Revealed: The chilling secrets of Britain's War Book which rehearsed the end of the world

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The UK would have been divided into 12 regions governed by ministers wielding draconian powers in the wake of a nuclear war with the Soviet Union, according to a secret War Book released for the first time today.

During the Cold War, civil servants used the book to rehearse what would happen if there was a devastating nuclear exchange.

Drawn up more than 40 years ago - and updated as recently as the early Nineties - it sets out in immense detail how Britain would have been administered in the event of a devastating nuclear exchange.

The book has been obtained by Whitehall historian Peter Hennessy, who said it showed how civil servants 'peered into the abyss' as they contemplated what would need to be done if deterrence failed and nuclear war became a reality.

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