The most that we can say is that we have made the best of a bad bargain, not that we have got a fair deal (Prime Minister Edward Heath, 1 September 1971) Fifty years ago, Ambassadors representing the 4 Occupying …
Formerly Chief Historian of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Senior Editor of the FCO’s official history of postwar foreign policy, Documents on British Policy Overseas, 1995-2005. She was a Visiting Fellow at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, 2002-03 and formerly Assistant Editor of Documents on British Foreign Policy 1919-1939.
The principles set out in the Atlantic Charter eighty years ago remain key to the global vision shared by the UK and US. But its terms also contained the roots of international tensions that persist today: for example in relation …
Now, at this sad and breathless moment, we are plunged in the hunger and distress which are the aftermath of our stupendous struggle. Though no longer Prime Minister, Winston Churchill’s speech at Fulton on 5 March 1946 packed a formidable …
The American Congress and the American people have never accepted any literal principle of equal sacrifice, financial or otherwise, between all the allied participants. Indeed, have we ourselves? Lord Keynes, defending the Agreement in the House of Lords, 18 December …
VJ Day brought the Second World War to an end, but also brought many challenges for the future, for the victors as well as the defeated.
On 17 July 1945 the last of the great tripartite wartime conferences between the US, the UK and Russia opened at Potsdam, near Berlin. All the major issues facing the postwar world were discussed there.
The outbreak of the Korean War on 25 June 1950 caught Western governments by surprise, despite warning signs. Western strategists had assumed that North Korea was a Soviet puppet, and that no one wanted a war.
VE Day in 1945 was the cause of much celebration. But in a broader global context, many conflicts persisted and the future remained uncertain.
The conviction of atomic scientist Klaus Fuchs on 1 March 1950 for spying for the Soviet Union put a strain on Anglo-American nuclear co-operation, in the context of a broader divergence of views on foreign policy priorities.
On 26 July 1939, in a forest near Warsaw, Polish code breakers told their British colleagues how they had cracked the German Enigma code. As war against Nazi Germany approached, the meeting symbolised the importance of political, as well as intelligence co-operation in the struggle ahead.
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- What’s the Context? Occupying Powers sign Quadripartite Agreement on Berlin, 3 September 1971 3 September 2021
- What's the Context? Signature of the Atlantic Charter, 14 August 1941 28 July 2021
- When the Wall went up: Britain and the Berlin Crisis, 1961 28 July 2021
- What’s the Context? Winston Churchill’s ‘Sinews of Peace’ speech, Fulton, 5 March 1946 5 March 2021
- What’s the context? Foundation of the German Empire, 18 January 1871 20 January 2021