Proved 97.5% survival in completely demolished houses with cheap, simple indoor shelter
Civil defence preparations against air raids in Britain were kept secret by a Cabinet committee until after the government admitted that illegal German rearmament had exceeded British air strength in 1935. The next year, the publication of the first Air Raid Precautions Handbook, on personal protection against gas (gas masks and gas/liquid spray proofed rooms) became a bestseller and sold nearly half a million copies in the first edition (that statistic is according to the second edition). However, the most influential compendium of vital civil defence data was the July 1938 textbook, Civil Defence - A practical manual presenting with working drawings the methods required for adequate protection against aerial attack, a 308 pages long treatise with 96 photos and drawings by Captain C. W. Glover, a member of the Institute of Civil Engineers and also of the Institute of Structural Engineers, an ingenious maverick who in 1933 had designed a revolutionary, controversial new airport for London. Glover in 1938 was the Lecturer in Civil Defence at Regent Street polytechnic in London. Glover had served in the field artillery in France in WWI and used his professional engineering and architectural skills to apply the practical lessons of simple trenches and gas masks from trench warfare bombardment in military defence to civil defence against air raids. He claims on page vii of his Preface, dated 7 July 1938:
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 (hence the figure of 97.5% survival under strong 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:
Before the second world war was started in the age of aerial threats, civil defence needed to get into gear. So in January 1939 British shelters were proof tested against bombs to ensure their credibility for the public, before their manufacture and distribution began in February 1939. It was only because of this practical civil defence before WWII broke out, that Britain was in a practical position to declare war against Germany when Poland was invaded jointly by Russia and Germany in September 1939. Hence, appeasement had to be the policy prior to credible proof-tested civil defence against the effects of aerial bombardment using high explosives. We had the proof-tested technology in 1954 to build three storey concrete buildings to survive the 15 megaton Bravo nuclear test just outside the crater where the peak overpressure was 130 psi (photos in earlier post linked here), and anyway, rats without any fancy shelters survived on Engebi Island, just 2.5 miles from the 10.4 megaton Mike nuclear test (click here for the proof).
- Lord Baker, Enterprise versus Bureaucracy: The Development of Structural Air Raid Precautions During the Second World War, 1978, page 28.
Page 117 of this book states that a total of 1,174,201 Morrison shelters were made and issued to the public (Patent Specification 548069, "Improvements in and relating to air raid shelters"). Note also that Frank H. Pavry who visited Hiroshima and Nagasaki as part of the British mission to Japan in 1945, and later worked in the Home Office Scientific Advisory Branch on civil defence shelters at the Monte Bello "Operation Hurricane" test with George R. Stanbury for nuclear war civil defence, was a member of Baker's RE4 team, the Design and Development Section of the Research and Experiments Department, Ministry of Home Security, in June 1941, as proved by the list of personnel Baker gives on page 99; on page 11 Baker states that Pavry and D. C. Burns - who improved the strutted refuge room design - were both engineers recruited by him from the Cement and Concrete Association. Baker's junior engineering partner at his consultancy, Edward Leader-Williams (who collaborated on the Morrison shelter) was also recruited and stayed on at the Home Office Scientific Advisory Branch during the cold war, applying indoor sheltering to nuclear war and calculating the efficiency of civil defence against nuclear attack for government (e.g. his report CD/SA 54 on sheltering and evacuating British cities against an attack with five 20 megaton H-bombs, which we discussed in a previous post linked here). The British Cement and Concrete Association is described by Baker as "the research and publicity arm of the cement industry" which offered the UK Government free-of-charge structural engineers to help with implementing practical shelter designs during WWII). See the video of Lord Baker proving that point about energy absorption, below:
Lord Baker (ScD, FRS, Professor of Engineering, Cambridge University 1943-68 and Head of the Design and Development Section of Research and Experiments Department, UK Ministry of Home Security, 1939-43), was the 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, upon approntment in October 1940, 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, attacking cheap and effective protective countermeasures using exaggerations based on daft political assumptions, not scientific facts which played the role of camouflage for the false attack assumptions which ignored deterrence of escalation within a world war to gas attacks by the threat of both retaliation and simple defensive gas masks and liquid agent proof rooms (similar firestorm effects are still exaggerated for nuclear attacks in modern concrete cities today by similar bigoted, dangerous, complacent disarmament propaganda for appeasement of terrorists):
