Wednesday 12 February 2020

Imperial War Museums (IWM) is commemorating 75 years since the end of the Second World War in Europe, sharing the personal stories of people who stood together during a time of national crisis and their reflections once the fighting had stopped.

 

Voices of War: VE Day

People dance while a crowd watches on
© 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.

Listen now >

Second World War

What You Need To Know About VE Day

Second World War

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. It meant an end to nearly six years of a war that had cost the lives of millions; had destroyed homes, families, and cities; and had brought huge suffering and privations to the populations of entire countries.
A truck of revellers passing through the Strand, London, 8 May 1945.

VE DAY: 'WE HAVE COME THROUGH'

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 Read a powerful unpublished poem written by Edmund Blunden, a First World War soldier poet who continued to write and reflect on the consequences of war. 

Read V Day >

History

Family Mission: VE Day House Party

History

Family Mission: VE Day House Party

Swing into the VE Day Bank Holiday and (house) party like it’s 1945 with our special Family Mission! CBBC Presenter Ben Shires has your mission briefing and a special masterclass for you to enjoy. 
Poster for IWM Family Mission: VE Day House Party featuring photographs of celebrations on VE Day

Support Us

As a charity, now more than ever IWM needs your support to ensure we can continue to tell personal stories and experiences of conflict for current and future generations to come.

A Balloon Site, Coventry
© IWM (ART LD 2750)
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Make a donation to IWM and help us to tell the stories of those affected by conflict, launch our ground-breaking exhibitions and deliver our world-class learning programmes. 
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Help tell stories that deserve to be heard by supporting us as a member and uncover a host of benefits including free standard admission to Churchill War Rooms, HMS Belfast and IWM Duxford.
A volunteer talks to young visitors to Imperial War Museums
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Discover the many ways you can support our historically important sites and world-leading collection.

Adventures in History: VE Day - Parties in the Street

Adventures in History: VE Day - Parties in the Street

Calling all adventurers! 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. 

Watch now >

Second World War

Where does 'V for Victory' come from?

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?
V for Victory Thumbnail
Second World War

Beyond VE Day: The Events of Summer 1945

Second World War

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.
Victory parade in Berlin, July 1945. Mr Churchill about to set off in brake to inspect troops before Victory parade in Charlottenburgerchausee.
Victory parade in Berlin, July 1945. Mr Churchill about to set off in brake to inspect troops before Victory parade in Charlottenburgerchausee. © IWM A 30121
VE Day, Women In Wartime

Who Were The Women In The Trafalgar Square Fountains On VE Day?

VE Day, Women In Wartime

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.
Two British sailors and their girlfriends wading in the fountains in Trafalgar Square on VE Day.

After Victory

Second World War
The Atomic Bombs That Ended the Second World War
The end of the Second World War witnessed the emergence of a new weapon. How did the Allies make the decision to drop two atomic bombs on Japan in August 1945? 
King George VI standing with the Labour Prime Minister, Clement Attlee. Black and white photograph Imperial War Museums
Winston Churchill
How Winston Churchill And The Conservative Party Lost The 1945 Election
The 1945 election was the first general election to be held in Britain since November 1935. Churchill had proved himself to be a popular leader during the Second World War, so he was confident that the Conservatives would win this election based on his wartime success.
Indian Independence is celebrated in Malaya shortly before the start of the Malayan Emergency. The Indian flag is raised at Klang, Selangor.
Britain And The Commonwealth Since 1945
The End Of The British Empire After The Second World War
After the Second World War, the disintegration of Britain's empire transformed global politics. Before the war, Britain maintained colonies all over the world, which provided valuable raw materials, manpower and strategic bases. By 1945, however, colonies were an expensive liability for Clement Attlee's newly elected Labour government. 

Explore our shop

  • Prod_24725
    Ground Crew On An RAF Bomber Command Station Print

    This striking image shows a ground crew on a RAF Bomber Command station in Britain celebrating VE day.

  • Prod_25829
    Victory In The Kitchen - Wartime Recipes

    With colour images of wartime posters throughout and an introduction by an IWM historian, it is a fascinating look into what people ate in wartime. 

  • Prod_25376
    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 keyring
    Victory 75 Keyring

    This enamel keyring is shaped in the official IWM Victory 75 logo.

  • Victory 75 tote bag
    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.

  • V75 Pin Badge
    Victory 75 Pin Badge

    This pin badge is shaped in the official IWM Victory 75 logo.