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  • Image of a painting of fires burning across the city of Bath

    In 1942, in retaliation for an RAF bombing raid on the German town of Lübeck, the Luftwaffe launched a series of destructive raids against historic towns and cities in Britain. These attacks were termed the 'Baedeker' raids after the famous German travel...

  • Image of painting by Henry Carr depicting an incendiary air-raid with explosions

    When Britain went to war on 3 September 1939 there was none of the 'flag-waving patriotism' of August 1914. The British people were now resigned to the fact that Hitler had to be stopped by force. The first eight months of the war were a time of official...

  • Image of the hallways of the Cabinet War Rooms

    From 1939 to 1945, a group of basement offices in Whitehall served as the nerve centre of Britain’s war effort. Known as the Cabinet War Rooms, the complex was occupied by leading government ministers, military strategists and Prime Minister Winston...

  • Image of Boy Scouts, Cubs and Sea Scouts collecting waste paper for salvage

    The Second World War brought many changes to the lives of children in Britain. For some, the war was a time of fear and confusion that meant separation from families, the destruction of a home or even the loss of a parent. However, for others, these...

  • Image of painting by Charles Pears depicting the shelling of a British Convoy

    Britain depended on vital supplies of food, equipment and raw materials from overseas, notably from North America and the Empire. These goods were transported in thousands of merchant ships, which were vulnerable to attack by German submarines (U-boats...

  • Image of portrait painting of Lieutenant General Sir Alan Brooke

    Field Marshal Sir Alan Brooke is seen by many historians as one of the key architects of Allied victory. He was Chief of the Imperial General Staff (CIGS) from 1941 to 1946 and Winston Churchill’s principal military adviser. Alan Brooke served as a Royal...

  • Image of Vera Lynn singing

    Entertainment during the Second World War provided civilians with a form of escape from the hardships of wartime life. It was equally important to those serving in the forces, both in Britain and overseas. Radio was the chief form of news and...

  • Image of St Paul's Cathedral being cleared of debris

    The British government knew that Germany would target London in their bombing raids. If the capital was put out of action, it would severely affect the war effort and have a devastating impact on the nation’s morale. The Blitz on London from September...

  • Image of a Jersey road sign with a 'V for Victory' slogan

    The Channel Islands were the only part of the British Isles to be occupied by German forces during the Second World War. The British government considered the islands to be of little strategic importance and were reluctant to spend money on their defence...

  • Image of Doctor Carrot, a character created by the Ministry of Food

    In January 1940, the British government introduced food rationing. The scheme was designed to ensure fair shares for all at a time of national shortage. The Ministry of Food was responsible for overseeing rationing. Every man, woman and child was given a...

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