I’m writing this post as we’re leaving Omaha Beach, and my thoughts and feelings on the beach are all in a jumble. Part of the reason for this blog post is to sort out what I’m thinking on the beach. I walked to the edge of the beach where the English Channel was smoothing out the sands, and I looked up at the land before me, trying to envision being a soldier on June 6th, 1944. In my mind’s eye the restaurants, villas, and ice cream parlors were replaced with German pill boxes, and machine guns with armor piercing rounds were waiting to rip me to pieces. I wondered, as we all did, if I would have been brave enough to run the few hundred yards from the water’s edge to the cliff’s looming in the distance. It’s a difficult question to answer, and I think those soldiers almost eighty years ago were wondering the same thing, “am I brave enough?”
Before leaving the beach Professor Steigerwald asked us what we thought of the beach becoming a vacation destination. Along the beach front were large houses and restaurants, and children played along the beach and built sand castles. Some thought it disrespectful, but I thought it was fitting. While the beach was once a graveyard, it is also a place of liberation. The soldiers who stormed the beaches of Normandy on D-Day did not give the ultimate sacrifice just so no one could enjoy their liberation. The beaches of Normandy should be a place for remembrance, but also a place of joy. As I’m writing this, I think again of what the soldiers of D-Day were thinking. If they thought they would be brave enough to run across that beach. I wonder if they found strength in the fact that they were there to liberate, and that if they died then that sacrifice would be worth it for those who came after D-Day would be free.

Bayeux: Remembering Liberation 80 Years Later

Sitting outside a café, I find myself on the quiet streets of Bayeux, France. The small town, nestled in the Calvados region of France, is a centerpiece in the reembrace of the liberation of France during the first days of liberation after D-Day. The town hosts a population of about 12,000 individuals; however, it feels much larger with the constant flow of tourists in the city. Outside the quiet town, cows and sheep call the sprawling fields of the region home. Minutes outside of the town center, rows of simple white marked and unmarked graves lie outside the city of Axis, Allied, and civilians who fell during the liberation efforts of France. On 14 June 1944, a tall and lanky General Charles De Gaulle strode amongst the incoming parades of liberated Bayeux mere days after the Normandy landings. Sitting in the café, complex imaging filled my thoughts of the narrow and war-torn streets of Bayeux bustling with parades, civilians, army personnel, and tanks upon the arrival of the Allies after liberation.

The British Memorial of fallen soldiers in the Normandy invasions within 5 minutes of the town center.

Today, the rural town of Bayeux still bears the scars and remembrance of WWII. Buildings show the marks of tanks that once traveled the narrow streets. I find myself seeing the town marked by the harsh remembrance of the cost of the landings, yet a celebratory atmosphere envelops the city, especially leading up to June. Leading up to the annual celebrations, the normal population explodes as history enthusiasts and veterans alike return to the historic town to remember the fateful liberation. The remembrance of the war showcases the binary of French memory, a constant battle between commemorating collaboration and resistance.

A drawing on a local shop that depicts the 4 major forces that participated in the D-Day landings in Normandy. The French flag was utilized in this art, but solidiers bore the French Resistance Flags during the landings. The crest of Normandie can be seen at the top of the building with the two lions.

This year marks the 80th anniversary of D-Day. While D-Day celebrations and subsequent liberation festivities occur yearly, this year’s atmosphere is uniquely special. During my stay, the town has transformed into an “Allied melting pot,” welcoming tourists from Allied nations who come to commemorate the world-changing event. I would not have expected such a melting pot of languages and cultures in the Calvados region. The intersection of a mass of cultures was scheduled for major cities but not the rural area of Calvados. As an American, I feel welcomed in this small town as American, British, Canadian, and French flags fly through the city. These countries are most well-known in the D-Day landings, but remembrance often forgets the efforts of other countries in the landings, such as Belgium and Luxemburg. While these countries did not play significant roles in the landings, the French remembered their efforts by paying homage to their contributions by flying their flags throughout the city alongside other countries’ collaborations. Throughout the city, locals and tourists dine and shop in areas that proudly display the flags and depictions of Allies in celebratory spaces. Commissioned drawings of depictions of Allied soldiers and civilians during liberation celebrations. This ranges from Much controversy surrounds the French remembrance of their part in WWII. However, the town of Bayeux surpasses all these notions by celebrating the liberation of Normandy as a momentous achievement, which remains a sacred celebration even 80 years later. Bayeux’s civilians continue to welcome the landings’ veterans with the same celebratory spirit as they did on 14 June 1944.

