Most people may not know of the man named Stanislav Petrov. But he is a worthy figure that should go down in the history books as the ‘Man Who Saved The World. This unsung hero saved the world due to a simple decision that he took during the Cold War between the United States Of America and the USSR. Petrov, who was then a soviet military officer working in a top secret military control centre, made the decision to not inform his superiors of a reading from the sensors that suggested American Nuclear missiles had been launched towards the USSR.
Because of the tensions of those days, there was no doubt that the Soviets would have retaliated had Petrov informed his superiors of the alarming message. However, Petrov decided to inform his superiors that the machines in the control centre were malfunctioning, and had given out a false alarm. Even though the readings from his sensors suggested nothing of that sort, Petrov knew that he couldn’t live his life watching the world covered in flames.
Petrov spoke to medias years later and gave his account of the story. He told them of how he had held his breath for 23 minutes to see if the machines were in fact correct on that fateful day in September 1983. He explained that when he found out that he was the one who was right rather than the machines, it brought him such a joy that he couldn’t quite fathom. It turned out that Soviet satelites had mistaken the reflection of the Sun’s rays on the clouds as the engines of nuclear missiles. Petrovs decision to not inform his superiors had prevented the Soviet Union from launching a preemptive strike on the US by mistake. If he had informed, the world would not be the same as it is today. The fate of the world had rested on the shoulders of Petrov that day.
Stanislav Petrov had the chance to tell his frightening story later on. H even had a movie made that was based upon him. Petrov retired from the army as a Lieutenant Colonel. He passed away on 19th May 2017, his death was made public in September. He is remembered as an honorable and quite man who died in the peace of his house. He was indeed an ‘Unsung Hero’. The Man Who Saved The World.