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Defence and conflict

What’s the context? 25 June 1950: outbreak of the Korean War

Ernest Bevin an elderly Prime Minister posing for a picture in front of a book case

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.

Forward or backward looking? The Treaty of Versailles

Cartoon: At the Peace Table. Treaty of Versailles. Clemenceau says, "Take your seats, gentlemen!" The food and chairs look dangerous, and there are handcuffs on the table, worried and suspicious German delegates.

German anger at the Treaty of Versailles between the wars is well known. Hitler, in his rise to power, exploited this deep resentment. So how did such a contentious document come into existence and why was it signed?

9 December 1916: David Lloyd George introduces minuted Cabinet meetings and instigates the Cabinet Office

Sir Maurice Hankey is striding with a sense of purpose. He is wearing a bowler hat, smoking a pipe and carrying a walking stick.

A century ago today, David Lloyd George, the new Prime Minister, held the first meeting of his War Cabinet. In the process he introduced an innovatory practice, and instigated an important institution at the heart of British government. A hundred …

History’s Unparalleled Alliance: the Anglo-Portuguese Treaty of Windsor, 9th May 1386

Two red seals are attached to the Treaty of Windsor by strips of parchment

Winston Churchill in a speech in the House of Commons in October 1943 famously described the unique and ancient friendship between England and Portugal as an alliance “without parallel in world history”.[1] It is 630 years since a treaty of …