Special Forces: In the Shadows

Opens 17 March 2018

Special Forces: In the Shadows

Extreme training, secret missions, total dedication. Explore the hidden world of the Special Forces through our major new exhibition, and a growing programme of stories and events.

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The interactive tank in Battle gallery

Fun for families


Ten family favourites

Our galleries are full of fascinating objects, surprising stories and interactive fun. Make the most of your visit with this selection of family favourites.

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Play Base

Take on the assault course, climb aboard a truck or prepare scoff in the cookhouse.

What's on at the National Army Museum

SAS troops entering the windows of the Iranian Embassy during the Siege, 1980

Special Forces


What are the Special Forces?

The Special Forces are made up of several elite military units with distinct areas of expertise. Personnel are drawn from all three branches of the armed forces.

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Origins of the Special Forces

During the Second World War, Britain created a range of special units who undertook a variety of daring operations. The bravery and commitment of these forces has become the stuff of legend.


Special Air Service

The SAS is famous around the world. Its highly trained men are renowned for their skills in covert surveillance, close-combat fighting and hostage rescue.

A scene from ‘Arabian Nights’, featuring Lieutenant E Knight as ‘Mrs Hummingtop’, 1918

First World War


First World War in Focus

Discover the national and global impact of the First World War and hear the stories of men and women whose lives were affected by the conflict.

Visit the microsite

Battery Quartermaster Sergeant Samuel Pye

Between February and April 1918, BQMS Samuel Pye took a series of photographs of British soldiers staging concert parties to boost morale on the Western Front.


1918: Year of victory

The German Spring Offensive saw mobile warfare return to the Western Front. Despite early gains, the Germans exhausted themselves, setting the stage for a successful Allied counter-offensive.

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"First time @NAM_London today. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Thought the presentation & interpretation made the subject accessible..."