"Apparently, Mr Churchill, a few days before [in October 1940] concerned as he would be at the hardships of the common people and the possible danger to the war effort of any serious drop in their morale, had said to Mr Morrison [the new Minister of Home Security, who replaced the water-flooded Anderson!], 'Herbert, you must give the people a shelter in their own homes', ... The potential energy of a typical two-storey villa, or cottage type of modern house ... is equivalent to about 150 tons falling 10 feet. [Therefore, to make the shelter cheap and affordable you must permit the shelter to be dented, and use the plastic deformation to absorb the impact energy, instead of the old-fashioned engineering textbook approach of dogma, which "proved" shelters to be unaffordable by assuming that to give adequate protection the shelter must not be subjected to anything exceeding its yield stress force. Thus, you must design the structure deliberately to be dented in order for it to be able to absorb energy in the process, and therefore provide protection. A small shelter which was so strong it was not dented, would not absorb energy, transmitting large accelerations to the occupants and also proving to be immensely expensive and unaffordable. This is something that is never learned by the anti-civil defence brigade, who judge shelter success on whether there is damage to the shelter or not! You can't absorb large amounts of energy without distortion. As blast effects expert Lord Penney proved in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, even the damage to wooden houses absorbed blast energy and shielded the blast in a cumulative manner; the oscillation of massive city skyscrapers by blast absorbs even more energy and is ignored in barmy OTA blast calculations for cities that assume perfectly reflecting desert surfaces]... Since the shelter was to be 2 feet 6 inches high it was considered that the top horizontal members could deflect at their centres by 12 inches without injury to even the stoutest occupant, always assuming that he was lying down - if he was not when the bomb exploded he certainly would be by the time the house collapsed."
- Lord Baker, Enterprise Versus Bureaucracy: The Development of Structural Air Raid Precautions during the Second World War, 1978, pp. 48-49.
The extract below about J. D. Bernal's Communist-leaning "Cambridge Scientists Anti-War Group" (Hitler and Stalin were in collusion to invade Poland jointly in 1939) is available more fully online: Gary Werskey, "A MOST POPULAR FRONT", in the Christmas Supplement to
"A [house collapse resisting] shelter should be designed to absorb some part of the applied energy in its own partial collapse; complete resistance was far too costly ... The Morrison table shelter was ... designed to withstand the debris load of a house by its own partial collapse, whilst still giving adequate protection to the occupants." - George R. Stanbury, "Scientist in Civil Defence: Part 1", UK Home Office's Scientific Advisory Branch journal Fission Fragments (issue 17, June 1971).
The point is, your house is only going to collapse once, so the steel table (Morrison shelter) only needs to resist the kinetic energy of the falling debris of your house once, unlike public air raid shelters. Therefore, the brains of the table shelter is that you can allow a certain amount of denting to take place, and this allows the table to absorb the energy of the falling house without breaking the table. The same idea exists in car bumpers and "crumple zones" which absorb impact energy. The fear-mongering in 1937 by the Cambridge Scientists Anti-War Group that fire bombing would drive people out of strengthened refuge rooms to be gassed outdoors, simply ignored the deterrence of escalation to gas bombing in WWII. They were groupthink, populist, pro-appeasement, biased dogmatists who allowed politics to blind themselves to the science of civil defence like today's political extremists and anti-civil defence fanatics, whose "authority" is taken always as fact by the self-deluded, lazy media. Gas was never dropped because we could retaliate, so 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 (300,000 shelters affording protection for 1,500,000 had been by 20 April 1939 according to Sir John Anderson's statement in the House of Commons that day; 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.
WHY ANTI-CIVIL DEFENCE PROPAGANDA DOES NOT GUARANTEE PEACE OR SAFETY, AND CAUSES ESCALATION OF WAR, WHEREAS CIVIL DEFENCE ALLOWS AVOIDANCE OF ESCALATION (THE OPPOSITE OF ANTI-CIVIL DEFENCE PROPAGANDA CLAIMS BY BIASED POLITICIANS)
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.
