• CLOSED
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  • Chelsea, London
National Army Museum
  • CLOSED
  • FREE
  • Chelsea, London

Cold War

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

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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British troops taking part in NATO's Exercise Lionheart in Germany, 1984

Active Edge: The Army, Germany and the Cold War

In 1945, British troops occupied Germany alongside their wartime Soviet allies. But growing East-West tensions soon evolved into the Cold War. For the next four decades, soldiers in Germany prepared to face an attack by the Warsaw Pact.

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Civilians gathered around British tanks, Hamburg, May 1945

The Army and the occupation of Germany

Following their victory over Nazi Germany in 1945, the Allies were faced with administering a country in ruins. British soldiers had a leading role in this, helping to hunt war criminals, rebuild industry and help displaced persons.

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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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Foe to Friend: The British Army in Germany since 1945
Exhibition

12 September 2020 - 1 July 2021

FREE

Foe to Friend

More than a million British soldiers have lived and served in Germany over the past 75 years. Immerse yourself in their stories and follow their evolution from conquerors and occupiers to allies and friends.

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Boarding the troopship 'Nevasa' en route to Malaya, 1957
In Conversation

3 December 2020, 6.30pm

FREE

National Service: A Generation in Uniform

The last National Servicemen were called up 60 years ago. Discover the reality of peacetime conscription and its impact on Britain with Professor Richard Vinen.

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Foe to Friend: The British Army in Germany since 1945
Members Only

9 December 2020, 2.00pm

FREE

Foe to Friend: Curatorial Tour

Behind-the-scenes tour of our special exhibition with Dr Peter Johnston.

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Foe to Friend: The British Army in Germany since 1945
Members Only

13 January 2021, 2.00pm

FREE

Foe to Friend: Curatorial Tour

Behind-the-scenes tour of our special exhibition with Dr Peter Johnston.

find out more

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"First time @NAM_London today. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Thought the presentation & interpretation made the subject accessible..."