Perspectives

side-by-side interviews:
British and German views about the First World War

Two eminent historians reflect in side-by-side interviews on British and German views of history in the centenary year of the outbreak of the First World War.

Dr. Annika Mombauer (German) and Professor Sir Hew Strachan (British) are both experts on the First World War. In this centenary year of the outbreak the ‘war to end all wars’, they discuss the origins of that war, its impact on the history of the last hundred years, the role of the historian and whether that role differs in Germany and Britain.


Video of Annika Mombauer
(16:30)

Video of Hew Strachan
(15:55)

View on your iPhone/iPad

Dr Annika Mombauer

Anglistik – English Studies - at the Westfälische-Wilhelms-Universität in Münster, Germany. However, as she felt it was better to experience English in England, she moved to the University of Sussex, where she was awarded a D.Phil in History in 1998. She joined the Open University in the same year. She is now Senior Lecturer in Modern European History in the History Department.

In 2003, she was a visiting fellow at the Australian Defence Force Academy in Canberra. She served as Secretary to the German History Society between 2006 and 2011. Her main area of research is the First World War and its diplomatic and military origins, and she has published widely in this field.

Most recently, she edited a document collection (published by Manchester University Press) which brings together more than 400 international primary sources which highlight diplomatic and military decision-making in the immediate prewar years and during the July Crisis of 1914, and a study of the July Crisis, published by the Beck Verlag, Munich.

She is a member of the Editorial Board of 1914-1918 Online - Encyclopedia of the First World War).
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Professor Sir Hew Strachan

was born in Edinburgh and educated at Rugby School and Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, where he has been a Life Fellow since 1992. He is Chichele Professor of the History of War at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of All Souls College since 2002. He also serves on the Strategic Advisory Panel of the Chief of the Defence Staff and on the UK Defence Academy Advisory Board, as well as being a Trustee of the Imperial War Museum, and member of both the National Committee for the Centenary of the First World War and the Council of the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

He was for a short period a merchant seaman… he is a Deputy Lieutenant for Tweeddale, and a Brigadier in the Queen's Bodyguard for Scotland (Royal Company of Archers). In December 2012, Foreign Policy magazine included him in its list of top global thinkers for the year. He was knighted in the 2013 New Year’s Honours.

Some of his recent books are: the first of three volumes on the First World War: The First World War: A New Illustrated History (2003) derived from the Channel 4 series of the same name; Carl von Clausewitz On War: a biography (2007); and How Fighting Ends: a History of Surrender (2012).

Download SymbolTranscript (PDF, 71 KB)
Download SymbolAudio interview (MP4, 13.3 MB)
Download SymbolTranscript (PDF, 71 KB)
Download SymbolAudio interview (MP4, 16.1 MB)


Rosie Goldsmith and Max Easterman are two senior multi-media journalists with a strong track record of working in the arts and international affairs for the BBC and other media. As German speakers and specialists in German affairs, they have worked closely with the Goethe-Institut London on several key projects. This major new online project is their latest collaboration. Doppelgänger reflects a broad range of voices and views on the relationship between Germany and the UK.

Goethe-Institut London
© April 2014
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