Russian Nuclear Launch Code Backup Procedure
If the safe doesn’t open, use a sledgehammer:
The sledgehammer’s existence first came to light in 1980, when a group of inspecting officers from the General Staff visiting Strategic Missile Forces headquarters asked General Georgy Novikov what he would do if he received a missile launch order but the safe containing the launch codes failed to open.
Novikov said he would “knock off the safe’s lock with the sledgehammer” he kept nearby, the spokesman said.
At the time the inspectors severely criticized the general’s response, but the General Staff’s top official said Novikov would be acting correctly.
EDITED TO ADD (7/14): British nukes used to be protected by bike locks.
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