Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Imperial War Museum - London

Imperial War Museum in London

This photo of The Imperial War Museum in London is part of one of the panoramic images found on the PanoramicEarth.com Tour of London. There are over 100 images taken from around London linked to an interactive map.

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The Imperial War Museum in London is found in Lambeth, and covers the war throughout the 20C, especially the conflicts that have involved Britain and the Commonwealth. Entrance to the Imperial War Museum is free, but there may be charges for special exhibitions.

In front of the Imperial War Museum are two massive guns from the HMS Ramillies (left) and the HMS Resolution (right – this gun was later mounted on the HMS Roberts and used during D-Day). Left of the guns stands a segment of the Berlin Wall emblazoned with a screaming mouth and the words ‘Change your Life’.

The first gallery of the Imperial War Museum is the Large Exhibits Gallery, which contains a variety of tanks, planes and rockets. Among the exhibits here are a V2 rocket ‘terror’ weapon used by the Nazis against London in WWII, along with a Focke Wulf 190 and a Heinkel 162. You will also find a Polaris missile and a casing of a ‘Little Boy’ atomic bomb similar to the one dropped on Hiroshima at the end of WWII. You can roam among and under these machines of war before moving on to other exhibitions.

Thereafter there are a number of other galleries, with those covering the First and Second World Wars (WWI and WWII) being the largest. The Holocaust Exhibition in the Imperial War Museum is also a permanent display about the horrors and methods employed by the Nazis in their concentration camps (a concept first used by the British during the Second Boer War and South African War in 1899).

The Imperial War Museum Collection (some of which are available online) contain a massive amount of material about war, including 19,000 works of art, 120 million feet of cine film, 6 million photographs and negatives and 36,000 hours of sound recordings. Together this forms one of the most comprehensive collections of material dealing with all aspects of war in the world.

The Imperial War Museum has several other branches in Britain. Of these 3 more are in London, the Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms are both found in Westminster near to Downing Street, while the cruiser HMS Belfast is a floating museum on the Thames near to Tower Bridge and opposite the Tower of London (Free entrance to all with the London Pass).

The nearest tube stations to the Imperial War Museum are Elephant and Castle and Lambeth North.

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The full panoramic image taken of the front of the Imperial War Museum can be found on the London tour by PanoramicEarth.com. An enlargement of this photo can be found on Flickr.

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