If pressed to select the best 'Days Out' location in Fife then 'Scotland's Secret Bunker' would undoubtedly feature highly on that list and not only for the entirely the pragmatic reason that it lies deep underground and thus ideal irrespective of the weather. It remains as a testimony and museum dedicated towards the 'Cold War' era in which survival of the human race became probable rather than certain. It's where the post haulocaust remnant of Scottish government would have been located in the event of nuclear warfare. The mere fact that such an installation, built at enormous cost and under a cloak of great secrecy, is currentlly available for public scrutiny, reflects how mankind's ability to inflict self destruction and genocide has now risen to a point whereby survival within such a structure has become pointless. Even the policy of MAD or mutually assured destruction says much about the existing conditions carried over into the twentieth century.
Background To The Cold War
On the 6th August, 1945, and during the closing stages of the Second World War, an atomic bomb was air-burst above the Japanese City of Hiroshima with devastating effect. Three days later, another A-Bomb was detonated above the Japanese City of Nagasaki with equal calamity and huge loss of life. These thankfully remain as the only two aggressive acts using nuclear weapons to date. The initial death toll was about 80,000 people but about 40,000 died later of radiation related illnesses. Although controversial, their application on that date is typically countered by estimates that around six million American soldiers might have been killed if restraint had been applied. In the wake of such destruction, the Japanese government sought terms of surrender and finally brought an end to the Global Conflict known as World War II but it didn't really end there. The Soviet Union demonstrated similar ability quite soon after the war and more.
In post-war years, the Hydrogen or H-Bomb was developed by a team of scientists at Los Alamos with Edmund Teller being hailed as 'father of the H-Bomb' even though his contribution had been far less than many might expect.
It shocked America when a Soviet team led by Andrei Sakarov detonated an H-Bomb just one year later.
There was worse news in October, 1957 when the Soviet Union successfully launched a small radio transmitter into an orbit around the Earth. Although the satellite was simple in construction and of limited duration, the military experts in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) were more interested in the R-7 Semyorka (Semyorka means '7') launch vehicle and it was quickly realised that if this rocket had been fitted with a nuclear warhead then no city in the World was safe. The Semyorka could achieve what Hitler's scientists at Peenemunde in World War Two had failed to achieve. The United States of America tried to emulate this technological feat several times but suffered a series of humiliating defeats with some rockets exploding in the air and others simply falling over on the launch pad and exploding. Some were referred to cruelly in the press as 'Putnik'.
In the late 1950s then, there was a real fear that the USSR had assumed a position of technological supremacy. It was made worse as the USSR successfully launched a stray dog, named Laika, into space and where it survived for time, dying of heat exhaution rather than oxygen starvation. The Soviet Union then launched their first cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin, into space and where, upon his safe return, he was proclaimed a national hero. Upon his death in an air crash, Gagarin's funeral was met with national mourning. The first woman in space formerly worked at a local Co-op and her name was Valentina Tereshkova. Ultimately, this was less about 'the space race' than a dreaded fear of Soviet pilots or programmed missiles overflying Western airspace and seemingly untouchable as they launched atomic bombs against Western targets.
In large measure, Sergey Pavlich Korolyov, was the engineering mastermind of the Soviet 'space program' and during the reign of Premier Nikita Khrushchev and where the latter was always demanding more capability to illustrate 'Soviet technological supremacy' to the World, he was pushed to create miracles at outstanding risk and where, his new designs intended for two cosmonauts were adapted for three albeit without space suits! It was a miracle they came back alive! Eventually, their luck ran out when Vladimir Komarov became the first casuality of the space program as the Soyuz spaceship failed to deploy it's parachute correctly and crashed into the ground at high speed. Korolyov, died soon afterwards and apparently during a routine medical operation. His counterpart in the Western nations was Werner Von Braun and whose involvement with the development of V1 and V2 rockets at Peenemunde during World War II made him instrumental to the US Space program.
In time, the investment within the National Aerial and Space Administration or NASA for short yeilded positive results and it was in this era of uncertainty that the Troy Wood Complex was built. It's in this period of time that a number of secret underground bunkers were constructed with details about them concealed from the general public. The NATO policy of Mutual Assured Destruction or MAD was based on a 'balance of power' strategy in which any nuclear attack would invite equal or greater reprisal.
In the event of nuclear war, the 'secret bunker' described on this page would have become the centre of Scottish Government with the Secretary of State for Scotland in residence. The Secret Bunker, located near Crail in Fife, is thus a unique visitor attraction and museum of a very different kind when compared with others. Highly recommended in our view and where the idea of boring museums is challenged in fine style.
Further Information About The Secret Bunker
The FifeServe Web Site has a document written by the staff at the Secret Bunker and which can be downloaded and read using the links provided below. The same document is available in three formats, namely Microsoft Word (.doc), Open Office format (.odt) and the Adobe portable document format (.pdf). The Secret Bunker also has its own web site at http://www.secretbunker.co.uk. Click on the indicated links to select.
All photographs in the Flash display and linked larger pictures were provided by the Secret Bunker. All text in the download files were provided by the Secret Bunker.
Other Web Page Photographs and online text by Alandon.