Inside underground tunnel city built beneath UK for nuclear war

Photographs of an abandoned 240-acre underground nuclear bunker built during the Cold War have emerged, showcasing how 4,000 people, including the Royal Family and former prime minister Harold Macmillan would have lived had nuclear war become a reality. Located in Corsham, Wiltshire, the bunker would have served as a war headquarters with underground hospitals, kitchens and offices. Electric buggies were also found deep in the bunker to make transportation around the various tunnels easier to navigate.

One photo shows pictures of Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II adorning the wall of one room.

Another showed a disused green buggy intended to transport people through the tunnels, which appear to have been given street names, such as “North West Ring Road”.

A total of 12 fuel tanks were placed in the bunker as a means of keeping four generators running, with temperatures planned to be around 20 degrees.

The bunker was built to accommodate 4,000 people for roughly three months without additional support needed.

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Reportedly the UK feared it could be hit by 132 nuclear bombs while tensions between the USA and the Soviet Union remained high.

The site in Wiltshire was designed to withstand multiple strikes, though it could house only a small fraction of the UK population.

It was believed at the time that the lives of 1.7 million people could be under threat by the nuclear weapons, while a further million would have been injured.

The bunker was maintained until 1991, by which point it had become too expensive to keep ready for use.

The site was officially declassified in 2004 with the British ministry of Defence announcing the closure.

The statement read: “A formerly secret Government underground site near Corsham in Wiltshire, which was a potential relocation site for the Government in the event of a nuclear war, was declassified at the end of 2004.”

The bunker was never used during its time as an active refuge in the event of nuclear warfare.

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Fears of nuclear war following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 abated for decades.

Many believed an era of peace and a Europe free of a looming, anti-Western Russia would become the norm.

But since the annexation of Crimea, in Ukraine, by Vladimir Putin in 2014, the continued fighting in the eastern Donbas region of Ukraine ever since and now the full-scale invasion by Russian forces, fears of nuclear war have returned.

Kremlin officials continue to warn that Western intervention in the conflict in Ukraine will lead to an escalation of tensions.

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