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Cold War Secret Nuclear Bunkers [Hardcover]

N.J. McCamley
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Book Description

7 Mar 2000
The threat of nuclear attack changed the face of warfare, and the early 1950s witnessed a massive and hugely expensive, yet highly secret, building programme. Even today, the vast majority of people are unaware of the scale and location of these sites. Nick McCamley uncovers the facts in this enthralling book which describes these extraordinary installations including the vast umbrella of radar stations. Interesting and shocking comparisons are made about the provision, or lack of it, for the survival of the civil population between the USA, UK and other countries. A truly rivetting and revealing book.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Pen & Sword Books Ltd; 1st Edition edition (7 Mar 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0850527465
  • ISBN-13: 978-0850527469
  • Product Dimensions: 24.3 x 15.7 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 662,561 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Nick McCamley was born at Bradford-on-Avon, in 1950. Always passionately interested in local history and industrial archaeology, his accidental stumbling upon the remains of Corsham Ammunitions Depot in 1967 resulted in a research project that became a thirty year obsession. Secret Cold War Nuclear Bunkers is the revealing and dramatic sequel to Nick McCamleys highly successful 'Secret Underground Cities'. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Excerpt from the Introduction: -

... "This huge concentration of American military assets in the United Kingdom is the reason that her countryside and cities are littered with bunkers built to protect key elements of the nation’s military and administrative establishment. There are great, complex bunkers for central government deep underground that have cost tens of millions of pounds to build and millions more each year to maintain; there are bunkers for regional government controllers who might or might not lead the post-holocaust national recovery; there are bunkers for the County Councils from which they would enact the local plans they often as not had never prepared; there are bunkers for water-board engineers who would ensure that every survivor had two litres of fresh water daily; bunkers for electricity board engineers who would ensure that the street lamps worked even if the buildings that lined those streets were swept away; there are bunkers large and small for the thousands of Royal Observer volunteers who thought they were protecting their own neighbours and community but were in fact just cogs in the vast machine that protected the American homeland; and there were bunkers for the radar stations built to give timely warning to the fighters and guns supposed to protect Britain’s airborne nuclear deterrent but in fact just protecting the US bomber bases in East Anglia and the great US early warning station on Fylingdales Moor.

This book is about that other aspect of nuclear war, the secret, invisible infrastructure, the networks of underground control bunkers and radar stations stretching across continental North America and Great Britain, whose existence has never been more than rumour. This network radiates outwards like ripples in a pond from the ultimate American bunkers built beneath mountains in Virginia and Colorado, and includes concentric arcs of early warning stations, foisted unwillingly upon the government of Canada, that stretch across the arctic wastes of her northern provinces waiting for a surprise trans-polar attack. Beyond these, even more powerful early warning radars in Alaska, Greenland and Great Britain search the skies for thousands of miles beyond the horizon, looking for the tiny pinprick that would herald the start of a Soviet missile assault. Below these, in the passive defence hierarchy, are the civil and military bunkers built to protect the governments and people of the host countries, principally the United Kingdom, who have accepted these early warning radars and US forward defence bases and have thus made themselves Soviet targets in their own right."

