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Dr Richard Smith

Dr Richard Smith, Senior Historian at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and an editor of Documents on British Policy Overseas.

What the Butler saw: Britain and the Abadan Crisis, 1950-51

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: FCDO Historians, Foreign affairs and diplomacy, What's the context? series

In March 1962 a secret report landed on the desks of senior officials in the Foreign Office. Written by Foreign Office Historian Rohan Butler it was a forensic and critical account of the loss in 1951 of Britain’s single biggest …

When the Wall went up: Britain and the Berlin Crisis, 1961

Sixty years ago simmering Cold-War tensions were dramatically brought to a head in Berlin. A new volume of documents from the FCDO Historians tells how Britain responded to the crisis brought about by the construction of the Berlin Wall. In the …

Reopening the British Embassy following the liberation of Paris

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Foreign affairs and diplomacy, Foreign Office Historians, Second World War
A photo of Alfred Duff and Lady Diana Cooper talking to a VIP.

On 13 September 1944 a Dakota aircraft, with an escort of 45 Spitfires, flew across the English Channel towards Paris. The plane carried the new British Ambassador to France, Alfred ‘Duff’ Cooper, with the mission to re-establish a British presence in the newly liberated French capital.

Sir Edward Grey and the First World War: the unmaking of a Foreign Secretary

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: First World War, Foreign Office Historians

Sir Edward Grey, Foreign Secretary (1905 to 16), helped take Britain into the First World War but the conflict weighed heavily on him. This blog looks at the physical and emotional strain on Grey during his final years in office

Hugh O’Beirne and the sinking of HMS Hampshire: a diplomat remembered

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Foreign affairs and diplomacy, Foreign Office Historians

The death of Lord Kitchener, who drowned when HMS Hampshire sank just off the Orkney’s north-west coast on 5 June 1916, came as a profound shock to the nation. The Secretary of State for War was the public face of …