The Significance Of Churchill War Rooms During WWII

The Churchill War Rooms were an immeasurable asset to Britain and the Allied Powers throughout the entirety of WWII. The decisions made in this room by Churchill and his cabinet directly influenced the outcome of the war in the midst of a war torn city.

The War Rooms were situated in the basement of the New Public Offices, which were just a set of office buildings in Central London near Parliament. The offices were mainly picked based on the location, and out of the necessity for a large basement and a strong steel frame. The people working in the War Rooms would become so grounded that it was possible for them to not see natural light for days on end. Because of this, a fake sun had to be constructed so workers could get the necessary vitamins required from sunlight. Workers had to strap on goggles so they would not be blinded by the artificial sun. Surprisingly, the War Rooms were hastily put together in an effort to become fully functional as soon as possible. The basement of these office buildings contained only the necessities. This included the widely popular Map Room, several meeting Rooms, as well as a few rooms that had space for Churchill and other leaders to sleep in when needed due to high war tension, or other reasons. The Map Room was used as a central space to plan and strategize the placement of troops, and supplies. In addition to having room to sleep, Churchill had the only running toilet in the bunker, with a secret telephone that he would use to directly call the President at a moment’s notice. This phone was the only telephone that was completely secure, and would not be compromised. Every other phone in the bunker had a warning label, alerting that the information spoken was “not secret”. Churchill would often give his speeches to the people in his so-called “bedroom” in the bunker.

The War Rooms opened in late August 1939 and operated until early August 1945. Prior to the beginning of WWII, Churchill predicted the beginning of Germany’s regime even when it worsened his name. People thought his fears of Germany were irrational, and not relevant to current politics. Before he was prime minister, he petitioned for a space that Britain’s war leaders would be able to operate in secret and still be in a central area of the country to hold the people together.”Have we organized and created an alternative center of government if London is thrown into confusion?”. After being placed in the position of Prime Minister, Churchill immediately had the War rooms constructed and throughout the war, him and his cabinet met 115 times in the bunker. The War Rooms were increasingly used during the Blitz period of the war. The Blitz being the Nazi Germany bombing of Britain during WWII in 1940 and 1942. After the war concluded it was almost immediately opened for tours, even when there were still secret documents in the bunker. The War Rooms were not open to the public until 1984 and was made part of the Imperial War Museum in 1989, where it is a part of presently. Recently the Churchill Museum were added onto the War Rooms, that showed parts of his life from childhood until death.

The significance of the War Rooms has proved itself over and over again. Churchill and his cabinet spent hours pouring over the supply ship maps know that they were the most vital and fragile piece of Germany’s war plan. If the Allied forces could cut off their supplies, that would lead to a domino effect in the destruction of the Axis Powers. Churchill’s seat that has remained in the War Rooms to this day, is marked with deep scars from Churchill’s fingernails ripping apart the fabric out of stress. The design and structure of the bunker itself sheltered the precious documents and leaders from the thousands of bombs being dropped over the leaders heads during the heat of the war. After the Rooms were first constructed, Churchill made the realization that the concrete was not thick enough to withstand a blast of any large magnitude. Even though secrecy and security was of the largest priority, Churchill still feared there was going to be an attack at any moment. In order to protect from the potential soldiers dropping from the sky straight into the heart of Central London where the bunker was situated, there were guns located in every major space of the Churchill War Rooms. Churchill himself always kept a pistol on or near him, in case he had to use it on German soldiers storming his bunker, and eventually in case he had to use it on himself,in order to protect the precious information stored in his head that was key to the Allied Forces victory in the war. Although Churchill never had to put his fears into fruition, he still always had a plan, and would have not hesitated if the time came where he had to do what was necessary for the good of his country, and the rest of the world.

In conclusion the Churchill War Rooms have left a long lasting significance on how our leaders command and direct the outcomes of wars while maintaining a grip on their country and people. Churchill had the vision of what his War Rooms would be capable of, in the leading of the Allied Powers against Hitler and the rest of the Axis Powers. Churchill’s relentless energy and indomitable spirit was what allowed him to direct the course of the war by every means necessary.”What is our aim? I can answer in one word: victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror.” This is why, even nearly a century later, we still look back on, and listen to the wise words of Churchill chanting words of motivation and determination to the people living in terror in Britain, Germany, and everywhere else the war was won, or lost. 

16 August 2021
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