The evacuation from Dunkirk on the French coast was hailed in Britain as an extraordinary achievement and the ‘little ships of Dunkirk’ swiftly entered the mythology of wartime brave deeds.
British soldiers wade out to a waiting destroyer off Dunkirk during the evacuation.
Troops evacuated from Dunkirk on a destroyer about to berth at Dover, 31 May 1940.
Troops evacuated from Dunkirk enjoying tea and other refreshments at Addison Road station in London, 31 May 1940.
Some of the 'little ships' used during the evacuation of Dunkirk being towed back along the River Thames past Tower Bridge, 9 June 1940.
German forces moved into Dunkirk hours after the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force. Here German officers inspect a memorial on the sea front at Dunkirk.
Over 600 oil wells were sabotaged by retreating Iraqi forces. Work to put the fires out lasted until November 1991. This photograph was taken by the artist John Keane, who was commissioned as IWM's 'official recorder' in the Gulf War.
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On 2 August 1990 Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, a tiny oil-producing state in the Persian Gulf.
The response of the international community was swift. The United Nations demanded Iraqi withdrawal, and imposed a trade embargo. A US-led coalition force of nearly one million made up of service personnel from 32 countries, including 53,457 from the United Kingdom, was assembled to expel the Iraqis should diplomacy fail.
The United Nations set a deadline of 15 January 1991 for Iraqi forces to leave Kuwait. This deadline was ignored and the air war began on 17 January with coalition aircraft flying over 100,000 sorties. Land operations started on 24 February and were successfully concluded in just five days.
Coalition forces lost 392 dead, including 47 British soldiers. Iraqi battle deaths were estimated at between 20,000 and 35,000, while over 3,000 civilians were killed in coalition air strikes.
Saddam Hussein remained in power in Iraq and subsequent sanctions left the country economically crippled and internationally isolated.