Updated: Nov 8, 2021
As we approach the 103rd anniversary of the Armistice....
Despite the global nature of the First World War, the popular British narrative of the conflict has tended to focus almost exclusively on the Western Front - and often only on the 'tragic' elements of that trench-bound struggle, the Somme and Passchendaele. And yet the year 1918, in which the Allied coalition decisively defeated the German army, is often overlooked. In my series Unknown Warriors, leading WW1 historians like Gary Sheffield, Jonathan Boff and Peter Hart look again at the war on the Western Front to reveal that the military on all sides had to learn the hard way how to overcome the problems of fighting with mass armies in a highly challenging theatre of combat. After many mistakes and false starts, the French and British finally, in 1918, got their act together to force a German retreat and collapse. How they did this - and how the Germans finally reached the end of their tether - is graphically described.
An Understanding History podcast.