947. He served in the submarine service aboard boats in the Black Sea, Northern and Baltic Fleets.
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