On 11 November 1920, the largest funeral ever held in London took place – and yet the deceased was a man unknown to the hundreds of thousands of mourners who turned out in his honour. Described as the greatest outpouring of grief the country had ever known, the event was the burial of the Unknown […]
The First World War created new experiences of pain and suffering, and had profound consequences for the shape of wars to come. But in one respect the Great War of 1914-1918 was curiously old-fashioned and traditional – and that was in the realms of spirituality, superstition, and religious faith.
Perched on sofas and peering in from every angle, these Allied officers were obviously desperate to catch a glimpse of the momentous events unfolding next door. The Great War was finally coming to an end with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in the dazzling surroundings of the Palace of Versailles’ Hall of Mirrors.
Anthony Richards uses first-hand testimony to recreate the dying moments of the stricken Lusitania on 7 May 1915.
While admitting that Haig was no genius, revisionist historians have argued that by 1918, he was able to co-ordinate successfully all elements of military force – artillery, armour, airpower, and infantry – to achieve a decisive victory in the series of operations known collectively as ‘The Hundred Days’. Does this argument stand up to critique? Chris Bambery tests the case.
Taylor Downing reports on Peter Jackson’s new WWI centenary film. New Zealander Peter Jackson is known to cinema-goers for the lavish spectacles in which he specialises in breathtaking digital effects, including The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-2003) and The Hobbit trilogy (2012-14), both adapted from the novels of J R R Tolkien. He has now just released a remarkable […]
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 […]
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.
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.
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 […]