IWM London

Free exhibition

A black leather espionage suitcase with wireless transmitter and receiver featuring in the Secret War exhibition
Suitcase radio © IWM (COM 143)

Secret War explores the undercover world of espionage, covert operations and the work of Britain’s Special Forces. Discover how threats both at home and abroad were dealt with through the strategies and techniques of the men and women behind some of the most secret espionage missions of the last century.

Uncover classified objects

A compass concealed in a pipe, featuring in the Secret War exhibition
Pipe with hidden compass © IWM (EPH 10095)

Uncover classified objects

Secret War reveals many previously classified objects, on public display for the first time. Together they tell the story of Britain’s covert operations from the foundation of MI5 and MI6 before the First World War, to the Cold War and dealing with the threat of cyber-terrorism today. The exhibition explores the personal experiences of operatives, shedding light on the hidden world of spies and the perils of undercover work.