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.
    IWM HU 8967
    Blog: Holocaust

    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.
  • A Panzerbefehlswagen Ausf H (Panzer III) command tank and motorcycles of General Guderian's 2nd Panzer Group during Operation Barbarossa, summer 1941.
    IWM HU 111385
    Blog: Second World War

    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.
    Spitfire sculpture in the exhibition.
    Blog: Arts and Culture

    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
    Trench system reconstructed at CEMA, Kent. Image: James Valls
    Blog: First World War

    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.
  • Screenshot of a video letter. A refugee looks out over her balcony. The subtitle reads 'We are alright, in a matter of speaking'.
    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.
    Left: St Basil’s Church, Bassaleg, Newport. Right: Headstone of William Jenkins. Image: Ziyan Wang.
    Blog: Second World War

    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, Loyalist Kenyan soldiers, members of the Rift Valley Home Guard, take on members of the Royal Irish Fusiliers at tug-of-war.
    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.
  • Photograph of the Atrium at IWM London
    © Morris Brodie

    Second World War and Holocaust Partnership Programme: Digital Intern Reflections

    In this guest blog Morris Brodie, Digital Intern at Aberystwyth University, reflects on a Residential held at IWM London bringing together Interns across the Partnership.
  • Ulster Museum then and now
    Blog: Holocaust

    National Museums NI: Second World War and Holocaust Partnership Programme (SWWHPP)

    In a year when the pandemic has limited our contact with others, it’s been stimulating to connect with new partners and think creatively about engaging people with the Second World War. Northern Ireland and conflict make most people think of the Troubles – local stories of the Second World War are often untold or unheard. 
  • Group photo containing Syed Qurban Hussain Shah

    Remember Together – how history can unite as well as divide us: Part One

    In this guest post, SSN Member Steve Ballinger of British Future tells us about a project in collaboration with The Royal British Legion, that aims to bring people from different backgrounds together in remembrance of our shared history.
  • War Illustrated - Hero Image
    Blog: First World War

    Researching The War Illustrated magazine

    The War Illustrated was a British magazine published in the two world wars. In this guest post, University of Sheffield student Jennifer Arnold tells us about her research into First World War editions of the magazine, with a focus on the representation of Red Cross nurses.
  • © IWM (film still from COI 306) A Matter of Choice, exploring the variety and responsibility of life in the WRAF
    © IWM
    Blog: Film

    Connecting Collections Amid COVID-19: Joint Blog by Imperial War Museums, The National Archives and BFI National Archives

    The Central Office of Information (COI) was created 75 years ago, producing films and campaigns to share key messages with the British population. In this post, Michelle Kirby (IWM Film Curator, Cold War/late 20th-century conflict), Sarah Castagnetti (TNA, Visual Collections), and Patrick Russell (BFI Senior Curator, Non-fiction) explain how they are teaming up for an ambitious new project showcasing highlights from their COI collections.