97.5% survival in completely demolished houses with Morrison table shelters, WWII data from England applicable to saving lives in civil wars around the world today and in nuclear attack
Above: Lord Baker, Enterprise Versus Bureaucracy: The Development of Structural Air Raid Precautions during the Second World War, 1978, p43, Fig. 6.1. Note: this photo is government work from 1942 and is public domain. The photo shows the result of an air raid on 23 April 1942 at 11.30pm in Exeter, England: a German 0.5 ton (500 kg) bomb detonated 27 ft from this simple indoor wooden prop shelter, which saved 100% of the lives of those inside it. Both kids and the one woman inside all survived the complete collapse of the house above on this shelter (the house had 9 inch thick brick walls, timber floors and a slated roof, and had been built in 1892). They were in bed, the bed being placed under the wooden support system. This cheap "strengthened room" idea had the advantage for long periods of sheltering (protracted air raid each night during a long blitz campaign designed to wear down morale) that, unlike the outdoor Anderson shelter, it was not freezing cold, and did not flood due to ground water seepage in the winter.
If people spend 8 hours a day asleep, they will automatically be in this kind of shelter 33% of the time. With the addition of this technology, or even simple bomb-proof-tested table shelters (see below) used as desks in work places, nearly 100% of the time people will be either protected from bombing, or able to quickly dive under a protective desk. This is of relevance for ongoing wars like the Syrian Civil War, where many lives can be saved by cheap, simple life-saving ideas employing scrap wood from already demolished buildings as proved by the diagrams below.
Most people surveyed in the Shelter Census in London during the 1940 winter Blitz were unable to use their Anderson shelters due to ground water flooding, but the very few (1,365) who had used the 1938 The protection of your home against air raids "inner refuge at home" advice (of a wooden prop strengthened bedroom) were able to sleep in the comfort of their own bed at home, with similar protection and without freezing groundwater flooding their shelters outdoors in winter!
Sadly, as Lord Baker explains in his excellent book, Enterprise Versus Bureaucracy: The Development of Structural Air Raid Precautions during the Second World War (1978, page 42) only 1,365 protected rooms of this sort were ever built in England, whereas due mainly to communist propaganda (see below), 3,600,000 outdoor ground water flooding-liable Anderson shelters were built in England (1.5 million were distributed in February 1939, the rest were issued up to June 1941, when the indoor Morrison shelter became the production replacement for the Anderson shelter). We have these records because the air raid wardens in every street in England had to quality-inspect and record shelters to enable rescue planning, etc. If the indoor shelters had been built from the start, Blitz casualties would have been slashed,and people would have been able to discover and extinguish incendiary bombs in their homes more quickly and thus safely.
The key problem for shelters in WWII was to make sure that people could actually use them in the situation of the attacks selected by the enemy, which were sometimes engineered to make it as hard as possible for people to conveniently use outdoor shelters. Tunnel shelters beside ground zero in Nagasaki had places for 70,000 but despite a survival rate of 100% only 400 people survived in them because only 400 people were in them, proving that indoor shelters are better for surprise attacks where people have time to reach the shelter in the brief interval from an air raid warning (or the interval between the flash and bang blast wave arrival in a nuclear air raid, e.g. at Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945). So those shelters were totally successful at resisting the explosions, but useless in practice because they weren't occupied.
Lord Baker's remarkable book, Enterprise Versus Bureaucracy: The Development of Structural Air Raid Precautions during the Second World War, 1978, gives the survival statistics for simple indoor table type Morrison shelters on page 61: for Type A damage or complete demolishing by blast ("houses completely demolished") only 3 people out of 119 occupants were killed i.e. 97.5% survival under tables. For type B and C damage ("houses damaged beyond repair" and "houses damaged so as to be uninhabitable") 0% were killed. Lord Baker shows that a wooden version of the Morrison shelter was proof tested successfully with 1 inch thick planks and joists to resist a collapsing house, finished with a coat of fire proof paint:
Instead of stifling cheap shelter use in the Syrian civil war and other conflicts for anti-nuclear propaganda or for endlessly advocating the end of war through diplomatic means, why not ensure 97.5% survival in totally devastated houses by using proof-tested, cheap indoor technology?
War generally proves intractable by diplomacy precisely because it has been the failure of diplomacy which has led to the warfare in the first place. Diplomacy is thus the means which always caused, rather than prevented war, or as Clausewitz explained: "war is the extension of politics". This truth was proved time and again when diplomacy led to sanctions against Japan after it invaded China in 1937, thus causing the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor and WWII in the Pacific Theatre, and also when Britain's treaty with Belgium led to WWI, or its treaty with Poland led to WWII in the European Theatre. All wars tend to occur because diplomacy isn't working. So to try to use diplomacy to end war, when it is the failure of diplomacy which has caused the war in the first place, is like trying to put out a fire using a match. Sure, once the fire has burned itself out, the match can be dropped on the ashes and everyone can delude themselves that the match (diplomacy) has "put the fire out". (But it works faster if you drop a couple of big bombs before diplomacy.)
