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'The Cabinet War Rooms was an effective but uncomfortable site from which to run the Second World War.'

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Introduction

'The Cabinet War Rooms was an effective but uncomfortable site from which to run the Second World War.' In May 1940, Winston Churchill, Britain's Prime Minister, visited the Cabinet War Rooms and decided that in those Rooms he would direct the war. In the context of the hypothesis, the word 'effective' means that Churchill's choice was good and the war was run smoothly and easily from the Cabinet War Rooms. In order for the Cabinet War Rooms to be effective, several aspects of safety and security had to be considered. In late 1940, Churchill ordered work to be done so that a 3-foot layer of reinforced concrete could be put in. This was done because the Cabinet War Rooms had to be bomb proof in order to be bomb-proof. In order to do this the building had to be modified in this way. However, according to the Guidebook and despite Churchill's faith in the slab, it probably would not have protected them should a bomb hit the building. In July 1943 the Ministry of Home Security stated that anything higher than a 500-pound bomb (50kg) ...read more.

Middle

The Cabinet War Rooms had good communications. Using a particular colour of telephone in the Map Room, the officers on duty could communicate with intelligence sources (via the green telephones - those with green handsets had a 'scramble' facility), or another service war room (the white telephones), or be connected with their switchboard (the black telephones). The map Room was always manned. It was their job to filter through all the incoming updates on the war, and plot the changes on the maps. Also, every morning daily reports were produced (the 'Cabinet War Rooms Bulletin') and given to everyone important. This was an effective way of keeping everyone informed. The Cabinet War Rooms were in a good location - they were close to 10 Downing Street, Buckingham Palace and were in central London so it was close to all the major military and political bases, and the Houses of Parliament. This location added to the Cabinet War Room's effectiveness in communications. It depended on what position of job you were in if you found the Cabinet War Rooms comfortable or uncomfortable. ...read more.

Conclusion

The most uncomfortable place to be in the Cabinet War Rooms was 'the dock', which was the sub-basement and provided the most modest accommodation. Typists, clerks and administrators slept there in the dormitories which were extremely small and very uncomfortable, even in those times, when during the war comfort was not the highest priority to people. However, in order to work effectively, people did have to be comfortable in the Cabinet War Rooms. In the long term the Cabinet War Rooms were obviously effective and worked well enough for Churchill to direct Britain's war effort from them, because Britain and the Allied forces won the war over Germany. Although Churchill did not find the Cabinet War Rooms very comfortable, it must be remembered that he was the prime minister, and therefore probably used to a more luxurious work place. However, although nowadays we would not consider the Cabinet War Rooms to be comfortable at all, the average worker there would have, especially after a ' long day's work'. The lighting, air conditioning and accommodation were not great, but in the times of war, the community spirit and friendly atmosphere was needed more in order to make the Cabinet War Rooms a more comfortable and effective place to work. ...read more.

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