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OverviewEdit

There roleEdit

Regional Seats of Government or RSGs were the best known aspect of Britain's civil defence preparations against Nuclear War. In fact, however, naming conventions changed over the years as strategies in Whitehall changed.

In the aftermath of the nuclear attack on Hiroshima and the Russian acquisition of the atom bomb, it was clear that London could not survive a nuclear bombardment. Although considerable effort still went into secret construction of military citadels under London (Pindar, Admiralty Citadel, Cabinet War Rooms and Q-Whitehall), the solution was to disperse the machinery of government into small pieces in the provinces, where there would be a greater chance of survival.

Experiments along these lines had taken place during the Second World War, when a system of Regional Commissioners existed and key departments were moved out of London to Bath, Harrogate and Cheltenham, among others. However, the idea of a Regional Commissioner dated back to the First World War and the 1926 General Strike.

It was then expected that Central Government might itself cease to exist, and control would pass entirely into the hands of a Regional Commissioner, of Cabinet rank, who would wield absolute power in his region. His staff would replicate all parts of Central Government.

Post Nazi invasion functionsEdit

Each of the Regional Commissioners would asses his facility's situation, send out people to survey the local area (and start up any anti-Nazi resistance cells/local militia as they went through), contact other command bunkers subordinate to his and prepare to run the region he control, as best he could, by whatever means he could, in the hope that something could be salvaged from the post partial\total Nazi occupation. A rump state or states would then be set up in the location or locations under the control of the RSGs.

Post atomic-war functionsEdit

General functionsEdit

Each of the Regional Commissioners would asses his facility's situation, send out people to survey the local area (and in a Cold War era atomic war scenario they would mostly die of radiation sickness whilst trying to sort things out), contact other command bunkers subordinate to his and prepare to run the region he control as best he could, by whatever means he could, in the hope that something could be salvaged from the post atomic-war disaster. A rump state or states would then be set up in the location directly under the control of the RSGs, later expanding in to uncontrolled territories, starting with those already allotted to the RSGs before the attack had occurred.

Envisaged local ministries and leading civil bodiesEdit

  1. Fire Service.
  2. Army.
  3. MAFF/Min of Health.
  4. Min of Power.
  5. Min of local defence (a local MoD).
  6. Min of Works/Min of HLG.
  7. Min of Transport.
  8. Admin, office staff, messengers and despatch riders.
  9. Signals counter, Wartime Broadcasting Service, phonogram & wireless room.
  10. Police.
  11. C D Operations.
  12. RSG Commissioner (depends on which bunker), the bunker's Camp Commandant\Controller & Chief.
  13. Scientific Advisers.
  14. Thechnicans and labourers looking after the place (looking after boilers, water treatment, workshops, laundry, fuel storage, water storage, sewage ejectors\out-fows, air filters, radio aerials etc,).
  15. Central Office of Information.
  16. Cooks in the kitchen and canteen.
  17. GPO staff in the telephone exchange.
  18. Medics in the sickbay.
  19. Dedicated troops guarding it.

Special powersEdit

  1. The Defence (Public Safety) Regulations that allowed for such things as the prevention of interference with essential services and the control of newspapers and other means of communication.
  2. The Defence (Essential Supplies, Works and Services) Regulations that would give the power to control all land and property, industry and transport.
  3. The Defence (Public Safety and Order) Regulations that were concerned with such matters as public shelter, the control of lighting and sound and the restriction of the public electricity supply.
  4. The Defence (Births, Marriages and Deaths) Regulations and the next (if any) census.
  5. The Defence (Cash) Regulations to stop the currency or replacement local currency folding up..

Wartime Broadcasting ServiceEdit

The Wartime Broadcasting Service would be broadcast from them. The main operations centre was at Kelvedon Hatch emergency broadcast tower, which would have transmitted official announcements after a nuclear attack on the UK or moral lifting programming if a conventional attack had destroyed most of the transmitters.

After a massive conventional or any significant atomic attack, there would also have been a limited regional service tailored to local needs located in the various UK war time regional seats of government. Regional controllers were to use these smaller BBC studios to give out local messages to communities and they would have been manned by BBC staff. ITV staff would act as back up if the BBC staff were dead, incapacitated or not available at the required time.

