Military Review

Prevented Nuclear War - A Propaganda Myth

34



In the autumn of this year, a familiar Glavred of one of the Russian publications sent me an article in TIME with a request to comment on the recording described in it "the feat of a Soviet officer who prevented a nuclear war."

The answer turned out to be too emotional and unprintable, and therefore has not been published. But since over the past month and a half, I constantly meet mentions of this stories, and all exclusively in enthusiastic tones, I will allow to clarify.

In short, the version, wandering in the media and born abroad, is as follows. October 26 1983, when relations with the United States were at the peak of tension (the South Korean Boeing had just been shot down), Oko’s rocket attack warning system, Lieutenant Colonel Stanislav Petrov, received satellite information about the launch of American ballistic missiles 5.

“TIME” writes: “In my opinion, the likelihood that the alarms are valid was 50 on 50,” he (Petrov) recalls. “But I didn’t want to be responsible for the start of the third world war.” So he reported to his command, that the alarm was false. "

A year later, with a small lieutenant colonel Petrov will retire, quietly and quietly living in civilian life. And with 2006, mass hysteria began in the West. The New York Times and the BBC were written about Petrov and his exploits, feature films and unscientific fantasy stories were made about him. He was awarded a mass of awards, including 25 thousands of dollars and a crystal statuette "Hand holding the globe" with the inscription "Man who prevented a nuclear war" engraved on it.



In general, we got a wonderful information flow, in which the thought was "citing" TIME ":" Andropov, the chairman of the KGB, who became the leader of the Soviet Union a year earlier, was known for his paranoia - he was afraid of the preemptive strike of Americans that would destroy Soviet missile mines . "

In a broader sense, the USSR-Russia is paranoid and only certain brave officers and the realism of the West save the world from a nuclear catastrophe and the threat from Russia now. And domestic media happily picked up and reprinted this nonsense - after all, the officer is ours - he is a hero.

This is nonsense because there was not and could not have been any report on a nuclear attack coming from the Oko system, from Serpukhovo-15 and Petrov itself. For one simple reason - until 1985, the Eye system was not even on combat training duty.

As a result, the officers did not intervene "To guard the state border of the USSR" - these were the words that sounded on duty on every shift divorce. I had thousands of hours of such duty, and I had to give such an order myself in those years. And the words about “guarding the state border” were neither paranoid nor empty words. But more about that some other time.

Specifically, the system "Eye", and Petrov knew about it, just passed the test. The first 4 satellites were launched a year earlier into high-elliptical orbits, which allowed us to monitor the US alternately only for one vehicle. Moreover, the illumination of the optics, to which Petrov refers, as a false signal about the launch of an ICBM, was immediately detected. That is why the satellites were launched into orbits, which allow us to shoot the territory of the USA at an angle, avoiding contact with the lenses of most of the sunlight reflected from the clouds.

At the time being described, now it is no longer a secret, for several reasons, I served in the 101 regiment of the OSNAZ GRU in Pavlovsk near Leningrad. This unique training center trained specialists, including for conducting strategic intelligence. The radio interception centers scattered all over the world (including in Cuba) had the following task: "1. Order of the US President to use nuclear weapons". I quote the stands in each classroom with which the training of cadets began.

The fundamental laws under which strategic intelligence lived were speed and multiple checks. Any intercepted information fell on the desk of the duty officer in Moscow no later than 5 minutes after the fact of the interception. Without repeated verification of various similar systems, including the KGB of the USSR, and a number of departments of the Ministry of Defense, no one transmitted any messages about a nuclear attack to the leadership of the USSR.

It is because in this system, all paranoid. Gastric ulcer is an occupational disease. Everyone on duty is well aware of what a full-scale nuclear war is and what responsibility to protect the motherland lies on the shoulder straps. Yes, all paranoid. That is why all information is repeatedly checked. And no one will ever trust one report. As no one ever will put on a database an unchecked system repeatedly.

To claim that a report on information from one satellite being tested could have launched a war — not fiction — a painful delusion. Nowhere in the world is this and will not be.

