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WAR! What is it good for!? Well, it makes great museum exhibits!The Imperial War Museum is an especially good place to visit and to look around and see the history of conflict from the First World War to the present day. You can wander around and see for yourself the terrifying equipment by which people have sought to kill/destroy/defeat their enemies. Plus, the stories of history, which are educational, and may help to prevent the horrors of war in the future.
Did you know?: "The Imperial War Museum is one of the UKs top visitor attractions, with over 2 million visitors to its five branches in 2008-09.
The Imperial War Museum comprises historic sites (Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms, HMS Belfast and IWM Duxford in Cambridgeshire) and museums (Imperial War Museum London and Imperial War Museum North in Manchester), a library, art collection, archives and objects, telling the story of conflicts involving Britain and the Commonwealth in the front line and on the home front from the First World War to the present day.
The Imperial War Museum collections are unparalleled in their coverage of war and conflict from the First World War. The Art collection alone has more than 19,000 paintings, drawings and sculptures, and 15,000 posters making it the second-largest collection of 20th century British art in the UK.
The Imperial War Museum online shop provides visitors with access to a huge, unrivalled range of historic memorabilia and gifts including books, DVDs, posters, collectables and more. Popular with collectors, gift shoppers and tourists, the Imperial War Museum online shop appeals to a wide range of potential customers".
I think there are some people who have never visited the Imperial War Museum because they've got a preconception that it's all rather old-fashioned and glorifies war. Well they're wrong, and they've not understood it. As it's a "War Museum" you can expect that the history of war is going to be on show, but that doesn't mean we want war, any more than the Natural History Museum would like dinosaurs to be brought back to dominate the earth. And in case you're wondering why it's the "Imperial" war museum, it's because the Imperial War Museum was founded in 1917 (ie during the First World War!) and the term "Imperial" commemorates the fact that people from all over the British Empire were teaming up together to fight the threat of that age.
Military hardware from various military powers and from various historical periods is on show at the Imperial War Museum. It's very much a hands-on museum, and the curators don't mind if you take photos, touch some of the exhibits, and try out some of the "have a go" things. There's a notable museum shop where you can buy nostalgic items from previous times of war.