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UK war time regional seats of government

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OverviewEdit

There role.Edit

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, 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 trough), contact other command bunkers subordinate to his and prepare to run the region he control as best he could, by what ever means he could, in the hope that something could be salvaged from the post partial Nazi occupation. A rump state or states would then be set up in the location not out of the control of the RSGs.

Post atomic-war 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- 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 what ever 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 not out of the control of the RSGs.

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, incompasitated or no avilble at the required time.

Their locationsEdit

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

  • 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-hock) goverment 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

  • 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-hock) goverment 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.

1948-1958Edit

  • Region 1 (Northern)
    • Kenton Bar in Newcastle upon Tyne in a former RAF operations room, like so many.
  • 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

1958 and 1961 Edit

  • 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 Kirknewton.
      • West zone East Kilbride.

1961-1972Edit

  • 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 goverment 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 ammunitions 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 perpose biult SRC was built under a technical college at Southport.
      • Wellington Barracks, Burry
      • 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

  • Region 1 (Northern)
    • Catterick baraks
  • Region 2 (North East)
    • Inphal Baraks, York
  • Region 3 (North Midlands)
    • Nottingham war rooms
  • Region 4 (Eastern)
    • Cambridge war rooms
  • Region 5 (London)
  • Region 6 (Southern) -
    • Reading
      • Dover Castel
  • 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

  • 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 perpose made bunker at Woodside Industrial Estate, Ballymena, County Antrim.

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 in.
  • 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 Castel bunker and Anstruther have became Cold War museums.

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

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

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