The Oko system was put into service only after the satellites in geostationary orbits appeared in its orbital grouping, and the number of vehicles was reduced to the nominal minimum number of 9 units. And it happened already at Gorbachev, in 1987 year.

And as I said above, this system is complemented by many others. And GRU posts, and ships, under the guise of fishing seiners floating across the oceans, and over-the-horizon radar stations, early detection stations around the country, and much more.

I tried not to deviate from the theme of the actual tale of heroism, which was not even a trace. Because in those years there were a lot of interesting things and now even funny things, including the attendants on duty jumping into the windows shouting “Nuclear war has begun!”

But more about that another time.
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  1. Grandfather
    Grandfather 2 November 2017 06: 21 New
    +5
    "Prevented Nuclear War" - a propaganda myth
    not prevented means ... recourse and what the hell are the "documentary" films showing, and they are talking about the death of the Hero? however, it’s time to get used to the tricks of our television ... it stinks of yellowness ..
    1. To be or not to be
      To be or not to be 2 November 2017 09: 47 New
      +4
      The article smiled .. laughing
      The officer of the 101st regiment of the OSNAZ GRU in Pavlovsk at that time could not know anything about the missile defense and air defense system.
      The fact that Petrov reported correctly is a feat !!
      According to the OKO system, we look “By 1979, the space system for the early detection of ICBM launches from four spacecraft (SC) US-K (the Oko system) in highly elliptical orbits was deployed. For receiving, processing information and controlling the system’s spacecraft in Serpukhov-15 (70 km from Moscow) the command post of the SPRN was built. After the flight design tests, the first-generation US-K system was put into service in 1982. It was designed to monitor continental missile hazardous areas of the United States. "
      Due to false information: "As the secret journalist of the newspaper" Top Secret "Dmitry Likhanov himself, S. E. Petrov, on July 13, 1983, the scheduled maintenance work on the new combat program was carried out at the Central Design Bureau, however, when it was tried not in imitation, but in working mode , due to a malfunction in one of the units of the exchange system, the machine gave false information about the mass launch of ballistic missiles. "The chief of staff of the army, General Zavaliy, gave an oral order to remove all development from exploitation. The developers, and they were civilians, categorically refused to obey the general’s order and left The military then removed these developments with their own hands. I think this incident was directly related to what happened in September. As a result of the investigation, we brought to light a whole bunch of flaws in the space warning system for launching ballistic missiles. The main problems were in the combat program and imperfection of spacecraft. th system. All these shortcomings were eliminated only by 1985, when the system was finally put on combat duty. "
      1. Mikle1
        2 November 2017 14: 08 New
        +5
        I am very pleased that those who have been doing profile work cannot know anything, but an ordinary Internet user - easily. However, the author had all this time another source of information - his father developed satellites all his life, an uncle in the cosmonaut corps, etc.

        The author simply did not shy away from the topic. As for the word "feat" - the performance of functional duties does not apply to those.
      2. Mikle1
        2 November 2017 14: 26 New
        +5
        Thanks for the quote. Petrov carved himself in it. Quote: "only for 1985 year, when the system was finally put on combat duty."

        And where is the feat if he himself writes that in 83 the Eye did not stand on the database?

        Or it is not clear that an officer who is not standing on guard of the state border does not prevent anything - he has nothing to do with it at all - he only tests the system.
    2. igorj 51
      igorj 51 6 November 2017 19: 10 New
      -1
      and what the hell are the "documentary" films showing, and they are talking about the death of the Hero? however, it’s time to get used to the tricks of our television ... it stinks of yellowness ..

