Skip to main content

Foreign affairs and diplomacy

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.

What’s the context? Polish cryptologists reveal they have cracked the Enigma code, 26 July 1939

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Foreign Office Historians, What's the context? series
The three Polish codebreakers Marian Rejewski, Jerzy Rozycki and Henryk Zygalski

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.

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?

The British Embassy Bangkok: a look back before moving on

Posted by: and , Posted on: - Categories: Foreign affairs and diplomacy, The National Archives
Photograph of the frontage of the British Embassy Bangkok, March 2019 (Kridtidej Sawangcharoen). There is a far spreading tree in the foreground and the Embassy building is very impressive.

The British Embassy in Bangkok is truly one of the most spectacular properties overseas. It is a symbol of soft power from the Colonial era in the midst of the modern day quest for economic development. This is a last look at the (soon to be) old British Embassy Bangkok.