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LONDON (AP) — It’s October 1968, and the Soviet Union has just landed cosmonauts on the moon. Warsaw Pact troops are massing on the Austrian border, and nuclear showdown looms between east and west.
This scenario never happened — except in planning exercises by British civil servants, who meticulously rehearsed how they would govern Britain in the days before, and after, World War III. The details are included in the “War Book,” a secret Cold War manual declassified this month for the first time.
The book, which featured the doomsday scenario in a 1970 version, is a step-by-step guide for dealing with a crisis, from the first stages of conflict to “R hour,” the designation for the release of all Britain’s nuclear weapons.