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Cavalry of the New Model Army, c1645
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British Civil Wars

Fought between 1642 and 1651, these wars were primarily disputes between Crown and Parliament about how the British Isles should be governed. But they also had religious and social dimensions, and witnessed the creation of the first national standing army.

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Lieutenant Jimmy Sale, 1941

The Sale Collection: Origins and early years

In the first instalment of this series, we learn about the origins of the 3rd County of London Yeomanry (Sharpshooters), its pre-war service and the outbreak of fighting in 1939.

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The Battle of Dettingen, 1743

Battle of Dettingen

Fought in southern Germany on 27 June 1743, Dettingen saw British forces stand in alliance with those of Hanover and Austria against the French. It was the last time a reigning British monarch personally led his troops in battle.

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Members of 3 Para celebrate victory, 1982

The British Army and the Falklands War

In April 1982, British soldiers joined a naval task force sent to re-take the Falkland Islands after their surprise capture by the Argentine military. They went on to play a key part in the land campaign that helped secure victory in the war.

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Passing German prisoners of war when moving up to the Aller, Germany, April 1945

Countdown to victory

In the spring of 1945, Allied armies began their final advance into the heart of Nazi Germany. After weeks of intense fighting, they secured victory, ending the most destructive war in Europe's history.

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Tipu Sultan's war turban taken during the capture of Seringapatam in 1799

Tipu Sultan's war turban

A rare helmet belonging to one of India's greatest warrior princes sheds light on the relatively unknown Mysore Wars, a series of conflicts in the late 18th century that helped decide the political future of southern India.

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SAS troops storming the Iranian Embassy, 1980

Iranian Embassy siege

One of the most famous counter-terrorism operations in history took place in 1980. Gunmen overran the Iranian Embassy in London and took hostages, but the crisis was resolved when the building was stormed by the SAS.

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A gun of the Elswick Battery during the advance from Lydenburg to Watervalonder, 1900

Boer War artillery volunteers

A rare Boer War naval gun, one of only three of its type remaining in Britain, sheds light on the largely unknown role of artillery volunteers in the South African war.

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The burning of Belsen, May 1945

The liberation of Belsen

As the British Army advanced into the heart of Nazi Germany in the spring of 1945, its soldiers were confronted with the full horrors of the Holocaust at the notorious Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

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Crimean War Victoria Cross recovered from the River Thames foreshore in 2015

The mystery of the Thames VC

A Victoria Cross found on the shores of the River Thames in 2015 is the subject of an ongoing mystery. Now, research has narrowed down the list of possible owners to two heroic soldiers of the Crimean War.

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Victoria Crosss

The Victoria Cross

The Victoria Cross is one of the highest awards a British soldier can receive. It requires an act of extreme bravery in the presence of the enemy, and has achieved almost mythical status, with each award accompanied by an inspiring tale of gallantry and daring.

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The Battle of Busaco, 27 September 1810

Peninsular War

From 1808 to 1814, the British Army, aided by its Spanish and Portuguese allies, held off superior numbers of French troops before driving them out of Iberia. They then carried the war into France, playing an important part in Napoleon's first overthrow.

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Lieutenant-Colonel Randolph Egerton, The King's Troop of Horse Guards, c1672

The Restoration and the birth of the British Army

In 1660, the monarchy was restored when Parliament invited King Charles II to take the throne. Although the military played a crucial role in his return, the King soon established a new force - the British Army.

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