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A truly insightful museum exploring the conflicts of the 20th century, primarily those affecting Great Britain

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WW1 & WW2 Aircraft
WW1 & WW2 Artillery
WW1 & WW2 Tanks
Espionage and Spy Gadgets
Photos and Memorabilia

Photo DanieVDM
The Imperial War Museum was first opened in 1917 to commemorate and honour those who had died in the First World War, even though the war had not ended at that time. From there it has grown into a truly insightful museum exploring the conflicts of the 20th century, primarily those affecting Great Britain.

The Museum Building
Photo DanieVDM
At the Imperial War Museum there is a vast array of things to be seen, all of them poignant in their own way. From one of the country’s best photographic archives, to weapons, armour and spy gadgets; from personal accounts of war, to art work, war memorabilia and medals. There are permanent galleries at the museum, which include an exhibition on the holocaust of World War Two, and a Large Exhibits Gallery that showcases some of the most important weapons in the world.

WW1 Tank
Photo DanieVDM
There are First World and Second World War Galleries, exploring the political reasons behind the wars and their beginnings, as well as a gallery on conflicts since 1945. There is a section of the museum devoted to ethnic wars, like crimes against humanity such as genocide. There is also a gallery named ‘Secret War’. This is devoted to the world of espionage; the organisations and of course the gadgets that make covert operations so covert!

WW1 Biplane
Photo DanieVDM
The building, now housing the Imperial War Museum, was originally used as a psychiatric hospital, called the Bethlem Royal Hospital. This hospital became known as Bedlam;which is how this word came to mean chaos, wild uproar and confusion.

An American P51 Mustang
Photo jimbowen0386
The Imperial War museum also has some great temporary exhibitions too. For example, a devoted look at James Bond commemorates Ian Fleming’s work on our favourite secret agent. Wars as told through the eyes of children, and black soldiers’ involvement in the two major World Wars are all on the table for some of these fantastic temporary shows.

Various war medals on display
Photo Nics events

A 9.2-inch Mark I siege Howitzer. This prototype was tested in July 1914, then hastily shipped to France
Photo shimgray

Artillery dials and settings
Photo machernucha
Visitor Information
The Imperial War Museum is open daily 10am to 6pm. Entry is FREE. Nearest Tube Lambeth North or Elephant & Castle. Tel: 020 7416 5000

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