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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Churchill War Rooms

The Man Himself

The War Cabinet

Tunnels

Private 'bathroom'

Churchill Museum

Heavy ceilings

Cozy

Dining

Mrs. Churchill

Chiefs of Staff Conference Room

Kitchen

More corridors

Former plant room

Girders

Radio, Radio

Switchboard

Computers

Green telephone

The Map Room

Sugar

High-tech

Churchill's bedroom

Imperial War Museum London

15-inchers

Atrium

Spitfire

Rockets and jets

Video/paper

Looking up at Epson

Uniforms

Propagandize

Grenades

Gas

Artillery

Weapons of war

Vehicular

Shadows

Camel

Later uniforms

What's in the box?

Nose

Incendiaries

Sherm

Pig

UN Scout Car

Harrier

Another Brick in the Wall

Aussie missile

The End

That small door wedged between the stairs and the building is the entrance to the Cabinet War Rooms and the Churchill Museum, together called the Churchill War Rooms.

Check out the full story at A tour of the Churchill War Rooms and the Imperial War Museum London.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Greeting you as you enter, and before you descend into the museum, is a bust of Sir Winston himself.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Churchill's War Cabinet, eight members of the Conservative and Labour parties, met here to discuss military and domestic policies.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

The corridors are surprisingly spacious for an underground bunker. Underneath was the sub-basement, where many of the staff slept at night.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Most of the staff were told this was a private bathroom for Churchill. In fact, it was a scrambled transatlantic telephone connection to the White House.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

The life and times of Sir Winston Churchill, shown through an excellent multimedia showcase.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

To make the bunker as bomb-proof as possible (including a direct hit of a 250kg bomb), a thick layer of concrete covers the complex.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Though not spacious, the higher-ranked staff at least got a room, as opposed to bunks in the sub-basement.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

The prime minister's dining room.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Mrs. Churchill had her own bedroom in the bunker, though neither she nor her husband spent many nights here.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Note the map on the left wall, said to be from when Churchill was Lord of the Admiralty. According to the notes for this room, "Some of the most important strategic decisions of the Second World War were taken in this room."

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

The kitchen for the Churchills. Note the manual pump (center left) to get the wastewater up to the surface.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Just when you think you're at the end, you turn another corner and it opens up into a new series of corridors.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

This used to be the distribution hub for the power for the bunker (hence the dials and knobs on the right). Now it's actually a space you can rent out for special events.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

More than just overbuilt to protect against bombs, there's actually an entire building above that needs support, too.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

This room was used to help broadcast the PM out over the airwaves.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

The switchboard had to be manned 24 hours a day. In the back you can see the bunk for the brief moments of sleep.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

The typing pool too was kept active constantly.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

One of the general's offices. The most interesting thing about this room was the green telephone, which was connected to something the size of a suitcase on the floor. It was an early scrambler for voice calls.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Each station was manned by a liaison for a different branch of the armed services. The telephones, called the Beauty Chorus, were direct lines to the the different branches' headquarters all over London.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Note the sugar on the lower left. When the Cabinet War Rooms were unsealed and reopened in the 1970s (for the first time since the war), a packet of sugar was found in this desk. Sugar, being rationed at the time, was highly valuable, and was likely hidden here by one of the last officers to man this desk. 1940s sugar. How cool is that? I wonder how it tastes.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Special communications device? Light switch? Buzzer?

Nope. Electric cigarette lighter, wired up by the engineers.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Adjacent to the Map Room is Churchill's bedroom. Spacious, but he only slept here three times.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

A few tube stops away from the War Rooms is our next destination, the Imperial War Museum London.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Each of the two guns comes from a different ship that saw action in World War II.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

A Harrier and a Spitfire hang in the huge atrium, along side a V-1 flying bomb and V-2 rocket.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Certainly one of the most important (and iconic) British aircraft. Check out my tour of the Royal Air Force Museum for more on this plane and the Battle of Britain.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

The terror weapons of the V-1 and V-2.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

At the entrance of the new World War I area was a really cool display. Projectors mounted on the ceiling, firing down (next slide), project moving images on what look like pieces of paper. A neat effect, done well.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Probably not surprising they went with Epson, given how bright its projectors tend to be.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Wool remnants of an earlier era. Can you imagine soldiers in the field wearing red now?

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

An interesting look at how the British government got men to enlist throughout the Commonwealth.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

A terrifying look at the myriad granade types used throughout the war.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Shells for delivery of poison gas.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Delivery device for said shells.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Rifle, machine gun and some of the massive shells used during the war.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

In this cool display, a British Mark V tank rides up over a trench, while a biplane "flies" over. Note the shadows on the wall's lower right.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

This was clever: shadows projected on the wall of soldiers going about their business.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

A rather gorgeous Sopwith Camel.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Uniforms from later in the war. Definitely a lot more pragmatic. Though...blue? Really?

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Morrison shelter. No relation.

Also, creepy.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

The front portion of an Avro Lancaster.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

I'd always pictured incendiary bombs to look like regular bombs. Apparently they don't.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Sherman tanks are a lot bigger up close (and inside).

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Humber Pig used during The Troubles.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

This was labeled a Cyprus UN Scout car, but I think that's the same as the Ferret, correct?

It's much smaller than I would have thought.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

One of the iconic Harrier Jump Jets capable of V/STOL.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

One of the many slabs of The Wall found in museums all over the world.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

The Australian antisubmarine missile Ikara.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

A model of Little Boy. Perhaps a fitting and somber end to the tour.

Check out the full article at A tour of the Churchill War Rooms and the Imperial War Museum London.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
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