WAR ON FILM – The Longest Day

Taylor Downing takes a look at how 1960s Hollywood dealt with one of the most important days of the Second World War. ‘Hollywood meets D-Day’ is probably the best way to describe the all-star spectacular The Longest Day released in 1962. Most of the key players in early 1960s Hollywood competed to be in the […]


WAR ON FILM – Overlord

Taylor Downing remembers Stuart Cooper’s ground-breaking 1975 World War II film. Stuart Cooper’s film Overlord (1975) is the only feature film ever produced by the Imperial War Museum. While the museum has worked closely with many television companies on documentary productions over the decades, Overlord uses the museum’s resources in the production of a drama-documentary […]


RECOMMENDED READ – Death from the Skies

Even though nearly 70 years have passed since the end of the Second World War, the statistics on the destruction caused by the aerial bombing campaigns still beggar belief. Around 400,000 people, many of whom were civilians, died within the 1942 borders of the German Reich. Up to 25,000 people, again mostly civilians, perished in […]


Film Review: The Railway Man

Based on the autobiography of WWII prisoner-of-war Eric Lomax, this moving and harrowing new film deals with the horrific torture inflicted on prisoners by the Japanese on the infamous Burma Railway. The set-up is cleverly orchestrated. The film begins as if it is going to be a saccharine love story between the charming stranger Patti […]

Cricket - World War Two - Lord's


What did cricket mean to troops and civilians during WWII? Crispin Andrews has scoured the MCC library to find out. Even Hitler had the common decency to wait until the 1939 cricket season was almost over before invading Poland. When war broke out, cricket was seen as a metaphor for life for both English high […]


WMD – The Elefant

Eric Bryan examines one of the most fearsome machines of WWII. Germany’s advanced WWII war machinery included intercontinental ballistic missiles (the V-2), rocket planes (the Me 163 Komet), and jet fighters (the Me 262). The Wehrmacht was no less determined to attain ground superiority, and with its armour it likewise reached for the most powerful […]

Kettenkrad 2

WMD – The Kettenkrad

Eric Bryan examines the only gun tractor small enough to fit inside the hold of a Junker Ju 52 aircraft. Popularly named the ‘motorcycle halftrack’, Kettenkrad translates as ‘tracked motorcycle’. Also called the SdKfz 2 or Kleines Kettenkraftrad HK 101, the Kettenkrad was designed in 1939 as a gun tractor which could pull artillery through boggy, […]


BEHIND THE IMAGE – ‘Forcibly Pulled Out of Dug-outs’

In May 1944, an official document was prepared by Jürgen Stroop detailing the suppression of the Warsaw Uprising. The 75-page report was put together for the benefit of Heinrich Himmler and assembled as if it were a souvenir album. The contents of the report, despite the design, contained images of a stricken city razed to […]

Transportation Plan

The Allied Transportation Plan

Taken from our Bombing For D-Day feature by Thomas Withington, this map shows the railyards in France targeted by the RAF as well as the D-Day Allied landing spots. After initial scepticism from the likes of Arthur ‘Bomber’ Harris, the vital Transportation Plan of 1944 was put in motion to great effect in preparation for […]

Battle of the Pacific DVD AMARAY 2D

DVD Review – Battle for the Pacific

The opening scenes of this Japanese WWII film throw us straight into furious action. Japanese troops holding the islandof Saipan are being hurled from their defences by US bombardment. Then, interesting contemporary footage of the assault plays as an American narrator explains that four months have past since the official surrender of the island. Next, we […]