Film: 9029

War + Military | 1950 | Sound | B/W


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Civil defence plans for a nuclear or atomic attack on Britain 1950's

Contains simple explanations of what to expect from the explosion of a hydrogen/atomic bomb and how to avoid radiation sickness and exposure to gamma rays.

Fells, upland scenery. Coastline and cliffs, panning to air defence/ radar station, down to grass. Close-up of mushroom- soundtrack saying one of natures more humble creations has become the symbol of a devastating and terrifying invention. Large explosion and mushroom cloud. Large dark black cloud - soundtrack explains hydrogen bombs produce problem of radioactive fallout. Map of UK with cloud floating, wind direction shown by arrow, soundtrack saying - you cannot hear, see or smell radiation, making it even more unnerving.

Actual footage of Strand tube station, people walking past. 4 men hoeing in a field. Soldiers in field, lecturer in front with blackboard, soundtrack stating that the purpose of the film is to educate people about problems and to play vital role in reducing death toll. Lecturer points to ruined shell of model house. Military personnel slouch, sitting down listening. Lecturer pointing to ruined house model. Close-up of small plastic doll in ruined model house. Soldiers sitting in rows in field listening.

Titles-Radiation soundtrack- Radioactive hazard comes under two headings, Immediate and Residual, these words written on screen above the word Radiation. Soundtrack, severe danger from immediate radiation from 10 megaton explosion is limited to within 2 1/2 miles, with no significant effect beyond 4 miles, map showing effect of radiation to scale. Blast of bomb, the immediate radiation is of secondary importance, Real Footage of hydrogen bomb exploding, with mushroom cloud, soundtrack describes residual radiation greater threat to people further afield. Actual footage of Mushroom cloud in distance, as soundtrack explains how cloud is formed, as a result of dust and debris pulverised by explosion, sucked up due to heat caused by explosion, material becoming contaminated and highly radioactive, lighter material being deposited over a large distance. Large clouds in sky, soundtrack stating that the radiation in cloud is unseen. Diagram showing Radiation emitting two types of rays, Beta & Gamma, with Beta rays having a range of only a few yards, which can be stopped by ordinary clothing, Gamma rays have penetrative powers, only gradually losing intensity after passing though material. Diagram showing rays losing their intensity as they pass through 3ft of concrete. Diagram of human body, Beta rays shown as harmless unless the source of the rays is within the body itself or in contact with skin, Gamma rays can cause serious damage to the deeper living tissue and can build up an accumulating dose as long as one is exposed to it, diagram of man and calendar to show him getting increasingly radiated, before he falls down.

Diagram with the word Radiation with rays branching off it. Diagram of bottle of milk, to indicate fluids as measured in pints, a ruler to indicate lengths as measured in inches and machine to monitor radiation with the unit of measurement describes as a roentgen. Diagram of Dosimeter, which measures individual radiation dose as it is received, Radiac survey meter is used to measure dose ratio- likened to speedometer of a car, with the Dosimeter showing the equivalent of total mileage covered, the radiac survey meter showing the equivalent of the speed. Diagram of man in military uniform, rays passing through him, soundtrack saying operational permissible dose taken over a short time, should not exceed 25 roentgens. If working in shifts within 24 hours, 40 r is acceptable, if over two days, 50 r is acceptable and if over 3 days 60r - Diagram showing this. Diagram of 3 levels, each with a human figure, 25r taken in single exposure or over 3-4 hours is the recommended as the operational permissible dose, stated as 1/2 the dose at which radiation sickness will start, 50r some sickness will occur, at 100r more sickness, with some cases being fatal. Diagram of people, 10 in each line, each representing 10%, coloured in black equates fatalities, At 300r taken in a few hours, 30% fatal, at 4-500 r 50% would be fatal, at 6-800 r, 100% would be fatal. Diagram of Gamma radiation with shield to show how to protect against rays- 1. Distance one is from source of radiation, 2 The screening of radiation from solid substances. 3 The decay of radiation with time. Diagram explaining further how to protect oneself from rays, shows that 1/3 of the dose or radiation is found within 12 ft of the explosion, 1/2 dose is found within 25ft and as much as 3/4 from a radius of 100 ft around. Diagram of house with rays surrounding, sound track says anyone in a decent sized house will escape rays, due to distance factor, the thickness of walls, floors and roof gives screening protection, decay is also mentioned with an analogy of a red hot poker. Diagram of poker, cooling quickly at first and then more gradually. Clock with panel cut out of it to show how with time, the dose diminishes- 1 hour after explosion, dose = 100r/h, after 7 hours, dose reduced to 10 r/h, after 2 days, dose diminished to 1 r/h, after 14 days, dose = 1/10 r/hr, with most of the decay taking place within the first two days. Diagram of terraced houses, soundtrack saying anyone living on the ground floor would have their dose cut by a 40th, so if dose accumulated in open was 200r, then in the centre of the ground floor, dose could be reduced to 5r, in a cellar, less than 1, in a split trench with an overhead cover, drops to 2r, in a split trench with an overhead cover, drops to 2r, in a split trench with 3ft of overhead cover, dose reduced to 1r.