 

A picture outside a local bar that depicts the French, American, and British flags. The celebratory American soldier hoists a beer. The notorious Higgins boats are on the right side, with Allied paratroopers incoming.

Diners outside a local restaurant that commemorates the countries who participated in the Liberation of Normandy

The Monuments not Returned

The Carytid Statue

The Carytid Statue

Many don’t know much about what I like; however, you all know I like WWII history. I don’t talk about the other eras and periods I want because we never get into them due to the class being World War II focused. On a free day in London, I found myself at the British Museum to look at the exhibits. While there, I spent the most time looking at the exhibits and artifacts from the ancient world. All sorts of artifacts from locations where the British once ruled or helped fight in battle. In one of the ancient Greek exhibits, we came across the final statue of the Caryatid sisters. For years, the Greek Government has been trying to get the state back from the British. The other Caryatid sisters are at the new Acropolis Museum in Athens. Back during the Napoleonic wars, the British were in Greece, and that is when it is believed they found and took the statue.

The Caryatid Statue


Not only was there the last Caryatid sister statue, but there were also many other neat artifacts, like a completed Nereid Monument and parts of the Parthenon from Athens. The artifacts in the museum here are either made into replicas and returned to their origin countries, brought over when the British were ruling the country, given as a gift, and placed at the museum for safekeeping. The Caryatid sister statute is and example of when a member of when the nation acquired the statue back in the 1800s. Most people would go shopping, drinking, exploring the monuments and famous places when they’re on vacation or it’s a study abroad free day. I however do not like going shopping or exploring the places I see on social media. I almost always have a plan when I go somewhere., its rare that I wouldn’t have a plan or multiple plans. I went to the British Museum because its highly probable that I won’t get to see it again.

The Nereid Monument

The Nereid Monument

 

Churchill War Rooms Design and Layout May Simulate Life During World War II

WINSTON CHURCHILL AT THE CABINET WAR ROOMS, MAY 1945 (COL 30) The Prime Minister seated at his desk in the Map Room. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205124436

Prior to entering Winston Churchill’s War Rooms, I thought I knew everything about Churchill that I needed, and cared, to know. I was wrong. In the museum, I learned that Churchill had signs posted that said, “There is to be no whistling or unnecessary noise in this passage,” due to his severe sensitivity to sounds. This explains why he required everyone in the War Rooms to use a noiseless typewriter.

The museum is about Churchill’s life. It begins during wartime, and continues through the post-war time period, his death, his birth, his childhood, early political career, until visitors circle back to the war. The purpose for this was to catch visitors up to speed on how Churchill entered the Prime Minister position with the influence he had. The museum was rectangular, dark, and cramped, with rows of displays that are not all parallel to each other. Then, add at least 50 people walking around, passively looking at Churchill’s various awards and medals, while listening to an audio guide the museum provides. The room is mostly dark, and the sound of shuffling feet and some distant recording of one of Churchill’s speeches blankets the room.

Churchill War Rooms and Museum Map (IWM)

When I entered the museum, I noticed a sign outside of the entrance that recommended visitors walk in a clockwise direction around the sections. However, there isn’t a max amount of people for entering the museum, therefore, I struggled to view the museum as recommended. I became frustrated by the amount of people who blocked the rows, were walking in a counterclockwise direction, or had to brush me in order to pass me.

Inside the Churchill Museum (Axel Feldman / Nick Bell Design)

Taking a moment to think, I noticed that I felt negative towards the museum simply because of my own personal feelings. This prompted me to ask myself, what if the museum had purposely made the recommendation vague? The emotions that I experienced while going through the War Rooms were very similar to the emotional experiences of the people who worked there. Examples being too much unnecessary noise, noisy behavior, lack of personal space, and other people, etc. Had the museum limited the amount of people who entered, I guarantee that visitors would have a different experience. I wondered if this was deliberate in hopes that the natural courses the museum would lead visitors through would simulate what Churchill and the War Room workers experienced during the war. Even if the museum was not intended to bring about responses like I experienced, it is really important to notice how this can affect the public study of history. The War Rooms and museum stand out to me the most out of every museum I’ve ever visited. I am extremely grateful towards Churchill, his cabinet, and all the people who worked in the War Rooms. They all sacrificed their freedom to live above ground in the sun, and the right to make unnecessary noises, to help the Allies defeat the Axis Powers.

In the signals office on February 2nd, 1941 (IWM)

Including the following links to more information on the Churchill War Rooms and its preservation:

Making The Churchill Museum

Churchill War Rooms – AccessAble

The Mass Production of Volunteer Uniforms in Great Britain During the Second World War by Cleo Yarber

The most amusing exhibitions at the Imperial War Museum were the different service uniforms and how their position and objective changed the production and construction of the garment. The museum display is incredible and the uniforms are close enough to the glass where you can see the fibers in the clothing. There are several things to take into account when creating garments on a large scale: “What volunteer position was it going to be”, “How much the fabric would cost to mass produce these uniforms”, “What are the sizes?”, and later on in the war “how does rationing affect the production”. For what type of position, the type of fabric used is extremely important because if the volunteer position is to put out fires or is in proximity with fire then wool is the smartest choice because it’s naturally fire retardant. The “how much fabric” question would be dependent on the producer the government consults with to see how much they can produce on a mass scale and what types of fabric they have. The producer will also set the price on how much fabric is used per garment and what that will cost the government if they make a certain amount of uniforms. For the sizing aspect, there must have been a size that the producer would use and people would have to hope that they were fit, or they would consult a tailor if the garment was too big or make their own if it was too small. Later in the war, rationing would be more strenuous on the people of London, so this would affect the production and quality of the civil service uniforms. 

Learning the process for the production of uniforms is important in seeing where items are produced, the ethics of the production of the uniforms, how the government plays a role in the regulation of chemicals and fibers, and how the regulation of certain textiles and materials during war time affected the process of creating uniforms. Today, Consumers are also informed how their modern day garments are regulated by country and how resources are available or limited to producers to make a particular item. Modern day fabrics are now regulated by Chemical, ethical, and environmental expectations that are followed by modern day producers. They’re expected to be truthful about their product and what type of resources, textiles, and chemical finishes that they use. In the images listed below to the left, is the uniform for the AFS forces, who spotted and put out fires. Both the second and third pictures are dedicated to the ARP standard uniforms that had the role of warning citizens and protecting them from air raids. The last photo is dedicated towards James Crawford and his uniform, what it would look like with the different fabrics and the uniforms, and his service during wartime. James Crawford was a veteran of the first World War who volunteered for the home guard position in the second World War. The museum presents each uniform with a placard of what position used the uniforms and has a personal story of the people who volunteered in each position.

London Learning Curve

Being abroad is a foreign concept to me, and before arriving in London I was worried about travelling throughout the city to get to all the places I wanted to visit. While traveling throughout London is easier than I thought, I quickly had to learn that anything can go wrong, and to just go with it. Trains get delayed, there’s traffic, and people are not always punctual, but you just have to learn that it’s ok. Things can and will go wrong, but the way to not get stressed out is to just roll with the bad things that happen.

For example, on the Thursday the group was in London, a small group of us decided to do a walking tour to see parts of London that were off the beaten path. Things immediately started to go wrong. First, we needed cash for the tour so we had to stop at an ATM for money. After a fiasco with the ATM, we were leaving for the tour at 7:25 p.m. when the tour started at 7:30 p.m. with a ten minute walk ahead of us. We were cutting it close to say the least. We sped walked as fast as we could through the busy streets of London, and pushed through crowds of people, dodged cyclists, and jay walked all in a desperate attempt to make it to our destination. When we arrived at the meeting place the walking tour had already left. Thankfully, we planned on meeting others at the walking tour, and they were able to share their location so we were able to find the group. We ended up arriving right as the guide began his tour, and we had a great time. The moral of the story is that in order to not let mishaps ruin your time when traveling you just need to accept them as they come, and things usually will turn out alright.

The Buckeye Dozen

Today, May 17th, 2024, twelve Buckeyes paid their respects to those who lost their lives fighting for freedom. Pictured below are those who planted a flag at their headstones.

Bella Scully-Tenpenny: Robert Lane

Erik Johnson: Robert Forrest

Nicole Fennig: John Fry Jr

Katie Johnson: Robert Smith

Emily Stratman: John Kulp

Rhett Fultz: Thomas Barry

Professor Soland: Melvin Spruiell

Cleo Yarber: Max Clark

Owen Angle: Richard Kersting

Lauren Hilderbrand: Robert Egbert

Abrianna Ohliger: Roger Dyar

Dante LaBianca: John Atkinson Jr

The Inconvenience of Carrying Trash

When arriving in London, I stepped outside to smell the (not so) fresh London air after being cramped on a stuffy plane for over seven hours. What was most apparent to me was the immediate smell of cigarette smoke. I am not sure what I expected, but it definitely was not that. As I commuted by train to my hotel and walked through Kensington, the suburb we had stayed, I noticed it was not a one-off event. I was in the minority for not smoking cigarettes. I had gone on this trip with the expectation that France was a heavy smoking country, but did not realize the hobby was multi-national and, overall, is relatively popular in Europe. Though the smoking habits of London were jarring, what was more peculiar was the lack of access to public trash cans, or bins, as they are called. As a result, people are forced to carry their trash with them as they venture through the city, most unwilling to do so, which guided my attention elsewhere: litter. 

Cigarette butts pepper the streets and sidewalks of London. Beer cans are left in the strangest places. I found one lonesome and crushed in one of many of the iconic red phone booths of London. I tried to find a trash can for it with no luck, going as far to ask one of the city workers: their trashcan was not for public use. Street sweepers made rounds daily throughout the city. At night, “litter pickers” emerged to rid the streets of stray trash. Scot Zweer, a street cleaner in Central London, describes what the job takes: “You will be moving some bags and you will find people’s faeces or vomit. The smell is sometimes so bad. I’m quite squeamish. It’s eye-watering.” All this work seemed counterintuitive and more expensive than providing public trash cans, so why?

Street sweeper outside of Westminster Abbey. Credit: Sam Chancey

London has an extensive history of bombing- one that transcends World War I and II. The bombings in London began with the Fenian Bombing Campaign in 1881. Fenian was a term used to describe someone part of the Irish Republican Brotherhood (Now known as the Irish Republican Army) and those involved used terror attacks to “coerce” their independence from Britain. London would later suffer eight straight months of  bombing through the Blitz at the hands of the German Luftwaffe. London has been the target of a century and a half of bombardments committed by the IRA and, in later years, by Islamic extremist terrorists. Following the 1993 bombing of Bishopsgate, all public trash cans were removed as they were primary targets to hide bombs. In 1998, a peace deal was made to end the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Since, London is slowly reintroducing public trash cans, though they are still few and far between. 

City of London Police Debris from the Bishopsgate bombing strewn across the street

The aftermath of the bombing at Bishopsgate. Credit: City of London Police.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_terrorist_incidents_in_London

https://www.theirishstory.com/2012/02/13/one-skilled-scientist-is-worth-an-army-the-fenian-dynamite-campaign-1881-85/

https://www.mylondon.news/news/zone-1-news/why-arent-enough-bins-certain-16839886

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-43878479

https://www.mylondon.news/news/zone-1-news/cleaning-up-londons-streets-grim-21872527

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-10866072

Combining Experiences of Ohio State Abroad Programs: The Impact of Logistics on World War II

As we traveled throughout London, my global insurance experience has applied to many aspects of World War II. Last summer I was fortunate enough to intern in Singapore for one month through Ohio State’s Fisher Global Consulting Program and combine my accounting and history majors. I worked in trade credit insurance and learned about insuring global trade. In this experience got to not only see Singapore’s logistical and economic power today, but also its dark history during World War II. Britain heavily invested into Singapore through its naval base and floating dock that would eventually fall into the hands of the Japanese Empire. The Japanese occupying Singapore is remembered as one of the darkest times in Singapore’s history. The Japanese implemented forced labor programs, brutal treatment, and executions of people with Chinese descent.  

In London it was fascinating to see the impact geography and logistics had on the war.  At the Imperial War Museum, I got to see the transportation vehicles and other various equipment used to logistically support the Allies. At the Churchill War Rooms, I got to see the complex, all-out effort of the Allies in their strategic efforts and planning to sustain the war. Our visit to Bletchley Park provided numerous examples of logistical impacts from using the cracked German codes to better position Allied assets, or even the transportation of information through motorcycle dispatch riders. This mass effort from Britain sustained their fight in World War II and significantly contributed to Allies victory. 

It fascinates me to see various logistical challenges get solved throughout the world leading to success in war, business, and an efficient world. My abroad experiences have been highly beneficial and inspiring to my future career aspirations in international business.

Attached: Photo taken in London and naval shipments into Singapore from the office I worked at 

An Artist’s Touch at Bletchley Park

As I visited Bletchley Park, among the displays regarding codebreaking, the Ultra devices, and the Wrens, the different propaganda posters around the park caught my eye the most. Compared to the propaganda that I came across at the other sites we visited, the simple cartoon art style immediately caught my eye. The use of colors and space was interesting, and it reminded me more of the posters I would see in school than propaganda. Propaganda is a striking and effective tool, and many pieces are genuinely interesting and deserve artistic recognition outside of just their wartime purpose. These pieces were a great example. The fact that they sold this art as postcards in the gift shop (which I, of course, bought) makes it clear that I am not the only one who thinks this. This made me want to learn about the artist behind these interesting pieces, which I would learn was a man named Fougasse.

This was the first poster that stood out to me

His real name was Cyril Kenneth Bird, and he was originally an engineering student at King’s College, but after being injured in the Battle of Gallipoli in World War One, he could no longer do so, so he turned to art. Over time, he developed his unique art style as he worked for, and eventually became the editor of, Punch magazine, a popular British magazine. When the Second World War started, he was given the job of creating propaganda during the war, which included many pieces like the ones above and below. These are the pieces that dot Bletchley Park. Even after eighty or so years, his artistic works still work as important pieces of pop art that still stand out to a person like me, someone just randomly wondering on the site. I am glad that these pieces stood out to me, as they allowed me to discover Fougasse’s story. It reminded me of what we discussed in class and throughout our visit to London about how many people in Britain often emphasize how each person did what they could for the war effort, even if they could not fight, when recounting the war. Fougasse did what he could, and his posters are a legacy of this. His war story is a small piece of a bigger story, just as his art is a smaller piece of a large site. I want to learn more about these small stories, and I hope to discover these small stories as I continue this trip.

The use of space is great in this piece

Further reading on Fougasse:

https://www.mutualart.com/Artist/Cyril-Kenneth-Bird-Fougasse/84DBDEFEA09267C0

FOUGASSE, (Cyril Kenneth Bird) (1887 – 1965)

Celebration & Remembrance in Bayeux

Photo on a window of a pharmacy in Bayeux, France.

One of the most striking features of the town of Bayeux and others like it across the Normandy Coast is the sheer appreciation and celebration of the Allied powers in World War II. They are all very much places steeped in time, still ever aware of the war even eighty years later. The flags from the various Allied countries are scattered throughout town, with seven of them flying in a roundabout outside of the hotel we are staying at. I can see them from my window as I write this. The walls of buildings downtown are covered in drawings that optimistically evoke the liberation of France, depicting smiling Red Cross medics and American soldiers with beers. “Thank you” is written on windows in French and English, and historic black and white photos of the town during the forties are taped on the doors of restaurants and stores.

It is almost overwhelming, especially when considering the difficult hand the French were dealt in World War II. Coastal villages like Bayeux were often harmed by the very same forces that were supposed to liberate them— something that seems very much at odds with the more positive nature of remembrance in the towns.

A photo of a destroyed Caen following the Normandy Bombings, which were conducted by Allied forces. (https://www.frenchtoday.com/blog/french-culture/caen-ww2-war-story-france/)

But the treatment of French civilians by the Allied forces is not entirely forgotten. A portion of the Caen Memorial Museum is dedicated to the Allied air campaigns over the French coast. It is remarkably frank in regard to the harm the raids caused the French. Aircraft decimated towns including Caen and Le Havre in hopes of stalling German advancement and by the end, it is estimated that over ten thousand civilians lost their lives in the fire. These facts don’t paint a pretty picture and it’s true that the Allied liberation of France was often met with apprehension.

In many ways, this makes the French acknowledgement and appreciation of its fellow Allied powers all the more meaningful. It is difficult to not only reconcile but also choose to celebrate, and all the more admirable that the French are able to do so while acknowledging the past. To the residents of Normandy; merci pour votre amour et votre gratitude. I’m certain they have not always been easy things to give.

Japan’s Involvement and Language in WWII

Despite my working knowledge before embarking to Europe, the possibility of coming across Japanese artifacts while in London had never crossed my mind. There were multiple pieces throughout the various museums we went to, and so I made a personal side quest for myself; I would try to read as much of the Japanese on the various flags, posters, and notes as I could.

Japanese propaganda picture.

Japan often turns a blind eye to its involvement in World War II. This could be due to a plethora of reasons, but this means that there are very few memorials in Japan for the war. Posters like ones above show clear imagery of the Air Force. I sadly was unable to read any of the text here.

Notebook containing basic Japanese symbols. The text on the top is various katakana while the lower half is kanji.

Bletchley Park housed some of the brightest individuals, and they had to translate from languages that most of them would not have understood. This led to notebooks like these being written. This was the first instance that I was able to read the Japanese on the notebooks. The notebook contains katakana and kanji, and it’s interesting to see how some of them are slightly different.

Flag carried by kamikaze pilots. The kanji often held special poems the pilot would choose.

I love Japan, and I love learning Japanese. Learning languages is something that you must constantly work at, so being able to learn about World War II and exercise my Japanese skills has just propelled my experience so far while traveling in Europe.

Nationalism At Its Finest

Nationalism is still alive and well. After traveling to London and visiting the Imperial War Museum, I have noticed that everyone wants to be the hero of the WWII story. I have noticed some of the other students on the trip getting very excited about the success the United States brought to the Allies during the war. This is interesting to me because I had not heard them be patriotic until we stepped foot in the Imperial War Museum. Students have said things like “I’ve never felt so patriotic” and “they would have been nowhere without us.” I understand many of these comments are not to be taken too seriously, but I find it so interesting how nationalism rises when talking about war. I have not heard many students my age say they are proud to be an American while in America, for college students have strong opinions on what is going wrong in our country. This does not only stem from Americans, but I witnessed many people from other allied nations express nationalism.

