Tour Locations | The Battle of Britain House: A Walk Through Ruislip Woods
You should now be standing at the top of the mansion's steps. Wait here for a moment to listen to the next part, while enjoying the view of what used to be the rear garden, all the way to the treeline across. Or feel free to trace the layout of the mansion behind you, or what's left of it. As you wander around, remember to mind where you're stepping, and look out for sharp debris.
By late 1944, Allied armies had invaded mainland Europe, and marched towards Germany. In December that year, the Allied High Command was taken by surprised at the strength and ferocity of the German counterattack known as the Battle of the Bulge. The Allies realise that they were preparing to march into Germany blind, without credible intelligence about the state of affairs inside the enemy heartland. They needed answers to questions such as: What was the actual strength of the German army? Were rumours of Hitler's national redoubt in the Austrian Alps real? Were there more secret weapons to be unleashed? What was the state of the industry in Germany, and how strong was morale among the population?
Soon, a daring plan took shape, and a special department within the OSS organisation was tasked to deliver it.
You can now move to the next area, the mansion's shed. The path is somewhat hidden among the foliage along the track branching left of the steps, so follow the route closely while remaining mindful of stubs and uneven ground.