ATS personnel manning anti-aircraft defences, 1942

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Britain alone, 1940

Following France's defeat and the army's expulsion from Western Europe, the British found themselves without allies and threatened with invasion. The nation was placed on alert and prepared to face the might of Nazi Germany alone.

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Abram Games poster, 'Your Britain. Fight for It Now', 1942

Abram Games, ABCA and the fight for post-war change

During the Second World War, Abram Games produced a series of posters for the Army Bureau of Current Affairs. These aimed to remind soldiers what they were fighting for, while also offering a glimpse of the post-war society they could aspire to.

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The Norfolk Volunteers at Gunton Park, 1864

Civilian soldiers

Throughout its long history the British Army has relied on part-time soldiers to support its operations, guard British shores and maintain law and order.

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Coastal defence, 1940

Britain alone

France's defeat in the summer of 1940 left Britain threatened with invasion. Find out how the nation was mobilised to resist enemy attack.

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Edward Walker: Eyewitness to civil war

Edward Walker: Eyewitness to civil war

We explore the papers of Sir Edward Walker, Secretary of War to King Charles I, who was at the heart of the Royalist effort during the British Civil Wars.

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A soldier and policeman patrol London, 2017

In case of emergency

Today, we welcome the assistance the British Army provides to the civil authority. But for a long time, its involvement in maintaining order was hugely unpopular.

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English pot helmet, 1640s

Battle of Naseby

Sir Thomas Fairfax led his troops to victory over King Charles I at the Battle of Naseby on 14 June 1645. His triumph won the First English Civil War (1642-46) for Parliament and ensured that monarchs would never again be supreme in British politics.

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