Lt. Col. Stanislav Petrov: The man who prevented WW3

The power of a rational man

On September 26, 1983 the Soviet early warning nuclear missile launch detection registered 5 American ICBMs incoming. Stanislav’s job was to send the retaliatory launch signal to his superiors to immediately begin firing multiple missiles at the Continental U.S. Using sound judgment and reasoning, he theorized that several things were out of place: the report had passed too quickly through 30 layers of certification, and ground radar was not showing anything. Everyone was waiting for him to give the launch signal. He never did. In the aftermath, it became clear that the sun had glinted off of clouds over Montana and caused the Soviet satellite to erroneously register a launch. There is little doubt in the climate and edgy timeframe of the Cold war that his actions prevented nuclear war. Stanislav was punished for his actions (for embarrassing the elites) and eventually given a punishment job and took early retirement. Suffering from a nervous breakdown and caring for his wife who was dying of cancer, he was made a scapegoat. He eventually visited the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site in 2007 during the making of the documentary The Man Who Saved the World. Petrov died in 2017, receiving civilian honors from many, but nothing from his country.

With Reason and Valor he prevented the deaths of millions. Valor is in you. Set if free.

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