Declassified effects of nuclear weapons and other threats: minimizing weapons effects on civilians

Can Britain and America prevail over an alliance of Russia, China, Iran and North Korea in WWIII? American sanctions on Japan in 1940 led to Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, so beware of the lessons of history Mr President, and get civil defense

Thursday, December 18, 2014

97.5% survival in completely demolished houses with Morrison table shelters, WWII data from England applicable to saving lives in civil wars around the world today and in nuclear attack

2.5% of people were killed in cheap indoor Morrison shelters in houses subjected to total collapse (Baker, 1978).
23.5% of people were killed while ducking and covering in houses subjected to total collapse (RC450, 1945).
61.9% of people were killed when caught totally unprepared in houses subjected to total collapse (S118, 1946).

Lord Baker, inventor of the indoor "Morrison shelter" (named after the Minister of Home Security Herbert Morrison, who was appointed on 4 October 1940 by Prime Minister Churchill when he fired Anderson because nearly all the outdoor Anderson shelters were useless due to ground water flooding).  Morrison immediately commissioned the indoor shelter from Baker to replace the outdoor Anderson shelter in 1941, at least for the production of further shelters.  Baker tells the story in his book Enterprise versus Bureaucracy: The Development of Structural Air Raid Precautions during the Second World War (1978).  The indoor shelter was opposed before the war when it was first suggested by engineers, because of politicians who exaggerated the "knockout blow theory".  They claimed that ground water flooding and cold nightly air raids (e.g. every night in London for two months from 7 September 1940) was an absurdity and would never happen: the war would be won within 48 hours by a simple massive air raid combining poison gas, explosive and incendiaries to kill millions and induce surrender.  This was propaganda for pacifist reasons.  Gas was never dropped, and indoor shelters would have saved most of the Blitz victims:

Above: Lord Baker, Enterprise Versus Bureaucracy: The Development of Structural Air Raid Precautions during the Second World War, 1978, p43, Fig. 6.1. Note: this photo is government work from 1942 and is public domain.  The photo shows the result of an air raid on 23 April 1942 at 11.30pm in Exeter, England: a German 0.5 ton (500 kg) bomb detonated 27 ft from this simple indoor wooden prop shelter, which saved 100% of the lives of those inside it.  Both kids and the one woman inside all survived the complete collapse of the house above on this shelter (the house had 9 inch thick brick walls, timber floors and a slated roof, and had been built in 1892).  They were in bed, the bed being placed under the wooden support system.  This cheap "strengthened room" idea had the advantage for long periods of sheltering (protracted air raid each night during a long blitz campaign designed to wear down morale) that, unlike the outdoor Anderson shelter, it was not freezing cold, and did not flood due to ground water seepage in the winter.

 If people spend 8 hours a day asleep, they will automatically be in this kind of shelter 33% of the time.  With the addition of this technology, or even simple bomb-proof-tested table shelters (see below) used as desks in work places, nearly 100% of the time people will be either protected from bombing, or able to quickly dive under a protective desk.  This is of relevance for ongoing wars like the Syrian Civil War, where many lives can be saved by cheap, simple life-saving ideas employing scrap wood from already demolished buildings as proved by the diagrams below.

Most people surveyed in the Shelter Census in London during the 1940 winter Blitz were unable to use their Anderson shelters due to ground water flooding, but the very few (1,365) who had used the 1938 The protection of your home against air raids "inner refuge at home" advice (of a wooden prop strengthened bedroom) were able to sleep in the comfort of their own bed at home, with similar protection and without freezing groundwater flooding their shelters outdoors in winter!

Sadly, as Lord Baker explains in his excellent book, Enterprise Versus Bureaucracy: The Development of Structural Air Raid Precautions during the Second World War (1978, page 42) only 1,365 protected rooms of this sort were ever built in England, whereas due mainly to communist propaganda (see below), 3,600,000 outdoor ground water flooding-liable Anderson shelters were built in England (1.5 million were distributed in February 1939, the rest were issued up to June 1941, when the indoor Morrison shelter became the production replacement for the Anderson shelter). We have these records because the air raid wardens in every street in England had to quality-inspect and record shelters to enable rescue planning, etc.  If the indoor shelters had been built from the start, Blitz casualties would have been slashed,and people would have been able to discover and extinguish incendiary bombs in their homes more quickly and thus safely.

The key problem for shelters in WWII was to make sure that people could actually use them in the situation of the attacks selected by the enemy, which were sometimes engineered to make it as hard as possible for people to conveniently use outdoor shelters.  Tunnel shelters beside ground zero in Nagasaki had places for 70,000 but despite a survival rate of 100% only 400 people survived in them because only 400 people were in them, proving that indoor shelters are better for surprise attacks where people have time to reach the shelter in the brief interval from an air raid warning (or the interval between the flash and bang blast wave arrival in a nuclear air raid, e.g. at Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945).  So those shelters were totally successful at resisting the explosions, but useless in practice because they weren't occupied.

