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Heligoland: Britain, Germany and the Struggle for the North Sea

Professor Jan Rueger from Birkbeck’s Department of History, Classics and Archaeology has published a new book:Heligoland: Britain, Germany and the Struggle for the North Sea.

Heligoland is a small island in the North Sea, but its diminutive size belies its importance in the history of Anglo-German relations. A British colony for much of the nineteenth century, the island became a metaphor for Anglo-German rivalry after Germany acquired it in 1890. Turned into a naval fortress under the Kaiser and again under Hitler, it was fought over in both world wars. Heavy bombardment by the Allies reduced it to ruins until the Royal Navy re-took it in May 1945. It was finally returned to the Federal Republic of Germany in 1952, and became a popular holiday destination.

Tracing this long history of contact and conflict from multiple perspectives, in Heligoland Professor Rueger brings to life this fascinating and revealing microcosm of the Anglo-German relationship in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Heligoland: Britain, Germany and the Struggle for the North Sea is published by OUP and is available now.

Listen to an interview with Professor Rueger about writing Heligoland.

Further information:

 

Published: 17 February 2017

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