Joseph Murphy (front right) with shipmates while serving on board the HMS Vivid in 1910. Photograph: the Murphy family

We tend to assume that the first Irishmen to die in the Great War must have been soldiers, members of the British Expeditionary Force on the retreat f(...)

From  left, French president Armand Fallieres  with premier Georges Eugene Benjamin Clemenceau  leaving Longchamp racecourse in Paris after a Bastille Day Revue. Photograph:  Hulton Archive/Getty Images

As the July crisis intensified, France’s apparent poor state of readiness for war continued to receive attention in European media.– Chris DooleyFRANC(...)

1914:  French politician Theophile Delcasse (1852 - 1923).  (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

MATTERS OF MOMENT French Army Deficiencies One remembers that when the Franco-Prussian war broke out the French War Minister declared that his Army wa(...)

Syrian president Bashar al-Assad  and his wife Asma al-Assad cast their votes in the presidential elections at martyr Na’em Ma’asarani School in al-Malki neighborhood in Damascus yesterday. Photograph: EPA/Sana

Damascenes flock to a multiplicity of neighbourhood polling stations to cast ballots in Syria’s first ever multi-candidate presidential election, whic(...)

Real power in France in 1914 lay neither with the depressed and overwhelmed prime minister René Viviani, nor with the figurehead president Raymond Poi(...)

French peacekeeping soldiers leave their base in Mpoko international airport in Bangui last December. Photograph: Emmanuel Braun/Reuters

The road from Bangui to Brussels goes through Paris, literally and figuratively. Catherine Samba Panza, the interim president of the Central A(...)

Robert Harris: trademark approach. Photograph: Geoffrey Swaine/Rex

It was the dodgiest of all dossiers. “It’s quite small,” says Robert Harris. “It was written on very flimsy paper – rice paper, or old-style typing pa(...)

Vietnamese General Vo Nguyen Giap is seen at a residence in Hanoi in  August 2008. General Vo Nguyen Giap, architect of Vietnam’s military victories over France and the United States, died today, of natural causes, family members and a hospital source said. He was 102. Photograph: Kham/Files/Reuters

Vo Nguyen Giap, the brilliant and ruthless self-taught general who drove the French out of Vietnam to free it from colonial rule and later forced the (...)

From left, Clement Attlee, Harry Truman and Joseph Stalin at the Potsdam Conference in July 1945

In a hotel room in Soho, the American historian Peter Kuznick starts telling me about the origins of his and Oliver Stone’s television series, The (...)