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Chilling message that would have been broadcast to UK if we were about to be nuked

Callum Jones

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Chilling message that would have been broadcast to UK if we were about to be nuked

The chances of the UK getting nuked remain inconceivable, but that doesn't stop people talking about what would happen if the UK was about to be hit by a nuclear missile.

Talk of this has increased since Russia's invasion of Ukraine, with Vladimir Putin often talking about the threat of using nuclear weapons.

As the war in Ukraine began in February, Russia's President Putin placed his nuclear deterrent forces on 'special alert', as he claimed 'aggressive statements' were coming from the West.

So, what would exactly happen if the unthinkable did occur and the UK was faced with a nuclear attack?

Governments have had contingency plans in place for many years, with Downing Street developing a warning system during the days of the Cold War.

That system would have given the British public a 'four-minute warning' that the country had been attacked.

Vladimir Putin has used the threat of nuclear weapons since his country's invasion of Ukraine in February. Credit: Peter Cavanagh / Alamy Stock Photo
Vladimir Putin has used the threat of nuclear weapons since his country's invasion of Ukraine in February. Credit: Peter Cavanagh / Alamy Stock Photo

Radio and TV news bulletins would have been used to spread the news that a nuclear missile was heading for the UK.

A BBC transcript that would have been used in the situation of the event happening was also recently shared. It was written during the Cold War, and while this particular transcript was scrapped in 1992, it still makes for chilling reading.

It reads: "This is the Wartime Broadcasting Service. This country has been attacked with nuclear weapons.

"Communications have been severely disrupted, and the number of casualties and the extent of the damage are not yet known.

"We shall bring you further information as soon as possible. Meanwhile, stay tuned to this wavelength, stay calm and stay in your own homes."

The broadcast continues: "Remember there is nothing to be gained by trying to get away. By leaving your homes, you could be exposing yourselves to greater danger.

"If you leave, you may find yourself without food, without water, without accommodation and without protection.

"Radioactive fallout, which follows a nuclear explosion, is many times more dangerous if you are directly exposed to it in the open.

"Roofs and walls offer substantial protection. The safest place is indoors."

The broadcaster would then have told the public to turn off gas and other fuel supplies. They also asked the public to ration their food because it may have to last for more than two weeks.

The BBC has a sample transcript in the event of a nuclear missile heading to the UK. Credit: Andrey Volodin / Alamy Stock Photo
The BBC has a sample transcript in the event of a nuclear missile heading to the UK. Credit: Andrey Volodin / Alamy Stock Photo

The message continued: "If mains water is available, this can be used for fire-fighting.

"You should also refill all your containers for drinking water after the fires have been put out, because the mains water supply may not be available for very long.

"Water must not be used for flushing lavatories: until you are told that lavatories may be used again, other toilet arrangements must be made.

"Use your water only for essential drinking and cooking purposes. Water means life. Don't waste it.

"Make your food stocks last – ration your supply, because it may have to last for 14 days or more.

"If you have fresh food in the house, use this first to avoid wasting it: food in tins will keep.

"If you live in an area where a fallout warning has been given, stay in your fall-out room until you are told it is safe to come out.

"When the immediate danger has passed the sirens will sound a steady note. The ‘all clear’ message will also be given on this wavelength.

"If you leave the fall-out room to go to the lavatory or replenish food or water supplies, do not remain outside the room for a minute longer than is necessary."

The lengthy message would conclude with a very important order: "Do not, in any circumstances, go outside the house. Radioactive fallout can kill.

"You cannot see it or feel it, but it is there. If you go outside, you will bring danger to your family, and you may die.

"Stay in your fallout room until you are told it is safe to come out or you hear the ‘all clear’ on the sirens."

This particular transcript was shelved in 1992, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Later, in 2003 the National Attack Warning System (NAWS) was developed in conjunction with the BBC and BT, and can warn of an attack within 60 seconds, as well sending a text message to the public.





Featured Image Credit: Zoonar GmbH / Aleksandr Davydov / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: UK News

Callum Jones
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