Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Cold War Memories

Britain has released a formerly classified document called the "War Book" from 1970. It describes the measures that would be taken in the UK following the outbreak of a nuclear war that left an estimated 12 million British citizens dead.
In calm bureaucratic language — loaded with code words to render the book meaningless to those not in the know — the document describes how as the crisis worsened, civil servants would introduce censorship, evacuate all but the sickest patients from hospitals and eventually be sent to one of 12 underground bunkers scattered around the country.

Britain was to be governed from these bunkers after a nuclear attack, with officials exercising powers of martial law over the remaining population.
Contingency planning always makes for fascinating reading.

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