Notice the false claim that there is no simple way to shield the fission product radiation, and no concept of clean nuclear weapons (proof tested just 16 years later at Bikini). Making up lies has always been the way to attract research funding, and if you mark your report "Strictly Confidential" (like they did), you're totally immune from public scrutiny and objective criticism by the millions of democrats in your country, who between them, might just threaten to expose your false assumptions!
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."
Above: in 1940 another error by Sir John Anderson with regard to shelters cost many lives when obfuscation on shelter construction led to the use of lime mortar (which is relatively weak, like normal house walls) instead of cement mortar in the building of surface brick shelters (in areas where the ground water all year round prevented underground Anderson shelters). The lime mortar shelters proved useless unless they were modified as suggested by Baker, with steel rods inserted into walls to provide ductility, as shown above by Lord Baker in Enterprise versus Bureaucracy, taken from the out of copyright report Circular 290 Reinforced Brick Shelter. Baker explains on page 37 that the resulting strength of the steel beam reinforced brick walls made them excellent blast shelters, as proved by a cine film of a shelter with its remote end 37 feet from a 250 kg explosion, where the ground shock acceleration was 20g:
"This shelter, known officially as Brick Surface Shelter reinforced in accordance with Circular 290 was an immediate and immense success in exactly the form in which it left the design engineer's drawing board. It went straight from the drawing board to the municipal engineers to be built in thousands on our city streets long before the tests had been carried out, such was the urgency as mentioned in my Minute of 26 October  to Stradling. ...
"The first recorded incident involving a Circular 290 Reinforced Brick Shelter occurred on the night of 9th April, 1941, at South Shields. A very large 1000 kg bomb fell 38 feet from the end of the shelter which had six occupants. The crater formed was 55 feet in diameter and 13 feet deep in clay ... no occupant received any injury. Ten days later a similarly constructed public surface shelter was subjected to an even more severe test in London at West Ham ... there were no casualties. ... on the night of 4th May, 1941, in Bootle ... a 48 person public surface shelter [illustrated below] ... was occupied almost to full capacity ... the crater broke right under the shelter ... no occupant was injured, but one was inconvenienced. He was a small boy who was highly indignant because the wall of the shelter had not only moved laterally, it had lifted and in coming down again had trapped the welt of his boot, so that he had to make his escape from the damaged shelter barefoot. ... What was remarkable, of course, was the resistance of the human frame to the enormous accelerations to which the shelterers were subjected."
These steel-reinforced brick surface shelters were tested in controlled experiments using a 250 kg bomb at 15 feet distance in Richmond Park, London, on 19 June 1941, after they had already been proved in actual air raids, occupied by Joe Public! Such is the slowness of bureaucracy for Health and Safety, versus the practical demands of real war. (See Baker's 1978 book, at pages 39-40 for details of the Richmond Park test.) In addition, blast walls of brickwork, with ductility due to steel rods that ensured they did not fragment into a hazard when hit by an overpressure beyond their design limit, were proof tested by Baker's team and then used to protect factories workers by absorbing energy and diffracting blast waves upward and away from people and machinery:
Above: As Terrence O'Brien explains in his widely ignored official history of civil defence in the UK in WWII which I scanned in and put on the Internet Archive (it is out of copyright now), communist propaganda focussing on exaggerated gas threats and incendiary bombs diverted civil defence attention by mainstream politicians (who trust left wing newspaper liars) in the 1930s away from the real need for indoor house collapse protection, relocating the Anderson shelters outdoors and appeasing the Nazis instead of providing real protection.
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 we have discussed here, based on actual data. The whole reason why the "climate change" liars have got away with peddling falsehoods is the trash circulated by people like him, 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 persons 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. Any attempt at a scientific discussion always turns into a paranoid, emotional tantrum by professional bureaucrats, 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:
The price of Russia's currency dropped a whopping 20 per cent against the US dollar earlier today, as it sunk to a series of historic lows.This morning's staggering drop extended yesterday's 10 per cent decline, with a dollar buying 77 roubles by lunchtime in the UK.The rouble has since rallied slightly, but is still 12 per cent down in total today.
A dollar now buys around 65 roubles, a British pound sterling buys 102 roubles and a Euro buys 82 roubles.The plunging price of the rouble is the worst fall since the Russian financial crisis in 1998.
