During the Second World War, Britain created a range of special units who undertook a variety of daring operations against the Axis Powers. The bravery and commitment of these forces has become the stuff of legend.
The Crimean War was fought by Britain, France, Turkey and Sardinia against Russia. For the British, the campaign was symbolised by military and logistical incompetence alongside the bravery and endurance of its soldiers.
British forces occupied Egypt in 1882 to safeguard the Suez Canal and British financial interests. This led to further intervention in the neighbouring Sudan, where two wars against rebellious Islamic tribesmen were fought in hostile desert conditions.
Field Marshal Frederick Sleigh Roberts was one of Britain’s most successful military commanders of the 19th century, winning victories during the Second Afghan War and revitalising the British campaign in the Boer War.
After initial successes in North Africa during the Second World War, Field Marshal Sir Claude Auchinleck transferred to India as Commander-in-Chief. His unstinting logistical support there was vital to the Allied re-conquest of Burma.
From humble beginnings, Field Marshal Sir Colin Campbell rose to lead the Highland Brigade in the Crimean War and was in command of the 'Thin Red Line' at Balaklava. He later led a relief army with great distinction during the Indian Mutiny of 1857.
Between December 1941 and August 1945, British Commonwealth troops and their allies fought a bitter war across the vast expanses of Asia and the Pacific Ocean against a tenacious and often brutal enemy.
Major-General Sir Robert Sale served in several important campaigns on the Indian subcontinent. He skillfully commanded the besieged garrison at Jalalabad during the First Afghan War, before being killed in action in the First Sikh War.
Field Marshal Jan Christiaan Smuts successfully led troops against Britain in the Boer War. He later commanded the South African Defence Force fighting alongside British soldiers in several First World War campaigns.
On Easter Monday 1916, Irish nationalists launched an armed revolt against British rule in Ireland. Although quickly suppressed by the British Army, the rising was a seminal moment in modern Irish history.