The Keep Military Museum, Dorchester, Dorset
World War II
The Second World War 1939-45 was essentially unfinished business from the 1914-18 War. Following the rise of the Nazis in 1933, the expansion of the German armed forces beyond the levels agreed by the Versailles Treaty and the annexation of ethnic German territory in neighbouring states, Britain rearmed. As Hitler's actions became more audacious the imminence of war became obvious to all. Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain flew to Munich in 1938 to secure assurances from Herr Hitler but the German invasion of Poland in September 1939 was the final straw. Britain and France gave the Nazis an ultimatum, which was ignored, and war was declared.
The following Virtual Gallery and the associated education pages (National Curriculum Key Stages 2 & 3) were made possible by the National Lottery's Home Front Recall fund and cover the Dorset Home Front during the Second World War.
A programme in Battlefield History TV's 'Soldier' series, 'Tommy 44', covers the clothing and equipment of a 2nd Devons soldier from D Day onwards. A second programme, 'Willys Jeep, The Allied Work Horse', covers the Jeep in the service of 2nd Devons in North West Europe. Also see the 'War Machine' section for a two part programme on the Horsa Glider, which the 12th Airborne Devons travelled into battle in Normandy and at the Rhine Crossing.