second world war

  • Audio contentSOE: Lord Selborne's correspondence (catalogue reference HS 8/944)

    Special Operations Executive (SOE) service – some alternative sources

    Have you been unsuccessful in searching for a personal file for someone in SOE or perhaps you found a file containing little detail? There may be alternative or supplementary sources. This talk suggests ways to identify these sources and find […]

  • Audio contentCover of 'Winter Games', by Rachel Johnson

    Writer of the month: Suddenly, all roads led to Munich, 1936 – why I wrote Winter Games

    Rachel Johnson discusses the writing of Winter Games. Rachel is a columnist, bestselling novelist and the ninth editor of the world’s oldest women’s weekly, The Lady magazine. She was educated at St Paul’s Girls’ School and New College, Oxford. She […]

  • Audio contentA screenshot of

    Locating London’s wartime past:

    Bomb Sight uses geography to link together The National Archives’ Second World War Bomb Census maps for London with photographs and personal narratives from other sources, within a web-mapping and mobile application that can be used by students and citizen […]

  • Audio contentImage from cover of 'Stalingrad' by Anthony Beevor

    Writer of the month: Stalingrad and Berlin – researching the reality of war

    Antony Beevor discusses his experience of researching the reality of war. Antony Beevor is an author whose books include: Stalingrad (Samuel Johnson, Wolfson and Hawthornden Prizes); Berlin The Downfall; The Battle for Spain (Premio La Vanguardia); D-Day – The Battle […]

  • Video contentDig for Victory

    Dig For Victory

    An appeal to everyone during wartime to ‘Dig for victory’ by cultivating vegetables for the good of the country and their own better health. Context The tide of war was beginning to turn in 1942 in Britain’s favour. However, German […]

  • Audio contentCatalogue reference: MPL 1 450 (1) - D-Day fighter patrol area map

    Writer of the month: Hunting for spies in The National Archives

    In our first Writer of the Month talk, Times journalist Ben Macintyre discusses his latest book Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies (Bloomsbury, 2012) and how he turned his research into a published work. Ben Macintyre is […]

  • Audio contentPlan of Operation Frankton, attack on Axis shipping by canoe (the Cockleshell Heroes) December 1942, cat. ref. DEFE 2/218

    A Brilliant Little Operation: The full story of how the Cockleshell Heroes mounted the greatest raid of WW2

    This talk was given by Lord Ashdown, the former leader of the Liberal Democrats and UN High Commissioner for Bosnia, and author of ‘A Brilliant Little Operation: The full story of how the Cockleshell Heroes mounted the greatest raid of […]

  • Video contentSessions for Schools: Noor Khan as a wireless operator

    Sessions for Schools: Noor Khan as a wireless operator

    Noor Khan (played by actor Chandrika Chevli) talks about her experience as a wireless operator. This clip is available to students in preparation for a Key Stage 2 videoconference ‘Noor Khan: Behind Enemy Lines’

  • Audio contentinf3-133-britain-strikes

    Total war

    This talk focuses on the concept of total war, what it means, and what it has meant over the past 200 years, with particular reference to the First and Second World Wars, the Boer War, the American Civil War and […]

  • Audio contentRed Cross disinfectant soap 1909, cat. ref. COPY1-284 (272)

    The British Red Cross and its archives

    The British Red Cross has long recognised the importance of its history and archive collection, maintaining an archive since the late 1960s. The talk outlines the history of the British Red Cross and show how this has left a record […]

  • Audio contentAnderson Shelter design, cat. ref. HO 205/207

    Necessity, the mother of invention: Britain’s response to the demands of total war 1939-1945

    This talk is about British invention and innovation during the Second World War – providing the tools to fight the war. Clive Hawkins is a Military Specialist at The National Archives, where he has worked for 35 years. View the […]

  • Audio contentTNA(PRO)HO338-27 WORLD WAR II BLITZ(Bomb damaged building London)

    Exploding the mysteries of the Bomb Census

    Was your family or local area affected by air raids during the Second World War? This talk explains how you can research details of bombing incidents using the maps, photographs and other records originally made for the Ministry of Home […]

  • Audio contentLetter concerning Manuel Garcia, cat. ref. KV 2/3573

    Security Service file release August 2011

    Professor Christopher Andrew introduces the 27th Security Service records release containing 171 files, bringing the total number of Security Service records at The National Archives to more than 4,896. As with previous releases, around three quarters of the records are […]

  • Video contentAir Raid damage to Liverpool Alexandra Dock, 26 September 1940, cat. ref. RAIL 421/71/110

    Morale, morality and the Liverpool Blitz

    This talk uses documents from The National Archives and elsewhere to reveal the steps that the wartime government took to measure the morale of those residents who were facing some of the heaviest bombing of the Second World War. We […]

  • Audio contentAIR49-384-Prisoners-of-War-Hiroshima-No.-2-Prisoner-of-War-Camp,-Innoshima-Island,-Japan

    Escape and evasion in Occupied Europe

    Most of the British servicemen taken prisoner by the Axis powers during the Second World War were not liberated until spring 1945. In contrast, a small number escaped from Prisoner of War camps and thousands more evaded capture, eventually making […]

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