Anderson Shelters in Ukraine

In the summer of 2022 – a few months after the start of the second phase of the Ukraine war – the Anderson shelter near the Oval received an interesting visitor: a representative of Atlas Survival Shelters who hoped to build modern versions of Anderson shelters for Ukrainians facing Russian shells and missiles.

Some months later, Atlas began production at their factory in Poland. Here’s their sales pitch:

Then, in February 2023, a research volunteer for Ukraine got in touch with this site asking for help finding out more about Anderson shelters. She wrote:

“We have some unique problems at the moment that we believe MIGHT lend themselves to an Anderson-style solution. […] We are investigating the possibility of combining the Anderson design with a straw bale ‘mound’ as temporary shelters in areas that are liberated, but still experiencing shelling. We work with some straw bale construction experts, and have some general indications that this solution might work with some of the complicating factors in Ukraine.”

One particular problem that faced the volunteer and her colleagues was the shallow water table in much of Eastern Ukraine which would likely lead to water-logging of shelters dug into the ground. This problem had also bedevilled some UK shelters during WW2.

The team’s latest thinking is summarised in this short document which is currently being shared with the authorities and NGOs in Ukraine: