8 Events That Brought The World to the Brink of Nuclear War

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2. August, 1962

A U-2 spy plane from the U.S. accidently flew over a portion of the U.S.S.R. due to a navigational failure. The Soviets sent MiG fighter aircraft with the intent of shooting the errant U-2 out of the sky as the U-2 turned eastbound in an effort to reach Alaska before it ran out of fuel. In response the U.S. launched two F-102A fighter aircraft that were armed with nuclear-tipped missiles. Having run out of fuel while still over Soviet territory, the F-102As were able to reach the U-2 before the MiGs were able to shoot it down, and escort it as it glided safely back to Alaska.

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