The First World War: The War to End All Wars
Through fascinating and at times shocking archive footage the programs in this series tells the stark story of the First World War, which even 100 years later remains a visceral national memory. The evolution from trench warfare to utilizing tanks and airplanes changed the shape of military campaigns forever.
S01:E01 - The Broken Promise
The full industrial might of nation states backed millions of fighting men in a war which saw casualty figures on a colossal scale beyond any previous experience. As well as the slaughter in the trenches the whole fabric of society was caught up in a process which destroyed almost an entire generation of young men.
S01:E02 - Victory & Revolution
In the summer of 1914 the Nations of Europe had entered into a conflict of unforeseen and unprecedented savagery. From the Balkans storm center the winds of war had blown outward engulfing nation after nation. For over 40 years prior a balance of power remained in Europe with Russia to the east, Germany in the middle, and England to the west.
S01:E03 - The Battle of Mons
August 1914, was the first battle fought by the British Expeditionary Force in World War One. The Germans had overwhelming numerical superiority but the intense British rifle fire inflicted heavy casualties before they were eventually forced to retreat by the sheer weight of numbers. The British retreat continued for a further two weeks and gave rise to the legend of the "Angels of Mons".
S01:E04 - Gallipoli
The Gallipoli campaign of 1915 was an attempt by the Allies to open a new front against the Ottoman Empire, allied with Germany and Austria, and to secure the passage of the Dardanelles and thereby access to Russia. The campaign was a failure with heavy casualties on all sides and the presence of large numbers of troops from Australia and New Zealand has led to ANZAC day.
S01:E05 - The Somme
Fought between July and November 1916, the Battle of the Somme is possibly the most famous of all World War One battles and certainly one of the largest with over million men killed or wounded by it conclusion. The first day remains the worst day in the history of the British Army with around 60,000 casualties sustained.
S01:E06 - Verdun
The Battle of Verdun from February to November 1916 began with a German offensive against the French defenses around the town of Verdun. Their plan was to suck the French in to a battle that would inflict such serious casualties that French Army would never fully recover. In the end the German casualties were almost as great as those of the French and there was virtually no territorial gain.
S01:E07 - Cambrai
The battle of Cambrai in late 1917 saw the first large scale deployment of tanks as a tactical weapon. The first, very limited, use of tanks had been on the Somme the previous year and further experiments had taken place earlier in 1917 but at Cambrai these new fighting machines were used in the substantial numbers for the first time.
S01:E08 - Kaiserschlacht
Kaiserschlacht or Kaiser's Battle, the German spring offensive in 1918, was the last significant German offensive of World War One. It saw the first major deployment of Stormtrooper units on the Western Front and their innovative tactics led to the breaking of the trench war stalemate for the first time in four years.
S01:E09 - The Red Baron
Manfred Von Richthofen, The Red Baron, was the greatest fighter ace of World War One and perhaps the most famous fighter pilot of all time. Credited with 80 air combat victories, more than any other WWI pilot, he was brilliant tactician and led his "Flying Circus" to unparalleled success before being shot down and killed in April 1918 at the age of just 25.
S01:E10 - German Aircraft of World War One
From concept through to design, construction and deployment, Great German Aircraft of World War One explores the stories behind the famous German Fighters and bombers of the First World War. Illustrious names such as Fokker, Junkers, Halberstadt, Gotha, and Albatross all developed and built aircraft and were constantly trying to stay one step ahead of the Allied air forces.
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