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 […]
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.
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 […]
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 […]
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.
U-boat 118 had been launched in February 1918, and in the last couple of months of the war dispatched two British ships – the Wellington, a steamer, and the Arca, a tanker.
‘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 […]
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 […]
Shifting Sands is an exhibition about T E Lawrence, probably known to most of us as ‘Lawrence of Arabia’. The title inevitably conjures up pictures of desert sands whipped up into fierce sandstorms by violent winds. There is, however, a subtler subtext, linked to Lawrence’s mindset, to the shifting sands of his personality. Both of […]