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. From the beaches of Dunkirk to the deserts of North Africa and from the Normandy beaches to the bridges of Arnhem, the fighting in the west was some of the most ferocious of the Second World War.
On 9 April 1940, Germany invaded Norway. After a campaign that lasted two months, German forces occupied the whole of the country.
The Dunkirk Evacuation
Between 26 May and 4 June 1940, more than 338,000 Allied forces were evacuated from Dunkirk's beaches on the north coast of France.
The Battle for Crete
In May 1941, Crete became the scene of a fierce struggle when German forces launched a large-scale airborne assault.
The Siege of Malta
From 1940 to 1942, the island of Malta was the location of a raging battle for naval control of the Mediterranean.
Between 1940 and 1943, Africa played a key role in the war. British and Commonwealth forces fought in Africa and on Madagascar.
THE Dieppe Raid
On 19 August 1942, Allied forces launched a large-scale amphibious raid on the French coast around the port of Dieppe.
The Italian Campaign
On 10 July 1943, combined Allied forces invaded Sicily with airborne and amphibious landings on the island’s southern shores.
The Normandy Campaign
On 6 June 1944, Allied forces invaded Normandy. It became the largest naval, air and land operation in history.
THE Battle for Arnhem
On 17 September 1944, more than 35,000 American and British forces were dropped behind enemy lines by parachute and gliders at Arnhem.