A short history of NATO

NATO history: signing the treaty

It is often said that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was founded in response to the threat posed by the Soviet Union. This is only partially true. In fact, the Alliance’s creation was part of a broader effort to serve three purposes: deterring Soviet expansionism, forbidding the revival of nationalist militarism in Europe through a strong North American presence on the continent, and encouraging European political integration. Read the full story

  • NATO History - NATO Secretaries General
  • NATO History - NATO Secretaries General
  • NATO History - NATO Secretaries General
  • NATO History - NATO Secretaries General
  • NATO History - NATO Secretaries General
  • NATO History - NATO Secretaries General
  • NATO History - NATO Secretaries General
  • NATO History - NATO Secretaries General
  • NATO History - NATO Secretaries General
  • NATO History - NATO Secretaries General
  • NATO History - NATO Secretaries General

Relive the first ten years of NATO history through original footage, documents and photos. Explore declassified information

Fortunately much of NATO’s early history was caught on film.  Videos from the past

Here we present several photo stories that illustrate NATO’s early history. Photo stories from the past

Jamie's history Class

Jamie’s history class

A series of 6 lectures on the history of the Atlantic Alliance by Dr. Jamie P. Shea. Take a history lesson

NATO history Posters

Posters

Since the 1950's these posters, cards, and calendars have adorned the walls and the desks inside the Headquarters. Historical posters

The birth of the NATO emblem

Birth of the emblem

The story of how the NATO emblem came to be adopted in 1953. Origin of the emblem
The NATO motto

Did you know
NATO History - Dwight David Eisenhower

American general Dwight David Eisenhower was named Supreme Commander Allied Forces Europe (SACEUR) in December 1950. Eisenhower had lead the Allied armies in the Second World War and several of his key subordinate commanders served under him once again. In NATO’s earliest days, those who had won the war were given the task of securing the peace. Eisenhower stepped down as SACEUR on 31 May 1952, to launch his successful campaign for the American Presidency.

Interesting anecdotes about NATO

NATO Archives history

Archives

Historical information and official texts spanning decades are available for consultation.

Selected Archival Material and Publications.
The Berlin Crisis and the Allied Response

Travel through time...

Use your mouse to scroll through the decades and click on a NATO star to find out more about an event including links to photos and documents.