What Will I Do with 952,000 Dead in Scotland?; Grisly Headache in Planning for Aftermath of Nuclear Holocaust

Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland), January 1, 2001 | Go to article overview

What Will I Do with 952,000 Dead in Scotland?; Grisly Headache in Planning for Aftermath of Nuclear Holocaust


Byline: IAN DOW

FEARS of nuclear Armageddon left planners struggling with the grim question of how to cope with a predicted death toll of up to one million Scots.

Experts calculated that as many as 2000 people a day would die in Midlothian alone if Scotland was hit by an all-out nuclear strike, secret Government papers reveal today.

But while officials had no problem assessing the scale of the holocaust, they could not decide on the best way to dispose of all the bodies.

Scottish Office files, made public today for the first time in 30 years, include blueprints of makeshift mortuary body racks and photographs of emergency coffins .

And a Ministry of Health memo in 1950 admitted: "It is not considered likely that the bodies of persons killed in mass destruction attacks, whether with atomic bombs or HE (high explosive) could be dealt with by ordinary methods."

Officials concluded that cremation would use too much fuel, and sinking the bodies at sea in the hulks of ships would involve too much handling.

But one solution appeared to be mass burial pits dug with the aid of the unemployed.

The keeping of official records on the subject was prompted when civil servants researched an answer to a parliamentary question in 1961, when John Maclay was the Scottish Secretary. An MP inquired who was the "designated burial officer" for the West of Scotland.

The interest in the nuclear question reflected fears in the 1960s of the Cold War with the Soviet Union turning into a nuclear inferno.

The world edged to the abyss of nuclear destruction in 1962 as the US squared up to the Soviet Union over its plans to install nuclear missiles on Cuban soil.

American President Kennedy blockaded Cuba and demanded that the USSR remove its deadly arsenal.

The world breathed a huge sigh of relief when USSR President Kruschev backed down.

It was against this background that the Scottish Office asked local councils to consider how they could cope.

Scotland, with vital communication centres, the nuclear submarine base of the Clyde, a naval base at Rosyth, strategic radar sites and RAF airfields was sure to be high on the Warsaw Pact target list for nuclear hits.

A 1964 study concluded: "The number of deaths resulting from a heavy nuclear attack with with ground burst bombs, mainly in the central belt of Scotland, would be so great that normal interment would not be a practical proposition."

In the worst-hit areas, the dead would either be incinerated or buried under rubble.

In the west of the country it was estimated there would be 522,000 casualties in such areas, 60,000 in the east and 63,000 in the north.

There would be no attempt to recover corpses from nearest the centre of the blast point because the bodies would most likely have been completely destroyed and the area heavily irradiated. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

What Will I Do with 952,000 Dead in Scotland?; Grisly Headache in Planning for Aftermath of Nuclear Holocaust
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.