IWM Duxford opens new exhibition spaces for Battle of Britain anniversary

New exhibition spaces dedicated to the Battle of Britain opened today (Tuesday) at the IWM Duxford to mark the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

The former RAF air field’s operation block has been converted into an exhibition which tells the story of Duxford’s role in the battle and the people behind it.

Meanwhile, The Battle of Britain Exhibition in Hangar 4 has also reopened to the public following a revamp and features iconic aircraft used in the Second World War.

Craig Murray, a lead curator at IWM (Imperial War Museum), said: “With the ops block we particularly wanted to focus on the human stories of the people at Duxford behind the Battle of Britain.

“We explored who they were, where they came from and the anecdotes of their experiences during the battle. They were remarkable people and we’re fortunate enough to, in some cases, have objects which belonged to them on display.”

Visitors can still explore the operations room - which was considered the nerve centre of RAF Duxford - and experience a recreation of the tension felt on the ground on September 15 1940.

In the Battle of Britain, the Royal Air Force and the British Navy’s Fleet Air Arm defended the United Kingdom against attacks from the Luftwaffe, Nazi Germany’s air force.

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It is often described as the first major military campaign fought entirely by air forces and September 15 1940 is the anniversary of the day the Battle of Britain reached its climax.

The British officially recognise the battle took place between July 10 and October 31 1940. The Blitz began on September 7, 1940 and lasted until May 11, 1941.

The exhibitions have still opened despite last week’s announcement that the 80th anniversary proms and air show celebrations were being cancelled due to the ongoing pandemic.

Thousands of tickets had already been sold for the events, which were due to take place this weekend.

IWM Duxford is Europe’s largest air museum. Many of its buildings and hangars exist from when it was an operational RAF air base.

To enter IWM Duxford, visitors must book in advance.

More information is available at the IWM website.