Lord Baker's remarkable book, Enterprise Versus Bureaucracy: The Development of Structural Air Raid Precautions during the Second World War, 1978, gives the survival statistics for simple indoor table type Morrison shelters on page 61: for Type A damage or complete demolishing by blast ("houses completely demolished") only 3 people out of 119 occupants were killed i.e. 97.5% survival under tables.  For type B and C damage ("houses damaged beyond repair" and "houses damaged so as to be uninhabitable") 0% were killed.  Lord Baker shows that a wooden version of the Morrison shelter was proof tested successfully with 1 inch thick planks and joists to resist a collapsing house, finished with a coat of fire proof paint:

Instead of stifling cheap shelter use in the Syrian civil war and other conflicts for anti-nuclear propaganda or for endlessly advocating the end of war through diplomatic means, why not ensure 97.5% survival in totally devastated houses by using proof-tested, cheap indoor technology?

War generally proves intractable by diplomacy precisely because it has been the failure of diplomacy which has led to the warfare in the first place.  Diplomacy is thus the means which always caused, rather than prevented war, or as Clausewitz explained: "war is the extension of politics".  This truth was proved time and again when diplomacy led to sanctions against Japan after it invaded China in 1937, thus causing the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor and WWII in the Pacific Theatre, and also when Britain's treaty with Belgium led to WWI, or its treaty with Poland led to WWII in the European Theatre.  All wars tend to occur because diplomacy isn't working.  So to try to use diplomacy to end war, when it is the failure of diplomacy which has caused the war in the first place, is like trying to put out a fire using a match.  Sure, once the fire has burned itself out, the match can be dropped on the ashes and everyone can delude themselves that the match (diplomacy) has "put the fire out".  (But it works faster if you drop a couple of big bombs before diplomacy.)

Why censor out the sure way to save lives in war, and endlessly claim falsely that civil defence was a war-mongering disaster that never worked?  One of genius James Delingpole's friends, Richard North, in a series of online articles called The Shelter War, has been duped by the "deep shelter" delusion into politically attacking and "discrediting" the better protection from dirt cheap improvised indoor shelters that would have offered effective protection at dirt cheap cost for millions of people had not his "working class heroes" (like rich don J. B. S. Haldane on the left) endlessly attacked indoor shelters prior to WWII.  Haldane, and North, have promoted the totally deceptive and fully discredite, communism (politically)-biased theory that "only expensive deep shelters offer any real protection".  It was the exaggeration of incendiary fire risks from Haldane and the "Cambridge Scientists Anti-War Group" (a Marxist front endorsed in general by Haldane) that forced the Anderson shelter (originally intended as an indoor shelter to protect against house collapse, utilizing house damage to absorb the blast energy, as earth cover does in outdoor shelters) to be relocated from indoors to the cold, ground water flooded outdoors with a damp earth covering.  In other words, they ruined the Anderson shelter for winter use by most people.  The winter 1940 London Shelter Census showed that most people with Anderson shelters did not use them during air raids at night in cold weather when they were flooded, because pneumonia was a much more certain mortality risk than bombs.  Shelters that are unusable are useless.

Contrary to all the communist propaganda that Richard North regurgitates uncritically and with reverence, deep shelters would have lost England the war due to

(1) the cost,

(2) the resources needed to make them (diverted from the war effort),

(3) the ease with which the enemy could adapt its bombing campaign to take advantage of softer targets left defenseless while people moved into deep shelter,

(4) surprise attacks to catch people before they could reach deep shelters (e.g. at Nagasaki),

(5) invasion while people were hiding in their deep shelters (it's very easy to seal up shelter entrances, or to shoot people as they leave once you have invaded), and

(6) the biggest single air raid disaster in World War II England was caused not by the Germans or by cheap shelters but by the use of the underground as deep shelter when 173 people (62 kids, 84 women) were killed in the crush to enter Bethnal Green Underground in London's East End during a rocket test in Victoria Park, 3 March 1943.

Thus, deep shelters, when presented as a solution to civilian casualties in war, can be Maginot Lines.

Above: Morrison indoor shelter June 1941. 500,000 were distributed free in 1941, but by then the biggest raids of the war (1940) were long over.  The lesson of this 60,000 air raid lives-lost blunder, as Lord Baker's book 1978 Enterprise versus Bureaucracy reveals, is to allow facts to achieve a fair hearing and not to allow bureaucratic dogmatic political lies to delay life-saving civil defence innovations.

