Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Civil Defense and the Moscow Metro

Interesting piece from the Moscow Metro here.
Начиная с пятидесятых годов станции стали строиться с учетом новых реальностей - наличия высокоэффективного атомного, химического и бактериологического оружия. Отныне все вентиляционные стволы оборудовались фильтрами, на перегонах строились санузлы, способные обслуживать большое количество людей, которым в случае тотальной войны пришлось бы провести под землей не один день. Согласно нормативам, использование этих санитарных узлов в мирное время не допускается.
My rough-n-ready translation:
Beginning in the 1950s stations began to be built in accordance with the new reality of the availability of highly effective atomic, chemical, and bacteriological weapons. The ventilation systems were equipped with filters, and the spaces between the stations were provided with restroom facilities in order to accommodate the large numbers of people who would have to spend several days underground. In accordance with regulations, the use of these sanitary facilities was not allowed in peacetime.
This is interesting, since Leon Gouré's critics decades ago charged that the Metro would be of minimal usefulness as a shelter in part due to the absence of restrooms. Apparently, they were wrong.


Christian said...

And while our citizens and those of China would live out the apocalypse surrounded by endless miles of uniform, unchanging concrete, Muscovites would be able to visit their colorful stained glass, paintings, murals and statues, all with really tasteful lighting.

Soviet communism bungled a lot of things, but I still <3 the metro.

Sovietologist said...

Well, a lot of 'em would've been out in the tunnels... which were less aesthetically pleasing, but would still really beat being on the surface.