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Churchill’s underground bunker full tour, secret room included

A private WC that people thought was Churchill’s bathroom included instead a high-tech telephone boot to call the US Presidents during the war (Franklin D. Roosevelt, then Harry S. Truman). Go here to check it out.

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and his cabinet went underground during the Second World War to continue meeting and planning the war effort. A maze of tiny bunker rooms still sits beneath what is now the Treasury building.

The Cabinet War Rooms became fully operational on 27 August 1939, a week before Britain declared war on Germany, but Churchill wasn’t interested in going underground until Germany’s Blitz bombing offensive began in September 1940.

Once 10 Downing Street was bombed, he convinced even his cook (whose kitchen was hit) to go below ground. “Churchill’s War Cabinet met here 115 times, most often during the Blitz and the later German V-weapon offensive,” explains the Imperial War Rooms website.

“The Cabinet War Rooms were in use 24 hours a day until 16 August 1945, when the lights were turned off in the Map Room for the first time in six years.”

The rooms have been preserved or reconstructed with such fidelity that it’s rumored Tom Cruise will be moving in to prepare for the next filming of Mission: Impossible.