The War Game (1966) Movie Script

These are their
approximate locations.
To each of them
Russia has probably allocated
a certain number of her
intermediate-range nuclear missiles,
which are at this moment
pointing at military objectives
in Western Europe.
And to each of these locations,
being those 25 key cities
in which reside almost one third
of the entire population of Britain,
Russia has probably allocated
a further unknown quantity
of thermo-nuclear missiles.
Each of these cities
and each of these airfields
combine to crowd into Britain
more potential nuclear targets
per acre of land mass
than in any other country
in the world.
Friday the 16th of September.
It's just been confirmed
that late last night,
to show collective Communist support
for the Chinese invasion
of South Vietnam,
the Russian and East German
have sealed off all access
to the city of Berlin
and have stated their intention
of occupying the western half
of the city within 48 hours
unless the Americans in Vietnam
withdraw yesterday's decision
to use tactical nuclear weapons
against invading Chinese forces.
Here in Britain,
Her Majesty's Government has declared
a state of national emergency
to last the duration
of the present crisis.
As from 12 noon today, the central
government will cease to function
and the administration of the country
will be handled
by 15 regional commissioners.
A network of emergency committees
consisting of local councillors
is being set up in every major town
and county borough in the country.
In view of the seriousness
of the international situation,
Her Majesty's Government has decided
that the first task
of these committees
will be to implement the evacuation
of a certain proportion of civilians
to safer areas in Wales,
the Lake District,
pans of Northumberland,
the Midlands,
southwest England, Dorset,
East Sussex and Kent.
In accordance with the 1962
Government plan for evacuation,
this dispersal is to apply
only to certain
specified classes of civilians.
As from 0900 tomorrow,
we are to receive a total quota
of 60,000 evacuees
in five priority classes.
Class one: children under 15
travelling with mothers.
Class two: schoolchildren
under the age of 18.
Class three: adolescents
under the age of 18.
Class four: expectant mothers.
Class five: people who are blind,
crippled, aged or infirm.
- Are there any fathers?
- No. No fathers.
This woman is arriving
from Bermondsey into Kent.
She and the other women
on this evacuation bus
have had to leave their husbands
and elder sons behind in London.
According to the last published
government plan,
there is no provision made for
granting the facilities of evacuation
to able-bodied men
over the age of 18.
It is therefore
even at this early point
that an attempt at
mass evacuation might fail,
because it's not known
how many women
would refuse to leave
their husband and their home
to journey with restricted
possessions to an unknown town,
there to be compulsorily billeted
with an unknown family.
Prepare yourself tomorrow
to receive 10 evacuees,
arriving from the London area
sometime tomorrow morning.
- What am I going to feed them on?
- It's up to you, madam.
Are they coloured?
Within a country where there is still
a degree of racial and social prejudice,
where there is still a shortage
of housing and living space,
a number of measures
would almost certainly be necessary
in attempting the evacuation
of an estimated 10 million people.
For this woman, the compulsory
sheltering and feeding
of an extra 8 people.
For the family
who have ed this house,
the immediate requisition
of their home.
For this man, perhaps imprisonment
if he refuses to billet.
- 8 evacuees for you.
- 8? I'm not having 8.
Sorry, sir. You've got to take 8.
I don't mind two. I haven't got
enough food in there for 8.
Don't argue. Don't argue.
I remind you that,
under the emergency regulations,
with 4 rooms and a kitchen you can
be forced to take 8 people.
Bloody hell.
Should Britain ever thus attempt
the evacuation of nearly 20%
of her entire population,
such scenes as these
would be almost inevitable.
All citizens
resident within this area
are requested to proceed immediately
to the municipal offices
to collect emergency identification
papers and ration cards.
Sue Wilkinson, 159 Thornton Avenue.
Widow, children aged 19 and 21:
non-supplementary ration card.
This entitles you to a basic ration
per week of two ounces of butter,
a half a pound of margarine,
two ounces of tea,
a quarter-pound of sugar,
two eggs,
a half a pint of milk when available,
a quarter-pound of meat,
two loaves of bread,
a pound of potatoes when available
and two ounces of bacon.
It has been estimated that,
even if there were no war,
Britain would need between 1%
to 4 years to recover economically
from the effects of full-scale
civilian evacuation.
And, if there were a war,
at least 20% of even the areas
into which people had been evacuated
would themselves be rendered
totally uninhabitable
by the resulting radioactive fail-out.
Carbon-H is one of the most dangerous
elements of radioactive fall-out.
Do you know what it does
to the human body?
I'm sorry. I haven't heard of it.
I'm afraid I don't know much
about atomic radiation at all.
