|The Imperial War Museum, formerly Bethlem (mental) Hospital from which the word 'bedlam' sprung as a synonym for chaos|
So the Imperial War Museum (IWM) was fantastic, and I limited myself to the WWII floor. That was roughly one-quarter of the museum. I took many photos, and I'll pick out the best for this blogpost. (If you come to my lecture at Bucks County Community College on November 9, 2017, you'll see these and many more!) Walk into this museum, and the first exhibit you encounter is the atrium collage of aircraft and vehicles from various wars. It's overwhelming, and difficult to pick out the WWII artifacts. Most importantly, among the planes suspended from the ceiling, there's a Spitfire. That is the model flown in the air battle with Germany over London in the Battle of Britain in 1940. The daring Royal Air Force Spitfire pilots shot down many German Messerschmidts.
|That's the Spitfire in the middle with the circles on the side. This is the Atrium of the IWM.|
|Beat-up Japanese Zero plane|
Back in the IWM, I was pleased to see displays on the British homefront. Unlike the US homefront, the British homefront was also at times the frontline. Nevertheless, housewives were encouraged to "Make-do and Mend" and to serve potatoes instead of bread.
This was just the tip of the IWM iceberg, but we had to move on to our next stop, Churchill's War Rooms. Our tour director, Christoph from Paris, led us through the streets of London, onto a bus, off the bus, and between two large, official buildings to the entrance. Just as we were to go in, a bus full of Beefeater musicians pulled up and the guys walked past us. We never saw the performance, but when we came out of the War Rooms, they were loading up their bus again.
|I wish I could have heard them perform!|
|The Cabinet Room, just as it was left in 1945. Except for the blotters: those were replaced every day just in case there were any incriminating impressions left from cabinet members writing notes.|
|Clementine Churchill's underground bedroom|
|Three shots of St Paul's Cathedral|