9 places that reveal the hidden history of the cold war

9 places that reveal the hidden history of the cold war


The buildings of the Cold War are some of our last physical links to this episode of our history. They bear witness to phenomena such as the development and deployment of nuclear weapons, the ‘special relationship’ between the UK and the US, constant global surveillance, and huge expenditure on science and technology research as well as defence.

England was divided into nine regions which, in the event of nuclear war, would have each been governed by Regional Commissioners housed, along with civil servants, in heavily protected buildings.  This complex in Cambridge, one of only two purpose-built Regional Seats of Government built during the early 1960s, making it a rare example of a structure designed to operate after a nuclear attack.  It has thick external walls to resist blast, heat and radiation penetration, and is equipped with an air filtration plant, standby generators, canteens, dormitories, operations rooms and communications facilities.

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