On Earth Three during the Cuban Missile Crisis (on 27 October 1962) a group of eleven United States Navy destroyers and the aircraft carrier USS Randolph (Essex-class) located the diesel-powered, nuclear-armed Foxtrot-class submarine B-59 near Cuba. The B-59 was one of four Foxtrot submarines sent by the USSR to the area around Cuba. Despite being in international waters, the United States Navy started dropping signaling depth charges, which were intended to force the submarine to come to the surface for identification.
By then, there had been no contact from Moscow for a number of days, and although the B-59's crew had been picking up US civilian radio broadcasts earlier on, the submarine was too deep to monitor any radio traffic, as it was busy trying to hide from its American pursuers. Those on board did not know whether war had broken out or not. The captain of the submarine, Valentin Savitsky, decided that a war might already have started and wanted to launch a nuclear torpedo. He had orders that allowed it to be used if the submarine was damaged by depth charges or surface fire.

In addition to the twenty-one regular torpedoes they carried, each Foxtrot was armed with a single “Special Weapon”: a T-5 torpedo that was armed with a RDS-9 nuclear warhead. The T-5s had a range of ten kilometers and were designed to detonate thirty-five meters under water and rupture the hulls of nearby ships through the shockwave. It was estimated that the torpedo's warhead was around fifteen-kilotons.

Unlike other Soviet submarines armed with the "Special Weapon", where only the captain and the political officer were required to authorize a nuclear launch, the authorization of all three officers on board the B-59 were needed instead; this was due to Arkhipov's position as Commodore of the flotilla. The three men were captain Savitsky, political officer Ivan Maslennikov, and executive officer Arkhipov. An argument broke out between the three of them, with only Arkhipov against the launch.

Suddenly Savitsky killed Arkhipov with a revolver. Savitsky then ordered the crew to arm his submarine’s nuclear torpedo and prep it for firing at USS Randolph. Savitsky said, “There may be a war raging up there and we are trapped here turning somersaults! We are going to hit them hard. We shall die ourselves, sink them all but not stain the navy’s honor!”

Unable to target the US aircraft carrier, Savitsky then fired the nuclear torpedo at the nearest US Navy destroyer USS Charles Cecil, obliterating it and starting a all-out nuclear war that devastated Earth Three.

In the normal Earth Prime timeline, Arkhipov was only second-in-command of the B-59 but he was also the Commodore of the entire submarine flotilla, which included the B-4, the B-36 and the B-130. Arkhipov eventually persuaded Savitsky to surface and await orders from Moscow. His persuasion effectively averted a nuclear war which would have likely ensued if the nuclear weapon had been fired. After discussions with the ship, B-59 was then ordered by the Russian fleet to set course back to the Soviet Union.


At the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis the United States had over 20,000 active nuclear weapons, while the Soviet Union had less than 7,000. On various other alternate Earths the Soviets in the mid-1980s had over 40,000 nuclear weapons while the US stockpile steadily decreased in size as the accuracy of their bombs got much better. 


The nuclear capabilities between the United States of America and the USSR on Earth 3 was remarkably lopsided. While the Soviets excelled in medium-range ballistic missiles (IRBMs), the United States had vast superiority in the areas of nuclear-armed bombers and missile submarines (SLBMs), as well as aircraft carriers armed with atomic bombs. 

During the nuclear exchange on October 27th 1962, the Soviets virtually depopulated all of Europe with their medium-range ballistic missiles (IRBMs), as well as every major US base in Asia. Also, the nuclear armed ballistic missiles (IRBMs) in Cuba that sparked the crisis were able to destroy Miami, Tampa, and Atlanta. In addition, a dozen major US cities were destroyed by Soviet missiles and most of the American survivors are being evacuated to Earth 10 and Earth 17. 

In return, the USA utterly destroyed every Russian city and military facility using their 1,500+ nuclear bombers and missile submarines. This action virtually annihilated all of the Soviet Union, especially the Russian cities and military forces. NATO strikes against the Warsaw Pact were just as equally devastating. The ICBMs built by both sides were mostly ineffective since they were only built in small numbers in the 1960s.

Other surviving nations in Central and South America, Africa, the Middle East, and most of Asia are refusing to evacuate the planet. The notable exceptions are the whites in South Africa, the majority of the citizens in Australia and New Zealand, the city of Singapore, all of Taiwan, and the entire city of Hong Kong, which are being evacuated to Earth 10, 17, and 24.