Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Thoughts on Adventure - Installment 6



Day 7 (Monday)
Uxbridge - Battle of Britain Bunker
Took the subway/train to Uxbridge - 40 min. ride.  I could get used to this!  Had my map w/ the walking trail/path shown.  Then I got off the train & this little town has more twisty roads/lanes than last year's Christmas lights.  I couldn't get oriented & couldn't find the buses...  so took a taxi & was so glad I did.  I would never have made it there if I hadn't.

Sixty very steep steps underground, this is the site from which the Battle of Britain was coordinated.  With Churchill sometimes in the phone room above, the women RAF would move pieces around on the map table below, showing the exact location of the air squadrons.  The wall behind the table showed all air squadrons available, and their current status.  State of the art in its day, primitive to us now; this simple technology/system defeated an enemy that was thought initially to be far superior.

Seeing the places, actually being there where the action took place, has made a huge difference for me.  I may have known what happened, but this experience has really deepened my understanding of events.

No 11 Group "Battle of Britain" bunker


Entrance - Flag, monument & Spitfire










Spitfire
 
Hurricane




Map table
Phone bank












3 comments:

  1. Oh that's right, you like WWII stuff. I like WWI stuff - but not the actual war, the social change that happened between the wars. Two of the best books for this period are George M. Trevelyan's Social History of England and J.K. Galbraith's The World Economy Since the Wars. Both are surprisingly readable and I found they explained so much about why things are how they are. I don't remember being exposed to social history or economics in school and it seems a shame. Love your phrase about last year's Christmas lights! I describe maps of British cities as looking like a ball of snakes. Another thing you don't expect is for streets to change their names, for no apparent reason. I was lost for several hours (being direction-ally challenged and no great map reader anyhow) for just this reason. Same street, different name. I thought I was losing my mind for a while. I think the Anglos and the Saxons got together a had a major rebellion against straight roads after the Romans left.

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  2. Shelley - I volunteer at a WWII museum, hence the interest in history related to that period. I'm fascinated by how people survived on the home front. Will definitely look up your book recommendations.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Shelley - I volunteer at a WWII museum, hence the interest in history related to that period. I'm fascinated by how people survived on the home front. Will definitely look up your book recommendations.

    ReplyDelete