Thursday, February 08, 2007

War Games

A banned film showing what would happen if Thanet came under nuclear attack is being shown this weekend.

The War Game was made by the BBC in the 1960s – but proved so controversial it was never broadcast and banned for 20 years.

The film explores what would happen if Russia had launched nuclear missiles at several targets in Kent including Manston Airport.

The film is being shown on Sunday, February 11, at the Red Hall, 11 Grosvenor Road, Broadstairs by the Broadstairs-based Independent Media Society.

Norman Thomas, of the IMS, said: “Showing the film now is highly topical as the national debate over whether Britain should renew its Trident missiles gets under way.

“The film is a stark warning to us all of the sickening impact a nuclear attack would have.

“Thanet would be in the front line, as it was in previous wars – but the effects of a nuclear strike would be devastating.

“The film also has important lessons as we consider what to do about Britain’s nuclear deterrent and the current international situation, including Trident and the occupation of Iraq.”

Ed:Update - Thanks to the reader who pointed out that it's available on Youtube here

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why don't they put it on YouTube.com so then we can all see it.

DrMoores said...

great idea!

Anonymous said...

Cannot YouTube it as it is a BBC film that is still in copyright. It is available on Amazon - I have a copy.

A horrible film - made partly in Dover - an eye opener definatelt

Chris Wells said...

Yes. I have both seen this film and used it in training events. A little dated now, however, dramatic events are often better illustrated in black and white, and if you have not seen it I recomend you go and make up your own mind. If only the debate about nuclear capabilities were as simple as Norman makes out. Perhaps he'd like to set up a debate, I will happily put the other side, what the view from those with responsibility for defending our nation actually looks like; how they actually see it, and why the responsibility for these decisions usually falls the way it does. Hows about it Norman?

Anonymous said...

I was involved with Nuclear Attack civil defence in the early 80s and was increasngly alarmed at what I was being told. I have seen this film a number of times and its impact is as strong still as the first time I saw it. I eventually walked away from the job when I realised that the real purpose of civil defence was in fact to preserve the 'state', the main duty of the Home Office. Whilst the privileged few were safe in bunkers(which happened to include me but not my family) the rest of the population was left to the advice in "Protect and Survive" that was beautifully satirised by Raymond Briggs in "When a Cold Wind Blows". What we had was a situation where those whose mistakes and errors in diplomacy that might have led to Mutual Assured Destruction had ensured that they (i.e Govt) survived to carry on and retain power. My growing belief, that led to resignation, was that any Government that followed a policy that could (in cold War scenario) lead to nuclear exchange and DID NOT take any steps to protect its citizens, other than the select few,had abrogated its right to still be in power as the Government in the event of nuclear calamity. To hold such a view was of course treasonable in the eyes of The Home Office and the penalty would have been summary execution.
As I lived close to a Ground Zero target at the time, I was happier to be with my family should the worst ever happen and be with them as proverbally " We bent over and kissed our **** goodbye"! I am now vehemently opposed to this country retaining a nuclear deterrent. The only growing global nuclear threat is China and quite frankly I would be happier being red than dead than support my Government unleashing nuclear holocaust.

Anonymous said...

At around the time this and a similar film were shown on TV, about 1984 (things were a bit edgy with Russia at that time), I was trying to join the Met Police. I joined the Special Constabulary as a foothold. One evening we had a talk on a War Duties. Post-strike it was our understanding that heavily armed spesnaz agents would land on the east coast of England. However if we survived we were not to receive any extra weapons other than our wooden truncheon. All we needed would have been Jones the Butcher & Hodges. Incidentally, when I was 14 I bought 'Protect & Survive'. Paint your windows white to deflect blast, take a door of the hindges and lean against an inside wall and cover with cushions and kick the seat of a chair out and put a bucket underneath to do no2s. Stay in nuclear fallout bunker (under door) for two weeks to let the radiation die down a bit and 'resume normal duties' as I recall. Still got it in a box somewhere!

James Maskell said...

The War Game is part of the AS Media Studies course at Thanet College. Thanet College should have a copy to loan to students if any students reading this are interested. A very sobering and hard-hitting film.

Anonymous said...

I belive the film can still be rented from the BFI

Anonymous said...

It would seem all 5 parts are on YouTube already! Not that I endorse piracy, but come on - its +40 years old already. Enjoy...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxKkLsYICYY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WyJ6PPeYqU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QK_dN8__kD8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EoZict8CThg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Trc1lJAH0lA

Anonymous said...

There's lot of copyrighted stuff on Youtube. That was one of the obstacles that had to be overcome recently when it was sold.