‘Infernal war,’ by Emile Henriot, L’Illustration, 26 September 1914

[Translated by Alastair Dunn. The elipses “…” follow those of the original French text. The images below are a selection of those that accompanied the original.] In the midst of the French lines - in Soissons under bomabrdment - the ruins of Senlis.  17 September. We arrived by car in driving rain at La Ferté-Milon, having …

Using French journalism in teaching The First World War: (1) The First Battle of the Marne

So much of our understanding of the First World War on the Western Front is derived from areas where the British Army was the predominant presence – notably parts of Picardy and the Ypres salient. The flooded shell craters and sunken duckboards around Passchendaele in the autumn of 1917 have become a visual signature for …

Dunkirk 1947: a forgotten Franco-British Treaty

On 4 March 1947 representatives of the British and French governments signed a treaty of mutual alliance against any future aggression from Germany. Coming a year after Winston Churchill’s famous “Iron Curtain speech” in Fulton, Missouri, and a few days before President Truman’s declaration to the United States Congress outlining his Containment Doctrine, the Dunkirk …

The Jäger Report and Holocaust Education: a case study

The Holocaust in the “East” and in the “West” On 1 December 1941, SS Standartenführer Karl Jäger, chief of the German Security Police in Nazi-occupied Lithuania, drafted for his superiors a nine page report detailing the activities of his unit, Einsatzkommando 3, comprising the mass-murder of the overwhelming majority of that country’s Jewish population, with …

Dining into the EEC

While there is a rich historiography surrounding the formal negotiations for Britain’s entry into the the EEC, the role played by diplomatic hospitality has received comparatively less attention, and yet considerable resources were thrown into this, notably in the years 1968-1970. There is, of course, nothing new to diplomatic hospitality, as this has always been …

The pre-history of the Conservative Party’s European difficulties

As the Conservative Government negotiates the terms of Brexit with its E.U. partners, this article explores the early History of the Party's internal dissent on Europe, and the personal and political fault-lines that emerged between pro-Europeans around Duncan Sandys and Harold Macmillan, and the more sceptical Empire-focused Anthony Eden and his supporters in the Conservative Party …