Churchill War Rooms Museum
The Churchill War Rooms is a fascinating museum in London, consisting of the Cabinet War Rooms and the Churchill Museum. The war rooms are an underground complex that housed the British government during World War II. During the war, the rooms were in constant use by officers responsible for producing daily information for the King, Prime Minister, and the military Chiefs of Staff.
The Cabinet War Rooms are located in the Treasury Building in the Whitehall area of Westminster not far from the Parliament Buildings. They became operational in August 1939, days before the German invasion of Poland, and remained in operation until August 1945. During the war, the rooms were in constant use by officers responsible for producing daily information for the King, Prime Minister, and the military Chiefs of Staff.
The War Rooms were fortified on several occasions during the German bombing of London. However, a recurring theme of the museum was that it was not all that secure. A sign on the wall of the museum reads:
This was the Global Hub of Information on the War
The Government’s Secret Bomb Shelter
An East Target that was Never Hit
The rooms were preserved after the war. A limited number of people could tour the rooms until they were opened to the public in 1984. The museum was reopened in 2005 following a redevelopment as the Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms, now simply called the Churchill War Rooms.
"In the Map Room, the informational hub of the entire site, everything has remained exactly as it was when the lights were finally switched off on 16 August 1945. The so-called ‘beauty chorus’ of colour-coded telephones; the books and documents piled on desks; the rationed sugar cubes found in an envelope belonging to Wing Commander John Heagarty; the wartime maps covering the walls, and the thousands of tiny pinholes dotting the progress of Allied ships across the Convoy Map."
See theChurchill War Rooms website for more detail.