It also appeared to signify a complete loss of confidence in the Russian central bank, following a dramatic interest rate hike this morning.In a failed bid to attract investors, ahead of the opening of global markets, Moscow's central bank raised interest rates to 17 per cent from 10.5 per cent.
Russia has been battered by sliding oil prices as well as Western sanctions following President Vladimir Putin's actions in Crimea and eastern Ukraine.
The ongoing economic collapse now presents Mr Putin with the biggest crisis of his 15-year stranglehold on power.Having enjoyed the political benefits of economic security, the Kremlin leader could now see growing opposition if Russian voters continue to be affected by market turmoil and falling oil prices.
Nicholas Spiro, managing director of Spiro Sovereign Strategy in London, said: "Putin rode the wave of higher oil prices in the years after he came to power, but there is no question that the economics will start to adversely impact the politics.
Prime Minister David Cameron placed the blamed for the rouble rout squarely on Mr Putin's shoulders, following Russia's antagonistic foreign policy in recent months.
Western powers heavily criticised Russia's annexation of the Crimean peninsula in March this year, while Mr Putin has also been accused of secretly backing pro-Russian separatist groups in eastern Ukraine.
Mr Cameron's spokesman said: "The fall in the global price for oil is a global phenomenon but Russia has made itself more vulnerable to economic shocks as a result of the relative isolation through sanctions that it has faced because of events in Ukraine."If Russia continues to choose not to take the path of de-escalation it will continue to face consequences."
For earlier research, see also a PDF of the July 1939 British Government report on the results of high explosive proof testing of the World War II Anderson shelter, "Sectional Steel Shelters", Command Paper number 6055, please click here (this PDF document compilation at https://archive.org/details/Anderson_shelter also contains relevant results of nuclear weapon tests).
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?
Above: this Shelter at Home manual containing cheap indoor proof-tested warm, flood-resistant shelter advice, was issued in June 1941, authorized by the new UK Home Secretary Herbert Morrison, a practical socialist and son of a Lambeth policeman, who had common sense and preferred practical, cheap, live saving countermeasures to the ivory tower left-wing outdoor, ground-water flooded Anderson shelter ideology of his predecessor, the so-called Conservative Sir John Anderson. D. C. Burn improved the timber strutting system in Ministry of Home Security Bulletin C14, to protect a refuge room against collapse, which had earlier been illustrated in a simpler way in the 1938 Protection of your home against air raids handbook issued to every house in England by Home Secretary Samuel Hoare. That 1938 booklet sensibly advised using builders advice and scaffolding indoors if possible, for secure protection; the problem was that many poor people in the East End London target area really needed more complete, explosion-proof-tested advice, not just the suggestion to use expensive builders for advice or to set up expensive steel scaffolding indoors. What was needed was a diagram of the sort shown above in the June 1941 handbook (because merely propping up a roof without cross-struts causes the risk that an explosion jar may knock the props sideways, so they must be not merely strong enough to take the load, but also kept upright to provide protection).
Sir John Anderson's communist adviser, physicist J. D. Bernal, ignored all the practical experience from WWI about the flooding of trench shelters by ground water in winter, and advocated partially underground outdoor Anderson shelters (designed by engineer David Anderson, but named after Sir John Anderson, no relation). In both the 1937 Air Raid Precautions handbook number 1, Personal Protection against Gas, and in the 1938 householder's handbook, The protection of your home against air raids, indoor "refuge room" shelters were advised, based on a wealth of WWI experience of simple indoor improvised scaffolding to prevent the house collapsing on people in a selected refuge area, say a bedroom or under a strong kitchen table, and on gas proofing of rooms to both reduce vapour concentrations, and obviously to protect people from skin burns from mustard gas and lewsite (liquid droplet contamination, which acts through skin in an analogous fashion to persistent nerve gases invented in Nazi Germany). Both these are analogous to the 1980 Protect and survive advice of sheltering under a table or lean-to improvised shelter to survive nuclear blast and fallout.
