This book contains two types of chapters. The shorter ones consist of a page or two at most, and give a brief list of underground structures known or believed to exist. The first eight countries fall into this category, giving a slightly misleading feel to the start of the book.
The main strength of the book lies in the second type of chapter - the long detailed examinations of the underground structures of Canada, China, France, Germany, Israel, Japan, Kazakhstan (the location for several key Soviet structures), North Korea, Norway, Poland, Russian, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Most of these chapters are organised completely differently, with the emphasis being on the purpose of the underground structures rather than on a directory. In most cases we start with a look at plans for continuity of government after a nuclear war or other disaster, looking at the bunkers that were built and how they fitted into emergency plans. Civil Defence plans, the nuclear arsenals and a wide range of other types of underground structures are also examined, in each case with the focus being on the purpose of the structure rather than its physical form.
The layout and construction of the bunkers is also covered in some detail, but this approach means that the book is more readable and much more useful than a simple directory of bunkers would have been.
Most of these structures were built to survive a nuclear war, so the book also serves as a vivid reminder of the ever-present threat of a global apocalypse that formed the backdrop to the Cold War. This is an excellent book that looks at a surprising interesting topic.
Organised by country
Author: Paul Ozorak
Publisher: Pen & Sword Military