Commander Wood would kill millions of people if given the political order
THE MAN with his finger on the nuclear button would "act on the orders of our political lords and masters" if told to detonate a nuclear missile strike from a UK Trident submarine.
In a rare nuclear PR stunt from the UK military, journalists were given access to the Trident missile base at Faslane where the missiles designed to flatten cities are based.
This included Lieutenant Commander Woods showcasing the red handset he would press to set off - or respond to - a nuclear war, leading to the potential destruction of human civilisation.
Speaking for the first time about his role in The National newspaper , Commander Woods explained why he would launch a nuclear strike: "Ultimately, yes. We have to act on the orders of our political lords and masters.
"When we are at sea, we don't know the whole story and we have to trust that they know what they are doing."
He added that there would be safety precautions to ensure that any message from David Cameron was legitimate rather than "someone trying to spoof us".
Nuclear weapons have only been used twice as weapons of war - in the US bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which killed hundreds of thousands of people.
There have been thousands of nuclear weapons tests and registered nuclear accidents since the 1940s.
In 1983, a Soviet nuclear submarine had a system malfunction, meaning that lieutenant Stanislav Petrov was advised to launch a 'retaliatory nuclear attack' on the United States.
He decided against a nuclear strike, preventing millions of deaths.
The Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, which calls for the end of the UK nuclear weapons system, condemned the UK Government for "showing off" weapons of mass destruction to the media.
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Picture courtesy of Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament