In 1941 Combined Operations were moved from Plymouth to Derby House, Liverpool. The complex - which was known locally as the "Citadel" or "Fortress", due to the extensive reinforced-concrete protection given to the basement, which was to become the Operations Room. It was designed to be bomb proof and gas proof, with a 7-foot thick roof and 3-foot thick walls, and 100 rooms covering an area of 50,000 square feet.
The Royal Navy, Air Force and Royal Marines worked jointly there to monitor convoys and "wolf packs" of submarines, which threatened to bring Britain to her knees in the early part of the war.
The Battle of the Atlantic was fought from this place, commanded by a Royal Navy Admiral. The most well known was Admiral Sir Max Horton, who was to be given the Freedom of the City of Liverpool after the war, was Commander-in-Chief from 19 November 1942 until Western Approaches Command closed on 15 August 1945.
He would work from his office oeverlooking the map room, offically the Operations Centre. The main operations room was the nerve centre of the Battle of the Atlantic. Huge maps and diagrams of the Atlantic Ocean, convoy routes and the progress of our vital shipping lines was chartered and managed from here.
Much of vital and skilled work was in the capable hands of WRNS and WAAF personnel, and there were seldom less than 50 Wrens on duty here, day and night. This was a combined services operation and Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and Marines would be working alongside each other.
After the war had finished the bunker languished in decay for many years untill it was restored and opened to the public as a memorial to those who died to achieve it. It is the original building where the battle was fought and won. It has been reconstructed exactly how it used to be.
The Map Room is pulished today in the Liverpool Echo Flickr Picture of the day.
The Admiral's office, with the map room beyond it, is shown below.
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