White prefabricated bungalows in a row, soundtrack says they offer little protection. Detached two storey house in countryside, soundtrack saying it gives a fair measure of protection that can be improved quite easily, white building with clock, possibly shell building on the Strand, looking from the Thames, soundtrack saying the larger and more solid the building, particularly if its surrounded by other buildings the better the chances are. Odeon cinema shown, large brick building with no windows, soundtrack stating that the fewer the windows the better. Inside view of a room, window boarded up with wooden planks, man leaves by door, as soundtrack says any ground floor room in a house can be converted into a refuge room. Man shown filling up outside window with earth, windows boarded up 1/2 way with wood, another man adding sandbags to the outside wall. Woman (quite smartly dressed) and two small children move heavy bookcase against window. Cellar being piled with wooden slats against window. Man carrying lantern and two women open trap door in floor, soundtrack explains that a split trench could be built amongst the foundations. Close up of woman and man entering trap door and shutting lid, soundtrack advises calling an architect or builder before attempting to build. Man , wearing flat cap and glasses, carrying bag, escorts woman and female child out of house, woman carrying bundle. Man, woman and child enter slip trench in garden, soundtrack states that it should be in a an area that is not likely to be covered by debris from the house, and also said that it would not be practical in area of subsoil water. Cut away diagram of shelter, two bunk beds, table, stools, pans, makeshift WC, soundtrack says possible may be spending several days in the shelter. Roof of 3ft of earth, equivalent of 2ft of concrete would give adequate shelter from those not closer than 4 miles away from explosion.

Living Room, mother kneeling over pan, two children on floor, white dog. Mother pouring liquid into pan and cooking on camping stove, soundtrack saying people will be spending a minimum of two days indoors before being allowed out for short periods. Boy playing with meccano(?). Father comes in with bucket of water, soundtrack says it is possible to leave room for a few minutes at a time to use lavatory or fetch water. Mother stirs food in pot on fire, soundtrack says everything should be laid on in advance so that you do not need to go outside for further supplies. Mother opens store cupboard full of tins and jars- soundtrack saying each house should have a weeks supply of food and water kept in dust proof containers. Woman walks over to desk and turns on small battery operated wireless set, soundtrack says to keep contact with outside world. Torch and candle, portable lavatory.

Large mushroom cloud. Diagram of explosion, area of 10 mile radius to explosion of bomb with seriously high levels of radiation, coming from the heavier materials that are deposited soon after the explosion. Diagram to show area of high radiation may be more fragmented due to geographical features and weather systems. Map of UK to show explosion of 1 mg tonne around Birmingham- if wind coming from. West, fallout would cover and travel eastwards, could cover an area 500 miles long and 100 miles wide or depending on strength of wind, up to 1000 miles long and 50 miles wide. Map of UK and Northern Europe with 1000miles radius marked- soundtrack mentions that this includes part of Poland, which he states makes a sobering thought for attacker and attacked alike. Soundtrack says 2 warnings will come from the RAF special operations room, (possibly actual footage) large room with table marked with counters, women constantly moving counters with long sticks. Close up of women moving counters. Man in suit drawing diagrams on glass board, women through glass pinpointing positions, warnings depend on information given by The National Warnings and Monitoring Organisation based on the Royal Observatory Posts. Two military personnel at a desk looking at a piece of paper, posters on walls behind include pin up, using radio to send fall out readings to group headquarters, women moving markers on table, said would relay information to RAF sectors operation room, man in suite chalking up lines on glass board, path of radioactivity. Man releasing weather balloon, soundtrack mentioning that meteorological services will monitor the direction the fall out cloud will take. Large vehicle with monitor/radar on top. Balloon floating up in sky. Scientists/men in suits chalking up path of radiation.

Man picks up phone, soundtrack says this station will warn areas in the path of the fall out. Group Warning Officer on telephone, Grey warning will be given by some pre-arranged symbol, man in uniform on telephone writing, warning could be given by siren or ringing of church bells or other arranged signal. Man presses button marked siren. Siren out in open giving off warning. Woman in her protected room, children enter, soundtrack says that siren will give people enough time to check their arrangements. Boy goes to check full bath and puts cover on it. Cows being brought into sheds. Warnings Officer at desk, on phone, writing as soundtrack talks about Black warnings which will be given when arrival of fallout is imminent. Man presses button marked Maroons. Explosion outside to signal black warning. Small residential street, people running with children, man runs into house and shuts door. Woman enters house and shuts door. Woman shuts door of house. Man shuts door. Over view of townscape, soundtrack saying it may not be possible to give grey or black warnings, so those in control on the spot must use initiative. Village, people running, soldier. Three women enter house. Same village but deserted. Deserted street. Deserted street of oldish cottage style terraced houses, soundtrack says two further messages may be issued, message blue, to say fallout is complete, issued to control posts only and message green for cancellation of a grey or black warning. Deserted street.

Diagram of overall situation, if bomb dropped, initial fallout in a 10 mile radius, limit of damage in 20 mile radius and down wind fall out. Diagram to show how a second bomb would effect tactical manoeuvres. Diagram to show two areas, the initial fall out and the down wind fall out.

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