World War One

The events of the first truly global war and its devastating and far reaching impact.

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The events of the first truly global war and its devastating and far reaching impact.
🇬🇧 English
last modified
2019-04-07 05:43
last episode published
2015-06-27 17:30
publication frequency
6.87 days
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Date Thumb Title & Description Contributors

USA: Isolationism

How did WW1 change America's place in the world? Jonathan Dimbleby presents a public debate from the US Library of Congress in Washington
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Germany: The Waging of War

How did technological and industrial development revolutionise World War One? The tank, gas, flame throwers, Zeppelins were like nothing that had been experienced before.
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Sarajevo: Nationalism

A century ago a shot rang out in Sarajevo which set the world on a path to war. How did the peace made after WW1 influence the ethnic conflicts in the region during the 1990s?
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Jordan: Redrawing the Middle East

How did World War One change the face of the Middle East? And, how did this seismic and controversial period shape the century to follow?
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Britain: The Psychology of War

What drove men to volunteer to fight during World War One? What drove them to the edge of sanity when they got there?
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Australia: The Legend of Anzac

Australia's experience of WW1 is like no other country's. What role has the 'legend of Anzac' played in the hundred-year history of Australia?
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Tanzania: Race and Colonial War

Audrey Brown chairs a discussion on the effects of World War One in Africa. She hears the stories from African fighters, on both the German and British sides. And she speaks to Tanzanians who tell their family memories, like Oswald Masebo from Dar es S...
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France: Heroism

Life in the trenches during World War One, amongst rats, mud, shelling, barbed wire and unprecedented numbers of dead, called upon new reserves of both endurance and courage. But what did the war do to the ancient idea of heroism?
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WW1 At Home 20 - The Baghdadi Jews& a Terrier on Zeppelin watch

How Manchester’s Baghdadi Jews fought to be recognised as friends of Britain and Jim the dog who helped keep the Kent coast safe.
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India: Imperialism

Hugely influential in the outcome of the war, its aftermath had a huge effect on India and its role in the British Empire.
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WW1 At Home 19 - Tank Trials& Making Jam for the Frontline

The technical innovation that led to the birth of the tank, tales from the grandsons of the Guernsey soldier who travelled all over the world and the factory in Grimsby that supplied the frontline in jam.
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Soldiers of the Empire 2/2 – The Fight in Fairyland

Santanu Das tells the story of the Indian Army on the Western Front, from disembarkation in Marseilles where the troops were greeted by excited crowds, to the grim reality of the trenches.
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Soldiers of the Empire – Recruitment& Resistance

One and a half million Indian men were recruited from the villages and towns of British India to serve the Empire in the First World War. Santanu Das tells the story of how they were recruited to travel across the Kalopani, the "dark waters", to take p...
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St Petersburg: Revolution

The Romanovs ruled Russia for centuries until World War One brought revolution and an abrupt end to their imperial reign. Allan Little explores the legacy of revolution and the hidden impact of WW1 on Russian policy today.
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WW1 At Home 18 - R&R for American Volunteers& a Bristol Love Song

A place in the heart of London where the American soldiers got a little taste of home; a project mapping the lives of nearly 2000 men in Tynemouth, Tyne and Wear, who died in WW1& a song to love and loss based on letters to a Bristolian wife.
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Keep the Home Fires Burning

Don Black tells the fascinating story of Ivor Novello and the song that made his name. Keep The Home Fires Burning marks the centenary of a song that became popular both in the WW1 trenches and on the home front, and continued to be sung by soldiers in...
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WW1 At Home 17 - The Sikh Contribution& the Merseyside Ferries

The two Merseyside ferries who earned their 'Royal' title in a daring wartime raid, a Coventry memorial which marks the Sikhs role in World War One, and why thousands of mules trotted through the town of Minehead.
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Episode 3 - Forgotten Heroes, The Indian Army in the Great War

In the third part of his documentary looking at the Asian contribution to WW1, Sarfraz Manzoor examines the effect of WW1 on India, nationally and locally. Through letters from servicemen and families, the loss to loved ones becomes clear - not just on...
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WW1 At Home 16 - The Chilwell Explosion& a Wartime Entertainer

