Second World War

What’s the context? 31 March 1939: the British guarantee to Poland

Hitler and Neville Chamberlain

On 31 March 1939 Neville Chamberlain committed Britain to defending Polish independence. After years of trying to preserve peace and buy time for rearmament, he recognised that international developments and domestic opinion meant this guarantee was necessary, though it was to mean war with Germany 6 months later.

‘We shall fight on the beaches’: 3 things you never knew about Churchill’s most famous speech

Ask anyone to name Winston Churchill’s best-known speech and nine times out of ten they will answer: We shall fight them on the beaches. It’s not an exact quotation – Churchill did not include the word ‘them’ – but the …