Military history exhibitions and events in Winter 2022 – Spring 2023

A round-up of some of the best military history events, exhibitions, and galleries in the UK and the US.

War Games: real conflicts / virtual worlds / extreme entertainment

Until 28 May 2023
Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road, London, SE1 6HZ
+44 (0) 20 7091 3067
Image: IWM

War Games, the new exhibition at the Imperial War Museum in London, is the first of its kind in the UK. Twelve titles, including Sniper Elite 5 (pictured) and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, are presented to raise questions about how different game developers have used graphics, player modes, and game strategies to portray various historical conflicts. As well as extensive use of ultra-modern digital displays, the exhibition also includes a retro gaming zone, where visitors will have the chance to play 13 classic war games, including Battlezone, Medal of Honour, and Top Gun.

Kamikaze: beyond the fire

Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, Pier 86, W 46th St and 12th Ave, New York, NY 10036
+1 212 245 0072
Image: Intrepid Museum

Kamikaze attacks on USS Intrepid claimed the lives of 88 crew members in the final year of the Second World War. The Beyond the Fire exhibition transports visitors back to 25 November 1944, exploring one particularly deadly attack through the eyes of two crew members: Donald Domenic DiMarzo, who was killed, and Dean Lesnett, a survivor. But the exhibition also explores the kamikaze campaign from the Japanese perspective, cooperating with the Chiran Peace Museum for Kamikaze Pilots in Japan, which holds extensive archive material, including heart-breaking farewell messages handwritten by the pilots to their families.

Henry Moore: drawing in the dark

Image: The Hepworth Wakefield
Until 16 April 2023
St Albans Museum + Gallery, Town Hall, St Peter’s Street, St Albans, AL1 3DH
+44 (0) 1727 864 511

Henry Moore was famous for his sculptures of women and abstract forms, and for his drawings of Londoners sheltering from the Blitz. But it is forgotten that Moore, the son of a miner from Yorkshire, spent a week in the county’s Wheldale Colliery in 1942 sketching the back-breaking labour that miners endured daily to assist the country’s war effort. Curated by University of Hertfordshire Arts + Culture and displayed within the museum’s dark, subterranean Weston Gallery, this exhibition showcases more than a hundred of Moore’s coal-mining drawings – 80 years after they were completed for his employer, the War Artists’ Advisory Committee.

Worth checking out

The Lost King: imagining Richard III

Until 8 January 2023 
The Wallace Collection, Hertford House, Manchester Square, London, W1U 3BN

King Richard III (1452-1485) is one of the most enigmatic figures in English history. This display explores how objects at the Wallace Collection have influenced our understanding of the monarch throughout the centuries, as well as offering an opportunity to view the replica armour created for The Lost King, the new film about Richard and the discovery of his remains in 2012.

We the People: portraits of veterans in America

Until January 2023 
National Museum of the Marine Corps, 1775 Semper Fidelis Way, Triangle, VA 22172

In 2010, artist Mary Whyte began a project to paint 50 watercolour portraits of American veterans. This gallery showcases some of the fruits of that project, including depictions of a Missouri farmer, a Pennsylvania science teacher, and a single mother from South Carolina.

Secrets of the last U-boat

Until 3 March 2023 
Western Approaches Museum, 1-3 Rumford Street, Exchange Flags, Liverpool, L2 8SZ
Adult £13.50

The submarine U-534 was sunk by the RAF off Denmark in 1945. This show explores some of the puzzles that have surrounded it ever since: why, for instance, was a toy dog found onboard? And why were tropical uniforms recovered if it was never intended to leave northern Europe?