London, Dec.30 (ANI): Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) files released after nearly 50 years reveal that the British Cabinet of the 1960s was on the lookout for an underground bunker to take key decisions at the height of the Cold War and in the event of a nuclear war.
According to The Telegraph, the 1960s ministers were briefed on the location of a top-secret "check point" railway station in West London, from which they would be taken to a vast underground bunker known as Stockwell, where they would hope to sit out the onslaught if nuclear missiles were launched.
Among the confidential files were draft notes from 1961 which would be handed to Ministers in the event of hostilities commencing.
One note read: "You are one of a number of key personnel selected for duty at an important war-time headquarters for the department.
"The location of the headquarters... and of the Check Point... are of the utmost secrecy and must not be revealed to anyone at all during or after the emergency."
Staff selected was told to collect any personal effects and proceed immediately to Addison Road station - now Olympia - in West London, where a train would take them to the clandestine government headquarters beneath Corsham in Wiltshire.
That location had a capacity for 3,600 key representatives from government, the armed forces and scientific institutions.
A top-secret JIC document from 1964 entitled, "Probable course of general war after a nuclear exchange", said: "Should the Soviet Union strike first, the scale of attack would be currently some 330 nuclear weapons.
"An attack of this magnitude would cause the United Kingdom to cease to exist as a corporate political entity."
The JIC recommended that preparations be "accelerated" to complete work on the secret underground government headquarters, which was to be kept secret with "cunning" cover stories and decoys.
An additional underground base codenamed Quadrangle was also proposed, to "take charge of the central direction of Government if London and Stockwell were wiped out".
No detail was overlooked in the secret plans, which included a code of conduct for those living in the bunker while war raged overhead.
A welfare officer would be provided for those feeling the stress of the nuclear holocaust, although it was noted that: "All staff have welfare problems in present circumstances and... what the welfare officer will be able to do is very limited."
In 1963, the JIC also prepared a list of probable targets of Soviet nuclear strikes, which, it predicted, would focus on British medium bomber bases in East Anglia, Lincolnshire and Yorkshire before turning to the obliteration of London and other major cities.
The document, classified as "Eyes Only", also warned that the nuclear exchange "would not be the end of the war". (ANI)