International Bomber Command Centre Review, 2020
The International Bomber Command Centre located on the edge of Lincoln with plenty of parking available to visitors. The Centre does provide a good introduction to an historically under-represented branch of the RAF and engendered issues relating to the morality of bombing civilian targets during the Second World War. Through audio visual displays, personal items and descriptive panels it does provide an excellent general introduction to the subject and the experiences of individuals on both sides. The Memorial outside provides the names of all the aircrew killed in Bomber Command cut into steel walls which will become weathered over time and the Spire in the centre which is the same height as a Lancaster wing are quite effective in conveying the heavy losses involved. The Centre also has a comprehensive shop and restaurant which serves a good range of snacks and meals.
The Centre could be improved over time by an extensive display on the full history of Bomber Command including the controversy in the same vein as the Holocaust exhibition at the Imperial War Museum. I was involved in the creation of the latter exhibition which was meant to be of a temporary display twenty years ago, but has become a permanent fixture as it confronts a hugely emotive subject and fuses together an academic rigour of explaining in detail how the Final Solution was planned and carried out whilst not losing sight of the personal and human tragedy involved. Bomber Command’s history needs this level of investigation so that people can understand its role not just in area bombing but also how it supported D-Day in crippling defences and infrastructure, but also precision raids such as Operations Hydra, Margin, Jericho and Carthage as a few examples and how it was connected with photographic reconnaissance that the Spitfire was indelibly linked with. I would certainly recommend members visit the Centre and would advise prior booking as it does get very busy with the restrictions on visitor numbers. See https://internationalbcc.co.uk/ for further details.