The Second World War finally came to an end on all fronts in 1945. Explore the momentous events that led to the culmination of the most devastating conflict in modern global history.
© IWM EA 65796
Voices of War: VE Day
Reflect on the 75th anniversary of VE Day with our Voices of War soundscape, featuring first-hand accounts of those who witnessed the events of 8 May 1945.
Then explore contemporary responses to what victory means through six artistic commissions created to mark Victory 75.
© IWM MH 21835
What you need to know about VE Day
8 May 1945 – VE (Victory in Europe) Day – was one that remained in the memory of all those who witnessed it. Find out what happened and what it meant to those whose lives had been changed by war.
Edmund Blunden © IWM Q 101782
VE Day: 'We Have Come Through'
What did Victory mean in 1945? Read a powerful unpublished poem written by Edmund Blunden, a First World War soldier poet who continued to write and reflect on the consequences of war.
Adventures in History: VE Day - Parties in the Street
Learn more about VE Day in our new fact-filled family film.
Discover lots of fascinating stories about how people celebrated this important day in 1945 - and take on a very special challenge set by IWM curator Vikki.
© IWM (EA 65799).
Who were the women in the Trafalgar Square fountains on VE Day?
It's an iconic photograph - one that has been used across the world to highlight the celebrations on VE Day, the end of the Second World War in Europe. But there's always been one big question surrounding this particular image: what was the story behind those two women smiling for the camera in the Trafalgar Square fountains on 8 May 1945.
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?
Beyond VE Day: The Events of Summer 1945
The photographs of smiling faces on VE Day conceal the challenges and struggles that still lay ahead in 1945.
Voices of War: Nagasaki
On 9 August 1945, an atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki.
IWM has created a new soundscape to mark the 75th anniversary of the attack on Nagasaki. Hear the voices of some of the witnesses, including a Japanese schoolboy and British and Chinese prisoners of war.
I Saw The World End
A new digital artwork by Es Devlin and Machiko Weston.
75 years ago, two nuclear weapons were detonated over the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August 1945. ‘I Saw the World End’ is a response to those precise moments of destruction from both a British and Japanese perspective.
Voices of War: VJ Day
75 years ago, the Second World War came to an end and was marked by the Allied nations on VJ Day.
But for many, it was a day of mixed emotions after years of brutal war. Hear the voices of some of those who witnessed VJ Day and find out what it meant to them.
Rare Colour Footage of London on VJ DAY
Watch how people in London celebrated VJ Day in this rare footage from IWM's collections.
11 Photos of VJ Day Celebrations
See how people in Britain - and servicemen stationed abroad - marked the end of the Second World War.
VJ Day on Film
IWM's film collection includes footage of how the end of the Second World War was marked in London, Hong Kong and Toronto.
VJ Day and the End of the Second World War
What did the end of the Second World War mean to people whose lives had been touched by the conflict?
The proposed invasion of Japan
On 8 May 1945, the Allies celebrated VE Day, marking the end of the war in Europe. But the war in the east still raged on and Japanese surrender seemed a long way off.
HMS Belfast and VJ Day
HMS Belfast was on her way to fight in the war in the Far East when VJ Day came.
Find out how the men on board reacted to the end of the Second World War - and the important role they played in the months that followed.
Decolonisation in South East and South Asia
VJ Day marked the end of the Second World War in August 1945. Yet the conflict did not end on this day, particularly in Asia. While decolonisation across South & South East Asia seemed inevitable, the territory of the British Empire was at its apogee in 1945 and the journey to independence for countries in this region was not simple.
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Churchill Victory Mug
Churchill set out the war aims of his new government in the speech, answering with just one word; Victory. Our exclusive design features on this mug, celebrating one of Churchill's most memorable quotes.
Victory 75 Tote Bag
A limited edition tote badge with IWM's exclusive design. Featuring an original image taken on 8th May 1945 at Trafalgar square, it has become synonymous with VE Day celebrations and is part of IWM's collections.
In 1945, the Allied nations marked the end of the Second World War on VE Day and VJ Day.
But in today’s context, as conflicts descend into protracted crises, what does it really mean to ‘win’ a war and what challenges do we face when it comes to peacebuilding? Journalists, peacebuilders, artists and academics question the concept of victory through a series of debates, discussions and performances.