(Found) Post Nuke War/ v elaborate underground bunker by v wealthy guy/ survivors finally rescued by Australian navy sub/ship?


New Member
Oct 11, 2019
I appreciate any help you might extend - I have looked for this book off & on for decades.

It was a paperback novel, in English, that I read in the later 1960s (perhaps into the 1980s). Sorry for the vagueness but after 2 tours in Nam, then College + life, then small stroke - I can't always keep it straight.
Story: A rich/powerfull man had built a very extensive nuclear shelter beneath his property. I think on the eastcoast near the ocean possibly an island. It's very well stocked with food, supplies, medicine,etc. Has many rooms, electricity, underground river, secure blast/radiation protected entrance, etc. When the nuclear war starts, only a relative few make it in -often by accident. The Northern Hemisphere is basically wiped out. There are the expected clashes among the survivors, most of who are more or less strangers.
There is no future for them because everything is very hot radioactively and will be so for very long into the future.
They make contact with Australia (not much left up north) who launch a sealed Navy ship or submarine to rescue the survivors who have no other hope. The rich guy had socked away some critical supplies/elements(?) that the Aussies were in desperate need of but they would mount a humanitarian rescue even without the supplies of whatever.

I ran a copy of the listing "Please Read First" by "dannymcg" " and I have tried hard to remember the needed details but cannot recall any more now than I could recall in the past (sorry). Please don't waste much time chewing on this since I couldn't help out much - I've wondered over the years why just this book has tugged at me any number of times over the years even though I can't remember important details about it!

Thanks, Steve
I wonder if you may be conflating two different books? The part about Australia being the last surviving country after a nuclear apocalypse, as well as the submarine looking for survivors in the US, appear in Nevil Shute's "On the Beach" (1957).
Thanks tegeus-cromis - I am familiar w/"On The Beach" (I did both the book and the film long ago) but that's not it. The coincidence of the "rescue" being from "Down-Under" is probably due to a common theory, in decades past, that survival from a nuclear war might be likelier in the Southern Hemisphere - especially in the past when most nukes and potential antagonists were in the Northern Hemisphere. Also, the other points I remember of the story are very different from "On The Beach".
Was the rich man's shelter known to his daughter (? kids) as "Daddy's Panic Palace?" There was a serialization of a book in Post Magazine back in the mid 1960s. I was taking piano lessons at the time and the teacher's living room had the magazine, and I reads bits of it every week. Once upon a time I found the name of the story and the author...

I think I asked about that story -here- once upon a time... I'll see if I can find it...

I can't recall if that is a detail or not of my lost book but it is certainly a possibility - the shelter was certainly the ultimate "Palace" of shelters that only a very rich person could have had built and outfitted. It had great stores of food and other emergency supplies, air filters, pumps, radiation suits, etc. -- they even had or created a swimming pool supplied by the underground river. There were a great many rooms/chambers for storage, bedrooms, and so on and they were safe and isolated inside but it was very radioactive outside - lethal without protection.

thanks -- Steve
I agree Wylie's bunker pretty much fits the description, but I didn't recall an Australian submarine component. But then 1963 was a long-ago-read.

Nice catch, merritt.
Triumph by Philip Wylie

sounds like the one I remember reading, as a serial in POST magazine. I don't remember if it was a excerpt, or the entire book.

I do remember that after the first nuclear attack, the second occurred 2 weeks later-- which was the end of the time period most fallout shelter preparations called for.

The family had a cat, IIRC, "Doctor Livingstone, I Presume." (that was the cat's name).
(Found) Thanks so much Merritt and you others (including those who read this posting and searched their memories) who would seek to solve my long quest.

Triumph by Philip Wylie is surely a winner and I am going to buy a copy right away. Looking on the net a bit the story line rings a lot of bells though some themes some readers raise are a blank to me (e.g. social, racial, and class issues). All that is not shocking when I found the time frame it was published and my age at the time.

The book was published 1963/1964 (I started high school in '64) and already had a voracious appetite for Science Fiction/Fantasy and borrowed/traded with friends and hit the library often (we thought we discovered the Hob/Lord of the Rings). I was probably very enamored by the war/survival aspects and not very aware as a teen to the other social issues. The aspects I did recall fit the narratives I found on line - A very wealthy man builds a very elaborate and well supplied bomb shelter under his mansion on the east coast (Connecticut in a limestone mountain); only a few people manage to get inside before total atomic war w/Russia breaks out; after 2 years and many issues, the 13 survivors are lifted out by a helicopter from a radiation sealed Australian Navy Ship that was sent to rescue them after hearing their radio plea and brought them aboard the ship for the journey back to Australia, which being in the Southern Hemisphere, had been largely spared the total loss of the Northern Hemisphere.

Thanks again ALL! You have filled a 50 year loss in my memory and I deeply appreciate it............... Steve McDougall, Allyn WA

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