Exhibition uncovers Scotland's 'secret' war

Children wearing gas masks
Children wearing gas masks.
© Living Memory Association

Stories of secret technologies, propaganda, escape and espionage in wartime can be discovered this summer in the National Library of Scotland's major new exhibition.

'Scotland's Secret War' tells 'hidden' tales from the Second World War — contributions made by ordinary Scots which helped change the course of the conflict.

From the Scottish Home Guard to the scientist who developed radar — Robert Watson-Watt — Scotland was heavily involved in activities that led to the Allies' victory in Europe in 1945.

Exhibition poster

The exhibition's main themes are examined using official documents and personal archives.

Some items from NLS collections are on public display for the first time in 60 years.

Together with exhibits we have on loan — including an Enigma machine — these sources offer unique insights into how secrecy affected the lives of Scotsmen and women at home and abroad.

Adding to the atmosphere are public information films, wartime footage and audio recordings.

We have even set up an 'ops room', where children can try out their code-breaking and map-reading skills — complete with an operations table.

'Scotland's Secret War' is free and runs daily from now until Sunday 16 October.

7 July 2005

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