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United Kingdom history notes
1. Kings and Queens of Britain
2. Anglo Saxon Crown to Hastings 1066
3. Kings and Queens Hanover to Windsor
4. The Tower of London
5. Westminster The House of Parliament
6. Sir Winston Churchill
7. Winston Churchill Cabinet War Rooms WW2
8. Sir Winston Churchill Top Secret Cabinet War Rooms WW2
9. The Duke of Wellington
10. Duke of Wellington 1769-1852
11. Admiral Horatio Nelson
12. Life of Admiral Horatio Nelson
13. Life of Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson 1758-1805
14. Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery
The Top Secret Sir Winston Churchill Cabinet
WW 2 War Rooms of London.
During 1938 the plan to establish a short term bunker for the operation and protection of the military chiefs of staff and government war cabinet began. This top secret underground facility was made fully operational on Sunday 27 August 1939, only one week before the second world war officially started.
Situated a short distance from 10 Downing street, opposite St James's Park, the bunker was sited within the storage rooms under the strongly constructed Office of Works and Board of Trade Public Offices.
Within the underground complex, (at the bottom of it's entrance Staircase 15, entered via Winston Churchill's Number 10 Annexe HQ above) lay an overcrowded, simply furnished series of cramped rooms that were needed to control the war effort of Great Britain against Adolf Hitler and his allies.
The Cabinet Room was where the Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill made his most momentous decisions from his chair sitting in front of a large map of the world.
The Transatlantic Telephone Room was a highly secret area where Churchill spoke to the President of the United States Theodore Roosevelt via a secure radio telephone link,the conversation being monitored by individuals at either end who would cut the line and conversation short should any secrets be openly discussed. Such was the secrecy of this room, even those who occupied the Cabinet War Rooms had no idea that this room existed, the door to this cramped room being disguised as a toilet for the personal use of the Prime Minister only.
Usage of the many rooms within the complex changed as the war progressed and various offices of the war services competed for space. Bedrooms eventually doubled up as offices,communications, planning rooms and map rooms were expanded. The mess room and shop remained small and basic,so most of the expanding occupants chose to visit regular shops and cafes within London when their long shift work allowed time to leave the complex.
The map room remained the most important area for information from August 1939 to August 1945 and was manned twenty four hours a day by an officer from each of the services, army, air force and navy, who updated continually the progress of the conflict updating information and placing coloured pins with cotton lines attached upon the wall maps.
Although the bunker contains a bedroom for Sir Winston Churchill, he rarely stayed within the complex within which he held so many important meetings and made historical, world changing decisions. This place designed for his protection was his office and he treated it as such,Winston Churchill preferred to face the war and his enemies as he had always done and planned to do, above ground and within sight if possible.
No doubt his spirit still stands upon the roof of the building above this place, cigar smouldering from his lips, and his eyes still watching the ghost of the air raids pounding London that he had personally witnessed from this same spot in in the 1940's. If you should visit the Cabinet War Rooms you yourself can certainly step back in time and feel the very spirit of resistance to evil tyranny from the second world war.
Top Secret HQ of World War Two
Sir Winston Churchill