IWM Blog

  • Blog: Film

    Popular History, Publicity and Film at IWM

    In the late 1960s and early 1970s, staff at IWM engaged with popular forms of history in order to publicise its collections, exhibitions and research facilities. In particular, the use of film in understanding history was increasingly significant in attracting public audiences, and as a subject for debate in universities.
  • POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews
    Blog: 1940s

    Dissecting Warsaw’s new museum of Polish Jewish history

    ‘It took an army to make this exhibition’, Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett told her audience and ‘having scholars in charge of each section had been the key to the Museum’s success’.
  • Blog: Cold War

    'As soon as the Iron Curtain came down': when did the Cold War begin?

    The official history of the Cold War holds that the military and political divide between Eastern and Western blocs was cemented in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War as allied relationships cooled.
  • Blog: RAF

    “Cricket balls that were on fire". The RAF squadrons in the supply drops for the Warsaw Uprising, August 1944

    On 1st August 2009 I visited Warsaw to take part in the 65th anniversary commemorations. The occasion was organised by the ambitiously conceived Museum of the Warsaw Uprising which tells the story of this epic event.
  • Blog: Art And Design

    ‘Visions from Above and Below’ at IWM, London

    Visions of War Above and Below’ curated by Claire Brenard at IWM London explores how artists have used both the aerial perspective and that ‘from below’ to explore how these different, at times dramatic perspectives, can convey both power and vulnerability in the face of modern warfare.
  • Blog: British Empire

    It’s A Long Way to Tipperary: colonial troops and First World War music

    Alexander MacGregor, a British officer who served with the Indian army, wrote about an interesting musical performance in his diary.
  • Blog: 1940s

    When the Fireweed Flowers

    June is the month when rosebay willow herb comes into flower, growing from derelict buildings, on wasteland and railway embankments across the UK. During the Second World War and in the following years, its spires of magenta flowers were common to see amidst the ruins and cleared bomb sites, hence the name it was given at the time - fireweed.
  • Blog: Collaborative Doctoral Awards (PhD)

    Remembering and Researching the story of Conscientious Objectors to the First World War

    Men took the stance of Conscientious Objector (CO) and refused to participate in the First World War for a myriad of reasons. Indeed, the highly personal nature of an individual’s ‘conscience’ meant that there were almost as many reasons for objecting as there were objectors.
  • POW Graffiti at Stalag XXA
    © IWMDC 561
    Blog: IWM

    “We are the little boys the BEF forgot”- British POWs and their Graffiti at Stalag XXA, Thorn

    During the Second World War the German Army established a number of POW facilities in the artillery forts in the old Hanseatic city of Thorn (Toruń ) in northern Poland. The camp bore number Stammlager (Stalag) XXA and held Allied prisoners of various nationalities.
  • Brits from nearby Colchester are given a tour around the sights of Boxted air base by members of the 56th Fighter Group in May 1945.
    © IWM FRE 198
    Blog: 1940s

    VE Day: The Start of a Waiting Game

    The American airmen did not simply pack up their bags and board troop ships as the final notes of the VE Day big band faded away. Instead, the Roger Freeman Collection of photographs shows how they spent the time between the end of war and their return home, up in the air and on the ground.
  • Ruby Loftus Screwing A Breech Ring by Laura Knight.
    © IWM Art.IWM ART LD 2850.
    Blog: 1940s

    Fashion on the Ration: 1940s Street Style

    IWM London’s headline exhibition for the spring and summer, Fashion on the Ration: 1940s Street Style, explores how the war impacted upon an intensely personal aspect of life on the home front during the Second World War.
  • Blog: Art And Design

    Suffering and survival: the captive body during the Second World War

    Throughout Southeast Asia during the Second World War, tropical diseases ravaged the bodies of those held by Japanese occupying forces.