How to build a "Family Foxhole"

Everything above ground level is getting blown apart in a fiery blast while this 1950s family gets ready to settle in for the evening in their cozy basement bunker. (Via X-Ray Delta One)



    1. I used to have one of those – a 1953 with a bigger V8, but basically the same car. It was the slowest, most gas-hungry car I’ve ever had. It made my 1959 Caddie look frugal in comparison.

    1. In 1951 I think the standard infantry rifle of the Soviet Union was some variant of the Mosin-Nagant, which was in service with various countries for 100 years and is still popular with hunters and target shooters (though that may be because you can buy one very cheaply).

    2. You should read some real redneck litrachure, I recommend William W Johnstone, “Fire in the ashes”, where men are men and liberals are misguided or evil. You can learn all about the commies and there guns too.

    1. “… We’ve got provisions, and lot of beer.
      The key word is survival on the New Frontier.”

      (Actually, I think that ’51 Buick alone could withstand a 20-megaton airburst.)

  1. In the cover designers defense, it wouldn’t do well to show the family going apeshit and killing each other in a feral fear rage in the event of a nuclear holocaust.

  2. No atheists allowed…

    There’s a heartbreaking graphic novel from 1982 called When the Wind Blows where an elderly couple constructs a useless fallout shelter under their kitchen table according to a government leaflet, though they actually have a basement. We were so lucky to miss that, though global warming may eventually amount to much the same thing.

    1. One of the neighbors had a bomb shelter when I was growing up. It was clearly designed to be useful only if the bombs were falling to the East, since it was open to the West.

      1. I got a bomb shelter in my tenent-owner flat basement, all the schools I went to had bomb shelters and the university has them. Unfortunately I did not photograph the 40 year old set of cardboard potties, zinc buckets, reinforcement steel posts, cannisters with rubbers seals, hand crank for the ventilation fan, breakout tools etc in an identical nearby basement while I had keys.

        Edit: Its not a realy good one, the walls are only 20-25 cm of concrete and the design did probably include the concrete in the floors above in the fallout shielding calculation to meet the bare minimum standard.

        Here are the Swedish standards from 1938 to 2009 if anybody feels like building a shelter:–beredskap/Hantera-olyckor–kriser/Skyddsrum/Skyddsrumsregler/

        Finland has tougher standards and include anti-spalling steel reinforcement of the interior roof and they are still building new civil defense shelters.

  3. You can read the entire article at Google Books. The suggestions given are probably as effective as “duck and cover”, but it’s an interesting look at the mindset of the country in the ’50s.

    1. The article do not seem to promise too much. Its probably about the best possible personal preparation with a close to zero budget. A storm shelter would be better, a regular Swedish shelter would be way better and the gold standard in civil defense is Swiss but the preparations within the shelter are essentially identical. A better shelters means that you survive more blast and fallout or die slower in WW3.

      The mindset change that surprises me is that USA abandoned almost all efforts to help the population survive a smaller nuclear war. In Sweden we held on to that planning and physical preparations until the end of the cold war. Almost the only thing left of our civil defense is 65 000 shelters that can shelter 7 out of the 9 million population. The rural population had to make do with their basement and about a million would anyway have been mobilised for the war and would be working in military bunkers or dig field fortifications.  We also had about a years worth of stockpiled fuel and food plus at least plans to get things going again after a war.

      Why did USA give up and stop functioning as a nation with actual protection of the population as first priority?

  4. I can tell you that Russian guns are generally “real good”, in regards to reliability and simplicity.

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