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History in Focus

the guide to historical resources • Issue 10: The Cold War •

The Cold War

A photograph of the Berlin Wall and Death Strip seen from the Bernauerstrasse viewing platform in the French sector.

The Berlin Wall and Death Strip seen from the Bernauerstrasse viewing platform in the French sector.

Image courtesy of the Imperial War Museum (photo reference: TR30283–23)

More resources

This section of History in Focus presents an overview of some of the archival and library resources available for the study of the Cold War along with some museums that hold collections in the area.

Imperial War Museum

The Imperial War Museum is unique in its coverage of conflicts, especially those involving Britain and the Commonwealth, from the First World War to the present day. It seeks to provide for, and to encourage, the study and understanding of the history of modern war and how it affects people's lives. Exhibits range from tanks and aircraft to photographs and personal letters; they include film and sound recordings, and some of the 20th century's best-known paintings.

Address: Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road, London SE1 6HZ
Tel: 0207 416 5000
General enquiries: 0207 416 5320
Fax: 0207 416 5374
Email: mail@iwm.org.uk
Imperial War Museum, Duxford

This famous heritage site began as an airfield in the First World War and also played a vital role in the Second World War, firstly as an RAF fighter station and later as an American fighter base. Today Duxford is established as the European centre of aviation history. The historic site, outstanding collections of exhibits and regular world-renowned air shows combine to create a unique museum where history really is in the air.

Imperial War Museum Duxford, Cambridgeshire CB2 4QR
Tel: 01223 835 000
Fax: 01223 837 267
HMS Belfast

Part of the Imperial War Museum's collections, the HMS Belfast was saved for the nation in 1971 as a unique reminder of Britain's naval heritage.

Address: HMS Belfast, Morgan's Lane, Tooley Street, London SE1 2JH
Tel: 020 7940 6300
Fax: 020 7403 0719
Hack Green Nuclear Bunker

One of the nations secret defence sites, Hack Green played a central role in the defence of Britain for almost sixty years. In 1941 Hack Green, a site previously used as a bombing decoy site for the main railway centre at Crewe, was chosen to become RAF Hack Green, to protect the land between Birmingham and Liverpool from hostile attack. Hack Green was one of 21 fixed radar stations in the country and one of only 12 fully equipped with searchlights and fighter aircraft control.

Now a museum, the public can for the first time see the ultra-secret BMEWS equipment that only a few of the UK's military commanders and defence staff were privileged to see, along with the fascinating labyrinth of fully equipped rooms and spooky corridors.

Hack Green Nuclear Bunker, P.O. Box 127, Nantwich, Cheshire CW5 8AQ
Tel: 01270 629219
Fax: 01270 629218
Email: coldwar@hackgreen.co.uk
Submarine Heritage Centre

The Submarine Heritage Centre is a Charitable Trust that has been established to create a centre that will celebrate the design, build and operation of Barrow-in-Furness built submarines since 1886. It will serve both as an absorbing educational venue and a worthwhile visitor attraction for present and future generations. The Centre will provide a series of displays showing the evolution of submarine building HMS Olympus on a high-speed run and operations at Barrow. Olympus will form the main attraction, enabling visitors to experience first-hand what life was like for the crew on board this classic British submarine.

Address: Submarine Heritage Centre, 53 Red Oak Avenue, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria LA13 0LJ
Tel: 01229 820993
Diefenbunker: Canada's Cold War Museum

Diefenbunker is a huge four-storey bunker, buried deep under a hillside and meant to house crucial elements of Canadian government in a nuclear war. Exhibits and recreated areas provide a startling glimpse into Cold War history. This National Historic Site of Canada, located outside the capital city of Ottawa, is an underground nuclear bunker built in secrecy during the height of the Cold War between 1959 and 1961, and was meant to house the top officials of the government and military during nuclear attack, or at times of nuclear risk.

Diefenbunker, Canada's Cold War Museum, 3911 Carp Road, Carp, Ontario K0A 1L0, Canada
Tel: 613 839 0007
Email: administration@diefenbunker.ca

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