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Protect and Survive

A TL focusing mainly on the British Isles, but with several glimpses into other parts of the world as well. The PoD is an massive international crisis erupting in 1983, reaching its bitter climax in February 1984, when tensions between NATO and the Warsaw Pact finally escalate. Stuff happens…

The TL was inspired by the eponymous British survival program devised during the Cold War and by several famous British docudramas dealing with the bleak prospect of a world after an all-out nuclear war (e.g. The War Game, Threads, When the Wind Blows).

Protect and Survive is one of the best TLs to come out in 2010. Focusing on realism and the depths of darkness, member Macragge1 has created a truly unique and interesting world. The timeline was started on 21st of August 2010 and was finished on the 17th of January 2013.


A review of the timeline was featured on the Alternate History Weekly Update blog.


Arranged in chronological order. Interesting bit of trivia: The names of the first 16 main chapters (the ones written in Roman numerals) reference the chapter names from the handbooks and PSA videos of the Protect and Survive program that lent the TL its name.

Title Card

I: Nuclear Explosions Explained

II: The Warnings

III: What To Do When The Warnings Sound

IV: Choosing a Fallout Room

V: Fire Precautions

VI: Casualties

VII: Food Consumption

Intermission: CHANTICLEER 01.03.1984 Telex Report

Intermission: CHANTICLEER 05.03.1984 Telex Report

VIII: The Importance of Your Radio

Operation Prospero, Part 1

IX - Sanitation

Operation Prospero, Part 2

X: Stay at Home

Operation Prospero, Part 3

XI: Life Under Fall-Out Conditions

Operation Prospero, Part 4

XII: Make Your Fallout Room and Refuge Now

Operation Prospero, Part 5

XIII: Refuges

Operation Prospero, Part 6

XIV: Materials To Use For Your Fallout Room And Refuge

Operation Prospero, Part 7

XV: Water and Food

Operation Prospero, Part 8

XVI: Twenty Four Hours

Operation Prospero, Part 9

XVII: Blue Monday

Intermission: American Defence Orders Retrospective

Operation Prospero, Part 10

XVIII: Suffer Little Children

The Blues No. 1

XIX: Jumping Someone Else's Train

Intermission: Impressions in German

The Blues No. 2

XX: Silent Hedges

Intermission: Food for Thought

XXI: Ghost Town

XXII: The Killing Moon

XXIII: The Breathing

Intermission: 48.156007, 10.524902

XXIV: To Cut A Long Story Short

Intermission: Regicide

Intermission: Thankfully, Not Living in Yorkshire, It Doesn't Apply (guest-written by The Vulture)

XXV: London Calling

XXVI: Epilogue


Protect and Survive has received a remarkable amount of spinoff stories by other authors, something quite rare for timelines.

You can find them all in this list.

If you're interested, you can also visit When the Wind Blew : The P&S Open Thread and discuss the original timeline and its steadily growing "expanded universe" of spinoffs.

Timeline Overview

A chronological overview of all the known events occuring in the Protect and Survive universe. Information is drawn from all canon timelines that are part of the shared universe, i.e. the main timeline and all its official spinoffs.

In Fiction

The TL has its own fictional movie trailer written by Macragge1 himself. Beware of spoilers.


An impromptu list of music that fits various parts of the timeline, suggested by AH.commers during the course of the TL's run.

Frankie Goes to Hollywood - Two Tribes (main theme and music for the trailer, see above)
Electric Bloom - Foals (the international crisis escalates)
Kraftwerk - Radioactivity (attacks commence, firestorms and uncontrolled spread of fallout)
Johann Johannsson - Sun's Gone Dim (Britain lies in ruins, police and firemen are trying their best to put out fires among the immense ruins)
Indigo Girls - Point Hope (The Exchange ends, radiation sickness of victims and their treatment)
Tom Petty - The Last DJ (emergency radio broadcasting resuming after The Exchange, with John Peel in one of the bunkers)
ARMA II soundtrack - Cold Wind (Operation Prospero begins, the Handley Page Victor undergoes final preparations and takes off)

TBA gradually.

Gerry & The Pacemakers - You'll Never Walk Alone (epilogue)



Campbell, D, War Plan UK: The Truth About Civil Defence In Britain, Burnett Books, London (1982)

Hennessey, P, The Secret State: Preparing for the Worst 1945-2010, Penguin, London (2010)

Brookes, A, Vulcan Units of the Cold War, Osprey Publishing, London (2009)

Windass, S, Avoiding Nuclear War: Common Security as a Strategy for the Defence of the West, Brassey's Defence Publishers, Washington (1985)

Clarke, B, The Illustrated Guide To Armageddon: Britain's Cold War, Amberley, Gloucester (2009)

Gibson, C, Vulcan's Hammer: V-Force Projects and Weapons Since 1945, Hikoki Publications, Manchester (2011)

Jackson, R, Submarines of the World: 300 of the World's Best Submarines, Grange Books, Rochester (2000)

Lucas, J, The Last Days of the Reich, Phoenix, London (2000)

Wood, D, Jane's World Aircraft Recognition Handbook 1984, Jane's Publishing, London (1983)

McCutcheon, C, The Home Office Civil Defence Manual of Basic Training, His Majesty's Stationery Office, London (1950)

Sandbrook, D, State of Emergency: The Way We Were, Britain 1970-1974, Penguin, London (2011)

Turner, A, Rejoice! Rejoice!, Aurum Press Ltd, London (2010)

Fox, S, Struggle for Survival - Governing Britain After the Bomb, Online, (2005)

Hershey, J, Hiroshima, Penguin Modern Classics, London (2002)

Anon, Protect and Survive - How To Make Your Home And Your Family As Safe As Possible Under Nuclear Attack, Home Office, London (1980)

Recommended Reading

NB - What follows is a far-from exhaustive list of fictional works that I can consciously attest to having influenced the timeline stylistically; I would recommend each of them to anyone who has enjoyed this timeline, as it is more than likely that they will enjoy these.

The Road - Cormac McCarthy

Down To A Sunless Sea - David Graham

On The Beach - Neville Shute

The Death of Grass - John Christopher

The Last Ship - William Brinkley

GB84 - David Peace

Watchmen - Alan Moore

V For Vendetta - Alan Moore

Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad

The Day of the Triffids - John Wyndham

The Waste Land - T.S Eliot.

NB - Obviously this bibliography is as much a work-in-progress as the timeline itself.

See Also

timelines/protect_and_survive.txt · Last modified: 2020/02/10 01:29 by eofpi

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