SH bunker?

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    Saddam's bunker: too strong to destroy

    By Kate Connolly

    A German security consultant who planned the bunker in Baghdad said only a direct hit from a nuclear bomb was capable of crushing the dictator's alleged hiding place

    BERLIN: American "bunker-busting" bombs will not destroy Saddam Hussein's underground hiding place buried deep beneath one of his Baghdad palaces, its architect said Friday.

    Karl Esser, a German security consultant who planned the bunker in Baghdad, said only a direct hit from a nuclear bomb was capable of crushing the dictator's alleged hiding place.

    "It could withstand the shock wave of a nuclear bomb the size of the Hiroshima one detonating 250 yards away," said Mr Esser, adding that the ceiling was capable of withstanding the direct impact of a 500lb bomb.

    The 2,150 square-yard bunker has three-ton Swiss-made doors, 5ft-thick walls, a 6ft-thick steel-reinforced concrete ceiling, two escape tunnels - one of which leads 200 yards to the Tigris river - and can house 50 people.

    "Ground troops could get in by taking out the doors with bazookas and explosives," said Mr Esser, who recalled showing the "friendly" dictator around the complex when it was newly built.

    "He was satisfied. He was totally friendly. He was wearing civilian clothes and looked like an ordinary civil servant."

    The bunker was constructed at a cost of 96 million in the early 1980s by the German firm Boswau and Knauer - which also built bunkers for Hitler - during a time when western companies were legally supplying Saddam during the Iran-Iraq war.

    The budget for the bunker was exceeded by around 45 million after Saddam ordered extra luxury touches such as gold light switches, expensive tiling, a spa bath and built-in wardrobes.

    Along with children's rooms, guards' quarters and a kitchen stocked with a year's supply of freeze-dried food, the bunker palace, which is 96ft below ground, has an extensive audio library, a conference room with video-link facilities and a water-recycling facility.

    Among the more vital features are a water tank, air filter, electricity generator, a 30-square-yard command centre and an electromagnetic pulse protection system to shield electrical circuits from the force of a blast.

    Access to the subterranean refuge is believed to be via a lift hidden beneath the palace's swimming pool.

    Mr Esser, whose company worked for a German government-sponsored civil protection body, supplied equipment for the bunker.

    His assessment - backed by that of a former Yugoslav army officer who also helped to build the bunkers - throws doubt on whether America's bunker-busting bombs are as efficacious as the Pentagon has suggested.

    According to CNN, US B52 bombers dropped their first "bunker-buster" on Baghdad yesterday. It is not clear whether Saddam is in his bunker.

    Asked if the knowledge that he had constructed a hiding place for a dictator who has been compared to Hitler ever kept him awake at night, Mr Esser said: "It's not just one person getting protection, it's several people, it's the palace staff as well.

    "I just see it as an achievement of bunker technology." --LDT

    Hi, I found this at
    I thought it was very interesting.
  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   Mkue
    I'm not surprised that he has a cushy bunker where he can protect himself while his people are being killed by his own soldiers.
  4. by   cwazycwissyRN

    Hope this works, it is a picture of the bunker.
  5. by   cwazycwissyRN
    and at a cost of 96 million dollars? What does that symbol before the amount mean? Yes, mkue, not only safe, but living in luxury while his people are needing food and water. Using them for shields, the list of what this man does seems to be never ending.
  6. by   Mkue
    Well that's a pretty spiffy bunker with all the bells and whistles.

    No, he doesn't care about food for his people but will ensure that suicide bombers receive medals and promotions for killing our soldiers.

    I agree, the list is never ending.

    I'm hoping that our CIA operatives can locate him "out of his bunker".. maybe they already have.. where is he? that is a good question. Evidently he was not seen on TV today and has caused much stirring and speculation.
  7. by   Chiaramonte
    Harder to kill than a sand flea he is! I think the only hope we have is if one of his own sells him out.

    He certainly could live forever in that bunker.
  8. by   natsfanrn
    Although if Saddam hired me to build him a bunker, you can dang well be sure that I'd be assuring him and the world it was indeed bombproof -- sure beats the alternative of being dipped in acid. One of the latest reports says that Saddam's personal bodyguard was standing behind another Iraqi official on TV yesterday...and he's never before protected anyone else. But then again, maybe there's not much to protect of a corpse...
  9. by   nursenoelle
    The first article mentioned that the ceiling could withstand a 500 lb bomb. I think that we have been dropping some 1000 and 2000 lb bunker busters. It may be possible that we got him, or are quite capable of doing so.
  10. by   cwazycwissyRN
    I hope we did get him. Amazing stuff going on. Keep hearing so many different things.
  11. by   sunnygirl272
    Originally posted by cwazycwissyRN
    What does that symbol before the amount mean?
    that's the pound symbol...
  12. by   Vsummer1
    Okay, so Saddam et al. has not been seen on any live broadcast since this war began not because we were successful in our bunker-bombing, but because he is safely tucked away in his bunker. So then why is his personal body guard now appearing with the VP? Granted, he could have changed his duty since his main charge, SH, was bunkified.

    But ya know, after we take over Baghdad if we don't find him outright, we KNOW where he is bunked out. And it would be a simple thing to wait him out or flush him out. I am sure this bunker will still rely on some outside source for air/water. Let him live there for as long as he wants, with a nice guard around every exit. Eventually, he will die or he will come up for some reason or another (tear gas comes to mind...). Self-imposed exile is just as effective, IMHO, as if he had left the country.
  13. by   Chiaramonte
    Wouldn't it be lovely if we could find the opening of Saddam's "rat hole" and back up the cement truck to it?? Wonder how much cement it would take to fill it??

    My ultimate fear is that he's waiting for his debut when our troops finally hit Baghdad.
  14. by   Mkue
    I don't think we've seen any "live" footage of him at all since this started.