The infantry advance at El Alamein, 1942


The struggle for North Africa, 1940-43

The bitter struggle that rolled back and forth across the North African desert was the first major Allied victory of the Second World War.

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Explore Africa stories

Major David Stirling, c1942

David Stirling: The Phantom Major

David Stirling was a pioneer of British Special Forces. In 1941, he founded the Special Air Service (SAS) in Egypt to undertake small-scale raids behind enemy lines.

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Sergeant Herbert Chambers with fellow Special Boat Service soldiers in Athens, 1944

Origins of the Special Forces

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.

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The storming of Magdala, 1868

Abyssinia Expedition

The 1868 expedition to Abyssinia (modern day Ethiopia) was one of the most ambitious and expensive military campaigns ever undertaken by the British Army.

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Explore Africa events

The Abyssinian War, 1867-68: Campaigning in ‘a country of which we know so little’

27 April 2018, 11.30am


The Abyssinian War, 1867-68

Professor Edward Spiers discusses the British expedition against Emperor Theodore II of Ethiopia.

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Explore Africa learning resources

Army and Empire

KS4-KS5 (Age 14+)

Army and Empire

Follow this gallery trail to become a documentary filmmaker exploring the British Empire in Africa.

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Commonwealth soldiers in East Africa

KS3 (Age 11 to 14)

Commonwealth soldiers in East Africa

Discover the surprising and diverse range of soldiers who contributed to the British First World War effort in East Africa.

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