Land, sea, and air: Battleships, bombers, submarines, seaplanes and battlefields from around the world

From the beaches of France to the harbors of Hawaii, the fields of Britain to the docks of New York, there are countless relics of war. Take this tour of tours through battleships, tanks, aircraft and more.

Geoffrey Morrison Contributor
Geoffrey Morrison is a writer/photographer about tech and travel for CNET, The New York Times, and other web and print publications. He's also the Editor-at-Large for The Wirecutter. He has written for Sound&Vision magazine, Home Theater magazine, and was the Editor-in-Chief of Home Entertainment magazine. He is NIST and ISF trained, and has a degree in Television/Radio from Ithaca College. His bestselling novel, Undersea, and its sequel, Undersea Atrophia, are available in paperback and digitally on Amazon. He spends most of the year as a digital nomad, living and working while traveling around the world. You can follow his travels at BaldNomad.com and on his YouTube channel.
Geoffrey Morrison
3 min read

Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

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, Normandy, on a morning in early June. 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.

D-Day: 70 years later (pictures)

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Only 150 miles away, beneath the streets of London, Sir Winston Churchill's War Cabinet Rooms give a glimpse of what life was like for the leaders of the UK during the war.

A tour of the Churchill War Rooms and the Imperial War Museum London (pictures)

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And only a bit farther north, Bletchley Park, 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.

Photo Tour of Bletchley Park

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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, the Royal Air Force Museum showcases hundreds of important and legendary aircraft.

A tour of the Royal Air Force Museum (pictures)

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A few miles north, in the historic Duxford Aerodrome, is the huge Imperial War Museum Duxford which 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.

Take a tour of the American Air Museum and the Imperial War Museum Duxford (pictures)

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But of course, air combat wasn't confined to Europe. On the other side of the world, the Pacific Aviation Museum showcases aircraft of the Pacific Theater and more.

A tour of the Pacific Aviation Museum (pictures)

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On the sea

Near the Pacific Aviation Museum is the battleship Missouri, 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.

A tour of the legendary USS Missouri

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Back in France is a different sort of warship. The silent kind. The ballistic missile nuclear submarine Redoutable. The only one of its kind able to be toured by the public. The missile silos are a haunting display.

A tour of the ballistic missile submarine Redoutable (photos)

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In New York, to end this tour of tours, a different kind of museum. The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, 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.

A tour of the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum (pictures)

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