The act of nationalism that was most surprising to me was the display of pride the Russians have for their contributions to the war. When we first arrived at the Imperial War Museum, there were Russians placing flowers at the foot of the memorial for the USSR soldiers since it was the anniversary of the end of WWII. This ceremony was being filmed. It was taken very seriously, for the area around it was silent. The people were even holding a USSR flag. It was a bit of an eerie sight because of the United States’ strong negative feelings towards Russia during and after the Cold War. I also overheard a schoolboy proclaim his patriotism towards the UK while in the museum. As I was looking at the Dunkirk display, the boy and his friends came up next to me. He pounded on his chest and proclaimed, “We saved them”. The boys then snickered and walked away. This statement was not directed at me, I just overheard this portion of the conversation. The boy looked to be a little younger than me, probably in high school. It was so cool to hear how people are excited to be a part of their country when they helped win such a devastating conflict. From the comments made by my peers, to the laying of flowers, to a schoolboy excited for his country to have been a part of the war, nationalism is still thriving in the context of war.

Above is a photo of the Russian citizens paying homage to the soldiers that died for their country. You can see the USSR flag in the middle of the small crowd.

Experiencing Mother’s Day Abroad

While in London, the world celebrated Mother’s Day. In my twenty years of living, I have never physically not been with my mom. Though I am lucky enough to be on this study abroad, I find myself missing my family because I have not seen them since the end of spring break. However, this has allowed me to reflect on the experiences of family. I was unable to take photos within the Imperial War Museum’s Holocaust section, but a sizable part of their section was about children and families. This made me realize how thankful and grateful I am to have both a safe place to call home and that I still have my mother with me. Within this section of the museum, it was easy to see the sacrifices that mothers had to make throughout the war. Though nowhere comparable to wartimes, my mother has had to make sacrifices to keep her children alive and thriving. Furthermore, viewing the section in the museum about twins made me feel that much more grateful. As a twin, I could never imagine living through something as traumatic as World War II or the Holocaust because there was a high chance of both of us not surviving.

Even in modern times, seeing families in the “wild” has been an interesting experience. To compare to the United States, families are more similar than I thought they would be. Little kids still try to run away from grabbing their father’s hands, mothers still comfort their child after falling on the ground, and kids are still making up new words to describe what they found on TikTok. However, there is a sense that everything is calmer, in a way. Rarely have I heard talk about a quiet chat volume level and the kids, though they can be loud, have slightly more respect to other people. I found it interesting because it shows what ideals are taught in certain countries. Something different about this dynamic was the fact that school aged children are going on a cross country ferry with only a few chaperones. I would never be able to fathom something like this in the United States!


Churchill: How Important Was He?

Over the last five days I saw lots of information about the war and its effect on Londoners and Britain as a whole. One thing I noticed was how much emphasis was placed on Churchill and his participation in the war, especially in the Churchill War Rooms. I wondered how Churchill as a historical figure really helped the war effort for the British people, and if the outcome could have been the same if he had not assumed office. I thought about what if Chamberlain had managed to stay in charge, would the same things have happened, or would the UK have suffered even worse? Churchill at the time of war breaking out was a political character that had a long history in both politics and the military. He was responsible for the failures at Gallipoli in World War I, and for several unpopular decisions in politics post World War I. Despite these failures he was also liked for his oratory skills and for his anti-appeasement advocation. 

When war broke out he was placed as the Head of the Admiralty once again, and soon became the head of state. I believe that Churchill’s many life experiences allowed him to excel as both a statesman and a military leader. His patriotism and oratory skills allowed him to stoke the flames of resistance in the British people, keeping their morale up and allowing for the British people to go on even while facing overwhelming odds. From my experiences in the museums Churchill was much more involved and a much more personable leader than Chamberlain. He was a no nonsense type, and I think that played a large part in his success as a leader. The Bulldog was the best man for the job and everyone knew it, even if they hadn’t seen eye to eye with him in the past.