British troops board HMS Unicorn at Hong Kong for the voyage to Korea, 25 August 1950

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Korean War

In 1950 the Cold War heated up with the outbreak of the Korean War (1950-53). This three-year bloody and brutal struggle left millions of North and South Koreans dead, and over 100,000 casualties for the United Nations forces involved. Despite this, the conflict is a forgotten war today, but its legacy still has a huge global impact.

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A Conqueror tank of 5th Royal Tank Regiment in Germany, c1960

Nato and the British Army

Nato has been the cornerstone of British defence planning for 70 years. Originally formed in the 1940s as a bulwark against communism, more recently it has been involved in peacekeeping roles and the ‘war on terror’.

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Field Marshal Gerald Templer, 1958

Gerald Templer: The smiling tiger

Field Marshal Sir Gerald Templer commanded infantry and armoured divisions during the Second World War. He later went on to lead a successful counter-insurgency operation in Malaya.

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A 25-pounder of 45 Field Regiment, Royal Artillery, fires at enemy positions on the Imjin, 1951

Battle of the Imjin River

Fought in April 1951 in Korea, this was the bloodiest engagement endured by the British Army since the Second World War. For three days the 29th British Independent Infantry Brigade Group thwarted massed Chinese attacks.

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United Nations Korean War Medal

Korean War

In 1950, the Cold War significantly heated up, with the outbreak of the Korean War. The three year long struggle left millions dead, and its legacy still has explosive global impact today.

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Patrolling the Malayan jungle, 1950s

Malayan Emergency

The Malayan Emergency (1948-60) was one of the few successful counter-insurgency operations undertaken by the Western powers during the Cold War.

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Boarding the troopship ‘Nevasa’ on route to Malaya, 1957

What was National Service?

National Service, a standardised form of peacetime conscription, was introduced in 1947 for all able-bodied men between the ages of 18 and 30.

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