Unseen Enemy

Free exhibition: 19 July 2013 – 31 March 2014

A special exhibition telling the story of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and their impact, focusing on the British Army’s experience in Afghanistan.

This immersive exhibition tells the stories of the men and women who search for, make safe and deal with the impact of IEDs in Afghanistan. Using personal interviews, images and mementoes, Unseen Enemy captures the courage and camaraderie of the service personnel who come into daily contact with these deadly devices and their effects.

‘You are mentally drained… You are very, very tired at the end of the day. But… nothing focuses the mind quite like 40kg of high explosive.’

WO2 Andy Goodwin QCB, Royal Logistic Corps

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Behind the scenes

  • Adding finishing touches to Afghan village
  • Preparing blast bomb suit for display
  • Exhibition cutouts ready to be installed
  • Building regimental aid post set
  • Conservators at work in the gallery

What’s in the exhibition?

Unseen Enemy provides an unflinching insight into the history, development and strategic use of the IED in Afghanistan. This exhibition comprises three main sections:

The Unseen Enemy
An introduction to the concept of the IED, its history and development.
The Threat in Afghanistan
Follow in the footsteps of the troops on the ground as they search for and render safe devices. Find out why IEDs have become the weapon of choice for insurgents in Afghanistan and how service personnel are trained and prepared to manage the threat.
The Impact of the IED
Uncover the immediate aftermath of the explosion, the ‘road to recovery’ and the legacy at home and abroad.