Kate Adie reports on the Nottinghamshire munitions factory disaster. Also - the ambulance trains of Lowth& forces sweetheart, Gertie Gitana, who became a wartime music hall star.
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WW1 At Home 15 - Pilot Hero Mick Mannock& Flora Sandes' Enlistment

Three WW1 characters. Flora Sandes, who enlisted and fought as a soldier in Serbia. Mick Mannock, the British 'Ace of Aces'; and 3 yr old Khaki George, who collected funds for the war effort on the streets of Halifax.
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WW1 At Home 14 - A Captain's Execution& U-boat Defences

The story of Captain Fryatt - a civilian naval officer executed by the Germans, and the Royal Navy tactic of deploying 'Q ships'. These resembled British merchant ships, to lure the enemy to the surface, but were actually heavily armed with concealed w...
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The War That Changed The World: Istanbul - Modernity and Secularism

Turkey emerged from the First World War as a new republic, with a secular and modern identity, attempting to break from its Ottoman past. How has this influenced Turkey today? With historians Aksin Somel and Ahmet Kuyas, and novelist Elif Shafak.
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Episode 2 - Forgotten Heroes, The Indian Army in the Great War

In the second part of his documentary looking at the Asian contribution to WW1, Sarfraz Manzoor charts the experiences of soldiers and labourers in Mesopotamia and Gallipoli. The story for India changes as the war wears on. Recruitment becomes more dra...
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Episode 1 - Forgotten Heroes, The Indian Army in the Great War

Sarfraz Manzoor tells the story of the 1.27m men from the Indian Army who fought valiantly in the Great War, through a series of the soldiers' letters written home from Western Front. This first episode of a three part series focuses on the make-up of ...
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Heroes at War: Frederick Kelly

Two time Olympic gold medalist Steve Williams tells the story of Frederick "Clegg" Kelly, Olympic rowing champion and one of Britain's leading composers, who lost his life on the battlefield in WW1.
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Heroes at War: Walter Tull

Ex-Northampton Town player Clarke Carlisle tells the story of Walter Tull, the first Afro-Caribbean outfield player in the top division of English football, and the first to be commissioned as an infantry officer in the British Army. Clarke retraces th...
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Veterans: From WW1 to Afghanistan

Radio 1's Greg James hears from British troops who served in Afghanistan as they contrast their experiences with those who fought in World War One. Mixing new interviews from Afghanistan veterans with archive of those who endured the trenches, this sto...
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Women's lives on the Home Front

Woman's Hour goes behind the scenes at new Radio 4 drama Home Front, as it begins its four-year run. Actor Harriet Walter talks about her cameo role as Emmeline Pankhurst, and we hear from the writers about the opportunity to dramatise the domestic liv...
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WW1 At Home 13 - Sikh Soldiers& Pilot Heroes

The valiant Sikh contribution, the drama of those first training flights above the meadows of Oxfordshire, and a bittersweet story of two families brought together by love and loss.
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How Britain Went to War

Leading Whitehall historian Peter Hennessy examines Britain's secret war planning and preparations before 1914. Drawing on official papers, sound archive, and interviews with historians, Hennessy discusses what was in the minds of Asquith, ministers, o...
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The War that Changed the World: Part Two

The tank, gas, flame throwers, Zeppelins - the weapons of World War One were like nothing that had been experienced before. At a special event with the British Council, Amanda Vickery and her guests explore the waging of war, its methods and morality, ...
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Minds at War - The Grieving Parents

Poet Ruth Padel reflects on German artist Kathe Kollwitz's memorial for her son, who died on the battlefields of the First World War in October 1914. The German painter, printmaker and sculptor created some of the greatest and most searing accounts of ...
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Minds at War - The Broken Wing

Santanu Das discusses Indian poet Sarojini Naidu's 1917 collection The Broken Wing. Born in Hyderabad in 1879, Naidu became known as "the Nightingale of India" for her work as a poet and also as an Indian independence activist. Das reflects on the impo...
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Minds at War - Fighting France

BBC Correspondent Lyse Doucet introduces novelist Edith Wharton's reportage from wartime France. Wharton, best known for The Age Of Innocence and The House of Mirth, was granted unique access to the Western front and wrote one of the most evocative and...
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Minds at War - Battleship Potemkin