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forgotten Hidden History 17 Jun 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As someone who used to work in the building pictured on the cover of Nick McCamley's book it was bound to hold some interest. Having read the book from cover to cover in one sitting I can only say that it is fortunate that somebody has been dedicated and indeed interested enough to research and document in a truly scholarly fashion the years of hidden history of underground citadels in the US and UK. The UK sites were for use in times of conflict, and latterly in the worst scenario imaginable. As such many were not neccessarily secret, just not publicised, and with the outbreak of peace that we encountered in Europe in the early '90s so many of these buildings were abandoned, demolished or disposed of. The history of these sites is recorded here in an unbiased and realistic reference work that is well presented and accurate. An excellent book that far outstrips all others on the subject read to date.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This book covers, with credible authority, the whole gamut of subjects that has previously attracted and generated a great deal of nonsense in the past. Until now, with the exception perhaps of Campbell's virtually unobtainable 'War Plan UK', the same old nonsense has been trotted out time and time again. This book is something fresh: a piercing, neutral and largely (but not wholely) un-politicized look at Western, but particularly British, measures for the early warning of, and continuance of government after, nuclear war. Of particular significance is McCamley's account of the so-called 'Burlington' or 'Turnstile' bunker at Corsham. His account, backed up (for once) by quoted documentation is augmented by the obvious analytical eye of a civil engineer, or at least an experienced industrial archaeologist.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
A very worthy follow up to Secret Underground cities. The text is carefully researched and well presented with excellent diagrams and a well balanced collection of good quality photographs. I recommend you buy Secret Underground Cities to accompany this purchase; together they form an excellent reference text.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
I must admit that until I picked up this fantastic book I had no idea that these large undergound bunkers even existed. The rational behind these huge military civil defence bunkers came from the Cold War. And during the early 1950's billions of pounds were diverted from the already war torn country to nuclear civil defence. It was feared by the governments that a nuclear attack could happen at any moment and they would need to take shelter to still govern. But not only run the devistated country but to wage nuclear war on the other countrys. So during this post war period thousands of huge bunkers were built in secret undergound across the country. This book delves into only just declassified files to look into the countries defence plans. The staggering idea is that only military and govenment personell would be housed in the large shelters. And if any civilain should find a bunker they would be killed on sight ! and not given refuge. A tell tale sign of a bunker are the large comm's masts not unlike mobile masts dotted about the countryside. I have been to Kelvingdon Hatch which is a large 3 floor 'Rotor' station and it's a revelation. With it's mix of 1950's to 80's technology which would run the main base as it was in command of smaller council based defence stations in the Essex area. The whole complex is very eerie indeed and it's like stepping back 50 years. It does show how seriously the then Governments took the reality of a Nuclear attack. And at how little it thought of the Civil population at large should an attack happen !. This is a must buy and the book itself feels like a forbidden text due to it's nature. The bunker sites themselves are also a shock and even two such's proximity to my own home In Orpington.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Interesting 19 Aug 2003
Bought this book and have to say it was superbly intersting and captivating.
It describes ALL major construction projects over the world such as NORAD etc but also some of the projects I had never heard of such as the Diefenbunker in Canada
Well worth buying for the excellent analysis of all major projects
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still Cuts it!!! 24 Feb 2007
Whilst this is a reprint it has to be said that McCamley's seminal work still cuts it. What helps this is the vast array of sites included in the publication. If you need more of a contextual story of British defence then maybe Four Minute Warning by Clarke through Tempus is the one, however this book has some superb aspects to it. Read it or miss out.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Nick McCamley has done an excellent job in bringing to light the vast number of underground Cold War structures that exist below the Brisish landscape. The book is packed full of interesting illustrations and strikes a good balance between being too general and too detailed. Details of American and Canadian installations are a useful bonus. An enthusiast's book and well worth the cover price.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Underground Cold War Structures. 9 Feb 2003
If you are intrested in Underground facilities, especially Cold War and want to learn a little more about their history and conception, I have no problem promoting this book.
I had little, or no knowledge of the ROTOR system or the ROC posts but now have a fairly knowledgeable understanding of them.All bound together within this fine book.
Well worth the cover price, and easy reading too!
Packed full of information and photographs, a must for any serious researcher.
10/10 for content and reading!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for those interested in the Cold War
Great book for those interested in the Cold War, really good detail with some good photos. A 'must have' for the Cold War buff!
Published 1 month ago by Gareth Bailey
3.0 out of 5 stars Cold War
Not what I really wanted.Quite depressing.Never realisd we had all these facility's
Published 2 months ago by m j garner
5.0 out of 5 stars Cold war bunkers
Interesting...... could do with some bunkers to look around!!!!
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Accurate, comprehensive and factual
I purchased the 2013 edition of this book last week, and have found it to be a first class review of the subject in its title, no more and no less. Read more
Published 11 months ago by William J. Read
5.0 out of 5 stars Okay, I think.
Purchased for a friend's birthday as he is into all things associated with 'military concrete'. He seemed highly delighted with it.
Published 19 months ago by Col
5.0 out of 5 stars Good value - good content
A clear concise account of the vast amounts spent on ultimately unused protected accomodation for those who govern us. Was the whole exercise a waste of money? Read more
Published on 13 April 2011 by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Be amazed by the number of sites in the UK
Definitive treatise on Cold War facilities throughout the UK.
Prepare to be amazed by the extent of sites in the UK built in the 50's. Read more
Published on 15 Nov 2010 by MGMiniman
5.0 out of 5 stars An Eye Opener
If you are into this sort of world then you will be hard pressed to find a better book on the subject.

Published on 4 Mar 2010 by P. Waller
4.0 out of 5 stars What a waste of money!
Not the book you understand, the bunkers themselves. The book is really first rate and extremely enjoyable. Read more
Published on 12 Feb 2010 by Mr. S. Baker
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book.
This book is packed with very detailed information, and is an interesting account of the political thinking behind the cold war. Well worth the price.
Published on 13 July 2009 by Aj Cooper
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