For the first time, the history of the bunker - and daily life inside it - is revealed, by bestselling historian Richard Holmes.
'This is the room from which I will direct the war,'Churchill declared, shortly after becoming Prime Minister in 1940. It was from these cramped confines that Churchill turned a seemingly inevitable defeat at the hands of the Nazis into a famous victory. Built in 1938 as a temporary refuge in case of air raid attack, this secret bunker became a second home to Churchill - and to large numbers of military personnel and civil servants whose work until now has been largely unsung.Drawing on a fascinating range of original material, including newly available first-hand accounts of the people who lived there, Holmes reveals how and why the bunker and its war machine developed; how the inhabitants'lives were transformed; and how their work led to victory. Elegant and illuminating,Churchill's Bunkeris a unique exploration of one of the most important sites in British history.
Professor Richard Holmes was one of Britain's most distinguished historians. He was Professor of Military and Security Studies at Cranfield University and the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom, and he presented seven BBC TV series, includingWar WalksandIn the Footsteps of Churchill. He was general editor of theOxford Companion to Military History, and the author of over twenty books. He died on 30th April 2011.
'Superb ... Holmes vividly recaptures what it was like to work in Churchill's bunker, the fabulous highs and dispiriting lows ... a fitting memorial to the men and women who worked so hard down there over six gruelling years of war', Andrew Roberts, Observer
'Bright and fascinating ... it illuminates the underground warren of sunless rooms where Churchill's staff functioned below blackened London streets', John Lukacs, Five Days in London
'Vivid and compelling', Professor Sir Lawrence Freeman
'Holmes accomplishes much in little space. He gives a readable and cogent description...He successfully recreates the atmosphere of the place', Geiffrey Best, History Today
'Fascinating', Tim Newark, Tine Out London