For Russians of director Sergei Eisenstein's generation, the experience of the First World War was overtaken by the revolution of 1917, which took Russia out of the war and plunged it into a bitter civil war from which the infant Bolshevik Soviet state...
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Minds at War - Le Feu

Completed in 1916, Le Feu was the first explicit account of conditions at the front. French soldier Henri Barbusse's novel proved a revelation to a French public sold a sentimental line by the press of the time. Yet Le Feu, with its deep insights into ...
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Minds at War - Thoughts for the Times on War and Death

The declaration of war in 1914 was initially met with jubilation by the people of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and, in Vienna, Sigmund Freud shared their mood. But, like his fellow-citizens, Freud expected a quick war. By February 1915, with two of his ...
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Minds at War - The Memorandum on the Neglect of Science

Professor David Edgerton reflects on a WW1 clarion-call from the British scientific establishment. In a letter to The Times in 1916, many of the great names of British science declared their belief that both academic and applied science were being trea...
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Minds at War - Der Krieg

In 1924, six years after the end of hostiliies, the painter Otto Dix, who had been a machine-gunner in the German Army, produced his 51 Der Krieg prints. Gruesome, hallucinatory, and terribly frank, these postcards of conflict tell the soldier's ghastl...
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Minds at War - Non-Combatants and Others

Rose Macaulay is perhaps best remembered for her final novel, The Towers of Trebizond, but her biographer, Sarah LeFanu, has long believed that her earlier 1916 novel, Non-Combatants and Others, is a work of striking originality. She argues for its imp...
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Minds at War - Paths of Glory

CRW Nevinson's painting Paths of Glory is a distant cry from the rallying recruitment posters that appeared at the start of the war. It depicts the bloated corpses of two dead soldiers, stretched out in the mud, against a backdrop of tangled barbed wir...
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Free Thinking - Oh What A Lovely Savas

'Oh what a lovely Savas' begins Rana Mitter in this edition of Free Thinking, using the Turkish word for War. Rana and guests discuss the roles of Turkey, India, China and Japan in World War I, and how the very legitimacy of the idea of Empire was poss...
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Free Thinking - Wood and Trees: War and Remembrance

From Paul Nash paintings of blasted tree stumps in the first world war to today's commemorative planting: Paul Gough, Gabriel Hemery and Gail Ritchie join Samira Ahmed to explore woods in war and peacetime.
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Free Thinking - Balancing Power in WW1 and Now

The First World War shattered the power balance in Europe. As we confront an uncertain world order, who are the great powers today, how has their role changed and where do they now stand in determining geo-politics? Jonathan Powell and historians Marga...
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Free Thinking - The Thirty-Nine Steps

John Buchan's The Thirty-Nine Steps first appeared in Blackwoods Magazine in August and September 1915 and depicts Europe on the edge of war in May and June 1914. It quickly became popular reading in the trenches and on the home front, and 100 years an...
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Gavrilo Princip's Footprint

On the sunny morning of June 28 1914, Gavrilo Princip shot dead the Archduke Ferdinand and his wife Sophie in Sarajevo. Their assassination began a chain of events that would bring the world to war, destroy three empires and lead to the creation of the...
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Sound of Cinema - The First World War

Matthew Sweet looks at music for films set against the background of WW1, including Joseph Kosma's music for Jean Renoir's masterpiece La Grande Illusion. The First World War prompted a cinematic response even before the War was over and has continued ...
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Music Matters - The Legacy of WW1 in Music

How did composers such as Ralph Vaughan Williams, Alban Berg and Maurice Ravel react to the horrific tragedy of the First World War? Tom Service discusses the effect of World War One on music written in the years following the conflict.
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Nationalism The War That Changed the World

An epic exploration of the legacy of World War One begins with this panel and audience discussion from Sarajevo. It looks at the drive for nationhood during World War One and its impact on nationalism in Bosnia to this day.
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Month of Madness - London

Professor Christopher Clark unpicks the complex sequence of events that led to WW1. Today, how British decision-makers reacted in the 'July Crisis' of 1914.
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