Legacy of War

About the Show

This is the story of an undertaking almost as big as World War II itself: the creation of the United Nations, the World Bank and the Marshall Plan, all of which led to the making of Europe as we know it today. London, for example, was not paralysed by the Blitz but it left a lunar landscape that demoralised post-war Londoners into the 1960s. As early as 1941, the London County Council commissioned a plan for rebuilding, using bombsites to create 'order and efficiency and beauty and spaciousness - a new and modern metropolis'. Those plans survive and provide a fascinating insight into how London might have looked: Shoreditch flattened and re-ordered, a series of vast arterial roads, and the re-location of those who had been bombed to new towns such as Harlow. Though the thinking was British, it was aid from the United States that would eventually underpin the rebuilding of Britain.