Above: Two tier Morrison shelter made for large family bunk beds in 1941.  The Morrison shelter inventor, Lord Baker, in his widely ignored 1978 book Enterprise versus Bureaucracy, Table 7.1 on page 61 proves that for 119 Morrison shelter occupants in Type A house destruction (complete demolition) only 3 died, a survival rate of 97.5%.  The table also shows that nobody died in any of the Morrison shelters in Type B or C damage zones (houses beyond repair and houses uninhabitable, respectively).

Without Morrison shelters and without any duck and cover, the mortality rate indoors was 61.9% in Type A damage (complete collapse of house) for 155 people within 70 feet of V2 supersonic missile explosions (1 ton TNT warhead), as proved by the 1946 U.K. Ministry of Home Security, Research and Experiments Department report S118, A Comparison of the Standardized Casualty Rates for People in Unprotected Parts of Dwellings Exposed to Rocket Bombs (V1) and Flying Bombs (V2).

For duck and cover data using casualty data for V1 missiles (again 1 ton TNT equivalent), which were subsonic and emitted a distinctive loud throbbing sound (which my father still remembers from 1944), 23.5% were killed within a 70 ft radius (Type A damage, complete demolition of houses), as proved by Dr D. G. Christopherson's celebrated confidential-until-1975 classified Ministry of Home Security report RC450, Structural Defence (as rounded to 25% in the American 1957 Capabilities of Atomic Weapons and 1972 Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons EM-1).

So there you have the vital facts in a nutshell:

2.5% of people were killed in cheap indoor Morrison shelters in houses subjected to total collapse (Baker, 1978).
23.5% of people were killed while ducking and covering in houses subjected to total collapse (RC450, 1945).
61.9% of people were killed when caught totally unprepared in houses subjected to total collapse (S118, 1946).

The V2 was more deadly for complete collapse than ordinary or nuclear bombing, because there was no time for duck and cover (due to the supersonic speed of the missile and the fact that WWII radar only worked for aircraft, not missiles reentering virtually from space).  In conventional and nuclear attack, the approach of aircraft or the flash to bang delay time normally allow duck and cover, which is why all the politically-biased computer propaganda "predictions" of blast casualties for Hiroshima and Nagasaki (which ignore duck and cover entirely) exaggerate the observed casualty rates for people indoors (also for people wearing clothing outdoors, since the 1979 OTA study assumes everybody outdoors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki were nude and in unobstructed Nevada desert, to exaggerate computer "predictions" of burns).

I placed this above comment also giving the facts about survival in cheap shelters, on Richard North's blog, but it was soon deleted with no explanation.  I won't speculate about some of the nefarious, anti-debate, egotistic, paranoid delusions of supporters of child killing bigots, but let's just say that their alleged "professional research" is like a Marxist history based entirely on the rantings of Stalin, dressed up as academia, with copious footnotes and detail that is irrelevant and simply ignores all basic facts.  They just delete any reference to the truth that blows their cover, or they try to shoot the messenger.  People are needlessly and painfully dying in wars because of obfuscation tactics and political bigotry.  You'll never find any big shot journalist/historian/physicist, whether "right" or "left", telling these facts! They will slow-handclap the truth so it simply won't be heard, and laugh off facts, while making up lies about their proponents and then "closing down the argument" to ban any reply.

Richard North's "miracle" of survival in blast demolished house without a deep shelter.  Every shelter survival fact that disagrees with his biased dogmatic crap is called a "miracle" or an exception, a fluke.  It is then censored out as "propaganda" while his own lies are asserted as uncontested.  Righto.

Above: air raid result of 250 kt bomb exploding at 1.45 am on 4 May 1942, in Exeter, producing 34 ft diameter crater, 12 ft deep, with the crater actually engulfing a house containing a Morrison table shelter.  The blast ejected the Morrison shelter with its 3 occupants (2 kids, 1 adult) a distance of 46 feet over a nearby concrete communal surface shelter (which survived, middle of photo) and on to the first floor of another house, as shown by the red arrow.  Lord Baker explains the 67% survival rate in that Morrison shelter (shelter 180, case 55) on page 68 of Enterprise versus Bureaucracy: "One child was only slightly injured, but the other child and the adult were taken to hospital where the child subsequently died.  The shelter [in the house next door] in No. 176, Case 56, was treated slightly less violently.  It was blown 6 feet away and landed 5 feet up on the debris of the house.  It was undamaged and the four occupants, unhurt, escaped unaided."  (Emphasis added.)

Above: Proof tested outdoor warm and dry unfloodable wooden WWII English shelter.  Source: U.K. Ministry of Home Security, Research and Experiments Department Bulletin C26, April 1942, Timber shelters for countries where timber is plentiful and steel difficult to obtain.  Why the devil is all this proof-tested data excluded from present day civil defence discussion, you may well ask.  Secrecy and politically bigoted censorship is the depressing reply.  Nobody, at least in the big-money making professions of mainstream history, mainstream science, mainstream technology, or mainstream politics, and wants to even admit the existence of any facts that give a cheap technological fix to a problem that people, for millions of years, have sought to solve by diplomacy, even when it is a hard proved fact that diplomacy is precisely what causes wars in the first place: "war is the extension of politics."

