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Thermo-nuclear weapons: policy and research

This file contains Cabinet Office memos, letters and briefing papers charting the development of Britain’s policy on the use of nuclear weapons. Concerns are expressed about the ‘frightening nature and enormous power’ of this weapon and the effect it could have on ‘an uninformed and ignorant public’. ‘The free world must show that it is ready to retaliate immediately against any aggressor who starts global war‘, reads one memorandum. Another briefing paper uses the ‘pat formula’ that any attack on Britain would involve ’20 bombs on 20 cities causing 20 million deaths’, to which an official adds that we should expect ‘all of the seriously injured to die’.

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