• 10.00am - 5.30pm
  • FREE
  • Chelsea, London
  • 10.00am - 5.30pm
  • FREE
  • Chelsea, London

War and Peace: A Century of British-German Relations

Women’s Royal Army Corps military policewoman on duty in Gerkerath, c1970

Military policewoman on duty in Gerkerath, c1970

The National Army Museum and the Dresden Trust will come together to explore Britain’s relationship with Germany.

British relations with Germany have been at the heart of European and world history for much of the modern era.

In the 1800s, the two nations found themselves bound closely together through trade, a shared royal lineage, and mutual interests on the Continent. Indeed, British and German troops fought together to defeat Napoleon at Waterloo.

However, the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 signalled a decisive breakdown in the relationship that would reshape world history for the next three decades.

In 1945, British Army troops entering German territory were warned that they were ‘about to meet a strange people in a strange, enemy country’. Following two brutal and destructive global conflicts, mutual hostility between Britain and Germany showed no signs of waning.

Since the end of the Second World War, both nations have attempted to come to terms with their shared and complex past. From the challenging legacies of the Second World War to heated contests on the football field, it has not always been straightforward. But, in time, the former enemies gradually became firm friends.

In collaboration with the Dresden Trust, the National Army Museum will host a symposium of short talks exploring different perspectives on the remarkable story of British-German remembrance and reconciliation.

  • Sinclair McKay:
    ‘Cultural Resistance: how art and music and popular entertainment before and after the war – and even when forced underground by the savage repression of the Nazis - kept the heart of the Anglo-German relationship beating’
  • Daniel Cowling:
    ‘War by Other Means?: British-German football matches in the aftermath of the Second World War and the transformation of enemies into rivals’
  • Angela Findlay:
    ‘A German in the Family: the challenges and gifts of overcoming the national enmity and traumatic legacy of two World Wars’

About the Dresden Trust

The Dresden Trust is a British charity dedicated to healing the wounds of war and furthering harmonious relations between the people of Britain and the German city of Dresden.

Explore further

Join the conversation

"First time @NAM_London today. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Thought the presentation & interpretation made the subject accessible..."