A visit to the Imperial War Museum in London

Visit to the Imperial War Museum in London. If the Imperial War Museum in London (IWM) is one of the top places to visit in the British capital, it’s well deserved. Discover a sensational place!

Visit the Imperial War Museum in London

Strolling around here you can enjoy one of the country’s 5 military museums, including the IWM Duxford in Cambridgeshire which opened to the public in 1978 and is located on RAF Duxford’s historic air base, HMS Belfast, This cruiser was converted into a museum in 1978 and moored at the Queen’s walk, a stone’s throw from Westminster Bridge, the Churchill War Rooms command centre in London, which opened to the public in 1984, and the IWM North in Manchester, the latter being the last to join the military museums in 2002.

Founded in 1917 as an original tribute to the British civilian and military war effort during the First World War, the museum was inaugurated by King George V in 1917. Installed from 1920 to 1924 in the Crystal Palace, a building created on the occasion of the Universal Exhibition of 1851, then from 1924 to 1936 at the Imperial Institute (Commonwealth Institute since 1962) in South Kensington, it found its final quarters in 1936 in the former Bethlem Royal Hospital in Southwark. Today, the museum is the guardian of the memory of the conflicts in which England or the Commonwealth have taken part since 1914.

A historically fascinating museum

Objects, films, photographs (the museum has a collection of almost 11 million photographs), personal letters, but also uniforms, flags, both British and allied and enemy, commemorative coins, medals and so many other witnesses of past and present wars make up the museum’s unique collection that I discovered during a visit to the Imperial War Museum in London. Whether these pieces have a political, technical, social, etc. relationship, they also represent a part of the lives of these soldiers who fought for their homeland or for the defence of freedom.

Also worth seeing is the beautiful collection of radios, cryptographs, radars, cameras, medical equipment, weapons, ammunition and even some cages for homing pigeons. Special mention for the atrium of IWM London, which shares the finest examples of artillery and military equipment with IWM Duxford.

9 exhibitions to see during a Visit to the Imperial War Museum!

A total of 9 permanent exhibitions to browse :

  • First of all the First World War Galleries, an exhibition designed to celebrate the centenary of the First World War: photographs, uniforms, letters, films, to better understand the First World War.
  • The exhibition on the Holocaust, retracing the years 1933 to 1945.
  • A Family in Wartime, showing how an ordinary family lived through the Second World War. Meet the Allpress family from Stockwell in South London.
  • The exciting world of espionage with Secret War: slip into the shoes of a secret agent, or almost, by discovering secret operations and the work of British special forces.
  • Witnesses to War in the heart of the atrium of the IWM and the Lord Ashcroft Gallery, home to the largest collection of Victoria Crosses, the highest award in England for acts of bravery under fire (the first was awarded in 1857), as well as an important collection of George Crosses, a medal created in 1940 to honour acts of great heroism or bravery.
  • The Curiosities of War, a space that brings together the stories of modern wars and conflicts through objects of all kinds.
  • The exhibition Peace and Security: 1945-2014: the broad outlines of conflicts since 1945, including Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • Turning Points, an exhibition that retraces the years 1934/1945 and looks back on the key moments of the Second World War.
The two world wars
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