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The Fauld Disaster

27 November 1944

by Nick McCamley


Laminated Card Coverds
244 pages, 210mm x 210mm
ISBN: 978 1 91617897 7
Publication date: June 2023


Price: £24.00



See a low res video preview of the book

On the morning of Monday 27th November 1944 an enormous
explosion rocked the Staffordshire countryside. Near the village of
Fauld a whole hilltop, an estimated two million tons of rock and
debris, was blasted two thousand feet into the air leaving a crater
a quarter of a mile in diameter and one hundred feet in depth.
Deep below the surface some 4,000 tons of bombs stored in the
RAF’s largest underground ammunition depot had exploded
en-masse, destroying much of the depot, devastating the local
landscape and claiming seventy lives. It is the definitive history of
the RAF’s ill-fated excursion into underground storage during the
Second World War, culminating in the disaster at Fauld.

The book includes:

  • A detailed overview of RAF ammunition storage policy
    through the inter-war years.
  • Illustrated history of the development, construction (and
    often the subsequent destruction) of the RAF’s five huge,
    architecturally breathtaking underground bomb storage
    depots, built in preparation for the Second World War.
  • The second half of the book explains the chain of events
    that led up to the disaster at Fauld, describes the moments
    before and immediately after the explosion in graphic detail
    and goes on to give a definitive account of the cause of
    the catastrophe based upon a forensic examination of the
    Air Ministry Court of Inquiry records and the subsequent
    civilian Coroner’s Inquiry.

Key Features:

  • Dramatic account of the largest, non-nuclear explosion the
    world has ever witnessed.
  • Detailed account of the background events (largely failings
    in RAF bomb storage and maintenance policies) that
    culminated in the disaster at Fauld.
  • Over two hundred previously unpublished
    photographs, maps and plans.


1 Introduction
2 Inter-war Years
3 Ridge & Corsham Quarries
4 Chilmark Quarry
5 Harpur Hill & Llanberis
6 21MU Fauld
7 Monday 27 November 1944
8 The Civilian Tragedy
9 Recovery & Reconstruction
10 Surviving Surface Features
11 Underground Tour