      This is not even yellowness. This is pure propaganda.
  2. rotmistr60
    rotmistr60 2 November 2017 06: 29 New
    +9
    the probability that the alarms were reliable was 50 to 50 ... reported to his command that the alarm was false

    Only one of his statements entails a lot of questions. In general, the very fact that one person could have prevented something is very doubtful. Now, if the “button” were in his hands and gave him the right to single-handedly decide on a launch, then it would be possible to talk about something.
  3. andr327
    andr327 2 November 2017 06: 36 New
    +8
    To write about such exploits can only amateurs, absolutely not representing the work of the system. If you determine the feat, then this is a massive feat - hundreds and thousands of people every day, on weekdays and holidays, on alert.
    And the technique always gives failures, errors. Both for us and for the Americans the equipment malfunctioned, but the system worked. And the glory (crossed out to God) of their professional skill that a nuclear war did not start!
  4. Gormenghast
    Gormenghast 2 November 2017 06: 59 New
    +1
    Thanks for the detailed information.

    But, I honestly admit, in Soviet childhood I sometimes had nightly fears about a nuclear bombing. sad
    1. Mikle1
      2 November 2017 14: 11 New
      +4
      For some reason, this is now remembered with a smile. Probably a defensive reaction. And then the screamer did not beat off the kidneys. He, overslept the first part of the interception with a coded message about the exercises and took the middle of the launches.

      Written off.
  5. Mar.Tirah
    Mar.Tirah 2 November 2017 08: 27 New
    +9
    That's right! Information came from many sources. Those who knew the real situation, of course, were paranoid. Fear, for a malfunction of technology, fear for breaking the border, and political activities, get ready. Get ready!. And the US did not let it forget, not a week passed, so that our border (the Bering Sea) would not have reconnaissance planes hanging around, and would not commit provocations. And I remembered taking up duty on the border post. Not only green. Like outposts, but blue. Sky color. Listen to the battle order. To protect the state border, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics-to intercede. And the anthem, right up to the goosebumps.
  6. tsvetkov1274
    tsvetkov1274 2 November 2017 08: 57 New
    +3
    we are waiting for the continuation on the topic, jumping on the windows of the attendants with a cry "Nuclear war has begun!" hi
    1. Mikle1
      2 November 2017 14: 12 New
      +1
      Is that for some infopovod. When I wrote, I barely restrained myself so as not to get away from the topic with a description of all kinds of incidents and Hochmas. And the topic is, in general, specific, most judging by the number of readers, not very interesting.
      1. Sverdlov
        Sverdlov 2 November 2017 19: 09 New
        +2
        Very interesting topic!
        And by reading - there is nothing more fascinating than the narration of professionals.
        Read "Sharks of Steel" and "Tales of the Unworn Opera".
        There is something to laugh about and something to think about ...
        So, go for it ...
  7. Captain Nemo
    Captain Nemo 2 November 2017 09: 00 New
    0
    Does this mean, being distracted from OKO, that Petrov did nothing and prevented nothing? Is it necessary to demand from his relatives the return of all tsatsk and a bonus of 25 thousand dollars, which the author so touchingly mentioned? Or is simple human envy superimposed on journalistic fiction?
    1. Shadow of darkness
      Shadow of darkness 2 November 2017 10: 42 New
      0
      Was there a boy?
    2. Mikle1
      2 November 2017 14: 13 New
      +1
      What for? Petrov later 25 years (in 70 years) could himself believe in everything he said.
  8. hhhhhhh
    hhhhhhh 2 November 2017 09: 13 New
    +2
    the probability that the alarms were reliable was 50 to 50 ... reported to his command that the alarm was false

