Germany offers a wealth of culture and history and many opportunities to better comprehend its troubled past during WWII. A must-do while in the country is to visit the memorials built on the sites of former German concentration camps, for instance the infamous Dachau and Bergen-Belsen. In the region of North Rhine-Westphalia, explore the city of Aachen and the Hürtgen Forest, where two major battles of WWII occurred. The Berlin area (Brandenburg) houses countless historic sites, memorials and museums presenting the story of National Socialism and WWII, such as the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. In the region of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, visit the site of the former development centre of Peenemünde, where the V1 and V2 rockets were constructed. In Torgau (Saxony) you will witness the place where the first meeting between American and Soviet forces took place in April 1945, marking an important step towards the end of the war.
IWM London is one of the five branches of the Imperial War Museum in England. It comprises different exhibitions presenting the stories of people whose lives have been impacted by war, through unique documents and objects, art, sound, film and other means. The museum offers two permanent displays focusing on the Second World War: ‘The Holocaust Exhibition’ and ‘A Family in Wartime’.
IWM Duxford can be found near Duxford in Cambridgeshire, England. The museum was built on a historic airfield and it was the first branch of the Imperial War Museum to be opened to the public on a regular basis in June 1976. IWM Duxford presents the history of aviation with hundreds of aircraft, military vehicles, artillery and other objects on display.
Opened in 2002 and located at Salford Quays in Greater Manchester, IWM North is one of the five branches of the Imperial War Museum. Its iconic building was designed by renowned architect Daniel Libeskind. The museum comprises different permanent and temporary exhibitions presenting the story of modern war and conflict since 1917.
The HMS Belfast warship is a floating museum which was originally a Royal Navy light cruiser. It became a branch of the Imperial War Museum in 1978. The ship is permanently moored on the Thames river next to Tower Bridge. The museum tells the personal stories of the crew who lived and served on board during the Second World War.
The Battle of Britain Memorial can be found at Capel-le Ferne on the coast of Kent, England. It features one central statue of a pilot and the Christopher Foxley-Norris Memorial Wall. The Memorial was opened by the Queen Mother in 1993 and is dedicated to those who fought the Battle of Britain from July 10, 1940 to October 31, 1940.
Located on the former site of RAF Uxbridge, the Battle of Britain Bunker housed the Fighter Command No.11 Group Operations Room during the Second World War. The Operations Room was responsible for planning and coordinating the air defence of London and South East England.
Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire was the top secret home of the Codebreakers during WWII, where, among other codes, those generated by the German Enigma and Lorenz machines were decrypted. The grounds and historic buildings of Bletchley Park can be explored together with exhibitions on a variety of topics related to the history of the site.
The Royal Navy Submarine Museum is part of the National Museum of the Royal Navy and tells the story of the Royal Navy’s submarine service. Set on the site on the Submarine Service’s 20th century base on the Gosport side of Portsmouth Harbour, the museum is home to the Royal Navy’s very first submarine Holland 1, the only surviving WWII-era submarine HMS Alliance and midget submarine X24.
The Solent Sky Aviation Museum depicts the history of aviation in Southampton and its international importance in the Solent area in England. The museum exhibits over 20 airframes, dating from the golden age of aviation and the Second World War, including the Spitfire and the Supermarine S6.
The Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial site contains the remains of 3,812 of American soldiers who fell in the Second World War. A total of 5,127 names are recorded on the Walls of the Missing. Most of the victims died during the Battle of the Atlantic or in the strategic air bombardment of northwest Europe.
The Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre was opened to the public in 1998 on an original WWII airfield in Lincolnshire, England. The centrepiece of the museum is the Avro Lancaster NX611 ‘Just Jane’, one of three working Lancasters worldwide. Other aircraft, military vehicles and a large private collection of wartime photographs are on display in the museum exhibitions.
The Sywell Aviation Museum in Northamptonshire was opened in 2001 by the legendary aviator Alex Henshaw MBE. It provides information on the history of flying in Northamptonshire, from the early days to the Second World War. The extensive ordnance collection includes rockets, bombs, a loaded bomb trolley with authentic tractor, and other weapons.