The Cabinet War Rooms

By Richard Moss

As a means of recreating the atmosphere of government during World War Two, the refurbished underground complex that housed Churchill's War Cabinet has no equal.

Shows a photo of a desk with an anglepoise lamp, papers and several small chests and boxes on it. There is a sepia coloured world map in the background.

Right: The Map Room: the hub of the whole underground complex from the dark days of the Blitz until VJ Day in 1945. Picture courtesy: Imperial War Museum.

In 1940, at the height of the London Blitz, Winston Churchill met his Cabinet, his War Cabinet, his Intelligence organisation and his staff below ground in this fortified basement in Whitehall. The Cabinet war Rooms was a place to continue the business of wartime government and to sleep and live for as long as necessary away from the air raids.

Left: Winston's Bed: With the Blitz at it's height Churchill was obliged to spend many nights in this modest bed. Picture courtesy: Imperial War Museum.

Many of the rooms are exactly as they were when the building was quietly closed down, the day after VJ day on 16 August 1945.

Lovingly restored and detailed exhibits tell the story of wartime government - eerilyrecreating the atmosphere of this astonishing underground complex.

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