Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I think it's a reader's job to ask critical questions when reading articles on historical reconstructions regardless the source. It's very important to bring out the hidden or assumed premises- enthymemes as they are technically called.

In this case I suggest for starts the following questions:

  1. Did Foxtrot submarines carry nuclear weapons in 1962?
  2. How many, if any, nuclear weapons could have been on board?
  3. If that category of submarines effectively carried nuclear charges, what were the procedures to arm and deploy those weapons?
4)What was the procedure to launch a nuclear weapon?
5) On what bandwidth did submarines communicate with headquarters?

As we know now, Foxtrots carried atleast one or two nuclear warheads to be mounted on a torpedo by the Seventies. It is questionable in 1962.

In order to arm and launch a nuclear torpedo according to procedure, three codes were needed: one communicated by Central Command, one in the hands of the commanding officer and the last in the hands of another officer. There was no way a nuclear torpedo could have been armed and fired without all three codes.

Despite hardliner allegations to the contrary, the launching of a nuclear device by a submarine could never have been undertaken without central command authorization. It goes for both players in the ball game.

Let's throw in some more question: Since assault submarines have a variety of flexible options, was it not more "logical" to use conventional warheads if at all? Was it not plain that the US Navy's depth charges were merely tactical harassment of the kind that have occured constantly between rival powers? What's the use of launching a nuclear torpedo with a very limited strike range and low tonnage?

By the 1980's at the height of the Cold War there were nearly 200 incidents at sea per year between the two superpowers. Unreported. This alleged incident in 1962 was not uncommon at the time and it strikes as strange that an officer would overreact to provocation.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Fri Sep 27th, 2013 at 05:32:56 AM EST
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