The Great War

March 2016
40:00

March 1, 2016

Expired 3.0 4 x
The final episode looks at the last phase of the war and the final peace. At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the year 1918, the Armistice came into effect. A wave of incredulous relief spread through the armies on all sides. As the day wore on and the certainty of peace sank in, the populations of the Allied countries were overcome by a frenzy of joy and exultation. The bloodiest conflict in the history of mankind thus far had finally come to an end.
40:00

March 1, 2016

Expired 3.0 3 x
The penultimate episode recounts the collapse of Germany's Austro-Hungarian and Bulgarian allies. In September 1918 Bulgaria, her forces routed in Serbia, finally capitulated. In Italy, the decisive clash came late in October, when the Austrians were resoundingly defeated at the battle of the Piave. One by one Germany's satellite powers were dropping away, leaving Germany fighting - and facing defeat - alone.
February 2016
40:00

February 23, 2016

Expired 3.0 4 x
This episode examines the war in the Middle East. With the Western Front dominating the minds of generals and statesmen, they sought a back door to victory. The Dardanelles expedition of 1915 had been one attempt to find such a solution. The campaigns in the Middle East - in Egypt, Palestine, and Mesopotamia - were another. By October 1918 the Allies had captured Aleppo and Baghdad at a cost of 164,000 casualties, but were still far from Turkey's heartland.
40:00

February 23, 2016

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This episode looks at the first Allied counter attack against the German onslaught on 17 July, 1918. By 5 August, the Germans had once again been driven back to the River Aisne. This was the turning point of the war. Six days later, the Kaiser said to his generals, 'The war must be ended.'.
40:00

February 16, 2016

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This episode follows the German offensive of March 1918. It was the greatest offensive in the west since the beginning of the war - a desperate German gamble to achieve victory at a stroke, before the bulk of the American army arrived. Initially they succeeded in breaking through the trench system, pursuing the allies through open country. But their supply lines could not keep up with their advancing forces, and the momentum of the offensive fell away. The Germans had failed.
40:00

February 15, 2016

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This episode tells how the German army attempted to retrieve a desperate situation. They counter-attacked on 27 May 1918 and made the deepest penetration on any day of the war. Once again, French and British alike fell back in confusion. By June the Germans were once more on the Marne. But it was too late - the Americans had arrived. It was not the numbers of American troops that counted - only four divisions were battleworthy - it was the effect of their presence on Allied morale. Now, the com...
40:00

February 9, 2016

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Exploring how the war had evolved from an old-fashioned military conflict to a war engulfing whole nations, fought with passionate and irrational hatred. But out of 'total war' grew modern ideas of a state's responsibility for its citizens, and the concept of managing an economy as one vast business. Whatever the final outcome of the war, the pre-1914 world had come to an end, and a new era was dawning.
40:00

February 8, 2016

Expired 3.0 3 x
This episode looks at the experiences of soldiers on the Western Front and the effect this had upon the human spirit. At the time, the scale of the losses appeared as an unrivalled evil. The dehumanising manner in which the war was fought lent it a special horror which was has endured across the years.
40:00

February 2, 2016

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This episode turns to Russia and its short-lived democracy, brought about by mass strikes and demonstrations. The tsar was blamed for all evils and forced to abdicate. The new enthusiasm in Russia heartened the Allies and alarmed the Germans, who had calculated that a Russian revolution would put an end to war on the Eastern Front.
40:00

February 2, 2016

Expired 3.0 3 x
This episode turns to the Western Front in 1917. The centrepiece of this gloomy year was the third battle of Ypres - known as the battle of Passchendale. The British fought alone through three and half long months of one of the wettest summers Flanders had ever seen. The battle has aroused much controversy, but one truth emerges - the terrible effect the ordeal inflicted upon the human spirit.
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