Updated: Nov 10
As we approach the 103rd anniversary of the Armistice on November 11, 1918, it's an opportune moment to get away from the myths and half-truths and reflect on this first global conflict in a more considered way.
The popular British narrative about the First World War is that it was wasteful and futile - 'lions led by donkeys'. This view grew to prominence in the 1960s and continued to flourish during the recent centenary of the conflict.
But this is not a view shared by professional historians. Over the last twenty to thirty years, using new approaches and fresh sources, they have transformed the picture of 1914-18 that we have been used to for so long. In books that came out to mark the centenary, they showed that this first global war was altogether stranger, more complex, and more modern, in every sense, than we've been led to believe.
In Unknown Warriors, ten leading historians of the First World War tell us how their work challenges the traditional wisdom. If you think you know about the First World War, this series will make you think again.
An Understanding History podcast