Civil Defence - From the First World War to the Cold War

Introductions to Heritage Assets

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Until the 20th century, neither the capacity nor the means to inflict major damage upon the British Isles existed. This situation changed during the First World War, with naval bombardments and aerial bombing of towns and cities by Zeppelin airships and Gotha bombers. These raids demonstrated that no one was immune from attack and that by developing civil defence measures, casualties could be reduced and lives saved.

The range of civil defence buildings used in the Second World War was immense, most were built ‘for the duration’, often utilitarian both in design and materials, but none the less, historically and technologically significant.


  • Introduction
  • Historical background
  • Civil defence structures
  • Further reading
  • Acknowledgements

Additional Information

  • Series: Guidance
  • Publication Status: Completed
  • Pages: 26
  • Product Code: HEAG145


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