Why censor out the sure way to save lives in war, and endlessly claim falsely that civil defence was a war-mongering disaster that never worked? One of genius James Delingpole's friends, Richard North, in a series of online articles called The Shelter War, has been duped by the "deep shelter" delusion into politically attacking and "discrediting" the better protection from dirt cheap improvised indoor shelters that would have offered effective protection at dirt cheap cost for millions of people had not his "working class heroes" (like rich don J. B. S. Haldane on the left) endlessly attacked indoor shelters prior to WWII. Haldane, and North, have promoted the totally deceptive and fully discredite, communism (politically)-biased theory that "only expensive deep shelters offer any real protection". It was the exaggeration of incendiary fire risks from Haldane and the "Cambridge Scientists Anti-War Group" (a Marxist front endorsed in general by Haldane) that forced the Anderson shelter (originally intended as an indoor shelter to protect against house collapse, utilizing house damage to absorb the blast energy, as earth cover does in outdoor shelters) to be relocated from indoors to the cold, ground water flooded outdoors with a damp earth covering. In other words, they ruined the Anderson shelter for winter use by most people. The winter 1940 London Shelter Census showed that most people with Anderson shelters did not use them during air raids at night in cold weather when they were flooded, because pneumonia was a much more certain mortality risk than bombs. Shelters that are unusable are useless.
Contrary to all the communist propaganda that Richard North regurgitates uncritically and with reverence, deep shelters would have lost England the war due to
(1) the cost,
(2) the resources needed to make them (diverted from the war effort),
(3) the ease with which the enemy could adapt its bombing campaign to take advantage of softer targets left defenseless while people moved into deep shelter,
(4) surprise attacks to catch people before they could reach deep shelters (e.g. at Nagasaki),
(5) invasion while people were hiding in their deep shelters (it's very easy to seal up shelter entrances, or to shoot people as they leave once you have invaded), and
(6) the biggest single air raid disaster in World War II England was caused not by the Germans or by cheap shelters but by the use of the underground as deep shelter when 173 people (62 kids, 84 women) were killed in the crush to enter Bethnal Green Underground in London's East End during a rocket test in Victoria Park, 3 March 1943.
Thus, deep shelters, when presented as a solution to civilian casualties in war, can be Maginot Lines.
Above: Proof tested outdoor warm and dry unfloodable wooden WWII English shelter. Source: U.K. Ministry of Home Security, Research and Experiments Department Bulletin C26, April 1942, Timber shelters for countries where timber is plentiful and steel difficult to obtain. Why the devil is all this proof-tested data excluded from present day civil defence discussion, you may well ask. Secrecy and politically bigoted censorship is the depressing reply. Nobody, at least in the big-money making professions of mainstream history, mainstream science, mainstream technology, or mainstream politics, and wants to even admit the existence of any facts that give a cheap technological fix to a problem that people, for millions of years, have sought to solve by diplomacy, even when it is a hard proved fact that diplomacy is precisely what causes wars in the first place: "war is the extension of politics."
Above: As Terrence O'Brien explains in his widely ignored official history of civil defence in the UK in WWII which I scanned in and put on the Internet Archive (it is out of copyright now), communist propaganda focussing on exaggerated gas threats and incendiary bombs diverted civil defence attention by mainstream politicians (who trust left wing newspaper liars) in the 1930s away from the real need for indoor house collapse protection, relocating the Anderson shelters outdoors and appeasing the Nazis instead of providing real protection.
Richard North inevitably just dismisses O'Brien's history of civil defence as some bizarre kind of anti-communist propaganda by some bizarre kind of evil capitalists trying to maximise deaths in war, which is of course partly the fault of O'Brien for not giving any scientific evidence or even shelter test report summaries to back up his claims for the effectiveness of cheap civil defence bombing countermeasures in WWII. We blame Richard North for failing to do any proper research to ascertain the actual facts. The whole reason why the "climate change" liars have got away with peddling falsehoods is the trash circulated by people like him and James Delingpole, who (unless I am mistaken) prefers abusive dogmatic drivel to true scientific reasoning and the detailed facts that most newspapers will dismiss and reject as being "technical copy". Because they believe that science is a religion with authorities and sacred texts like peer-reviewed lies, you can't criticise groupthink science in mainstream media today without millions of ignorant indoctrinated PhD waving bigots writing in to complain and request the editor to stick to the mainstream theory that they received a grade A for after memorizing a textbook (unless by a fortunate coincidence it happens to coincide with science fantasy of a popular sort, like tales of spaceships entering black holes or similar). This is why it has gone down the tubes. It's now the domain of dishonest power-drunk authority figures and their sycophants, who defend the heroes using "shoot the messenger" abuse directed at all criticisms.
Anyone who tries to politely tell them the real facts about how to save lives in real wars occurring today is simply censored out or attacked (shoot the messenger dictatorship tactics) by powerful, ignorant, bigoted scum who I believe don't really care about the kids being massacred by bomb damage in Syria or any other real problem that cheap, practical information can help defeat. It always turns into a paranoid tantrum, where the evidence is ignored and is not passed on to Joe Public. Of course, they get applauded by their fashion seeking groupthink consensus-loving fan base of sycophants, while the person telling them the truth is always the one falsely misquoted out of context and dismissed as being the one paranoid or having a tantrum, which is probably just justifiable frustration at being treated so irrationally by power-abusing dogmatic bigots who haven't done a day's really honest work in their lives: "if you get angry, that proves you are wrong." (Quotation from V. Putin, the hero of today's big brother "socialist" dictatorship lovers). (Of course, Putin is an exception to his own rule. If you were to make him angry with facts he doesn't want to hear, I somehow doubt that he would say: "You have made me angry, thus I am wrong.")
Mr Putin now has a rouble crisis due to the sanctions against Russia due to the Crimean War. If this escalates, it will probably do so unpleasantly.
SUMMARY OF KEY FACTS TO REMEMBER FROM THIS ARTICLE:
2.5% of people were killed in cheap indoor Morrison shelters in houses subjected to total collapse (Baker, 1978).
23.5% of people were killed while ducking and covering in houses subjected to total collapse (RC450, 1945).
61.9% of people were killed when caught totally unprepared in houses subjected to total collapse (S118, 1946).