Cologne and the British: 1918-1926

Politically, Mayor Adenauer admitted, the British occupation was always scrupulously fair. By D.G. Williamson.

When the armistice was signed between Germany and the Allied powers on November, 11th, 1918, the citizens of Cologne learnt that they had little more than three weeks to prepare for a British occupation. The humiliation of defeat and the depressing prospect of alien martial law were, however, tempered by the awareness that the British would insulate Cologne from the chaos of revolution that was sweeping through Germany.

The first British cavalry patrols entered Cologne at midday on December 6th and shortly afterwards a column of armoured cars escorted General Lawson to the Rathaus for a preliminary interview with Dr Adenauer, the Lord Mayor, who was relieved that his city was about to be policed by a disciplined force but apprehensive about the troops’ future relations with the inhabitants.

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