Attend in person:
In August 1946, the SS ‘Empire Halladale’ docked at Cuxhaven in Germany. A parade of women in fashionable hats and stylish overcoats disembarked the ship, each laden with an assemblage of unwieldy bags and many carrying small children. As they stepped onto dry land, they could see before them a large banner which read, ‘Welcome to the British Zone’.
These were the first wives and children of serving British Army of the Rhine soldiers allowed to enter occupied Germany as part of Operation Union.
Over the course of the next few months, several thousand British women and children took up residence in the towns and cities of north-west Germany, propelled into an extraordinary existence among the ruins of the Third Reich.
In this talk, Dr Daniel Cowling will recount the story of these intrepid civilians and their remarkable experiences of life in post-war Germany.
Daniel Cowling is a Historian at the National Army Museum with a particular interest in modern British and European history. He completed his PhD at the University of Cambridge, where he wrote a thesis on the British occupation of Germany. His first book, ‘Don’t Let’s Be Beastly to the Germans’, will be published by Head of Zeus in 2023.