All over the world, in places once rife with conflict, monuments to the struggles of men remain. The relics of war. Silent ships. Now quiet battlefields. Aircraft grounded forever. These reminders are, thankfully, the closest most of us will ever get to combat.
They're awe inspiring, in their way, and for many, a source of true fascination.
In this tour of tours, you'll see the beaches of Normandy, the bridge of battleships, the missile room of a submarine and countless aircraft and tanks from WWI, II, the Cold War and beyond.
We start where so much did, on the beaches of France,. Seventy years ago, the largest seaborne invasion in history landed here, on their way to vanquish one of history's great evils.
Today, the beaches are serene, decaying structures the only sign of the previous violence.
Only 150 miles away, beneath the streets of London, Sir Winston Churchill'sgive a glimpse of what life was like for the leaders of the UK during the war.
And only a bit farther north,, the secret code-breaking center that decrypted the German's messages, gaining invaluable intel and shortening the war by years. As an aside, the life of Alan Turing, the original code-breaker, is about to be the subject of a movie starring Benedict Cumberbatch.
In the skies
The skies above Britain and France were the battlefield of countless skirmishes. Starting from the canvas-and-wood designs of WWI, to the iconic savors of the Battle of Britain, to the fighters and bombers of the jet age, theshowcases hundreds of important and legendary aircraft.
A few miles north, in the historic Duxford Aerodrome, is the hugewhich includes the American Air Museum. They have aircraft as varied as a B-29, B-52, U-2, A-10, Concorde 101 (the fastest of the fleet), a Bf 109 (that fought in the Battle of Britain), and myriad WWI and WWII fighters and bombers.
But of course, air combat wasn't confined to Europe. On the other side of the world, theshowcases aircraft of the Pacific Theater and more.
On the sea
Near the Pacific Aviation Museum is the, the last of its kind built by the US. 45,000 tons, 887 feet long, and no less impressive than the day she first sailed, 70 years ago.
Back in France is a different sort of warship. The silent kind. The. The only one of its kind able to be toured by the public. The missile silos are a haunting display.
In New York, to end this tour of tours, a different kind of museum. The, housed in and on the USS Intrepid aircraft carrier, shows life on board one of these floating cities, plus dozens of fascinating aircraft. Perhaps most inspiring is an exhibit that isn't a wartime craft at all. Housed in its own hanger on the aft deck: the space shuttle Enterprise.