Permanent

IWM London

Free exhibition

Entering our vast Atrium and you are met with objects that bear witness to the force, fury and physicality of war. Each has a story to tell – from the First World War artillery piece that became a memorial for the men who fought with it, to the wreckage of the Land Rover operated on the Gaza Strip by the press agency Reuters.

BRITISH SUPERMARINE SPITFIRE Mk.Ia

The Spitfire in IWM London's Atrium
© IWM

BRITISH SUPERMARINE SPITFIRE Mk.Ia

The Spitfire is one of the most famous aircraft of the Second World War and is often seen as a symbol of Victory in Britain.

Spitfire Mk Ia, R6915, served with No. 609 (West Riding) RAF Squadron and flew 57 combat missions during the Battle of Britain, flown by 13 different pilots, only 6 of whom survived the Second World War.

Reuters Land Rover

Land Rover used by Reuters in Gaza. Suffered damage in a rocket attack, August 2006.
© IWM

Reuters Land Rover

This Reuters news agency Land Rover was operating in the Gaza Strip near the Karni Crossing when on 26 August 2006 when hit by a rocket (or a substantial fragment thereof) fired by an Israeli helicopter.

One occupant, Sabbah Hmaida (journalist in the passenger seat), was badly injured in the legs, while the other, Fadel Shana (cameraman), suffered minor injuries. 

Reuters made an official complaint to the Israeli authorities, asking why it was fired upon when it was so clearly marked as a Press vehicle.  Two years later Fadel Shana was killed when the marked Press vehicle he was travelling in (again in Gaza) was destroyed by an Israeli tank shell.

 

13-Pounder Néry Gun

13 pounder Mk. I Field Gun in IWM London's Atrium.
© IWM

13-Pounder Néry Gun

The 13 pounder Mk. I Field Gun of 'L' Battery was used during the First World War at Nery, France on 1 September 1914. The position, attacked by IVth German Cavalry Division, was heavily shelled and suffered severe casualties. Captain E. K. Bradbury (posthumous), Battery Sergeant-Major G. T. Dorrell and Sergeant D. Nelson were awarded Victoria Crosses for their part in defending the Gun in battle.

 

T-34 Tank

T-34 Tank in IWM London's Atrium.
© IWM

T-34 Tank

The Soviet-designed T-34, produced in 1940, was one of the best performing tanks of the Second World War. Manufactured in huge numbers, its introduction greatly influenced the war on the Eastern Frontin favour of Soviet Russia’s Red Army.

The T-34 was a major leap in tank design, achieving a crucial balance between armour, firepower and mobility - that eluded British tank designers for so long, and came as a complete shock to the Germans when it was first encountered in July 1941. It spurred the Germans to revitalise their own barely adequate tank force and embark on a technological arms race in which Britain quickly fell behind.

BAGHDAD CAR

The Baghdad car, damaged in a car bomb attack on the book market at Al-Mutanabbi Street in central Baghdad in 2007
© IWM

BAGHDAD CAR

This car was destroyed by a suicide car bombing against the Mutanabbi Street book market in Baghdad, at a time of growing sectarian violence, almost four years after the US-led invasion of Iraq. It was later exported from Iraq and exhibited in the Netherlands, before being acquired by British Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller. Deller toured the car across the United States, in company with a former American soldier and an Iraqi expatriate, as a means of starting conversations about Iraq.

It was donated to IWM and has been exhibited in the IWM London Atrium since 2010.

V2 Rocket

The V2 and Spitfire in IWM London's Atrium
© IWM

V2 Rocket

A streamlined rocket that stood as tall as a four-storey building, the V2 was highly advanced technology. Powered by a rocket engine burning a mix of alcohol-water and liquid oxygen, the V2 blasted its way to the edge of space, before falling back to Earth at supersonic speed.

V2 rockets were manufactured by forced labour, tens of thousands of civilians from occupied Europe were subjected to a brutal regime while working for Nazi Germany.

The development of this long range ballistic missile had a lasting effect on the nature of warfare.

Harrier Jet

Family looking at the Harriet Jet in the Atrium at IWM London
© IWM

Harrier Jet

Developed in the 1960s,the BAE Harrier GR9 was the first operational fixed-wing aircraft to be capable of VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) and was nicknamed the “jump jet".

This Harrier Jet flew patrols over Northern Iraq in the early 1990s and was twice deployed to Afghanistan.

Ohka kamikaze aircraft

Ohka kamikaze aircraft is suspended in IWM London atrium
© IWM

Ohka kamikaze aircraft

A Japanese single-seat suicide attack (Kamikaze) aircraft, the Ohka (Cherry Blossom) was employed by Japan against Allied ships towards the end of the Second World War.

The Ohka replaces the V1 flying bomb, which will be in the new Second World War and The Holocaust Galleries, opening this year, highlighting how the Second World War remains the most devastating conflict in human history.

Exhibition

History of Bombs

Exhibition

History of Bombs

Until 5 September 2021
IWM London
Internationally renowned artist, Ai Weiwei, takes over IWM London’s iconic atrium with a new artwork.
© IWM, Ai Weiwei, History of Bombs 2020
© IWM, Ai Weiwei, History of Bombs 2020

WAR AND CONFLICT

British infantry silhouetted against the skyline in Kuwait, as the troops prepare for operations in Iraq, 2003.
© Crown Copywright (OP-TELIC 03-010-17-145)
Contemporary conflict
Timeline of 20th and 21st Century Wars
Military conflict took place during every year of the 20th Century. There were only short periods of time that the world was free of war. The total number of deaths caused by war during the 20th Century has been estimated at 187 million and is probably higher.
Lt Col Tim Collins, Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion Royal Irish Regiment Battle Group, addresses his troops about the forthcoming campaign, 5 March 2003.
Contemporary conflict
The Important Facts about the Iraq War
On 20 March 2003, a United States-led international coalition - which included Britain - launched an invasion of Iraq.
Ruined flats in Limehouse, East London. Hughes Mansions, Vallance Road, following the explosion of the last German V2 rocket to fall on London, 27 March 1945.
Second World War
The Terrifying German 'Revenge Weapons' Of The Second World War
The V1 flying bombs - also known as the 'doodlebugs' or 'buzz bombs' on account of the distinctive sound they made when in flight - were winged bombs powered by a jet engine. Launched from a ramp, or later from adapted bomber aircraft, the V1's straight and level flight meant that many were shot down before they reached their targets. 

DISCOVER MORE AT IWM LONDON

Visitor taking a photo of a sign on the wall
©IWM
Permanent display
Peace and Security: 1945 - 2015

IWM London

Permanent

A family and their overloaded car at a refugee centre on the Iraq-Kuwait border, during the First Gulf War, 1991.
A family and their overloaded car at a refugee centre on the Iraq-Kuwait border, during the First Gulf War, 1991. © John Keane (IWM GLF 174)
Exhibition
Refugees: Forced to Flee

IWM London

Until 13 June 2021

Explore! A Kids Guide to IWM London
IWM
Tour
Explore! A Kid's Guide to IWM London

IWM London

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