You may have noticed an absence of my signature here these
last couple of weeks. Out on a vacation to the
Lesson 1: World Geography & History, Military Geography.
Nestled beneath the streets of London are a series of [once] secret chambers that served as “command central” for the British Military during World War II. Here, Winston Churchill and his cabinet of top officials and advisers met to plan and execute military strategy. These advisers often lived full time in the underground recesses.
My favorite room was the main command and control station: the “Central Map Room.” This room, plastered with maps on all four walls, served as the hub for strategic decision-making. The Central Map Room was not the only room replete with maps—Winston Churchill’s own bedroom was similarly outfitted. Imagine Churchill gazing at his maps as he lay awake, leaping up now and again to rearrange push-pins representing advances and fortifications!
Of course, I was far from shocked that maps were integral to top-level strategy during World War II. Warfare almost always involves carrying out operations in space—spatial thinking—often in “foreign” environments. Thus, strategists must take tactical and geographic factors of terrain, climate, and cultural landscape into careful consideration, particularly in a war of scale as massive as World War II. Beyond the maps, the events of World War II had lasting effects on world geography today -- people, cultures, environments, politics, etc. World War II profoundly illustrates the history-geography connection.
History and military buffs and travelers over the age of
nine or so will find the Cabinet War Rooms and
Sarah for My Wonderful World