    If for a moment we assume that the missiles really took off, and the hero did not report.
  9. Bashibuzuk
    Bashibuzuk 2 November 2017 09: 21 New
    13
    Almost a colleague. I, too, also in 1983, got tired of running about alarms in the BIP, the satellites got it.
    But, it is remembered, we stand on a divorce, we look - in the direction of Severomorsk a white mushroom grows. All together amused, scattered about the posts. And only - after 4 hours, or even later, they notified that the warehouses in Vaeng were rushed. It's true. was a year earlier, but never mind.
    The important thing is. that they were waiting for confirmation and DECISIONS of the high authorities.
    And in fact, the colonel - what's extreme? I saw flare, appreciated the data. reported to the leadership - it’s stated in black letters in Russian everywhere.
    What do I think there are click-paranoids over the hill - should we touch? Yes, not at all. In vain, are there any direct communication devices between the Presidents? And where does the lieutenant colonel, of any sort of duty crew, have he made a decision on the use of nuclear weapons? He is reporting. Which he did. No more.
    There were great times, alarming, calling, promising.
    And now I’m sitting in the “public domain” and I have erased my teeth to the gums that still remain - I compare that there was then a muddy jelly in which I’m now messing around .... like ... louse on wet .....
    Oh, youth. youth....
    1. Mikle1
      2 November 2017 14: 15 New
      +3
      Yeah, since September 83 was fun. After Boeing, the concept of sleeping was somehow gone. when exiled to the south, running around with a gun was perceived as a rest.
  10. Altona
    Altona 2 November 2017 10: 51 New
    +2
    Quote: andr327
    And the technique always gives failures, errors. Both for us and for the Americans the equipment malfunctioned, but the system worked. And the glory (crossed out to God) of their professional skill that a nuclear war did not start!

    ------------------------------
    In general, since the Caribbean crisis, there has been a direct telephone line between the leaders of the USSR (now Russia) and the United States. And oddly enough, you can call a potential adversary directly on him and ask him what is the matter. And do not give such a delicate mission to some anonymous major at some KP.
    1. Blackmokona
      Blackmokona 2 November 2017 23: 47 New
      0
      “Uncle Sam, my radars see your rockets!”
      -What missiles are Ivan, you obviously have a mistake, double-check the data!

      Hoping for a smarter dialogue?
  11. iouris
    iouris 2 November 2017 12: 28 New
    +1
    The purpose of starting this story is to drive the savings of the North American United States as the highest value, as well as to complicate (slow down) the process of making decisions related to retaliation by people on combat duty. The main question is: has this goal been achieved?
  12. Rey_ka
    Rey_ka 2 November 2017 13: 38 New
    +1
    Well, a pensioner earned a little money. Well done. I also recently heard a voice about the invasion of aliens in the United States, but thanks to the innate power of persuasion, I convinced them, but I couldn’t interfere in their elections. Therefore, in connection with the foregoing, five thousand bucks or a good psychiatrist is ready to accept the prize.
  13. Sands Careers General
    Sands Careers General 2 November 2017 13: 59 New
    +6
    Was the Eye system adopted in 1987?

    Come on.
    After the flight design tests, the first-generation US-KS system, government decree No. 5721 in January 1979, the Oko system was adopted, and by order of the Minister of Defense No. 00178 of December 27, 1982, it was put on combat duty.
    1. Mikle1
      2 November 2017 14: 23 New
      +3
      I bow to the power and knowledge of the Internet and am even ready to believe in all these numbers and rulings. But there is an objective reality in which people live and work. I did not write much, but a year before the described events, due to satellite failures and fake highlights (plus a lot of purely technical reasons) there was a huge scandal and the military refused to take its information into account at all. By 83, the designers and the military were staying at the JCE in the counters that ended with the launch of additional satellites in 85.

      As for the database, physically, the 4 satellite is not able to control anything - they were run in them. Our base in Cuba was much more efficient than one experimental satellite conducting observation and changing every 6 hours.
      1. DrVintorez
        DrVintorez 3 November 2017 15: 48 New
        0
        the system was adopted on the database? was. this happens all the time when something is accepted, but does not work properly.
  14. SCHWERIN
    SCHWERIN 2 November 2017 15: 40 New
    0
    Who to believe? I have also been to Cuba many times and I can say that our rocket did not shoot down a staff bomber over the Gulf of Pigs. And they believe me?
    Our mass media publishes a lot of unverified material. Well, when it comes to ordinary cases, and another when about the country! I was surprised that such a person lived, well, let's say not richly ....
    Shtatniki transferred him money for a living. But it was possible, for example, at the level of Moscow oblast, or even better, a spokesperson for GDP would tell citizens about what and how it was. After all, the consequences could be tragic.
    1. Mikle1
      2 November 2017 17: 28 New
      +1
      Could not. The eye did not stand on the database and had nothing to do with the vigorous button. I got the quote above, where Pert himself was, and says that only in 85-m was put on the database. So crap
  15. Old26
    Old26 2 November 2017 18: 48 New
    +1
    Quote: To be or not to be
    According to the OKO system, we look “By 1979, the space system for the early detection of ICBM launches from four spacecraft (SC) US-K (the Oko system) in highly elliptical orbits was deployed. For receiving, processing information and controlling the system’s spacecraft in Serpukhov-15 (70 km from Moscow) the command post of the SPRN was built. After the flight design tests, the first-generation US-K system was put into service in 1982. It was designed to monitor continental missile hazardous areas of the United States. "