No, I don't.
No, I'm sorry. I don't know.
Do you know what strontium-Ml is
and what it does?
No. No, I'm afraid I don't.
No, I don't.
I've no idea really.
I know it's some sort of gunpowder
or something, that blows up.
In Berlin
with rioting West German civilians
and armed East German police,
there would probably be found
the necessary ash point.
No. They've had all this before.
I think it'll die down.
I don't think there's
anything to worry about.
No, there won't be a war.
I'm quite convinced of that.
September the 17th.
British Civil Defence deliver
to the public for the first time
details of the hazards to be expected
from radioactive fall-out.
Would you please read this booklet
and carry out the instructions.
But what is it?
It's a Civil Defence booklet, "Your
Protection Against Nuclear Attack".
- But I...
- Good morning, madam.
Excuse me.
What are you doing here exactly?
We're issuing to as many householders
as possible a copy of this booklet,
which tells them how to prepare their
houses against blast and fall-out.
Have people not seen
this booklet before?
A copy was prepared some years
ago but it didn't sell very well.
- It wasn't... It wasn't free?
- Oh, no. It cost ninepence.
The siren system is now being tested.
Tests will cease
in a quarter of an hour.
It's been estimated that,
by the time an incoming missile attack
could be confirmed to
the British National Siren System,
there would remain before impact
a warning time
of approximately 2% to 3 minutes.
And should the attacking missiles
be launched from submarines
lying off the shores of Britain,
the warning time
could be less than 30 seconds.
Move along, there.
The Civil Defence report have said
that we were going to get
stuff to shore up our windows and
barricade ourselves in with.
They didn't tell us where to get it.
I've been around three places already
and all the stuffs gone.
And the prices...
My prices at the moment
run as follows:
hessian sacks for sandbags, 10 for 1;
sand to put in them,
24 shillings per cubic yard;
soil, 710s per 5 cubic yards;
deal planks, 8d to a shilling per ft.
How much money have you to
spend on building your refuge?
Well, I can't afford more than
17/6 to 1 at the very most.
For this amount of money,
she may purchase
8 sandbags and 6 planks.
A friend of mine's
a building contractor
and he's fixed me up
with some stuff.
I've got this out here
which should help a bit
and inside I've...
I've built a refuge like they say.
I reckon it should be pretty strong,
hold up quite well.
And I had a few sandbags left over
so I built another out in the garden.
It is likely that many thousands
of families in Britain
would be unable to meet the cost
of even one substantial shelter
and a Government shelter programme
for every person in the country
would cost an estimated
two thousand million pounds.
And I keep this here.
And I certainly intend to use it
if anyone attempts
to break into the shelter with me.
A recent American religious journal
told its Christian readers
to think twice before they rashly
gave their family shelter space
to neighbours or the passing stranger.
September the 18th.
One hour ago, following
an armed entry into West Berlin
by Russian and East German troops,
two NATO armoured divisions attempted
to force an entry through to the city
and were themselves overrun
by outnumbering Communist forces.
Faced with this situation,
it is possible that the American
president would have no choice
but to threaten to release tactical
nuclear warheads to the forces of NATO
to show collective determination
in the event of
a possible Russian attack.
Faced with this situation,
the Soviet premier would possibly
be left with no alternative
but to call this bluff and attack.
The local area commander
has authorised the release
of tactical nuclear weapons
to the British, French and Bundeswehr.
15 crew up
for a fast sequence of firing.
This is a tactical nuclear missile.
It has a warhead
equivalent to one Hiroshima bomb.
It is called an Honest John.
The Honest John, the Mace,
the Corporal,
the Pershing, the Sergeant.
And if things don't get better soon
all these weapons are going to be
slamming away nuclear warheads
and then God help us all!
It is now planned to increase
NATO reliability on nuclear missiles,
even should the Russians attack
using ordinary weapons.
Thus it is possible for the Allies
to be the first to press the button
in a nuclear war.
- Did you know this?
- No, I did not.
I was vaguely aware of it.
Yes, I did know and
I think it's disgraceful.
No, I didn't know this at all.
No. I should think
it'd be a good thing.
David Edward Thornley.
Age 37.
General practitioner in medicine,
now on the staff of one of a series
of emergency medical-aid units
being established
in preparation for a nuclear strike.
Time 9: 1' 1' am.
September the 18th.
Dr Thornley stops
to make an emergency call.
Berwick Street, Canterbury,
12 miles from the airfield
at Mansion on the Kent coast.
- Good morning, Doctor.
- Morning!
- Come in, please.
- What's the trouble today?