Richard North inevitably just dismisses O'Brien's history of civil defence as some bizarre kind of anti-communist propaganda by some bizarre kind of evil capitalists trying to maximise deaths in war, which is of course partly the fault of O'Brien for not giving any scientific evidence or even shelter test report summaries to back up his claims for the effectiveness of cheap civil defence bombing countermeasures in WWII.  We blame Richard North for failing to do any proper research to ascertain the actual facts.  The whole reason why the "climate change" liars have got away with peddling falsehoods is the trash circulated by people like him and James Delingpole, who (unless I am mistaken) prefers abusive dogmatic drivel to true scientific reasoning and the detailed facts that most newspapers will dismiss and reject as being "technical copy".  Because they believe that science is a religion with authorities and sacred texts like peer-reviewed lies, you can't criticise groupthink science in mainstream media today without millions of ignorant indoctrinated PhD waving bigots writing in to complain and request the editor to stick to the mainstream theory that they received a grade A for after memorizing a textbook (unless by a fortunate coincidence it happens to coincide with science fantasy of a popular sort, like tales of spaceships entering black holes or similar).  This is why it has gone down the tubes.  It's now the domain of dishonest power-drunk authority figures and their sycophants, who defend the heroes using "shoot the messenger" abuse directed at all criticisms.

Anyone who tries to politely tell them the real facts about how to save lives in real wars occurring today is simply censored out or attacked (shoot the messenger dictatorship tactics) by powerful, ignorant, bigoted scum who I believe don't really care about the kids being massacred by bomb damage in Syria or any other real problem that cheap, practical information can help defeat.  It always turns into a paranoid tantrum, where the evidence is ignored and is not passed on to Joe Public.  Of course, they get applauded by their fashion seeking groupthink consensus-loving fan base of sycophants, while the person telling them the truth is always the one falsely misquoted out of context and dismissed as being the one paranoid or having a tantrum, which is probably just justifiable frustration at being treated so irrationally by power-abusing dogmatic bigots who haven't done a day's really honest work in their lives: "if you get angry, that proves you are wrong." (Quotation from V. Putin, the hero of today's big brother "socialist" dictatorship lovers).  (Of course, Putin is an exception to his own rule.  If you were to make him angry with facts he doesn't want to hear, I somehow doubt that he would say: "You have made me angry, thus I am wrong.")

Mr Putin now has a rouble crisis due to the sanctions against Russia due to the Crimean War.  If this escalates, it will probably do so unpleasantly.

Russia plunges into fresh crisis with dramatic rouble collapse as pressure piles on Putin

THE RUSSIAN economy plunged into fresh crisis today as the rouble began to free-fall on currency markets, despite dramatic emergency action by the country's central bank.

While some people in America will undoubtedly be pleased that "sanctions are working", everybody should remember that when you seal up a pressure boiler and heat up beyond it's containment strength, the steam pressure may not always hiss out of a rupturing joint quietly.  It may just explode "unexpectedly" (well, it won't be completely unexpected).
Remember what happened when Germany's economy was crushed first by WWI reparations causing hyperinflation in 1923, then by the 1929 stockmarket crash which ended lucrative international trade exports to America for years, and then by the immense Nazi socialist "full employment" spending programs of the 1930s on weapons, the autobahn, etc.  Robbing the rich Jews helped a bit and put off WWII for a few years, but in the end Hitler went off the deep end and invaded Poland, in the belief that a foreign war of conquest to the East would expand the borders and help pay debts, put bread on tables, etc.
The point is, historians tend to ignore the hidden economic agenda impetus behind wars, be it the Nazis or Putin's pressure from the falling price of oil.  As we pointed out in the previous post on this blog (24 August 2014), Putin needs Brent crude oil to average $117 dollars a barrel just to balance his economy.  (See here for source of the $117/barrel threshold figure.)  The Brent crude price is has, since that was written in August dropped to just $61 dollars a barrel (15 December 2014)  
This doesn't prove that Putin is going to rebuild the USSR or invade America tomorrow to deflect attention from his domestic problems, but while we should not scare monger, please remember the complacency on 7 Dec 1941 when Japan tried an innovative way to get around an oil sanctions problem imposed by America after it occupied China.


2.5% of people were killed in cheap indoor Morrison shelters in houses subjected to total collapse (Baker, 1978).
23.5% of people were killed while ducking and covering in houses subjected to total collapse (RC450, 1945).
61.9% of people were killed when caught totally unprepared in houses subjected to total collapse (S118, 1946).