Remembering the Past in London

Went to several museums today including the incredibly well done Imperial War Museum. Though balanced and still relatively UK-centric, I couldn’t help but imagine what it must’ve been like to live in England and experience the peril of a totalitarian regime like the Nazi’s but a stone’s throw off our shores bombarding our biggest city every night.

As I meandered through the rooms in the museum, other thoughts kept streaming in to my consciousness:

  • How close the Nazi’s came to deploying jet aircraft (a V-1 “buzz bomb” is pictured above) which — coupled with fuel had they been able to get it or ramp up synthetic fuels — would’ve changed the nature of the war
  • Little Boy (the A-bomb) pictured above dropped on Hiroshima. Hitler also was supposedly somewhat close to A-bomb development as well. Talk about changing the nature of the war! At one point walking around London and seeing the lack of trash cans and the graffiti, I was suddenly struck by the thought, “Oh geez…what if Nazi Germany had won and London was controlled by them? What would this look like? Would people be beaten or killed for strewing trash around the streets?”
  • The sacrifices by soldiers, people at home, innocent civilians, the Jews, downtrodden…hell, everybody was in some fashion impacted. The museum had a recreation of sitting in bomb shelter during the Nazi bombardment of London in 1940. Great subwoofers made you feel the boom of the bombs dropping overhead and then we walked through a faux bombed out street. It was a bit cheesey, but my wife and I discovered later that we both had thoughts while sitting in the shelter what it must’ve been like to have zero safety every night!
  • How Winston Churchill’s leadership (which we experienced yesterday at the Cabinet War Room & Churchill Museum) inspired a nation to hold off Nazi Germany until others (i.e., US and Soviet Union) were compelled to enter (and the inevitable thought led to my own American leadership — or lack thereof — that is doing little-or-nothing to inspire the world during this so-called time of war).

My final thoughts were gratitude: to Churchill; to Britain; to America and the Allies; and everyone who fought, died, struggled and provided a world for me to grow up in and my children to inherit.


  1. stevep001 on July 6, 2006 at 10:55 pm

    Have you read The Plot Against America? ( It explores the idea of Hitler winning in much more detail.

  2. Steve on July 8, 2006 at 5:09 pm

    Haven’t read that book…but have seen two History Channel programs that outline these scenarios. Nearly bought a book at London Gatwick this morning (am home now) whose premise grouped a bunch of historians together to play “What if’s?” with these different scenarios (didn’t buy it since I had three others to get through!).

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Podcasting hit the mainstream in July of 2005 when Apple added podcast show support within iTunes. I'd seen this coming so started podcasting in May of 2005 and kept going until August of 2007. Unfortunately was never 'discovered' by national broadcasters, but made a delightfully large number of connections with people all over the world because of these shows. Click here to view the archive of my podcast posts.