Imperial War Museum London – Part II

This is Part II from TFB’s visit to the Imperial War Museum in London.

The Imperial Museum is not complete without a part with The Falklands War in 1982, when Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands. Both British SAS and SBS special forces took important parts in this conflict.

The Era of more modern firearms begins, for instance:

L1A1 66 mm Rocket Launcher. Light and reliable, and used by the British SAS, for instance against Argentinian aircrafts during the attack on Pebble Island in May 1982.

Passive Night Vision goggle, used by helicopter pilots to insert special forces before the main landing.

L42A1 Sniper Rifle. This rifle is based on the Lee-Einfeld .303 and was used during the Falkland War.

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An early version of the M16, and used by the SAS.

Remington 870 shotgun, with a collapsible stock. (Number 6)

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The Gulf War 1990-1992, with SAS units arriving via Saudi Arabia. About 700 British soldiers were assembled.

They reoccupied the Kuwait Embassy before leaving. I wasn’t aware the the British SAS used the M16 as much, but it’s everywhere in the displays.

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Saddam Hussein ruled Iraq from 1979 until 2003. This tiled mosaic of Saddam was taken down by British soldiers after the wishes of local people.

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Poster of British Prime Minister Tony Blair, designed in 2004 by Karmarama for “Stop the War Coalition“.

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I think most people associate the British SAS with the Heckler & Koch MP5, and vice versa.

In the Counter Terrorism section, which is rather small unfortunately, we find more about this sub-machine gun.

Note the front grip and various grenades, like CCC smoke grenade for instance.

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Very Special Forces indeed. This must be before Gore-Tex was invented one would think, but it was invented in 1969.

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Suicide bomber’s vest, captured by Afghan National Police in 2013.

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A view from the top.

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During TFB’s visit, the “Edmund Clark: War of Terror” exhibition was running.

You can take a sneak peek online if you wish: http://www.iwm.org.uk/visits/iwm-london/exhibitions/edmundclark

To repeat:

The IWM London website: http://www.iwm.org.uk/visits/iwm-london

Entrance is free. Special exhibitions may cost money, check at the entrance.

The address is Lambeth Road, London SE1 6HZ, Great Britain.

I would allow at least 1 hours up to 2.5 hours for the visit, depending on your level of interest.

The museum is not too far away from the central London, but I would recommend getting a London Taxi and spend the time inside the museum instead of traveling.



Eric B

Ex-Arctic Ranger. Competitive practical shooter and hunter with an European focus. Always ready to increase my collection of modern semi-automatic firearms, optics and sound suppressors. Owning the night would be nice too.


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  • Anonymoose

    dat Harrier, tho.

    • clampdown

      My thoughts exactly. The British Sea Harrier was the ultimate example of the type. It’s a shame they were retired prematurely and now serve as parts bins for USMC Harriers.:(

      • Jonathan Ferguson

        That’s a GR7/9, same generation as the USMC AV-8B (a joint US/UK redesign of the Hawker-Siddeley original. For the same reason, the Sea Harrier (an original 1st generation all-British Design) isn’t serving as parts for USMC Harriers because they are a different design. But yes, sad to see them both go.

      • Air frames have to be getting aged by now, no? I really don’t know and am curious.

  • FYI: The British MOD bought 5,000 AR-15 in 1965 for use in Borneo.

    • mike

      Now being issued to British Police

      • The Forty ‘Twa

        Important to point out that it isn’t any of that stock being issued to police!

  • John McPherson

    London cabs can be expensive. Buy an Oyster card at the tube station (as I remember about 30 lbs for a week pass) and ride all you want for one price. Only way to get around London, easy to learn and the bus will also accept your Oyster card. IWM is an easy walk from the nearest station and the walk is well worth taking. London is a beautiful city with many museums for the military history buff. Get a list before going.

    • kyphe

      Just a friendly note from a brit. lbs is never used to describe currency in the UK unless ofc they weigh it on a scale. It is £ or pounds only. I know we are a confusing bunch as the word pound means both £ and lb but I believe £ refers to an coinage based on an older tower pound weight equivalent to 350g of silver then Troy pound of 373.24 g still used for precious metals. lb or Imperial pound is equivalent to 453.5g of general mass. I had this vision of a card that weighed 30 lb lol

  • SlowJoeCrow

    When we visited in 1993 we took the bus and tube, much cheaper than taxis and the top of a double decker has a great view. At the time they had a special exhibit that showed the film of the Amiens prison bombing raid in a flight simulator, a recreated wwi trench with a sound and light show, and a Long Range Desert Group truck in the basement. Well worth the trip, as is the RAF museum in Henson, and the Firepower museum in Woolwich.

    • Graham2

      The Firepower Museum closed last year I’m afraid, which is a real shame as it was a great place to visit, everything is now in storage.

  • Sam

    I was in London in the summer of 2015. Borough Market is walking distance from the IWM, so lunch and an afternoon at the museum. It was awesome. One of the things that stood out to me while walking around was a display of Japanese swords brought back during WWII, one of which had been surrendered by a Japanese commander.

    Here’s me and a piece of the Berlin Wall that’s outside the museum.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/455f3b273fcd3b5051962d63e101d49a319c200b36681dc7a44e607c3b7f1b8e.jpg

  • Walter Keller II

    The brits always have to have the anti/political section in their museums.

    • Sir Alec Douglas Home

      What, anti war? Like, there’s people who are pro war?

      Imperial war museum is *exactly* that, a *war* museum, not a guns museum, and the staff are rightfully extremely proud of what it is, it shows the cool military stuff, shares the stories of the men and women who serve, and the impact on the children and families caught up in war.