Richard North, 04/09/2004  

That was the news headline this morning, sixty-five years ago. The British ultimatum had expired at 11 am the previous day. Six hours later, at 5 pm, France entered the war and the Second World War had begun.

Formal notification that a state of war existed had been handed to the German Charge d'Affaires at 11.15. This constituted the formal declaration of war.

In its reply to the British government, five minutes later, the German government had refused to give any assurance that it would withdraw troops. It had blamed Britain's "rigid" attitude for the crisis.

Although we are now at peace, in some things, nothing changes.

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