To mark the signing of the Helsinki Final Act, 45 years ago this month, FCO Historians look back to where it all began – the CSCE preparatory talks.
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.
With a flurry of diplomatic activity in the first 3 days of September 1939, was the Second World War inevitable?
On 1 September 1939, with war imminent, the government had initiated Operation Pied Piper, which would see the evacuation of over 1.5 million people from urban 'target' areas, of whom 800,000 were children. What were the consequences of this massive scheme, both short-term and long-term?
An incredible feat of engineering, Aspidistra was, in 1942, the most powerful radio transmitter in the world. This allowed the British to unleash a new kind of propaganda on Germany, and give Goebbels ‘something to worry about’.
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.
Whilst Victory day 1919 was planned as a celebration, the emotions evoked were more diverse and complex.
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?
On winning the 1964 election the new Labour government adopted an interventionist industrial policy. By the late 1960s a policy of amalgamation through merging firms was intended to deliver companies which could compete on a global basis, but the outcomes did not always match expectations.
Once the Allies decided to land in Normandy, they identified the need to practice.
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.