By M. Grant
Civil defence was once a vital part of Britain’s glossy historical past. through the chilly battle it was once a significant reaction of the British govt to the specter of warfare. This book is the 1st background of the arrangements to struggle a nuclear struggle taken in Britain among the top of the second one global battle and 1968.
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Extra info for After The Bomb: Civil Defence and Nuclear War in Cold War Britain, 1945-68
69 This outline policy was aimed at both protecting the population from the effects of a future war and protecting the ability of the nation to continue to fight it. The latter imperative, of course, inspired the work on industrial dispersal whilst the former led to a reappraisal of those life-saving measures so familiar from the Second World War. The vicissitudes of evacuation and shelter policy are the subject of Chapter Three, but in 1948 it was assumed that a fully functioning evacuation scheme would reduce casualties (although no scheme actually existed); equally, it was assumed that shelters would be provided for those required to stay behind and work in the non-dispersed factories (again, 26 After the Bomb no shelter programme had been – or was ever to be – agreed).
Hiroshima had ‘left much of our post-war planning out of date’: bomb proof shelters and basements, the retention of ARP and fire services, and plans for ‘a redistribution of industry planned on account of the experience of bombing attacks during the war’ was all ‘futile waste’ in the face of the atomic bomb. ‘Nothing can alter the fact that the geographical situation of Britain offers to a Continental Power such targets as London and the other great cities. Dispersal of munitions works and airfields cannot alter the facts of geography’.
After Berlin, 28 After the Bomb with the Ministerial committee and the greater interest in civil defence taken by the Cabinet Secretary, such strategic direction was in place. However symptomatic of problems in the direction of civil defence, this planning failure clearly represented an enormous problem in July 1948. Brook told Ministers that improvisation would be needed, and that any scheme to meet an attack ‘could only be makeshift’. 80 In short, it would involve placing Britain on a full-scale war alert.