On 18 April 1947, British forces set off the largest non-nuclear explosion in history. The target was a small island in the North Sea, thirty miles off the German coast, which for generations had stood as a symbol of Anglo-German conflict: Heligoland.
Jan Rüger is Professor of History at Birkbeck University of London. His new book, Heligoland: Britain, Germany, and the Struggle for the North Sea, Britain and Germany, is a microhistory of the Anglo-German relationship as it unfolded from the Napoleonic Wars to the Cold War. It takes the North Sea island of Heligoland as a prism through which to view rivalry, conflict and, eventually, reconciliation between the two nations.
Producer: Dan Morelle