In August 1962 these Ministers who would stay in London or moved outEdit

  • In August 1962 the Ministers who would stay in London would be-
    • Prime Minister
    • Home Secretary
    • Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
    • Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations and Colonies
    • Minister of Defence (in practice it was planned that once war had broken out the Prime Minister would assume the role of Minister of #Defence Minister Without Portfolio
    • Chief Secretary to the Treasury
    • Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (as Leader of the House he was assumed to stay with Parliament)
    • Secretary of State for Air
    • Minister of State at the Board of Trade
    • The Lord Chancellor
    • The Attorney General
  • Those who would go to BURLINGTON would be –
    • Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary of State
    • Chancellor of the Exchequer
    • The Minister of Agriculture Fisheries and Food
    • Minister of Health
    • First Lord of the Admiralty
    • Minister of State, Home Office
    • Minister of State, Foreign Office
    • Minister of State, Scottish Office
    • Minister of State, Colonial Office
    • The Solicitor General
  • At this time the Regional Commissioners would have been –
    • Wales Minister of Housing
    • Northern Minister of Transport
    • North-Eastern Minister of Power
    • North-Midland President of the Board of Trade
    • Eastern Minister of Labour
    • Southern Minister of Public Building and Works
    • South-Western Minister of Education
    • Midland Lord Privy Seal
    • North-Western The Postmaster General
    • South-Eastern The Lord President
    • Scotland The Secretary of State for Scotland

Their locationsEdit

1939-1945 (? Locations are uncertain due to vague and conflicting sources. ?)Edit

  • The Central Government War Headquarters
    • Cabinet War Rooms, London
  • Greater Midlands
    • Worcester
      • Birmingham
      • Hereford
      • Kidderminster
  • South Midlands
    • Northampton
      • Buckingham
      • Coventry
  • East Midlands
    • Leicester
      • Peterborough
  • Eastern
    • Reading
      • Maldon
      • Cambridge
      • Southern
      • Oxford
      • Watford
      • Henley
      • Basingstoke
      • Hertford
  • Kent
    • Dover Castle
      • Tumbrige Wells
      • Madstone
  • Northern
    • York
      • Hexham
      • Carlisle
      • Newcastle
      • Harrogate
      • Hull
  • South West
    • Bristol
      • Bath
      • Cheltenham
  • North Eastern
    • Liverpool
      • Manchester
      • Chester
      • Preston
  • London
    • The London War Rooms
      • Down Street Station. It was London's prime (ad-hoc) government bunker.
      • Brompton Road Station. It was London's WW2 Anti-Aircraft Defence HQ.
        • Northumberland Avenue, Wanstead group control
        • Beatrice Road, Southall group control
        • Civil Defence centre for Stoke Newington
        • Pear Tree House group control
        • Church Hill Road, Cheam group control
  • North Midlands
    • Sheffield
      • Nottingham
      • Derby
      • Lincoln
      • Buxton
  • Wales
    • Cardiff
      • Brecon Barracks
      • Wrexham
      • Llunlidno Junction
  • Scotland
    • Edinburgh
      • WW 2 War Room at Kirknewton, near Edinburgh
        • Inverness
          • RAF Saxa Vord (ad-hock, unofficial and apparently not activated)
        • Dundee
        • Glasgow
        • RAF Prestwick.
  • N. Ireland
    • Belfast

1945-1948 (? Locations are uncertain due to vague and conflicting sources. ?)Edit

  • The Central Government War Headquarters
    • Cabinet War Rooms, London
  • Northern
    • Gaza Barracks, Catterick Camp
      • Kenton Bar outside Newcastle upon Tyne RAF operations room.
      • Hexam
  • North Eastern
    • Imphal Barracks, York
      • Lawnswood, Leeds
      • Harrogate
      • Bempton former ROTOR bunker and
  • North Midlands
    • Grantham
      • Nottingham War Room
      • Chalfont Drive, Nottingham
  • Eastern
    • Cambridge War Room
      • Loughborough former hardened cold store.
      • Brooklands Avenue, Cambridge
      • Skendleby ROTOR bunker
      • Bawburgh ROTOR bunker
  • Southern
    • Warren Row, near Henley on Thames
      • Stoughton Barracks, Guildford.
      • Whiteknights Park, Reading
      • Tunbridge Wells
      • Dover Castle
  • South West
    • Bolt Head, near Salcombe in Devon.
      • A underground ammunition store at Hawthorn, Wiltshire.
      • Ullenwood, former anti-aircraft control site near Cheltenham Spa.
      • Flowers Hill, Bristol
      • Portland
      • Weymouth
  • Wales
    • The army barracks at Brecon
  • West Midlands
    • The Drakelow Tunnels, near Kidderminster.
      • Shirley, Birmingham
      • Shrewsbury Police H.Q.
  • North West
    • Carlisle.
      • Liverpool
      • Manchester
      • Chester
      • Preston
  • London
    • The London War Rooms
      • Brompton Road Station. It was London's WW2 Anti-Aircraft Defence HQ.
      • Down Street Station. It was London's prime (ad-hoc) government bunker.
        • Northumberland Avenue, Wanstead group control
        • Beatrice Road, Southall group control
        • Civil Defence centre for Stoke Newington
        • Pear Tree House group control
        • Church Hill Road, Cheam group control
  • Northern Ireland
    • Regional War Room, Mount Eden Park, Belfast.
  • Scotland
    • WW 2 War Room at Kirknewton, near Edinburgh
      • RAF Prestwick.

