world war one

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In Pictures: William Kentridge’s The Head and the Load

Seema Syeda watches the premiere of The Head and the Load at Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall. The past year has seen a whole raft of performance art, poignant memoir, and academic enquiry proliferate across the world stage in commemoration of the centenary of the end of the ‘war to end all wars’. The UK’s own 14-18NOW […]

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WWI: Pershing on the Western Front

No general in American history held the kind of absolute power General Pershing wielded. With complete backing from President Woodrow Wilson and Secretary of War Newton D Baker, Pershing could shape the American Expeditionary Force, due to deploy on the Western Front of the First World War, as he saw fit. But how successful was his military strategy?

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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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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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MHM 90 – March 2018

The March issue of Military History Monthly, the British military history magazine, is now on sale. In this issue: THE FIRST BLITZKRIEG This month our 17-page special feature looks back on Kaiserschlacht –General Ludendorff’s great offensive of spring 1918. Kaiserschlacht ushered in a new tactical doctrine of speed, surprise, and infiltration that almost won the war for Germany. In our first […]

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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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MHM 88 – January 2018

The January issue of Military History Monthly, the British military history magazine, is now on sale. In this issue: THE VIETNAM WAR The war tore America apart and devastated Vietnam. Its brutality was broadcast across the globe, and the widespread use of chemical weapons against a civilian population caused public outrage. As the body bags returned home […]

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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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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.