Permanent

IWM London

Free exhibition

IWM London’s new Second World War Galleries display over 1,500 collection items that will bring to life a war which affected millions of people from around the world, from London to Russia, to New Zealand, to China and the Philippines.

It is a war with which everyone will have a personal connection.

Dedicated to conserving, displaying and interpreting stories of the most devastating conflict in human history, IWM London is the first museum in the world to house Second World War Galleries and The Holocaust Galleries under the same roof. These new galleries will change the way we understand the past for generations to come.

Spanning two floors, these vast new galleries bring together the stories of real people from diverse communities to examine the complex relationship between the Holocaust and the course and consequences of the Second World War.

 

During busy period, we cannot guarantee access to the new Second World War and The Holocaust Galleries, even if you have pre booked a general admission ticket. You may have to collect a timed ticket from the info desk on level 0 to enter the new galleries.

Personal stories

Visitors exploring the Second World War exhibition
©IWM

Personal stories

The Second World War and the Holocaust will soon pass out of living memory, leaving us without the first-hand testimony of veterans, eyewitnesses and survivors. IWM’s new galleries preserve their stories and ensure the world never forgets what they experienced.

The new galleries bring together significant new acquisitions and loans, alongside items from IWM’s collections, including the first piece of wreckage of the USS Arizona, sunk at Pearl Harbor in 1941, ever to be displayed outside of the United States.

Unseen objects, untold stories, unheard voices

Visitor explore the Second World War exhibition
©IWM

Unseen objects, untold stories, unheard voices

Through these unseen objects, untold stories and unheard voices, together with the newest research and technology, gain an understanding about the most devastating conflict in modern global history and the genocide of the Holocaust.

Learn More

Cover of Total War, a book from IWM

Learn More

Total War is an illustrated account of the most pivotal historical episode of the 20th century: the Second World War. It was not one single event, but rather the confluence of many simultaneous conflicts across the globe – on land, in the air, across the sea and beneath it. 

This authoritative, immersive account of a conflict that forever reshaped the geopolitical landscape is told not only through compelling photographs of wartime events and detailed maps, but also through a series of artefacts that convey the real-life stories of those involved, from Europe, Asia, the United States and beyond.

Published to coincide with the much-anticipated opening of the new Second World War and Holocaust galleries at Imperial War Museum London, in 2021, this is an essential book for anyone with an interest in the everyday realities of one of the most brutal and significant wars in modern history.

Buy now >

Discover more at IWM London

Visitor explore the Second World War exhibition
©IWM
Talks & Tours

Total War: A Guided Tour of the Second World War Galleries

IWM London
Selected dates

Holocaust exhibition with two visitors
©IWM
Permanent Display

The Holocaust Galleries

IWM London
Permanent

Now Open
 Sir Ben Helfgott MBE with his grandson Sam
© Frederic Aranda.
Exhibitions & Installations

Generations: Portraits of Holocaust Survivors

IWM London
Until 9 January 2022

Last Chance

The Second World War

© IWM BU 6629 People awaiting admission to No.17 Displaced Persons Assembly Centre at Hamburg Zoological Gardens.
© IWM BU 6629 People awaiting admission to No.17 Displaced Persons Assembly Centre at Hamburg Zoological Gardens.
Evacuated troops on a destroyer about to berth at Dover, 31 May 1940.
Second World War
The Photographers And Filmmakers Who Captured The Second World War
When the Second World War broke out in September 1939, just one Army photographer, Geoffrey Keating, and one cameraman, Harry Rignold, accompanied the British Expeditionary Force to France. On 24 October 1941, the Army agreed to form a corps of trained photographers and cameramen.
V for Victory Thumbnail
Second World War
Where does 'V for Victory' come from?
Winston's Churchill's V for Victory sign is perhaps one the most iconic of the Second World War, but where does it come from?