1948-1954Edit

  • The Central Government War Headquarters
    • Cabinet War Rooms, London
  • Region 1 (Northern)
    • Kenton Bar in Newcastle upon Tyne. It was in a former RAF operations room, like so many were.
  • Region 2 (North East)
    • Lawnswood, Leeds
  • Region 3 (North Midlands)
    • Chalfont Drive, Nottingham
  • Region 4 (Eastern)
    • Brooklands Avenue, Cambridge
  • Region 5 (London)
    • The London War Rooms
      • Northumberland Avenue, Wanstead group control
      • Beatrice Road, Southall group control
      • Civil Defense center for Stoke Newington (de-facto, but not de-jure)
      • Pear Tree House group control
      • Church Hill Road, Cheam group control
      • Brompton Road Station. It was London's WW2 Anti-Aircraft Defence HQ. (planned)
  • Region 6 (Southern)
    • Whiteknights Campus, Reading
  • Region 7 (South West)
    • Flowers Hill, Bristol
  • Region 8 (Wales)
    • Coryton, Cardiff
  • Region 9 (West Midlands)
    • Shirley, Birmingham
      • Wootton Basset
  • Region 10 (Scotland)
    • Kirknewton, near Edinburgh
  • Region 11 (South East)
    • Tunbridge Wells

1955-1958Edit

  • The Central Government War Headquarters
    • Spring Quarry, Corsham, Wiltshire.
  • Tyneside
    • Nevills Cross
    • Durham
  • Teesside
    • Scotch Corner
    • Richmond
  • The industrial area of the West Riding and North Derbyshire
    • Killinghall Moor,
    • Harrogate
    • Conisborough
  • Derby, Nottingham and the adjoining parts of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire
    • Matlock
  • Southampton, Portsmouth and adjoining parts of Hampshire
    • Andover
  • Cardiff, Newport and adjoining parts of Glamorgan and Monmouth
    • Crickhowell
    • Brecon
  • Swansea and adjoining parts of Glamorgan and Carmarthen
    • Llandilo
    • Carmarthen
  • Birmingham, Coventry, the Black Country and adjoining parts of neighboring counties (Damage was assumed to be very serve in the region after any major atomic attack.).
    • Stafford
    • Worcester
  • South Lancashire, Wirral and adjoining parts of Cheshire
    • Rawenstall,
    • Rufford
    • Macclesfield
  • Bristol, Bath and adjoining parts of Somerset and Gloucestershire
    • Box\Box Hill 
  • London (London, Middlesex, ajasent parts of Essex, ajacent parts of Kent, ajasent parts of Surrey. It was presumed to be totally destroyed and inoprable after any major atomic attck.).
    • The London War Rooms
      • Northumberland Avenue, Wanstead group control ?
      • Beatrice Road, Southall group control ?
      • Civil Defense center for Stoke Newington (de-facto, but not de-jure) ?
      • Pear Tree House group control ?
      • Church Hill Road, Cheam group control ?
      • Brompton Road Station. It was London's WW2 Anti-Aircraft Defence HQ. (planned)?
  • Scotland
    • Kirknewton, near Edinburgh
      • RAF Buchan ?
        • RAF Benbecula ?
        • RAF Saxa Vord ?