She's been running
a temperature all night.
Of the 750 intermediate-range
ballistic missiles
at present held by the Russians
and targeted on the European
countries of the NATO alliance,
it is believed that a considerable
number are liquid-fuelled
and are stored above ground.
Such missiles are therefore
themselves extremely vulnerable
and, rather than risk losing them
in a counter-bombardment,
it is likely that the Russians
would have no alternative
but to fire all of them at a very
early stage in such a crisis.
Time 9:13 am.
Quick, let's get back!
There's no time!
Hurry up inside the house! Quickly!
Move! Come on, come on!
Quick, quick!
This family couldn't afford
to build themselves a refuge.
This could be the way the last two
minutes of peace in Britain would look.
Stay away from the windows!
Get all the children!
Peter! Tony! Tony!
Where is he? Where is he?
Think! Where is he?
Nurse, quick. There's a boy outside.
Go and fetch him as quickly as you can.
9:16 am.
A single megaton nuclear missile
overshoots Mansion airfield in Kent
and airbursts
6 miles from this position.
At this distance,
the heatwave is sufficient to cause
melting of the upturned eyeball,
third-degree burning of the skin
and ignition of furniture.
12 seconds later,
the shock from arrives.
At 7/10ths of a millisecond
after the explosion,
and at a distance of 60 miles,
the light from the fireball of a
single megaton thermo-nuclear device
is 30 times brighter
than the midday sun.
This little boy has received
severe retinal burns
from an explosion 27 miles away.
Give him to me!
What's the matter?
This house lies 29 miles
from Mansion airfield
and 41 miles
from Gatwick Airport in Sussex.
Under the table.
Under the table!
The blast wave
from a thermo-nuclear explosion
has been likened to an enormous door
slamming in the depths of hell.
This is the combined shock from
from one dispersal airfield
40 miles away.
There are in Britain
at least 60 such targets.
Rochester in Kent,
now two square miles of fire,
resulting from the heat
of a thermo-nuclear missile,
which has exploded off-course
on its path to London Airport.
This is the phenomenon which could
perhaps happen in Britain
following a nuclear strike
against certain of our cities.
This happened
after the bombing of Hamburg,
at Dresden, at Tokyo
and at Hiroshima.
This is what is technically known
as a firestorm.
Within its centre, the rising heat
from multiple fires,
caused by both the heat ash
and the blast wave
upsetting stoves and open furnaces,
is sucking in ground-level winds
at speeds exceeding
100 miles an hour.
This is the wind of a firestorm.
I saw a man...
get caught by a great gust of wind!
It pulled his jacket
right over his head!
I believe that we live in a system
of necessary law and order
and I still believe
in the war of the just.
Within this car,
a family is burning alive.
Charles Brooks,
chief fire officer of Chatham.
Already three of his appliances
have been smashed,
gutted or overturned.
"Already 17 of his 60 firemen have
been crushed, burnt or killed
by ying debris.
This is a firestorm.
Within its centre,
the oxygen is being consumed in every
cellar and every ground-oor room,
to be replaced by the gases of carbon
monoxide, carbon dioxide and methane.
Within its centre, the temperature
is rising to 800 degrees centigrade.
These men are dying
both of heatstroke and of gassing.
In the next world war, I believe
that both sides could stop before
the ultimate destruction of cities
so that both sides could retire
for a period of ten years or so
of post-attack recuperation,
in which World Wars 4 to 8
could be prepared.
When the carbon dioxide
content of inhaled air
is greater than 30%,
it will cause diminished respiration,
fall of blood pressure,
loss of reexes
and anaesthesia.
When the carbon monoxide content
of inhaled air exceeds 1.28%,
it will be followed by death
within three minutes.
This is nuclear war.
Aircraft of the British V-bomber
force near the Russian border.
Their purpose, retaliation.
Their target, people like this.
If the Russians or anyone else
attacked Britain with nuclear weapons,
would you want us to retaliate
by destroying an equal number
of Russian cities?
Yes. Yes, I would. Yes.
It's just a vicious circle but
I suppose we should have to retaliate.
People think the British are always
sort of forgiving and forgetting
and I think we'd have to retaliate.
I wouldn't want us to stand back
and do nothing about it but...
Yes, I think perhaps...
perhaps I would.
Oh, yes, I think so, definitely.
Yes, I suppose I would.
Technically and intellectually,
we are living in an atomic age.
Emotionally, we are still living
in the Stone Age.
The Aztecs on their feast days would
sacrifice 20,000 men to their gods
in the belief that this would keep
the universe on its proper course.
We feel superior to them.
