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?
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 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.
"I stood in the square talking to East Germans and asked them what they were going to buy. They said first of all, Südfrüchte . . . tropical fruit, a very understandable thing because they didn’t have nearly as much …