International Relations

Relations across the UK, Europe and globally are frequently changing, and have done so across our history. How these relations are recorded, monitored and treated are discussed in the collection of articles and podcasts here. The very concept of international relations is explored as are when boundaries and discussions between states and groups started to matter. What are the procedures, protocols and outcomes of a world according to the history of international relations are all under scrutiny?

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  • In Cold War Skies: NATO and Soviet Air Power, 1949-89

    Article

    In Cold War Skies: NATO and Soviet Air Power, 1949-89, Michael Napier, Osprey, 2020, 320p, £30-00. ISBN 978-1-4728-3688-5. This book will appeal to two separate audiences. At one level Michael Napier has provided in extraordinary detail the nature and development of air defence in the widest reaches of the European...

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  • Rome: City in Terror – The Nazi Occupation 1943-44

    Article

    Rome: City in Terror – The Nazi Occupation 1943-44, Victor Failmezger; Osprey Publishing, 2020, 496 pp, £25.00ISBN 978-1-4728-4128-5  Victor Failmezger has written a thorough and detailed narrative of the appalling conditions that existed in Rome in the period from the first Allied bombing of Rome in July 1943 to its liberation on...

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  • What difference has the opening (and closing) of archives after 1991 made to the historiography of the Cold War?

    Article

    Prior to the East European revolutions of 1989, and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, commentators outside the region were largely reliant on printed material collected by specialist research libraries, informal rrangements with contacts ‘behind the iron curtain’, information that could be gleaned from visits to the region, and...

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  • Enduring Civilisation: cities and citizens in the ‘Aztec Empire’

    Article

    Katherine Bellamy explores the cities and citizens at the heart of the so-called ‘Aztec Empire’, a vast and complex network of distinct indigenous communities who endured despite Spanish colonisation. The term ‘civilisation’ is derived from the Latin, civilis (civil), and closely connected to civitas (city) and civis (citizen). The cities...

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  • What is interesting about the Cold War?

    Article

    Almost 30 years after the end of the Cold War, diversity is suddenly galvanising the field of scholarly research into the Cold War. As the historian Federico Romero has argued, older, simpler interpretations ‘seem to be giving way to a looser understanding of the Cold War as an era that encompassed...

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  • The Devil’s Bridge: The German Victory at Arnhem, 1944

    Article

    The Devil’s Bridge: The German Victory at Arnhem, 1944, Anthony Tucker-Jones, Osprey Publishing, 2020, 304p, £20-00. ISBN 978-1-4728-3986-2 The British view the events surrounding the bridge across the River Rhine at Arnhem in 1944 as an heroic attempt to accelerate the defeat of Nazi Germany, a view exaggerated in popular...

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  • Migration into the UK in the early twenty-first century

    Article

    Sam Scott and Lucy Clarke explore the data covering more recent migration to the United Kingdom, most especially from the EU. They discover that since 2000 migrant destinations have changed. No longer do migrants head exclusively to the big cities and industrial areas, but to rural areas, like Boston in...

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  • The great British postwar exodus

    Article

    Murray Watson uses oral history interviews to try to explain the many and varied reasaons people had for emigrating from Britain after World War II. When I was invited to write this article about postwar emigration from the UK my first action was to Google the search term ‘postwar emigration from...

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  • What is interesting about the interwar period?

    Article

    The years between the Armistice of November 1918 and the German attack on Poland in September 1939 were undoubtedly a period of massive transformations. Public appetite to learn about specific aspects of this era remains strong. The making of communist rule in revolutionary Russia, the tribulations of Weimar Germany, the rise...

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  • Poland and the Second World War 1938-48

    Article

    Poland and the Second World War 1938-48, Evan McGilvray, Pen and Sword, 2019, 344p, £25-00. ISBN 9781473834101. For those of us who understood that the Polish Partitions of the 18th Century had removed the reality of a Polish state from the map of Europe and that at the end of the...

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  • Lawrence of Arabia on War: The Campaign in the Desert 1916-18

    Article

    Lawrence of Arabia on War: The Campaign in the Desert 1916-18, Rob Johnson, Osprey Publishing, 2020, 368p, £25-00. ISBN 978-1-4728-3491-1 For those of us whose detailed knowledge of Lawrence of Arabia may have been drawn from Robert Graves’ classic Lawrence and the Arabs (1927), amplified by occasional textbook references, this really...

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  • What is interesting about the world wars?

    Article

    In the past, the two world wars have been mainly studied as military history, focused on armies, campaigns and battles. Historians have concentrated on wars in Europe and in particular on the Western Front in 1914–18 and on the war with Nazi Germany in the west. This has given rise...

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  • Film: Foreign Relations and Tudor Royal Authority – discussion

    Article

    In this film Professor Sue Doran, Jesus College, University of Oxford and Professor Steven Gunn, Merton College, University of Oxford discuss the role foreign relations played in Tudor royal authority and the amount of power Tudor monarchs were able to exercise. The film will explore common threads and differences in foreign policy...

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  • Film: Veteran Mervyn Kersh Talks about his experience of World War II

    Multipage Article

    Mervyn Kersh was a young man from South London whose army service included arriving into Normandy in the first few days of the invasion, crossing the Rhine and being a British Jewish serviceman in Germany when the war ended. In this film released to commemorate VE Day Mervyn describes his...

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  • Losing sight of the glory: five centuries of combat surgery

    Article

    Michael Crumplin traces developments in surgery that can be directly attributed to changes in the conduct of war. Little doubt exists that war accelerates and innovates medical care. Today, our armed services can rely upon sound medical treatment if they are sick or wounded, with survival rates of above 90%. This...

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  • Britain and Brittany: contact, myth and history in the early Middle Ages

    Article

    Fiona Edmonds evidences the enduring links between Brittany and Britain throughout the early Middle Ages. Every year many thousands of British holidaymakers travel to Brittany in search of beaches, bisque and bonhomie. As they board the ferry, they may notice that they are travelling from one Bretagne to another. The names...

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  • History Abridged: Operation Black Buck

    Article

    History Abridged: This feature seeks to take a person, event or period and abridge, or focus on, an important event or detail that can get lost in the big picture. Think Horrible Histories for grownups (without the songs and music). Just as the Naval Task Force had been dispatched in...

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  • Out and About in Upper Weardale

    Article

    Tony Fox introduces us to two battlefields and the work of the Battlefields Trust. Stanhope takes its name from the ‘stony valley’ in which it sits. It is the most significant town in beautiful Upper Weardale. Like many towns in this area Stanhope’s growth accelerated in the nineteenth century as...

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  • Holocaust Memorial Day 2020

    2nd January 2020

    2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camps and death camps (those that had not already been destroyed by fleeing Nazis). The horror and devastation that greeted the liberators of the different camps could hardly be described nor quite believed even when witnessing it. While the killing...

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  • Linking Law: Viking and medieval Scandinavian law in literature and history

    Article

    Ongoing interdisciplinary developments have cast light on the surprisingly sophisticated world of Viking-age and medieval Scandinavian law and its wide-ranging influence in these societies. In many ways, the Viking Age and its inhabitants are more familiar than ever before. From video games to television and films, new narrative frontiers and bigger...

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