These are the inhabitants
of what was once
a housing estate
near Rochester in Kent.
Following the explosion
of three single megaton missiles
within this one county boundary,
it's been estimated
that each surviving doctor
would be faced by
at least 350 casualties,
many suffering from severe
second and third degree burns.
I had a little boy with me.
He had his legs burned off.
Some of the...
Some of these people
are just falling apart.
As far as is known, it is at present
planned by the Civil Defence
that each doctor, working
in a forward medical-aid unit,
place every casualty into one
of three carefully defined categories
to determine whether or not that
casualty is worth hospital treatment.
It's the third category
that are worst.
For these...
it's just hopeless.
So we put them into
what we call the holding section.
These are people with
50% or more body burns.
This doctor knows that each patient
he places in the holding section
will be left to die in pain
without drugs.
I know what'll be happening
in a few days.
They'll be...
They'll be asking me to kill them.
What you are seeing now is
another possible part of nuclear war,
an armed police squad
helping the overburdened doctors
to relieve the misery
of those in category three.
If I decide to hit and perhaps kill
another man myself,
then I must be prepared to accept
the moral responsibility.
If I give the Government
the right or the means
on my behalf
to kill people of another country,
then the situation is no different.
I must again myself accept
the moral responsibility.
It's been estimated
that a nuclear attack on Britain,
using approximately 160
single megaton missiles,
would immediately kill
or seriously wound
between one third and one half
of her entire population.
It would destroy from 50% to 80%
of all her main food production
and storage facilities
and from 50% to 80% of
the power plants needed to run them.
Such an attack,
using weapons of one megaton,
could be described as minimal
because it's now more than possible
that missile warheads
or free-falling bombs
of between 5 to 10 times
that power would be used instead.
I think extra numbers would have
made no difference at all to all this.
15 or 20 times the number
of Civil Defence
wouldn't have stopped the initial
attack from killing or maiming
exactly the same number of people.
It was the title they had all wrong.
Call this defence?
These will be the other casualties
of a nuclear war.
Physically unmarked,
there will almost inevitably be
thousands of people
suffering from many complex states
of fear and shock,
due to the things they've seen
and the things that have
happened to them.
Many of these people
will probably lapse into
a state of permanent neurosis
because they will totally outnumber
the psychiatric services
needed to cure them.
This, too, will be the legacy
of thermo-nuclear war.
I've already had a dozen or so
of my men go under
just with the strain...
People tend to forget that
a policeman,
a Civil Defence worker,
anybody like this...
is just a normal human being,
with normal human reactions
and emotions.
This policeman has spent
the entire rescue period
searching for his missing family.
No one's allowed in here.
Go on. Clear off.
Even in the lightly hi!
County of Kent,
there would be immediately an estimated
50,000 corpses to dispose of.
Will you tell us what's
going on in there?
They're not allowing
any photographers in there.
Yes, I know but just a minute.
Will you tell us what
they're doing in there, please?
They're simply burning the bodies.
The buildings are full of them.
There's just too many to bury.
The buildings are full
so all we can do do is
put them on to raised steel girders
and put a fire underneath.
It's just like making a grill.
Two days after the attack,
the military authorities, to stop
the possible spreading of disease,
seal off two square miles of the
damaged area that had been Rochester
and arm the surviving police, determined
to prevent by force if necessary
relatives of the dead removing bodies
before the process of burning.
We were doing the job,
burning the bodies,
when two of the soldiers said they
weren't going to do it any more.
One of their officers came up
and told them to get on with it
and they said no again.
So he shot them both on the spot.
Everything that you are now seeing
happened in Germany after
the heavy bombing in the last war.
It would almost certainly
have to happen in Britain
after a nuclear war.
Another thing the Germans did
after the bombing on Dresden
was they took the wedding rings
from the bodies.
They were trying to identify them
from the inscription inside the ring.
We also are doing this.
We are keeping the rings
in this bucket here.
This is a possible part
of nuclear war.
For the following 48 hours,
an estimated one third of
the entire land surface of Britain
would be covered
by a total dose of radiation
exceeding 10 times the amount needed
to kill a man in the open.
For many of those within this area
who had remained even inside
the shelter of their homes,
there would be death
within five weeks.
I know a thing or two about
leukaemia and suchlike.
I deliberately haven't spoken
to my wife about this
in the last couple of days.
You know, I'm...
I'm so scared.
I just want my kids to grow up,
that's all.
I don't know what's going to be
left of anything.
I can't change that now.
I suppose I'm just being selfish.
I just want my kids to be straight
and not to have this poison
working in their bones.
