The Second World War was the most widespread conflict in human history. Allied and Axis forces battled from frozen fjords of Norway to the sun baked deserts of East Africa, from the seaside towns of France and Flanders to the humid jungles of Burma and New Guinea. On the high seas warships fought for control of the oceans, while merchant vessels braved submarine-infested waters.
War in the West
For British and Commonwealth forces the war against Nazi Germany was a battle for the very survival of freedom, liberty and democracy. The fighting in the west was some of the most ferocious of the war.
War in the East
In December 1941, Imperial Japanese forces launched a devastating surprise attack on American, British, Commonwealth and Dutch colonies throughout South East Asia. Allied forces were quickly overwhelmed.
War at Sea
When the war broke out in 1939, Britain was a maritime superpower with a vast overseas empire to which it was connected by the largest merchant fleet and most powerful navy in the world.
War in the Air
From the German use of aircraft in Blitzkrieg to conquer France, to the safeguarding of the British Isles in the Battle of Britain, for the first time in history the outcome of a conflict could be decided in the air.