• 10.00am - 5.30pm
  • FREE
  • Chelsea, London
National Army Museum
  • 10.00am - 5.30pm
  • FREE
  • Chelsea, London

Asia

Map briefing for Sikh recruits, 1947
Map briefing for Sikh recruits, 1947
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Independence and Partition, 1947

The birth of India and Pakistan as independent states in 1947 was a key moment in the history of Britain’s Empire and its army.

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Bengal Army Troops, 1785

Armies of the East India Company

Originally formed to trade in Asia, the East India Company came to rule large areas of the Indian subcontinent, exercising military power through its formidable armed forces.

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The Battle of Chillianwala, 13 January 1849

Second Sikh War

In 1848-49, British-Indian forces were once again at war with the Sikh Empire. The campaign that raged across the Punjab eventually led to the region's full annexation by the British and the removal of one of the last Indian powers able to challenge British control of the subcontinent.

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Mapping the Far East Campaign

Mapping the Far East campaign

This video provides a brief summary of the battles fought in the air, on sea and on land during the Far East campaign of the Second World War. It also examines how we remember these events today.

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Japanese flag captured by 6th Battalion, 5th Mahratta Light Infantry, 1945

Japanese good luck flags

A collection of flags captured during the Second World War sheds light on the tough close-quarter combat of the Burma campaign and provides some rare insights about soldiers of the Imperial Japanese Army.

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2nd Battalion 5th Gurkha Rifles at Ahnai Tangi in Waziristan, 14 January 1920

The North-West Frontier

Between 1849 and 1947, British and Indian soldiers undertook a series of punitive expeditions against the fiercely independent tribesmen of this wild and mountainous region.

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Saving the guns at Maiwand, 1880

Second Afghan War

Between 1878 and 1880, 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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A Mahsud tribesmen, c1919

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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Gurkhas open fire during an attack near Palel, April 1944

Battles of Imphal and Kohima

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

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East African soldiers with a captured Japanese flag, 1944 

The Far East campaign

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.

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A British officer with the Armenians, Baku, August 1918

Dunsterforce in the Caucasus

In 1918, the British assembled a handpicked unit to carry out a daring secret mission to the Caucasus. Their aim was to unify into an effective force the various anti-Bolshevik and anti-Turkish groups fighting there.

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Landing troops from transports at Lao Shan Bay, September 1914

Siege of Tsingtao

In the autumn of 1914, British soldiers fought alongside the Japanese in China. Their goal was the German naval base at Tsingtao, which finally fell in November after a two-month siege.

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School students getting to grips with the handling collection
Secondary workshop

6 September 2022 - 20 July 2023

FREE

World at War: Soldiers of Empire

Discover more about the contributions and experiences of soldiers from the British Empire in the First and Second World Wars.

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Troops of 4/4th Gurkha Rifles crossing the River Irrawaddy in Burma, 1945
Members Only

19 December 2022, 2.00pm

FREE

Rise of the Phoenix: The Burma Campaign of 1945

Join esteemed academic Daniel Marston at this exclusive members’ event as he discusses his latest work on the 1945 Burma Campaign and the transformation of the British Indian Army.

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Explore Asia learning resources

Indian Army troops travelling upstream on a barge, Mesopotamia, c1916
Timeline

KS3-KS5 (Ages 11+)

India, Empire and the Army: Interactive Timeline

Explore the history of the British Army in India and the British Empire's Indian armies through this interactive timeline packed with over 200 sources.

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Commonwealth soldiers in Palestine
Video

KS3 (Ages 11 to 14)

Commonwealth soldiers in Palestine

Discover the diverse range of soldiers who contributed to the British First World War effort in Palestine.

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Commonwealth soldiers at Gallipoli
Video

KS3 (Ages 11 to 14)

Commonwealth soldiers at Gallipoli

Discover the diverse range of soldiers who contributed to the British First World War effort at Gallipoli.

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