IWM Blog

  • IWM HU 8967 A Jewish woman is forced to sweep the streets of Riga, Latvia, after its fall to the Germans, 22 August 1941. From late July, Jews in Latvia were ordered to wear a Star of David on their chest.
    Operation Barbarossa: the German Invasion of the Soviet Union, 1941 - Part Two
    Eighty years ago this year, on 22 June 1941, Germany invaded the Soviet Union (Operation Barbarossa). The aim was to win Lebensraum ('living space') in the East, and was to be a ‘war of annihilation’ targeting the Jews and Roma living there. By the end of 1942, at least 1.1 million Jewish men, women and children had been murdered in mass shootings. IWM Curator Lauren Willmott shares details about how these events are represented in the new Holocaust Galleries at IWM London.
  • IWM HU 111385 A Panzerbefehlswagen Ausf H (Panzer III) command tank and motorcycles of General Guderian's 2nd Panzer Group, part of Army Group Centre, during Operation Barbarossa, summer 1941.
    Operation Barbarossa: the German invasion of the Soviet Union, 1941 - Part One
    On 18 December 1940, Adolf Hitler ordered Operation Barbarossa, Nazi Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union to win Lebensraum ('living space') in the East and to destroy Jewish Bolshevism. The campaign began on 22 June 1941, and caused millions of military and civilian casualties. German historian and journalist Katherine Quinlan-Flatter talks about the first few weeks of the campaign as reported in the German newspapers of the time, and its impact on German life.
  • Spitfire sculpture in the exhibition.
    Art of the Second World War: Commemorating the 80th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain
    IWM is working with four partners to share art from our collections and explore different perspectives on the Second World War, to mark the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. Artist Anthony Padgett worked with one of our partners, The Harris in Preston, to create a new sculpture based on the stories of local people.
  • Trench system reconstructed at CEMA, Kent. Image: James Valls
    Centre for Experimental Military Archaeology
    How often has anyone visiting the site of a battlefield wondered just how things would have actually looked at the time? David Flintham tells us about the work of the Centre for Experimental Military Archaeology, which reconstructs historical sites using cutting-edge technology.
  • Draga writes to her friend Nada in Mostar (UNT 206)
    UNTV’s video letters
    The most distinctive films in UNTV’s collection are the ‘video letters’. As well as the many informational features that this incarnation of the UNPROFOR television unit made between May 1994 and January 1996, and a small number of interviews with UNPROFOR leaders and ‘vox pops’ with the local public also filmed for early UNTV packages, UNTV made at least 90 of these films.
  • Left: St Basil’s Church, Bassaleg, Newport. Right: Headstone of William Jenkins. Image: Ziyan Wang.
    Writing for war graves: Turning stones into people
    SSN member Andrew Hemmings is researching Second World War casualties buried near to his home in Wales. Find out more in this guest blog post, written by Cardiff University student Ziyan Wang.
  • MAU 866 © IWM
    Colonial voices: Mau Mau and the IWM’s Sound Archive
    IWM’s Sound Archive is a remarkably rich source, comprising over 33,000 recordings relating to conflict since 1914. But oral histories need careful treatment as historical sources. This is exemplified in the IWM interviews that deal with Britain’s late-colonial conflicts: Aden, Malaya and, the subject of my own studies, the Mau Mau Uprising in Kenya, which lasted from 1952 to 1960.