On May 10, 1940, Britain’s new prime minister strode purposefully down to the basement of an anonymous government building and entered a top secret command center. “This,” growled Winston Churchill, “is the room from which I will run the war.”
At the war’s end, Churchill and his colleagues left the chamber and locked the door behind them-and the War Rooms remained there, untouched and little known, until the early 1980s. Today, those historic chambers are on display as the Churchill War Rooms exhibit. With Secrets of Churchill’s War Rooms, you can go behind the glass partitions that separate the War Rooms from the visiting public, closer than ever before to where Churchill not only ran the war-but won it. This magnificent volume offers up-close photography of details in every room and provides access to sights unavailable on a simple tour of Churchill War Rooms. These are views that few people in the world have ever seen. Go behind closed doors to sit at Churchill’s desk, open up long-abandoned drawers and sift through seventy-year-old papers. See the anxious scratches on the arms of Sir Winston’s chair, pick up the phone that he used to speak to the president of the United States, and examine the map that loomed over his bed as he took his famous afternoon naps.
Jonathan Asbury is the author of the official Churchill War Rooms guidebook, as well as guidebooks for HMS Belfast, IWM London, IWM North and IWM Duxford. He is a graduate of Churchill College, Cambridge – founded in honour of the wartime Prime Minister – and has enjoyed a life-long fascination with the way that the Second World War was won.