We had a super private tour of the Churchill War Rooms, where history was made. We were allowed access to the actual private rooms with the actual furniture, equipment and other items. Other tourists could only view from behind the glass.
This underground bunker allowed Britain’s leaders to plot the allied route to victory during the Second World War. It is below Westminster and sheltered Winston Churchill and his war cabinet from the German bombing raids.
Fortunately they were not bombed because it was not really bomb proof.
During the war even the King and Queen as well as Eisenhower had to sign in of course.
The War Cabinet Room is where Churchill and his three Chiefs of Staff sat eyeball to eyeball and hammered out policy with help from the support staff. They met here 115 times during the War.
In the map room they charted the various German positions daily. The holes in the wall show pin placement.
They also kept track here of their naval loses. Thing are left exactly as they were the day the war ended.
Although this was Churchill’s actual bedroom, he only slept here a few nights during the war. He used this room as his office and for some private time. The microphones in the back were for when he broadcast information over BBC.
The switchboard operators and typists, all civilian women, often remained underground day and night, sleeping between shifts in the sub-basement below the War Rooms.
This grumpy face from this famous photo named Roaring Lion, taken in Canada of Churchill, is on the British 5 Pound Note. The reason for the look is that the photographer grabbed the ubiquitous cigar out of his mouth immediately before. He smoked eight a day. Churchill said to the photographer, Yousuf Karsh, that he could make a roaring lion stand still to be photographed. That photo, which made the cover of Life magazine, captured the defiance that Churchill and Britain were feeling at the time.
This is the famous Enigma encryption machine used by the Germans to transmit coded messages. It allows for billions of ways to encode a message, making it incredibly difficult to crack. Finally they did however. Some historians believe that the cracking of Enigma was the single most important victory by the Allied powers during WWII.
Speaking of history, When we left The War Museum we were in the middle of a gigantic peaceful Brexit protest. We couldn’t hardly move. It seems that Prime Minister Boris Johnson suspended Parliament so that Brexit could move forward.