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.