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Concorde’s first British test flight, 50 years on

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A Metropolitan Police special escort is shown in V formation, under the wing of a British Airways Concorde aircraft in 1975.

Fifty years ago, Concorde made its first test flight in Britain. This supersonic aircraft has attracted considerable public interest over the years. Learn about Concorde's troubled history, and Tony Benn's amusing intervention in a diplomatic argument concerning the spelling of the aircraft's name.

What’s the context? 4 April 1949: signature of the North Atlantic Treaty

Map of the world with NATO member countries highlighted, which are the 29 countries of NATO

NATO remains the cornerstone of Western security. But as it celebrates its 70th birthday, it is worth remembering the part played in the negotiations by other regions such as Latin America, Africa and the Asia-Pacific.

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

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Foreign Office Historians, Second World War
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.

What was happening between the armistice and the opening of the Paris peace talks?

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Foreign affairs and diplomacy, Foreign Office Historians
Council of Four at the WWI Paris peace conference, (L - R) Prime Minister David Lloyd George (Great Britain) Premier Vittorio Orlando, Italy, French Premier Georges Clemenceau, President Woodrow Wilson

The armistice agreement with Germany was signed on 11 November 1918, but the Peace Conference did not start proceedings until 18 January 1919.  With so much at stake, why did it take 2 months for discussions to start?