Updated: Mar 4, 2020
Understanding The First World War
We think of the First World War as a well defined time span 1914-18, almost as if it took place in some historical vaccuum divorced from the rest of the 20th century. And the recent centenary of the conflict tended to reinforce this impression. But in fact historians of WW1 have long recognised the war's connection to events both before 1914 and after 1918 . In Episode 8 of Unknown Warriors, Professor Robert Gerwarth explains how 1918 did not see an end to war in much of central-eastern Europe and the Middle East as huge empires collapsed and new nation states emerged which themselves contained sizeable foreign minorities and whose borders were often bitterly contested. Well into the 1920s violence continued, particularly against civilians, as paramilitary groups and citizen revolutionaries whipped up a reign of terror that witnessed brutality and ethnic cleansing on an epic scale, foreshadowing the more familiar racialised atrocities of the 1930s and the Second World War.
Find out more at www.unknownwarriorspod.co.uk . This is an Understanding History podcast.