World War I

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Jutland — fleet movements

In our Jutland — the combat experience feature this month, Peter Hart reconstructs the action of the battle using personal accounts of men who were there. This map has been designed to aid you place the movements of the battling fleets geographically, and shows the clashes during the battle between 31 May-1 June 1916. To read […]

WW1 Conscription Posters

Your country needs you – and hundreds of thousands had come forwards. So at first, it was a war of the willing. But by late 1916, the Western Front had consumed three armies – the Regulars, the Territorials, and then the Kitchener volunteers – and it became, perforce, a war of the conscripted. Taken from our article […]

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5 reasons why was the Battle of Caporetto 1917 was so decisive

The Battle of Caporetto in 1917 was a decisive victory for Germany, and one in which 25 year old German lieutenant Erwin Rommel showed signs of his future greatness. It was an spectacular victory, which brought Italy to the brink of national collapse. But how were they able to so successfully overcome the far larger Italian […]

Gas Mask: a cultural icon

UCL’s Gabe Moshenska muses on the extraordinary iconic significance of the gas mask. My particular object of interest is the ‘General Civilian Respirator’ issued to the British people in the lead up to the Second World War. This ubiquitous mass-produced object has come to symbolise life in Home Front Britain, even though it was never […]

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The Somme Revised: New Interpretations

A new generation of historians is challenging the old perception of the First World War as pointless carnage. As against the image conjured by war poets, radical historians, and much popular literature, the ‘revisionists’ argue that battles like the Somme represent ‘a necessary sacrifice’. The revisionist argument 1. The ‘lions led by donkeys’ stereotypes of […]

German Zeppelins of WWI

Mathy’s airship was a giant cigar-shaped cylinder of gas bubbles filled with highly flammable hydrogen.

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