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What’s the context? 25 June 1950: outbreak of the Korean War

Ernest Bevin an elderly Prime Minister posing for a picture in front of a book case

The outbreak of the Korean War on 25 June 1950 caught Western governments by surprise, despite warning signs. Western strategists had assumed that North Korea was a Soviet puppet, and that no one wanted a war.

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.

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?