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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  • Ancient Athenian inscriptions in public and private UK collections

    Article

    Peter Liddel introduces us to a rich source of historical information and encourages us to make some purposeful visits to museums. From the seventeenth to the mid nineteenth century, travellers from the UK explored the Mediterranean lands of ancient civilisations in search of trophies that demonstrated the achievements of the classical world. Highly...

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  • Korean Air War: Sabres, MIGs, and Meteors 1950-53

    Article

    Korean Air War: Sabres, MIGs, and Meteors 1950-53, Michael Napier, Osprey Publishing, 2021, 320 pages, £30, ISBN HB 978-1-4728-44446  Korea is known as ‘The Forgotten War’ and air warfare is usually considered a specialist area, which means that Michael Napier has taken on a daunting job in writing a history...

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  • Blood and Iron: the violent birth of modern Germany

    Article

    Katja Hoyer discusses Germany’s unification 150 years ago: an event that cast a long shadow over the troubled young nation and would alter the course of European and world history. Shivering in the cold winter air that drifted in through the windows of his temporary residence in Paris, Wilhelm I, King...

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  • Monty’s school: the benign side of Viscount Montgomery of Alamein

    Article

    Field-Marshal Montgomery has a reputation as a strong-willed battle-hardened leader, with a touch of the impetuous. Few know of his charitable side and yet in his later years this side was just as important to his activities. In this article we find out a bit more of this often simplistically...

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  • Why was it so important to see Dunkirk as a triumph rather than a disaster in 1940?

    Article

    Karin Doull investigates the perceptions of the outcome of the Dunkirk evacuation within the contextual framework of the time at which it occurred. In May 1940 the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) and a proportion of the French First Army group had withdrawn, under heavy fighting to the port of Dunkirk on the...

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  • German universities under the Nazis

    Article

    In this article A.D. Harvey draws out the influence that Nazism and Nazi practices had on German universities and their staff. He explores how some university professors were active members of the party while others saw a chance of advancement by becoming conduits of the Nazi ideas. Finally he considers...

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  • Real Lives: Surviving the War in the Soviet Union: recollections of a child deportee

    Article

    This 'Real Lives' piece is based on a series of interviews Annette Ormanczyk carried out in 2019 with Mrs Irena Persak, who was deported as a five-year-old child with her family in February 1940. As well as offering a fascinating personal account of life in the Soviet Union during the Second...

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  • History Abridged: The Berlin Conference 1884–1885

    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). In 2020 there was lots of talk about decolonising society...

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  • This Sovereign Isle: Britain In and Out of Europe

    Article

    This Sovereign Isle: Britain In and Out of Europe, Robert Tombs, Allen Lane, 2021, 203 pp, £16.99. ISBN 978-0-241-48038-0  Robert Tombs is well-known for his works on French and English history and he has turned his hand to an admirably concise history of Britain’s relationship with its European neighbours from the...

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  • The Reckoning – The Defeat of Army Group South, 1944

    Article

    The Reckoning – The Defeat of Army Group South, 1944, Prit Buttar, Osprey Publishing, 2020, £30, 496 pages, ISBN HB 978-1-4728-3791-2 This is the ninth of Prit Buttar’s non-fiction books about conflict on Germany’s Eastern Front in the First and Second World wars, several of which Trevor James and I...

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  • Holding the Line: The Naval Air Campaign in Korea

    Article

    Holding the Line: The Naval Air Campaign in Korea, Thomas McKelvey Cleaver, Osprey, 2021, 320p, £14-99. ISBN 9781472831736. This provides a very thorough introduction to how the politics behind military strategy operates in the United States. What we find, with extraordinary parallels with our own time, is that after the...

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  • The Last of Africa’s Cold War Conflicts: Portuguese Guinea and its Guerrilla Insurgency

    Article

    The Last of Africa’s Cold War Conflicts: Portuguese Guinea and its Guerrilla Insurgency, Al J. Venter, Pen and Sword, 2020, 210p, £25-00. ISBN 9781526772985 This book offers more than its title suggests. It is an analysis of how the longest-standing colonial power in Africa suddenly retreated after a domestic ‘coup’...

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  • Boudica at Mancetter: The Latin, the Land, The Logistics

    Article

    Boudica at Mancetter: The Latin, the Land, The Logistics, Margaret Hughes, Atherstone Civic Society, 2020, 256p, £10-00 [and £3-00 p + p]. ISBN 978-0-9551803-3-0. Enquiries to secretary@atherstonecivicsociety.co.uk One of the locational mysteries of the history of these islands is where exactly did Queen Boudica fight her final battle in AD...

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  • Kennedy and the Bay of Pigs

    Article

    David Smith investigates how the USA made such a big mistake in the Bay of Pigs. In his inaugural address, President Kennedy attempted to balance the demands of Cold War rhetoric with setting out a vision of a post-Cold War world. Praise for the speech came across the political divide, with the Republican minority leader Senator...

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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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