“Berlin is the testicles of the West. When I want the West to scream, I squeeze on Berlin.”Nikita Khrushchev, 1963
There are many people in the world who really don’t understand, or say they don’t, what is the great issue between the free world and the Communist world. Let them come to Berlin. There are some who say that communism is the wave of the future. Let them come to Berlin. And there are some who say in Europe and elsewhere we can work with the Communists. Let them come to Berlin. And there are even a few who say that it is true that communism is an evil system, but it permits us to make economic progress. Lass’ sie nach Berlin kommen – Let them come to Berlin.”John F Kennedy, 1963
day two – Scotland’s Secret Bunker
After yesterday’s religious history, today we time travelled forward to the 1950’s and 60’s with a visit to Scotland’s Secret Bunker and a look back at the Cold War.
A bit of background first …….
In 1945, the American government made the decision to drop two atom bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Their calculations revealed that the loss of life through this covert attack would be significantly less than if the Allied Forces had been deployed in Japan.
At 8.15am on the 6th August, ‘Little Boy’ the name given to the deadly bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. The – Boeing B-29 bomber was named the ‘Enola Gay’ after the pilot’s mother. The heat and light caused by the bomb were far stronger than anything the world had ever seen before and an area of 4 square miles was wiped out by the force of the explosion with a further 12 square miles badly damaged.
Most of the victims died upon the impact of the nuclear bomb but many more died in the weeks, months and years that followed. Members of the next generation suffered genetic problems such as physical deformations and psychological conditions as the result of extreme exposure to radiation.
“My God, what have we done?”- Robert Lewis, co-pilot of Enola Gay
By the end of 1945, the death toll had reached 140,000 in Hiroshima. alone.
The final number of fatalities is believed to stand in excess of 200,000. The vast majority of the victims were innocent civilians men, women and children who had been unprepared for, and unsuspecting of, the attack.
RAF Troywood was built in 1953 in response to the threat of nuclear war with the USSR. It’s built 100 ft underground with the entrance hidden above in a farmhouse. This was Scotland’s Secret Underground Nuclear Command Centre.
The bunker is 24,000 sq feet. It incorporated the radar technology of the cold war era, dormitories, plotting rooms, mess and a broadcasting studio – to name a few.
A visit here is an absolute must. We spent almost three hours underground, and left feeling that in many ways what we saw is still as relevant today as it was then. An insight to the attitude of Government elite.
I was looking for a quote for the start of this post and found this one. I felt a bit uncomfortable about using it.
Restraint? Why are you so concerned with saving their lives? The whole idea is to kill the bastards. At the end of the war if there are two Americans and one Russian left alive, we win.General Thomas Power, US Air Force, 1960
I’d like to think we’ve come a long way from then?
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