The effects of nuclear weapons. Credible nuclear deterrence, debunking "disarm or be annihilated". Realistic effects and credible nuclear weapon capabilities for deterring or stopping aggressive invasions and attacks which could escalate into major conventional or nuclear wars.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Anti-nuclear prejudice in the BBC, and its negative effect on civil defence against nuclear attack, as assisted by undemocratic official secrecy

As explained in previous posts, U.K. Scientific Advisory Branch research on nuclear tests beginning with Hiroshima and Nagasaki and continuing at Operation Hurricane (primarily a civil defence research test) and Operation Buffalo (again, primarily concerned with nuclear weapons effects on military field defences, which are identical to cheap improvised civil defence countermeasures and thus are Top Secret from the military buffoon standpoint), was completely ignored by the BBC's Peter Watkins 1965 spoof The War Game.  While George R. Stanbury had disproved firestorms in modern cities by skyline shielding, Watkins again repeated the fantasy in his fantasy horror film.  Yet Watkins's film credits cites sources which state the opposite to the claims made by his film (he even cites using evidence coming Nevada nuclear tests in 1954, a year when there were conveniently for him no tests in Nevada).

The decision not to show the film, by ignorant half-wits at the BBC, was then masqueraded as a government cover up.  Not so.  Watkins ignored the facts on civil defence that had been published both in the 1956-1959 UK Manual of Civil Defence volume 1, pamphlet 1, Nuclear Weapons, and the 1957-1964 American book The Effects of Nuclear Weapons.  Since he claimed in his film credits to have consulted such documents, but ignores all the facts, it is not fair to call the result an accidental mistake, rather more fair to state it as a deliberate misrepresentation, or lie.  That may sound rude, but in fact it is not.  What is rude, however, is to tell lies and then call people false names when you are exposed for lying.  That's rude.  It's also dangerous if you're in a position of influence, since misleading people is contrary to democratic freedom.  Of course, those dear little minded ignorant liars are not interested in democracy, freedom, or deterrence.  They are merely interested in self-promotion.  The Strath report of 1955 is still claimed by lying "historians" to disprove cheap civil defence against the H-bomb, when in fact it recommends it, i.e. the very opposite:

The lying problem relevant to civil defence was the incredibly vast USSR Cold War civil defense program.  The USSR trained all of its citizens in civil defense.  It was compulsory.  And it was the USSR which tested the biggest nuclear weapons, such as the 50 megaton air burst in 1961.  They had their own information on the effects of nuclear weapons and the efficiency of civil defense from their own nuclear tests.  Yet our data was secret, and the watered down versions in the official civil defence pamphlets, books and BBC films were misleadingly vague and poorly referenced.  What the public needs to reduce nuclear terrorism risks is a handbook more like the Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons, to overthrow the culture of enforced ignorance.

The BBC has too much power and influence to commission anti-civil defense propaganda, a tragedy which began in 1927 when it broadcast a lying talk from Philip Noel-Baker in which he claimed that gas masks and building protection from contamination had been disproved by a consensus of experts, just like critics of AGW who are dismissed for not being part of mainstream orthodoxy regardless of the scientific objectivity of their critical evidence.  Baker's influential but entirely false claim stood, since the government was prevented from debunking by its own secrecy regulations, thus setting the scene for the appeasement of Hitler and WWII.  Today, the BBC's political expert Norman Smith is able to simply use a four-letter word live on TV to refer to UKIP.  That's not deemed rude, just an accidental slip.  Unless dictatorships in Western science, politics, journalism and pseudo-news broadcasting can be overthrown, ignorance will grow as truth-hating activists gain power.

Some Aspects of Shelter And Evacuation Policy To Meet H Bomb Threat:

This is a declassified Secret 1954 report by Edward Leader-Williams of the U.K. Home Office Scientific Advisory Branch, pointing out how to use a combination of city centre evacuation and blast/fallout sheltering of the evacuated personnel to avoid casualties or coercion in a crisis from five 20 megaton thermonuclear bombs (100 megatons total).  The copy of this secret turned into PDF format was the one issued to William Strath (Cabinet War Plans Secretariat) who used it in his March 1955 report "Defence Implications of Fall-Out from a Hydrogen Bomb", which Strath and Sir Normal Brook discussed with Defence Secretary Harold Macmillan on 24 March 1955 (the following quotations from the meeting report are from U.K. National Archives report CAB 130/109, "GEN.491/1st Meeting, Defence Implications of Fall-Out from a Hydrogen Bomb, 24 March 1955"):

"The Meeting first examined the report's proposals on evacuation which were based on the promise that a wider distribution of the population would reduce the number of casualties. ... The meeting were informed that, while it was not possible to provide effective shelter within the vicinity of a hydrogen bomb, it would be practicable to provide adequate shelter against fall-out beyond the area of devastation by blast. Scientific thinking was at present moving towards the view that brick-built houses would give better protection against fallout than had previously been thought. A trench with overhead earth cover would make more effective shelter but it would be a damp and uncomfortable place in which to have to stay until the radio-activity had abated. It was hoped that future research would devise a refuge room giving adequate protection which could be constructed in the ordinary house. If this could be done, house-holders could be advised what steps they could themselves take to secure satisfactory protection."

By evacuating the central areas of cities near the fireball and crater, and sheltering the evacuated people from the heat (which is largely stopped by the city skyline shadowing effect anyway, except for upper floors of very high buildings, facing the fireball), blast and fallout, all casualties could be avoided, in accurately-placed 20 megaton surface bursts on cities. With the much smaller MIRV warheads (around 200 kt) or terrorist/clandestine threat (around 10 kt) today, the situation is even more positive as based on a re-evaluation of civil defence in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. (Since blast waves travel over large distances averaging only about a quarter of a mile per second, there is plenty of time to "duck and cover" to avoid blast wind displacement and flying debris.) On 1 September 1939, two days before Britain declared war, it evacuated children from London. This was partly about sending a deliberate political message or "signal" to the enemy about the seriousness of the ultimatum, and partly as partial insurance against a surprise "knockout blow" air strike. Herman Kahn made the point in 1976 congressional hearings (included in the appended documents to the report linked here) that evacuation and improvised shelter are more credible than surprise attacks, because we have a protected second-strike retaliation capacity (submarines at sea) which takes away any incentive for a nuclear 9/11 or Pearl Harbor type surprise attack. Leader-Williams concludes that even in the worst case, the fatalities in 100 megaton nuclear attack on Britain that tried to target the evacuated (dispersed) population could be kept to 2% of the population by a combination of shelters and evacuation from the crater and fireball or severe blast area, leaving 98% of the population alive. In 1955, Leader-Williams drafted the first U.K. Home Office "Protect and Survive"-type indoor "inner refuge" improvised fallout shielding advice, as documented in detail in Dr Smith's paper, "Architects of Armageddon: the Home Office Scientific Advisers' Branch and civil defence in Britain, 1945-68", British Journal for the History of Science, vol. 43 (2010), pp. 149-80.


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