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This is the story of a Soviet naval officer, who commanded the Submarine S-13, in the Baltic theater during World War II. He sank more enemy tonnage than any other Soviet war vessel, but rarely could benefit the recognition he deserved, because the conflicts he initiated with the political officers, the "politruks", present everywhere, often overruling the captains. His discipline violations, his drinking, and association with a Swedish lady, all precipitated his fall from grace with the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, always flirting with the ultimate punishment, that of a one-way trip to Siberia. Joining the GRU, the Directorate for Military Intelligence, literally saved his life. In that capacity he worked in Cuba, during the missile crisis, having a leading role in averting a nuclear holocaust, a fact that the history ignored. There he lost his wife, his health and, ultimately, died in a Leningrad military hospital at the age of 49. Most of the details of his secretive life come from declassified files in the Soviet Union, Poland, Germany and United States, giving the reader a candid look into the realities of life under Stalin's terror, and after it. The Cuban Missile Crisis forms an integral part of career of Captain Marinesko, presenting those historical events under a different angle. It is not the official version of the USA or USSR, but that of a secretive Soviet intelligence officer convinced that he had a hand in saving the world from an horrible catastrophe. The conclusion that sometimes the history ignores those who work to change it is a realistic one.
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