The line between public information and propaganda can be quite thin, but this little leaflet is pretty solidly in the latter camp.
Published in 1982 by the Ministry of Defence’s Public Relations division, ‘A Nuclear Free Europe?’ set out their view that the call for a Europe free from nuclear weapons was unrealistic.
The cover shows an unidentified cold, grey mountain range – a hint at the reason ‘why it wouldn’t work’ – the subtitle of the leaflet.
The design of the leaflet itself, which opens up from the centre, has quite an impact. It would be reasonable to expect, on opening the cover, to find several detailed arguments inside.
Instead, you’re presented with just one point.
The Ural mountain range, which forms a north-south belt across Russia, traditionally marks the eastern boundary of Europe. Even if the USSR had moved its nuclear weapons to a position technically outside of Europe, most of Europe – including Britain – would still be within range of nuclear attack.
Continue reading this article…A Nuclear Free Europe?