WWI

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Shell shock cover-up at Passchendaele

Taylor Downing reveals an official cover-up of mental illness in the later years of the war. It was not just the scale of the physical casualties that overwhelmed the British Army in the summer of 1916 on the Somme, terrible though these were – 38,000 wounded to be processed through medical facilities on the first day […]

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The Somme’s forgotten history

Film-maker Ross Barnwell is crowdfunding for a new documentary drama based on Geoffrey Malins, the cameraman who famously shot footage of the Battle of the Somme in 1916. Here’s a sneak preview of the stories Barnwell uncovered while filming.

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Kaiserschlacht, Spring 1918

Could the Germans have won the First World War in 1918? Almost certainly. A quarter of a century later, the tide of war would turn irretrievably against Hitler’s Third Reich in 1942/1943. The massive industrial power of the Soviet Union and the United States combined – still rising towards a wartime peak –guaranteed eventual defeat. The outcome was far more open in 1917/1918.

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Pigeons at Passchendaele

Gervase Phillips reports on the vital role of the ‘pigeon post’ amid Passchendaele’s waterlogged crater-fields. For Major Alec Waley, the commanding officer of the British Expeditionary Force’s Carrier Pigeon Service, 31 July 1917 was a peculiarly tense day, but ultimately a very satisfying one. It was the first day of the Third Battle of Ypres […]

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Fields of Battle, Lands of Peace: 1914-1918

As the years draw on, the events of the First World War slowly fade from living memory. Scattered across the globe, the battlefields – once witness to the carnage of industrialised slaughter – today rest in relative peace.

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Passchendaele: plans and preparations

Why did the British fight the Third Battle of Ypres? MHM editor Neil Faulkner analyses the background to Haig’s offensive in Flanders in autumn 1917. The controversy has lasted a century. It will probably never be resolved. The Third Battle of Ypres – or ‘Passchendaele’ as it is popularly known – was bitterly contested at the […]

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The Royal Warwickshire Regiment at Passchendaele

OCTOBER 1917 Patrick Mercer uses the first-hand account of a renowned junior officer to report on a grim regimental battle fought in the mud of Broodseinde a century ago. Along with Mons and the Somme, Passchendaele is one of the best-known battles of the First World War. The images of mud, blood, and gore are […]

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Passchendaele, 1917

Martin Marix Evans explores the muddy terrain of the Third Battle of Ypres, the effects it had on the action, and what can be found there today.

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Theatre: The Wipers Times by Ian Hislop and Nick Newman

‘The War is not funny, Sir.’ – Colonel Howfield. ‘I’ve a feeling that may be the point.’ – General Mitford. Seema Syeda reviews Ian Hislop and Nick Newman’s hit sensation, The Wipers Times. Lovers of satire, puns, and slap-stick comedy will delight in this new gem of a play from writers Ian Hislop and Nick Newman, The Wipers […]

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Passchendaele centenary commemorations

  The UK Government is holding two commemorative events in Ypres, Belgium, to mark the centenary of the Battle of Passchendaele (Third Battle of Ypres), fought during the First World War. Raging from 31 July to 10 November 1917, Passchendaele is widely remembered as one of the most hellish battles of the war. While it […]

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