However, this 1937-8 cheap indoor shelter option (proof tested as the photo below shows, for example), did not fit into the political ideology of the appeasement strategists, who wanted peace through surrender or diplomacy with the enemy. Thus, the "Cambridge Scientists Anti-War Group" comprising of J. D. Bernal and others published specious "no-go theorems" to close-down arguments for indoor shelters. These "no-go theorems" consisted entirely of plausible-lie sophistry, for example "ridicule" of indoor shelters by claiming that any future war would consist of blast bombs, incendiary (fire bombs of phosphorus and magnesium), and lingering mustard gas that would burn skin and make gas masks useless outdoors. By blasting and burning down houses, people would - the liars claimed - be forced outdoors where they would then be contaminated by mustard gas and lie awful, lingering deaths. Photographs and paintings from the successful surprise attack gas casualties of WWI would be used to "prove" this and induce anti-war hysteria, with "peace at any price" political bigotry. The fate of the Jews and other persecuted minorities would pale into insignificance in comparison to these fictional rantings, which even led to the gas war horror scenes in the pre-war blockbuster, H. G. Wells' War of the Worlds where the Nazis are portrayed as Martians who must be appeased, to avoid the extermination of life on earth by poison gas. Precisely the same "subtle" political "sci fi" agenda occurred in 1969 Beneath the planet of the apes where Charlton Heston ends life on earth using a doomsday nuclear weapon in order to prevent the apes - aka the Reds - from winning a Cold War. Hidden message: nuclear deterrence is too risky, so negotiate to save lives, even if that means slavery.
"Though the Government Anderson shelter issued to householders ... was .... structurally sound ... this form of shelter had been made ineffective by the change in the enemy's tactics. The Anderson was essentially a trench shelter ... it shared all the other drawbacks of trenches. It would have been tolerable if ... the enemy raids had been of short duration. However, when the pattern of all-night alerts was established, as happened in London in September 1940 [and in August 1945 in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, when repeatedly daily B-29 weather plane surveys of the cities by the 509th Group from Tinian Island, at attack time for weeks before the bombs eroded the credibility of Japanese air raid warnings for those cities, as recorded by the 509th commander, Col. Tibbets, in his 1978 book The Tibbets Story], it was obvious that the Anderson shelter was quite unsatisfactory. ... I approached the Chief Engineer's Branch with the proposal that a shelter should be designed to accommodate a family inside its own house. ... No reply was made ... I persisted firmly but politely ... Nothing happened for some weeks, then a reply ... came frtom Mr Osmond, a ... senior administrative officer ... It said that ... it was impossible to provide safe shelter inside a house; this had been established in 1938 by a panel of eminent engineers. I was referred to Command Paper 5932. ... The Report had been drawn up by David Anderson, doyen of British civil engineers ... the most successful consulting engineer of his time."
- Lord Baker, Enterprise Versus Bureaucracy: The Development of Structural Air Raid Precautions During the Second World War, Pergamon, 1978, pages 42-44.
The December 1938 Command Paper 5932 by David Anderson, which was finally debunked by Lord Baker in 1941, recommended the outdoor Anderson shelters that became waterlogged during the autumn-winter 1940 blitz, and contained a list of no fewer than seven separate no-go theorems that attempted to disprove the safety of indoor shelters (mainly culled from J. D. Bernal's science fiction scare mongering propaganda books).