The main effect of exposure
to severe radiation
is to stop the renewal of the
cellular lining of your intestine,
with the result that your body fluids
flow straight out
from the raw inside of your intestine
and you literally dry out.
This is the menu of a meal
prepared by the welfare section
of the Civil Defence Corps
during an exercise supposed to take
place after a thermo-nuclear attack.
"Braised steak, carrots, sprouts,"
roast and mashed potatoes,
"steamed pudding,
apple pie and custard."
After a nuclear attack
on the United States,
would Americans live
as they're accustomed to,
with automobiles, ranch houses,
television, freezers and so on?
No-one can say.
We've got a bathful of water that
hasn't been changed now for 5 days.
It's all the water we've got.
We have to drink from it
and have to cook with it
and wash with it.
At Hiroshima and Nagasaki,
the population 3 months later
was found to be apathetic
and profoundly lethargic,
people living often
in their own filth,
in total dejection
and inertia.
This baby boy has been
bitten on the arm by a rat.
There are now no medicines or drugs
available to prevent the disease
which may well follow.
I was carrying
a loaf of bread home today
from my mother
who had given it to me,
when a guy comes up
and offers me a pound for it.
Well, what could I say?
You can't eat a pound note.
In the face of growing hunger riots,
it is very possible
that dwindling supplies of food would
finally be kept as a form of bonus,
for those who perform the precarious
maintenance of law and order.
The result of such partial feeding
would in itself be almost inevitable.
On this day, the first food rioter
is killed by the police in Kent.
Tell them to go back.
One in the air.
Two days later,
as a direct result of this incident,
a police ammunition truck
and its contents are seized
and its volunteer drivers murdered.
String him up!
In Germany during the last war,
it was noticed that,
with people who'd suffered
personal loss or deprivation,
even amongst the so-called
decent middle class,
there was a tendency to develop
indifference towards the law
and to indulge in looting,
black market and petty theft.
This is a Government
Food Control Centre,
seized and pilfered
by armed anti-authority elements.
This is Mrs Joyce Fisher
from Gravesend.
She was a housewife.
Three yards from her,
the bodies of the military guard.
When morale falls,
ideals fall and may go
and behaviour becomes more primitive,
more a thing of instinct.
Three clays later, the first policemen
in Kent are killed.
Within the next 15 years,
possibly another 12 countries will
have acquired thermo-nuclear weapons.
For this reason,
if not through accident
or the impulses of man himself,
it is now more than possible
that what you have seen happen
in this film
will have taken place
before the year 1980.
On the authority
of the regional commissioner,
under article 17,
dealing with civil disturbances
and the prevention of Crown-appointed
officers from carrying out their duty,
John Edward Jarrett
and William Michael Eades
are hereby sentenced to death
by firing squad.
May God have mercy on their souls.
We will say
the Lord's Prayer together.
Our Father which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done on earth,
as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive them
that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
Father, have mercy upon their souls,
for they know not what they do.
Take aim.
For those who haven't had access
to orange juice, fresh vegetables,
vitamin C in general,
and that'll be most people,
haemorrhages around the gums will
set in at about the 4 month stage
and then you're into
the initial stages of scurvy,
with swelling of the ankles
and bleeding into
the joints of your body.
December the 25th.
A refugee compound in Dover, Kent,
four months after the attack.
Due to radiation,
this little boy has only half
the requisite number
of red blood corpuscles.
He will be bedridden for seven years.
Then he will die.
This happened at Hiroshima.
This girl is pregnant.
Because of her constant exposure
to radiation,
she has no idea whether or not
her baby will be born alive.
The thing that terrifies me most
is the little ones.
If they've suffered badly
from the effects of...
of the sight of this horror
and destruction,
it is probable that as a consequence
some of them may suffer
terrible character disorders.
One just doesn't know.
I saw one of the little boys
in the compound here yesterday.
He was bouncing around,
playing hopscotch I think,
and suddenly he sat down
as though he were very tired
and his face went listless
like that of an old man.
These children
are orphans of the attack.
They were each asked what they
now wanted to grow up to be.
I don't want to be nothing.
Neither do I.
I don't want to be nothing.
Neither do I want to be nothing.
On almost the entire subject
of thermo-nuclear weapons,
on the problems of their possession,
on the effects of their use,
there is now practically
a total silence in the press,
in official publications
and on television.
There is hope in any unresolved
and unpredictable situation.
But is there a real hope
to be found in this silence?
The world's stockpile
of thermo-nuclear weapons
has doubled
within the last 5 years
and now is the equivalent of almost
20 tons of high explosive
to every man, woman and child
on the planet.
This stockpile
is still steadily growing.