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  • Writer's pictureRichard

Protect and Survive: Britain’s Cold War Revealed

Opening on 4 April 2019, exactly 70 years since NATO was formed, the National Archives will mark a series of Cold War milestones that will run until the end of November 2019, the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Mark Dunton, Contemporary Records Specialist at The National Archives and Curator of the exhibition, said: ‘People will have the opportunity to explore our Cold War documents and learn more about this period of secrets and paranoia. The pervasive threat of nuclear war impacted everyday life for millions of people and this thought-provoking exhibition will offer a unique look into political and ideological tensions between the East and West.’


Catalogue references (left-right): INF 3/26911, CAB 130/1249 (125), KV 2/1258

An array of original documents will be on display, including political memos, spy confessions, civil defence posters and even a letter from Winston Churchill to the Queen. These documents will provide visitors with a rare glimpse into the complexities of government operations during this time of infiltration and betrayal.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a programme of high-profile events exploring the Cold War from a multitude of perspectives. Speakers will include Dame Stella Rimington, former Director General of MI5, who will discuss her extraordinary career in government and subsequent success as a writer.

To secure priority booking and be the first to obtain details of the Cold War season, sign up to The National Archives’ mailing list at

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