1970s UK 'defenceless against Soviets'

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The papers paint a picture of a 1970s Britain that would have been virtually helpless in the face of a Soviet attack.

As the public were being advised on how to prepare for a three-minute warning, government briefings made it clear their efforts would have been a waste of time.

Just released by the National Archives, conversations in 1978 between the then Prime Minister James Callaghan and his defence secretary, Fred Mulley, describe the country's defences as "outweighed", "outnumbered" and "insufficient".

The damning assessment came after Mr Callaghan ordered a defence analysis in response to a Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) report on the scale of the Soviet threat to the UK.

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