1958 and 1961 Edit

  • The Central Government War Headquarters
    • Spring Quarry, Corsham, Wiltshire.
  • Region 1 (Northern)
    • Gaza Barracks, Catterick Camp.
  • Region 2 (North East)
    • Imphal Barracks, York
  • Region 3 (North Midlands)
    • Plans for a new site at Grantham were abandoned, favouring Nottingham's old War Room as the RSG
  • Region 4 (Eastern)
    • The existing War Room at Cambridge was expanded to serve as the RSG
  • Region 5 (London)
    • The London War Rooms
      • Northumberland Avenue, Wanstead group control
      • Beatrice Road, Southall group control
      • Civil Defence centre for Stoke Newington (de-facto, but not de-jure)
      • Pear Tree House group control
      • Church Hill Road, Cheam group control
  • Region 6 (Southern)
    • Warren Row, near Henley on Thames, an underground aircraft components factory which dated from the Second World War.
  • Region 7 (South West)
    • The former protected radar station RAF Bolt Head, near Salcombe in south Devon.
      • The underground aircraft factory and ammunition store at Hawthorn, Wiltshire was to take a local sub-control in the western Wiltshire-Bristol region.
  • Region 8 (Wales)
    • The Barracks, Brecon
  • Region 9 (West Midlands)
    • The World War II era, Drakelow Tunnels, near Kidderminster.
  • Region 10 (North West)
    • Fulwood Barracks, Preston.
  • Region 11 (Northern Ireland)
    • Regional War Room, Mount Eden Park, Belfast
  • Scotland
    • The WW2 era ROTOR station Barnton Quarry in the Western outskirts of Edinburgh, became the Scottish National HQ, with regional powers at 3 other WW2 era facilities.
      • North Zone at Anstruther in Fife.
      • East Zone at Kirknewton.
      • West zone at East Kilbride.

1961-1972Edit

  • The Central Government War Headquarters
    • Spring Quarry, Corsham, Wiltshire.
  • Region 1 (Northern)
    • Hexham in a WW2 era reinforced frozen food store.
  • Region 2 (North East)
    • Bempton in a WW2 era reinforced frozen food store.
  • Region 3 (North Midlands)
    • Nottingham's old WW2 War Room
    • Skendleby
      • Loughborough
  • Region 4 (Eastern)
    • Bawburgh
      • Hertford (especially made under a new government office block).
  • Region 5 (London)
    • Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker,
      • The London War Rooms
        • Northumberland Avenue, Wanstead group control
        • Beatrice Road, Southall group control
        • Civil Defence centre for Stoke Newington (de-facto, but not de-jure)
        • Pear Tree House group control
        • Camberwell and Southwark borough councils' joint bunker (de-facto, but not de-jure)
        • Church Hill Road, Cheam group control
  • Region 6 (Southern) -
    • Basingstoke, a protected basement built under the HQ of the Civil Service Commission.
      • Dover Castle, with tunnels and protected accommodation dated back to the Napoleonic wars, but a large citadel was built here for naval operations during the Second World War.
        • Stoughton Barracks, Guildford.
  • Region 7 (South West)
    • The Bolt Head/Hope Cove RSG near Seaton in Devon.
      • Ullenwood, a former anti-aircraft control unit on a hilltop site near Cheltenham Spa.
  • Region 8 (Wales)
    • A former ammunition storage bunker at Brackla Hill, Bridgend.
      • Llandudno Junction (planned)
      • A protected basement under Government buildings at Ruthin (planned)
      • Coryton, Cardiff
  • Region 9 (West Midlands)
  • Region 10 (North West)
    • RAF Hack Green.
    • A new purpose built SRC was built under a technical college at Southport.
      • Wellington Barracks, Bury
      • Fulwood Barracks, Preston
        • Preston town hall
        • Carlisle.
  • Region 11 (Northern Ireland)
    • The Regional War Room, Mount Eden Park, Belfast
      • The military headquarters in Lisburn.
  • Scotland
    • The WW2 era ROTOR station Barnton Quarry in the Western outskirts of Edinburgh, became the Scottish National HQ, with regional powers at 3 other WW2 era facilities.
      • North Zone- at Anstruther in Fife.
      • East Zone- WW2 War Room at Kirknewton.
        • Kirknewton town hall
      • West zone- The Aircraft control station at East Kilbride.

