Cold War Nuclear bunkers in plain sight in Army barracks?

jim30

LE
Gents,

Being a bit of a cold war geek, I follow a reasonable amount of research on Cold War sites. One thing that has come to light recently is the fact that towards the end of the Cold War, a number of bunkers were built hidden 'in plain sight' on various Army bases (picture below of one).

Simple question for you - does anyone recall seeing buildings like this one on any major sites, and where - they'd have functioned as the Armed Forces HQ for a region in the UK - so essentially a 1/2* HQ to support what was left of government. The bunker was essentially built within this using submarine like facilities creating a honeycomb effect to reinforce the inside into a series of cells, giving it a lot more strength and sustainability than you might think.

Thanks!
BUNKER.jpg
 
HQ 2 Div at Craigiehall has one.

Not like the one in the picture though.
 
Gents,

Being a bit of a cold war geek, I follow a reasonable amount of research on Cold War sites. One thing that has come to light recently is the fact that towards the end of the Cold War, a number of bunkers were built hidden 'in plain sight' on various Army bases (picture below of one).

Simple question for you - does anyone recall seeing buildings like this one on any major sites, and where - they'd have functioned as the Armed Forces HQ for a region in the UK - so essentially a 1/2* HQ to support what was left of government. The bunker was essentially built within this using submarine like facilities creating a honeycomb effect to reinforce the inside into a series of cells, giving it a lot more strength and sustainability than you might think.

Thanks!View attachment 294156

As I recall, there was one in Imphal Barracks, York. Rather a sad story associated with it. Evidently, these bunkers have, as you say, a submarine style sealing system. One night a chap went in to service this bunker and an airtight door closed on his legs, trapping him (in pre-mobile phone days). By the time he was found, he had died of blood loss...
 
Gents,

Being a bit of a cold war geek, I follow a reasonable amount of research on Cold War sites. One thing that has come to light recently is the fact that towards the end of the Cold War, a number of bunkers were built hidden 'in plain sight' on various Army bases (picture below of one).

Simple question for you - does anyone recall seeing buildings like this one on any major sites, and where - they'd have functioned as the Armed Forces HQ for a region in the UK - so essentially a 1/2* HQ to support what was left of government. The bunker was essentially built within this using submarine like facilities creating a honeycomb effect to reinforce the inside into a series of cells, giving it a lot more strength and sustainability than you might think.

Thanks!View attachment 294156

I worked in a couple. Both were underground.


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Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
Thiepval, Lisburn.

As for the original picture, I can't imagine glass windows or louvred slats were a good idea?

Still, a visit to SubBrit will confirm your worst fears about what some councils thought would work in a nuclear war.

Threads got it pretty right I think, but better still was 'The Wargame':


I only did one tour when I was guaranteed a slot in an AFHQ - thankfully just after the Cold War ended.
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
@jim30 You are a self-confessed Cold War geek, tell me you've visited SubBrit? Much of what you need/want to know is there. If however you'd like to know how many MT were assigned to your particular location in 1986 then I might be able to help you...............
 
Nothing at all like what @jim30 has there, but the basements of blocks 3 and 4 in Bradbury Bks, Krefeld had extensive cellars that were fitted as an HQ of some sort. Certainly not new build overall, as it was a 1930s Wehrmacht Panzer barracks, but the fit-out was modern.

RHQ across the road had a standby TARE installation and the crypto distribution agency for BAOR/BFG in its cellars. I suspect Krefeld would have been an alternate to JHQ. At least for a few minutes :)
 
Imphal is well known, thought it was under the HQ block? Also something fenced off at Fort George and Cultybraggan. Not sure of their actual use, but had a nose in Culty - mahoosive.
 
Thanks guys - this is York barracks bunker in image.

Will follow up tomorrow with detailed comments / questions.
You'll be disappointed to hear that the York one was demolished last year to make way for some sort of modular tat. The thick bits took some knocking down though.
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
Nothing at all like what @jim30 has there, but the basements of blocks 3 and 4 in Bradbury Bks, Krefeld had extensive cellars that were fitted as an HQ of some sort. Certainly not new build overall, as it was a 1930s Wehrmacht Panzer barracks, but the fit-out was modern.

RHQ across the road had a standby TARE installation and the crypto distribution agency for BAOR/BFG in its cellars. I suspect Krefeld would have been an alternate to JHQ. At least for a few minutes :)
If I went to the right part of 'Flak Kaserne' Offrs' Mess kellar bar in Duisburg (Glamorgan Bks in English), I could apparently go by tunnel all the way to my girlfriend who was the dentist in Bradbury in 1982.........

It was easier by car.
 
HQ 2 Div at Craigiehall has one.

Not like the one in the picture though.

I don't know if it is still there. Would like a visit if it is and I could find a good enough reason for doing so.
 

TamH70

MIA
Some more information about the nuclear bunker in Cultybraggan camp in this link, Jim.

Global media frenzy over Nuclear Bunker at Cultybraggan Camp

Spent a fortnight in it when I was on exercise with my T.A Signals regiment yonks ago. We called the bunker there the "HIG" for some odd reason. And yeah, it is really quite big.
 
If I went to the right part of 'Flak Kaserne' Offrs' Mess kellar bar in Duisburg (Glamorgan Bks in English), I could apparently go by tunnel all the way to my girlfriend who was the dentist in Bradbury in 1982.........

It was easier by car.

I spent two weeks getting shitfaced in said Mess bar aged about 17 on a Fam Visit. Thank Christ the whole commissioning thing went pear shaped on me (or more correctly I pushed it out of round), otherwise I might possibly have ended up as a Trog officer. The shame of it :)

Glamorgan Bks was quite similar to Bradbury, IIRC.
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
I only ever saw Bradbury at night............

Duisburg was my first BAOR posting - very fond memories.
 
Just how many stories / floors did the stairs go down at Edinburgh Castle? I think I went down 8 levels to the RMP bar but felt sure there were more.
 
HMS Cambridge (when it existed) had airtight doors and fortified areas.
 
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