The unsung hero of ecommerce: the humble database

On October 1st, 1962, Vassili Arkhipov – a Russian submarine commander – saved the world.

Two of his fellow commanding officers, having been out of contact with Moscow for a number of days, thought that war had broken out above the waves and gave the green light to launch a nuclear torpedo in response to American depth charges. A move which would have guaranteed nuclear war.

In a move of spectacular bravery, Vassili, whose agreement was needed to authorize the launch, refused to consent and persuaded the other two to surface and await orders.

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