Planning Armageddon: Britain, the United States and the Command of Western Nuclear Forces, 1945-1964, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Planning Armageddon

Britain, the United States and the Command of Western Nuclear Forces, 1945-1964, 1st Edition

By Len Scott, Dr Stephen Robert Twigge, Stephen Twigge


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Planning Armageddon provides the first detailed account of Britain's Command, Control, Intelligence and Communications infrastructure. A central theme of the book is the British-American atomic relationship and its implications for NATO strategy. Based on the recollections of officials and military officers in both Britain and the United States and employing recently declassified government documents, Planning Armageddon presents a systematic analysis of British involvement in nuclear planning from Hiroshima to the development of Polaris. At the same time, it provides an important examination of the operational weaknesses of the British nuclear deterrent and the potential hazards presented by unwarranted secrecy.


(This book) is both a fascinating and frightening history of how many good and able people struggled with exceptional risk and the most demanding and highly complex intellectual and practical issues to prevent Armageddon. How close was it?

'At long last Twigge and Scott have taken a major step towards meeting the requirement for a comprehensive history and analysis of British nuclear weapons operations in the Cold War era…Using rigorous scholarship, access to recently released documents, and interviews with some of those involved in the key decisions, Twigge and Scott have put together a richly textured and detailed study of Britain's early attempts to manage and operate its nuclear weapons.'

About the Series

Routledge Studies in the History of Science, Technology and Medicine

Studies in the History of Science Technology and Medicine aims to stimulate research in the field, concentrating on the twentieth century. It seeks to contribute to our understanding of science, technology and medicine as they are embedded in society, exploring the links between the subjects on the one hand, and the cultural, economic, political and institutional contexts of their genesis and development on the other. Within this framework, and while not favouring any particular methodological approach, the series welcomes studies which examine relations between science, technology, medicine and society in new ways, e.g. the social construction of technologies, large technical systems.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General