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"The Hangar. The Dungeons. Special Defense. Somewhere food is grown. Power generated. Air and water purified. 'Thirteen is even larger than I thought.'" Mockingjay, P80
District 13's underground bunker complex can only be described as the ultimate vision to desperate architect that needed to protect a substantial portion of a state's population from a cataclysmic attack or disaster. Perhaps not even just protect but also sustain for an indefinite period of time; described to have a considerable system of elevator paths to take them to the complex' many locations, it must have been a massive feat of engineering. To consider the size of this complex would be to think of planting an area the size of Bagram Air Base underground in several different levels. After that is done, it has to fit a military force of up to 50,000 and a maximum population of approx. ~250,000 to account for almost 75 years of diminishing numbers due to a pox epidemic that crippled their birth rates. The population number is seemingly large but I decided on the basis that District 13 is based as a citizen army, where most of the population are citizen soldiers, and the rest compose of the workers that keep the complex running; this also accounts for a somewhat diminished child population since a pox epidemic just about removed their ability to have children.
What makes District 13 so unique to The Nut in District 2 is that The Nut was an answer to their now non-existent military stronghold; The Nut was meant to fill the void District 13 once filled. But The Nut was a strictly military-oriented underground complex. In effect, it was never designed to be a sustainable location during long-term sieges. It had no way to be self-sufficient to the point that it had key vulnerability to its defense: supplies have to be delivered to its many entrances, major one being the main station near the Justice Building. To a battle commander who can figure this (like Gale did during its siege) can make short work of the fortress by blocking the entrances and cutting them off from the rest of their supplies.
Another flaw to The Nut is its air/water purification system: reliant to its vents that dot the mountain and mostly situated near avalanche-prone slopes. As Gale suggested, an avalanche is all that would take to block the vents and force the Peacekeepers and the Capitol Loyalists to abandon the Nut right into the rebel's waiting forces. Once the slopes were weakened by explosions, there was nothing the Peacekeepers could do except to watch themselves become trapped in their own tomb.
Santrap322 03:23, May 21, 2012 (UTC)