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Gurkhas open fire during an attack near Palel, April 1944
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Battles of Imphal and Kohima

These formed the turning point of one of the most gruelling campaigns of the Second World War. The decisive Japanese defeat in north-east India in 1944 became the springboard for the subsequent re-conquest of Burma.

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Saving the guns at Maiwand, 1880

Second Afghan War

In 1878-80, British-Indian forces fought a war to ensure that Afghanistan remained free from Russian interference. Although eventually successful, the British suffered several setbacks in their struggle to control the volatile country.

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Tribesmen from Kohistan, a region north-east of Kabul, c1842

First Afghan War

Between 1839 and 1842, British imperial forces fought a bitter war in Afghanistan. Initially successful, the British eventually withdrew having suffered one of the worst military disasters of the 19th century.

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Soldiers huddle under helicopter

Iraq War: The counter-insurgency

Between 2003 and 2009, British troops in Iraq were engaged in a counter-insurgency war. They also helped train local security units, assisted with reconstruction and provided humanitarian aid.

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A Royal Irish Regiment vehicle passes a burning oil well during the invasion of Iraq, March 2003

Iraq War: The invasion

In March 2003, British troops took part in a coalition invasion of Iraq. After a month of combat operations, they overthrew Saddam Hussein's regime and occupied the country.

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The 2nd Lancashire Fusiliers with Achilles tank destroyers near Ferrara, April 1945

The battle for Italy

For almost two years during the Second World War (1939-45), the Allies fought a bitter struggle in Italy against a determined and skilful enemy. Far from being the ‘soft underbelly of Europe’, Italy became one of the war’s most exhausting campaigns.

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A Mahsud tribesmen, c1919

The Third Afghan War and the Revolt in Waziristan

In May 1919, conflict broke out between British India and Afghanistan. Although peace was quickly agreed, the violence spread to the North West Frontier, challenging British control of that region.

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The Battle of Minden, 1759

Seven Years War

Fought between 1756 and 1763, this conflict can claim to be the original 'world war'. Franco-British fighting in North America and India became part of a general war in Europe with far-reaching consequences.

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The death of Major Pierson and the defeat of the French attack on Jersey, 1781

American War of Independence: Key battles

In 1775, Britain’s American colonies rebelled in a bid for independence. The British Army performed fairly well in battle against the rebels, but it was unable to prevent the loss of territory following French and Spanish entry into the war.

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Battle of Bunker Hill, June 1775

American War of Independence: Outbreak

In 1775, political and economic concerns led the inhabitants of Britain’s 13 American colonies to rise up in revolt. The subsequent conflict divided families and communities across North America.

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1st Reserve Regiment of Cavalry in training, 1914

Cavalry on the Western Front

In the First World War, the cavalry could no longer deliver the decisive charges it had performed in the past. But it continued to carry out a variety of useful roles that contributed to British success.

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Horses carrying ammunition, c1917

Horse power in the First World War

Without its hard-working horses, the Army could not have functioned during the First World War. Their contribution included carrying and pulling supplies, ammunition, artillery and even the wounded.

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General Sir Charles Keightly, Commander in Chief Operation Muskateer, meets French paratroopers at Suez, 1956

Suez Crisis

In 1956, British and French forces invaded Egypt in collusion with Israel. Although the military operation was a success, the political storm it caused led to a humiliating withdrawal.

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