As Lord Baker proves in chapter 6 of Enterprise versus Bureaucracy, all seven "no go theorems" claim to disprove the safety of indoor shelters are specious. To summarize why they are all completely wrong in a nutshell, Anderson's 1938 Cmd. 5932 falsely claimed that:
(1) house refuge rooms would be too small and would prevent the room being used for other purposes (nonsense, says Lord Baker, just strengthen a bedroom and use it as normal; any room can be strengthened with a strong distortion-resisting wooden frame or steel scaffolding as the 1938 handbook The protection of your home against air raids);
(2) a house is useless because the windows would be blown, so flying glass or debris from the explosion will be a danger (nonsense, says Lord Baker, since simple wire mesh was proved strong enough stop heavy debris from entering the sides of the shelter, and anyway for the refuge room you place the shelter where the walls provide the best protection, and you can protect the windows in that particular room very easily with boards or furniture arranged to catch the flying glass as advised in handbooks such as the 1938 The protection of your home against air raids or the 1941 Shelter at Home);
(3) the rigid shelter would be knocked down through the floor (nonsense says Lord Baker, the shelter will absorb impact energy through deformation and thus won't pass on the same amount of impulse that it receives, cushioning the blow like a car crumple zone or bumper and not being simply knocked downwards with the same impulse that it receives!);
(4) the shelter would be moved and distorted (nonsense, says Lord Baker, who cares about a bit of distortion or movement provided the people inside are safe and sound? Besides, absorbing energy through structural distortion is vital for a shelter to cheaply absorb energy and thus save lives. A shelter which undergoes no distortion is a death trap that doesn't absorb energy and passes on massive accelerations to the shelter occupants, resulting in large forces and injury or mortality.);
(5) the people in an indoor shelter will be trapped by debris and suffocated by dust or a lack of air (nonsense, says Lord Baker, a table can be vacated from any side, and you can always simply keep sheets or handkerchiefs and crowbars or similar tools in the indoor shelter to help you avoid dust and escape quickly. Civil defence critics always try to exploit data on "trapped" casualties from the 1940 air raids before the Morrison indoor shelter was introduced and before mechanical cranes were used for quick and easy heavy rescue. Thus, people "trapped" in Morrison shelters were uninjured and could release themselves quickly in most cases, as proved by the data.);
(6) incendiary bombs combined with high explosives would collapse and then burn houses so people trapped will be fried alive (nonsense, says Lord Baker, only one person out of 119 people in indoor shelters within collapsed houses died as a result of burns, and even then it was due to a fire brigade error when the sprayed the flames with water, causing scalding water to flood a shelter that was otherwise surviving the fire from the house debris above, because heat rises instead of falling as academics who are ignorant of the facts always seem to naively assume; the same applies to nuclear ignition of curtains in the top floors of buildings in nuclear attacks, where the fire does't spread downwards contrary to "9/11 evidence" because the nuclear bomb doesn't deliver thousands of gallons of burning aviation fuel that can be carried downwards to lower floors by gravity; likewise, the "evidence" of people burned alive by peacetime gasoline car fires where clothing is soaked by gasoline before being ignited is not applicable to the ignition of clothing by nuclear attack, where it can be easily rolled out without injury as proved at Hiroshima and Nagasaki and nuclear tests); and
(7) the indoor shelter occupants would be gassed, perhaps by the escape of gas from ruptured gas mains because gas masks do not absorb methane, etc. (nonsense, says Lord Baker, this supposes that a collapsed house magically forms a sealed chamber around the indoor shelter that allows a gas concentration to build up, in fact this is just total nonsense and while the shelter would keep out droplets of liquid mustard, lewsite or sarin nerve agent, it would not seal in toxic gases so gas masks are adequate once the dust settles.)
"If the occupants could not escape immediately they ran no danger of suffocation since the side panels prevented debris covering them. ... if anyone trapped had their hands free, and so could cover their faces, as they instinctively did [handkerchiefs or any cloth could be used over the mouth and nose], this was sufficient to prevent injury from dust. The risk from fire was not serious; the dust and debris thrown up were most effective in putting out fires. [After Winston Churchill, the Prime Minister, was given an explanation by Baker on 31 December 1940 that "energy absorption" by an indoor shelter's distortion would CHEAPLY save lives, whereas mere "structural strength" for shelters was would not save lives cheaply, he approved 500,000 Morrison shelters.] ... The day may have been won, but unfortunately even the Prime Minister's instructions to make half a million in three months did not automatically produce the materials for the job. The ... wire in wartime belonged to the Admiralty who were not anxious to part with any. Home Security was told that no wire was available ... Those days of working with the supply department ... were not pleasant ... There was no feeling of co-operating to produce the best possible shelter. Whenever a deadlock was reached, the attitude at Headquarters was, 'Well, Baker, that puts your shelter out. ... When debris struck the [wire mesh] panel it bent inwards and brought this bottom length of wire hard up against the ferrule [see diagram below] on the bolt, so that the full tensile strength of the vertical wires could be developed to resist the pressure of the debris. The brilliance of this simple piece of production engineering was that it enabled the side panel to be opened by hinging not only about its top edge, but alternatively, about its bottom edge. [Hence the debris-stopping wire mesh panels on shelter sides enabled easy escape not only from any side of the shelter but also from any edge of the panel if debris was jammed against any part of a panel! This was always ignored by Morrison shelter "critics" who falsely claim that the side panels would hinder escape or would not exert their full structural strength in stopping debris!] ... It was a structure for which the materials were available to make half a million within the next three months and one simple enough for mass production without taxing the resources of the steel fabricating industry or straining the tax payer excessively, yet efficient enough to save the occupants of any house reduced to ruins ... they could be fitted together by unskilled labour, usually by Boy Scout volunteers."
