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In the trenches in France in 1916

Who was to blame for the First World War?

The hottest political issue of the day pits Conservatives against Labour, academics against academics, Boris against Baldrick. Not sure which side you’re on? Here,  Sean O’Grady delves beyond the politics to identify who or what was – and wasn’t – responsible for the conflict

Professor Margaret MacMillan points to the striking parallels between the Balkans a century ago (the assassination in Sarajevo, left) and the Middle East today (Syria rebellion, right)

Is it 1914 all over again? We are in danger of repeating the mistakes that started WWI, says a leading historian

The Great War was sparked by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in the Balkans. The Middle East could be viewed as the modern-day equivalent, argues Professor Margaret MacMillan

The Queen ‘plotted to hit Idi Amin with a sword’ if he visited Britain

Revelations from Lord Mountbatten’s diary show royal concerns over Ugandan dictator

Wilfrid Owen with a young friend in 1917

The gathering storm: A look back on middle-class Europe's last carefree Christmas before the onset of World War One

From the following summer, Britain, mainland Europe and a large part of the rest of the world changed for ever

The birth of the War Graves Commission - and the furious controversy it sparked

They died en masse during the Great War, but for the first time in the history of conflict, the common soldier was buried as an individual

'One button-push from an irreversible nuclear war': Previously classified documents reveal 1983 incident saw world on brink of disaster

Huge Nato war games exercise took world to edge of nuclear war in 1983

Incident 'far more serious' than 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis

End of empire: The glory of the Ottomans - and the devastation wreaked since they lost power

For centuries, the Ottoman Empire peaceably ruled much of the civilised world. Now, its former lands are up in flames. As the BBC launches a major new documentary series, Peter Popham asks: where did it all go wrong?

Hugo Chavez, nominated by Rob Marchant: 'Absolutely horrific man and pretend-democrat, who many on the Left still idolise.'

The top ten: Unsung villains

Tom Doran started this one with his suggestion for historical figures who don't get as bad a press as they should. One of my correspondents suggested each one ought to have 'profited from their sociopathology and have at least one Cassandra in their story'. I'm not sure I've kept to that rule, but here is what we came up with…

Gerda Taro and Robert Capa in 1936

Special report: How my father's face turned up in Robert Capa's lost suitcase

The great war photographer was not one person but two. Their pictures of Spain's civil war, lost for decades, tell a heroic tale

Goodbye to Berlin: Postcards from Nazi Germany tell story of the Kindertransport

To mark the 75th anniversary of the Kindertransport, which saw 10,000 children escape from Nazi Germany to the UK, a new book brings to light the heartbreaking postcards sent by one Jewish father in Berlin to his son in Swansea.

Talks festival of the week: Chalke Valley History Festival, Ebbesbourne Wake, nr Salisbury

Around 13,000 people turned up last year, and looking at the programme for 2013 it's easy to see why this is the country's leading history festival.

Derelict churches, forgotten homes, and entire villages buried by sand: Stunning images capture the world’s eeriest abandoned locations

Ghost towns, abandoned government headquarters and decomposing train depots – around the world there are still hundreds of these locations, all infected with the sadness of a forgotten former life

Troops from the 48th Royal Marines on Juno Beach, Normandy, during the D-Day landings on 6 June 1944

Lest we forget: The Normandy campaign 69 years on

On the 69th anniversary of D-Day, a new battle is being fought: to preserve the memories of those who were there, before it is too late and you can help

The evacuation of Dunkirk - 73 years on

Today marks the anniversary of the end of the Dunkirk evacuations during World War II

Kennedy declares ‘Ich bin ein Berliner’ in West Berlin in 1963

A Berliner in 1963 – but did former US president John F Kennedy once admire Adolf Hitler?

The young JFK praised 'superior' Nordic races during visits to Germany

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George Mpanga has been shortlisted for the Critics’ Choice prize
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Ed Miliband visiting the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem. The Labour leader has spoken more openly of his heritage recently
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Prices correct as of 21 November 2014
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?