    And if you also look, then from the first almost 15 satellites. NO ONE did not work properly, without failures

    Quote: rotmistr60
    In general, the very fact that one person could have prevented something is very doubtful. Now, if the “button” were in his hands and gave him the right to individually decide on the launch, then it would be possible to talk about something.

    He couldn’t prevent anything. He was simply doing his job. There was an emergency operation - reported on command.
    A feat or not a feat. In 1983, the EMNIP from Baikonur launched the next crew. A fire started at the start. The emergency response command line did not work. The operator manually started the system and transmitted the command almost 0,1 second before the time when the cables burned out. Saved the crew and the prestige of the country. Is it a feat or not?
  16. Mytholog
    Mytholog 2 November 2017 21: 19 New
    0
    Petrov cut down some money out of the blue. What do you want? Enviously? )
  17. Captain Nemo
    Captain Nemo 2 November 2017 21: 44 New
    0
    Quote: Old26
    Quote: To be or not to be
    According to the OKO system, we look “By 1979, the space system for the early detection of ICBM launches from four spacecraft (SC) US-K (the Oko system) in highly elliptical orbits was deployed. For receiving, processing information and controlling the system’s spacecraft in Serpukhov-15 (70 km from Moscow) the command post of the SPRN was built. After the flight design tests, the first-generation US-K system was put into service in 1982. It was designed to monitor continental missile hazardous areas of the United States. "

    And if you also look, then from the first almost 15 satellites. NO ONE did not work properly, without failures

    Quote: rotmistr60
    In general, the very fact that one person could have prevented something is very doubtful. Now, if the “button” were in his hands and gave him the right to individually decide on the launch, then it would be possible to talk about something.

    He couldn’t prevent anything. He was simply doing his job. There was an emergency operation - reported on command.
    A feat or not a feat. In 1983, the EMNIP from Baikonur launched the next crew. A fire started at the start. The emergency response command line did not work. The operator manually started the system and transmitted the command almost 0,1 second before the time when the cables burned out. Saved the crew and the prestige of the country. Is it a feat or not?

    Strange things. For some reason I was sure that the rescue system in the Unions is autonomous and is controlled not only by the CP
  18. Old26
    Old26 2 November 2017 22: 11 New
    0
    Quote: Captain Nemo
    Strange things. For some reason I was sure that the rescue system in the Unions is autonomous and is controlled not only by the CP

    Autonomous. But the fire burned all the wiring. For a long time he was "not visible", and when he "broke out" autonomy already ordered a long life. And the operator was able to start it manually almost in the last moment. A second or two later, that's all, the crew would die. Has he accomplished a feat in the context of what we are talking about?
  19. Old26
    Old26 3 November 2017 00: 19 New
    0
    Quote: Ci Cago
    If this was part of his responsibilities for which he received a salary, of course no feat. The man simply completed his work.

    Exactly. And Colonel Petrov, in his place, was fulfilling his duties. There was an emergency operation - reported. And what, besides Serpukhov-15, the leadership had no other sources of information, that only he and no one else? Man did his job like that. as I had to do. And everything else is already on the conscience of journalists
    1. DrVintorez
      DrVintorez 3 November 2017 15: 51 New
      0
      look from this angle, so there are no exploits. Is there a salary? there is. do you work? do you have official duties? do it. no feat. but if you overfulfilled the norm, and even during non-working hours, and on your own initiative - this is an EXPLOSION !!!