- Lord Baker, Enterprise versus Bureaucracy: The Development of Structural Air Raid Precautions During the Second World War, 1978, pages 51-57.
The point is, gas proof rooms keep the liquid droplets of persistent "gas" like mustard or nerve agents sarin and VX, off the skin, while the gas mask keeps the vapour out of the eyes and lungs, so the two in combination - staying indoors and using a gas mask - are mutually compatible and if a window breaks you can stay clear of the windows and still have protection against the rain of droplets of persistent nerve liquid droplets; the Nazis invented nerve gas from 1938 onwards and never used it because we could retaliate with mustard and we could retaliate credibly because we had simple, effective civil defence. The tendency to discount gas masks as useless against skin contamination and to discount refuge rooms as not being gas resistant if windows are broken by blast is sophistry, since it ignores the fact about the liquid rain of contamination that a house protects against, regardless of damage, and the fact that toxic vapours - once the rain of droplets has been kept outdoors - are far more damaging to the eyes and lungs than to the skin, so that once you protect the skin from droplets by being under cover, the gas mask then gives a very high protection factor. Soldiers are issued protective clothing to wear against liquid droplet sprays or very high concentrations of vapor for long periods of time. Indoors, gas masks are sufficient. It is thus easy to identify the fear-mongering dogmatic supporters of (or even generators of) hysterical terror (i.e. real "terrorism"), who deliberately exploit ignorance in order to try to pretend that there is no cheap defense available to gas attack or radiation, blast or fire.
They all do so because they religious believe in some "alternative" to civil defence, such as military retaliation to escalate the war, or an ever increasing budget for secret spies to try to prevent attacks by infiltrating and somehow understanding the minds of the lunatic enemies on the basis that only spying can prevent 9/11 or Pearl Harbor and not civil defence and that any failures of spying have a simple fool-proof solution which is called "increase the spying budget again until it is big enough to guarantee peace-in-our-time", or more often they believe in increased budgets for Nobel Peace Prize lobbies that call for more money to be given to themselves to study the hope of passing more and more laws and policing of corrupt foreign terror regimes, who simply ignore or violate those laws, like Hitler and Stalin did. The problem of "simply policing" international laws then effectively falls back into the problem Britain faced in 1914 and 1939, i.e. you can't enforce any international law without a world war. All the "pacifist" sophistry in the world is just a camouflage for escalating violence, whether this is named "ethnic cleansing" or attacking civil defence. All these people actually profit from terrorism, that is, they profit from the failure of their own schemes, because they are rewarded for failure with more money. So all have a massive interest in blocking realistic, cheap civil defence against terrorism! Because of the hatred directed in the media towards all forms of life-saving civil defence which are cheap, realistic, and highly effective, liars received public cheers and election votes from persuading Hitler to sign a worthless "peace treaty"; whereas humanitarian, honest and decent people were attacked using ignorant, conceited, groupthink lynch mob tactics and called a warmonger if they even dared to promote a practical way to stop carnage.
Any exposure of the facts is dismissed/ignored by using attacks on the person/presentation, instead of simply and honestly discussing the relevant facts themselves (facts are all important, opinions or presentation tricks are not the stuff that matters and anyone who prefers to discuss presentation to the facts is missing the point or deliberately engaging in self-indulgent egotism/drivel rather than keeping to the hard facts of science).
Campaigns were launched by CND's Phil Bolsover and other communist supporters to attack proven civil defence to popular acclaim from comedians on BBC TV in the early 1980s, thus they are the war-mongers for all intents and purposes, launching scare-mongering hate campaign attacks on scientific civil defence for their own profit or the profit of their deluded politics:
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).
See also https://archive.org/details/Anderson_shelter as well as https://archive.org/details/BritishNuclearTestOperationHurricaneDeclassifiedReportsToWinston