1972-1979Edit

  • The Central Government War Headquarters
    • Spring Quarry, Corsham, Wiltshire.
  • Region 1 (Northern)
    • Catterick Barracks
  • Region 2 (North East)
    • Imphal Barracks, York
  • Region 3 (North Midlands)
    • Nottingham war rooms
  • Region 4 (Eastern)
    • Cambridge war rooms
  • Region 5 (London)
  • Region 6 (Southern) -
    • Reading
      • Dover Castle
  • Region 7 (South West)
    • Salcombe
      • Cheltenham
  • Region 8 (Wales)
    • Brecon Barracks
  • Region 9 (West Midlands)
    • The Drakelow Tunnels RSG, Kiddiminster.
  • Region 10 (North West)
    • Fulwood Barracks, Preston
      • The technical college at Southport.
  • Region 11 (Northern Ireland)
    •  Armargh.
  • Scotland (officially mothballed and partly de-facto abandoned.)
  • The WW2 era ROTOR station Barnton Quarry in the Western outskirts of Edinburgh, became the Scottish National HQ, with regional powers at 3 other WW2 era facilities. (officially mothballed).
    • North Zone at Anstruther in Fife (officially mothballed, but de-facto abandoned).
    • East Zone Kirknewton (officially mothballed, but de-facto abandoned).
    • West zone East Kilbride (officially mothballed, but de-facto abandoned).

1980-1992Edit

  • The Central Government War Headquarters
    • Spring Quarry, Corsham, Wiltshire.
  • Region 1 (Scotland)
    • A purpose-built HQ was constructed on a military base at Cultybraggan in Central Scotland.
  • Region 2 (North East)
    • Hexham
  • Region 3 (North Midlands)
    • Skendleby
      • Loughborough
  • Region 4 (Eastern)
    • Bawburgh
      • Hertford bunker below the government office block.
  • Region 5 (London)
    • Kelvedon Hatch bunker RSG
  • Region 6 (Southern)
    • Crowborough in Sussex. A older bunker had been built here during the Second World War to broadcast to Nazi occupied Europe under the code name Aspidistra.
  • Region 7 (South West)
    • The Bolt Head/Hope Cove RSG/SRC
      • A new bunker at Chilmark, Wiltshire near the bunker RAF Chilmark bunker for storing nuclear warheads.
  • Region 8 (Wales)
    • Brackla Hill, Bridgend
    • No 17 Group HQ Royal Observer Corps barracks at Borras, Wrexham.
  • Region 9 (West Midlands)
    • Drakelow Tunnels RSG
      • Swynnerton
  • Region 10 (North West)
    • Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker, a modified former ROTOR bunker near Nantwich, Cheshire
      • Longley Lane at Goosnargh near Preston.
  • Region 11 (Northern Ireland)
    • A purpose made bunker at Woodside Industrial Estate, Ballymena, County Antrim.

The 1955 Central Government War Headquarters buildingEdit

The Central Government War Headquarters was located in Corsham, Wiltshire, in an old underground Bath stone quarry known as the Spring Quarry.

Present dayEdit

  • Warren Row, became a protected storage facilities operated by security companies.
  • Hexham, Tunbridge Wells, Loughborough and Kirknewton were demolished. The Tunbridge Wells war room was so strong that it took 3 months - not the planned 2 weeks to be demolished.
  • Crowborough is now used by Sussex Police for police training
  • Cultybraggan was first returned to Army use, but is now owned by the local community in Comrie.
  • Kelvedon Hatch, Hack Green, Dover Castle bunker and Anstruther have became Cold War museums.
  • The Central Government War Headquarters at Spring Quarry, Corsham, was abandoned.

Also seeEdit

  1. British Civil Defence Corps
  2. Region 6 War Room
  3. Royal Observer Corps
  4. Spies for Peace
  5. Thames flood notes (OTL)
  6. Thames flood notes (1962 atomic strike)
  7. Wartime Broadcasting Service
  8. Nuclear warfare
  9. Designated survivor
  10. Two-man rule
  11. Permissive Action Link
  12. Emergency Action Message
  13. Special Weapons Emergency Separation System
  14. Operation Square Leg (1980) and Exercise Hard Rock (1982)

LinksEdit

  1. https://calculating.wordpress.com/2014/06/16/uk-cold-war-evacuation-plans/
  2. https://calculating.wordpress.com/2014/06/16/uk-cold-war-evacuation-plans/
  3. https://calculating.wordpress.com/2014/06/17/map-of-cold-war-targets-in-the-uk/
  4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regional_Seat_of_Government
  5. http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/staffportal/news/articles/spsn-623059.aspx%7C
  6. http://www.subbrit.org.uk/
  7. http://www.wikiwand.com/en/Regional_Seat_of_Government
  8. http://www.wikiwand.com/en/Military_citadels_under_London
  9. http://www.subbrit.org.uk/rsg/features/sfs/new_page_1.htm
  10. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_Contingencies_Committee
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