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Old November 15th, 2012, 01:56 AM   #11

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Vasili Arkhipov, who didn't fire a nuclear torpedo at October 27 in 1962 when his submarine was being bombarded by a US warship. We didn't have a nuclear apocalypse thanks to this guy.
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Old November 15th, 2012, 02:36 AM   #12

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"It's the orders you disobey that make you famous" - MacArthur.

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Originally Posted by Earl_of_Rochester View Post
... Admiral Bying was shot for trying the same thing about 100 years earlier, tho he didn't manage to pull it off...
I thought that, scape-goat or otherwise, he was shot for not attacking. Nothing like Nelson.

Byng was sent to relieve the island of Minorca following a French attack, but without sufficient funds, forces, or preparation time. His letters of the time show that he set out on the mission with an expectation to fail, after his protests to his superiors were ignored.
A half-hearted battle was fought, the French escaped, Byng returned to Gibralter and the rest is history as they say.

Whether or not Byng was "stitched up" as many people think (his descendants and supporters have long lobbied unsuccessfully for a pardon), it's interesting to speculate on how Nelson would have handled the matter. (Cape St. Vincent was just 41 years later btw, rather than 100.)

Anyway seeing as Nelson's already been mentioned, I'll suggest the Polish pilots of the RAF during the Battle of Britain, who famously annoyed everybody by ignoring orders pertaining to formation and tactics etc and instead tended to fly off on their own "wild weasel" flights to engage the Luftwaffe.
Despite this, and despite being only allowed to join the battle when it was halfway through, the Poles (5% of RAF fighter pilots) were responsible for 12% of enemy planes shot down, and the most successful squadron of all the RAF were the Polish 303.

Of course it can be argued (and indeed is) that the Battle of Britain was won by teamwork and discipline rather than by enthusiastic pilots flying around where they liked and choosing their own targets. Quite possibly true, but even Dowding admitted that without the Poles the outcome might well have been very different.
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Old November 15th, 2012, 02:12 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Gudenrath View Post
Vasili Arkhipov, who didn't fire a nuclear torpedo at October 27 in 1962 when his submarine was being bombarded by a US warship. We didn't have a nuclear apocalypse thanks to this guy.
I've just read about it. What I'm racking my brain about is if Arkhipov and the rest of decision headquarters were allowed by Nikita Chruschtschow to decide by themselves? Do you think the ruler of Soviet could have put so important decision into hands of them? We're talking about next World War, several years after Second one.

Thanks Ciknero for recolleting polish flying heroes. Division 303 was the only military formation that was invited to London Victory Celebration, but of course they refused because of not inviting others of Polish Armed Force. That decision of british "political elite" still hurts.
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