Zero Option was the codename for a secret plan to relocate the British government out of London if the city became unsafe and ungovernable.
The government had already set up a secret base in Dollis Hill, north-west London by spring 1940. This was to be used if the Cabinet War Rooms under Whitehall were destroyed. The Paddock bunker was built on two floors and was protected by five feet of reinforced concrete between the floors. This made it safe from even the most deadly bomb or gas attack.
At the time of its construction, many felt that German invasion was imminent as ‘Operation Sealion’ gathered pace on the coastline of France. However, the failure of the Germans to defeat the RAF in the Battle of Britain meant that Operation Sealion was postponed indefinitely.
The government had a plan for every scenario. If London became uninhabitable, the government would have moved out of London to Worcestershire. The code name for this emergency move was ‘Black Move’.
See also: The Channel Islands and World War Two
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