IWM Stories is a new video series from the Imperial War Museums that tackles the big conflict questions that you want answered, from First World War tanks to Churchill's election disaster. We're sharing a brand new IWM Story on our YouTube Channel every fortnight, so make sure to subscribe so you never miss a episode.

Animal commrades

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Animal commrades

From pigeons to elephants, animals have accompanied men and women into combat throughout history. In this video, we’re taking a look at seven of the top animals that have gone to war over the past 100 years.

Watch this episode >


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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?
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Second World War
How did Churchill Lose the 1945 General Election
Winston Churchill is arguably Britain's greatest wartime leader, having led his country through its 'Darkest Hour' all the way to victory over Nazi Germany in 1945. So why, just months after VE Day, did he lose the 1945 General Election?
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Second World War
Blitzkrieg Explained
In 1940, Hitler did the seemingly impossible. Within a matter of weeks, Germany had managed to take the entirety of France and send the British army back across the channel. This remarkable success was widely put down to their new tactic: Blitzkrieg or 'Lightning War'. So, what is Blitzkrieg and why was it so effective?
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First World War
Why do tanks have genders?
On 15 September 1916, tanks were used in combat for the first time at the Battle of Flers-Courcelette. These early tanks slow and unreliable, shown by the fact that only 25 of the 49 tanks deployed actually moved forward at the start of the attack. But more strangely, half of those 25 tanks were male and the other half were female. So why do tanks have genders and why do we name weapons at all?
A Breaching whale superimposed over munitions factory workers. The text reads: The forgotten victims of the First World War
First World War
The forgotten animals of the First World War
The First World War was the first 'total war'. That meant that every facet of each nation was focused on the war effort and that nothing was out of reach. The victims of this new global conflict stretched beyond the soldiers in the trenches and the civilians caught in the crossfire. So who were the forgotten victims of the First World War and why were they so important?  
Video thumbnail showing: A child licking a national savings stamp with pound coins behind her and text reading 'why were children paying for wars'.
First World War
How children helped pay for both world wars
Wars are expensive, world wars doubly so, and that meant governments were fighting for every penny. They raised taxes, introduced rationing, and took on loans. But after all that, they still had to borrow money from their own citizens in the form of War Bonds. So what is a War Bond and how did states their citizens, including children, to pay up?
Second World War
Why were Atomic Bombs Dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki?
The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 brought an end to the Second World War, but at a terrible cost to the Japanese civilian population, and signalling the dawn of the nuclear age. What had led to the fateful decision to deploy these new weapons of mass destruction?
Air Chief Marshall Sir Hugh Dowding and a Hawker Hurricane super imposed onto the Filter Room table at Bentley Priory with the words "How Dowding Won"
Second World War
How Hugh Dowding and the RAF won the Battle of Britain
The Battle of Britain is often defined by images of Spitfires and Messerschmitts duelling in the skies. But what if the deciding factor in this fight for air supremacy was actually based on the ground? IWM Duxford Curator Craig Murray takes a look at the Dowding System and explains how it turned the battle decisively in Britain's favour.
A Bosnian and two Iraqi refugees imposed onto an image of Belgian refugees leaving their homes after the First World War, with the words 'why do refugees leave?'.
First World War
Why do Refugees leave their homes?
Since the First World War, countless lives have been shattered by conflict. Refugees across the globe have had to leave their homes and make journeys to settle somewhere else. This is still happening today. But what drives this displacement? Why do people leave their homes?

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Second World War
How did the Observer Corps help win the Battle of Britain?
Just under 3,000 RAF aircrew risked their lives to face the Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain, yet on the ground, around 30,000 volunteers formed a highly-trained network of aircraft observers working around the clock to support the men in the air.
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Second World War
The Polish pilots in the Battle of Britain
The pilots who defended Britain against the German Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain came from across the globe. The largest foreign contingent to fight in the Battle of Britain were the Polish, and their contribution and skills during the battle have become legendary.
Men going over the top during the First World War with the text 'trench warfare explained'
First World War
Life in the trenches of the First World War
When it comes to the First World War there's one thing that instantly comes to mind - trenches. Muddy, rat-infested hell holes with death around every corner. Places so bad that only going over the top could be worse. Trenches dominate our perspective. But are our perceptions really accurate?
Winston Churchill holding a white flag with the text "We surrender".
Second World War
Could the Blitz have made Britain surrender?
London, Coventry, Manchester and many more were bombed. But could the Blitz have worked? In this episode of IWM Stories, Senior Curator Ian Kikuchi answers that very question by looking at one the deadliest nights of the Blitz, the bombing of Coventry.
White Russian logo and Re Russian logo on map of Soviet Russia. With the text "First world War 1914 - 1923?"
First World War
When did the First World War really end?
What happened after World War One? What were the consequences of the First World War? When the First World War ended, Europe did not return to peace. In fact, by some estimates, the five years following 1918 were deadlier than the 4 years of war preceding it. In this week's episode of IWM Stories, Assistant Curator Geoffrey Spender takes a closer look at three of these conflicts; The Irish war of Independence, The Russian Revolution and The Greco-Turkish War.
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Second World War
Evacuees of the Second World War
Evacuation in Britain during the Second World War amounted to the biggest mass movement of people in British history, with around 4 million people leaving their homes to escape the Blitz. How did it feel to be an evacuee, a parent or a volunteer host?
First World War
The Christmas Truce of 1914
The photographs, letters and interviews in IWM’s collection tell the real story of the Christmas Truce. In this video, Head of Documents and Sound Anthony Richards explains how the truce came about, its impact on the course of the First World War and why it never happened again after 1914.
French troops running towards a German tank with planes flying over head. The text reads "WW1 Top 10 Biggest Battles".
First World War
Top 10 most important battles of The First World War
Discover the 10 most important battles of the First World War from 1914-1918. From the longest, deadliest and most difficult battles of the First World War to the battles which would define nations and change warfare forever.


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Film and War
Film Favourites from the Archives
Discover our Film Favourites series in which curators talk about their highlights from IWM's vast film collection. 
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VE Day- Parties in the Street
Join IWM expert Vikki as she shares real life stories of celebration and revelry in the wake of the VE Day announcement of 1945
Photograph of HMS Belfast sailing from Scapa Flow
HMS Belfast and D-Day
Discover the role HMS Belfast played on D-Day.