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  • Image of troops on the Western Front hearing the news of the armistice

    In the autumn of 1918 the Central Powers were exhausted. Their armies were defeated and their hungry citizens were beginning to rebel. As early as 29 September Ludendorff decided that a cessation of hostilities must be sought. The need became more urgent...

  • Image of a German soldier taking cover in a shallow fold in the ground

    The Battle of Verdun, fought between the Germans and the French throughout most of 1916, was arguably the most influential battle of the Great War and had enormous consequences on subsequent Allied strategies. The battle began in February 1916 with...

  • Image of German propaganda poster from 1918

    The war on the Western Front had become one of attrition as 1917 drew to a close. The French Army was exhausted, having borne the brunt of the Allied effort and the trauma of Verdun. The British were beginning to suffer manpower shortages by early 1918,...

  • Image of painting depicting German attack Harold Sandys Williamson

    On a damp misty morning, British and Allied troops were met with a huge concentration of German artillery, gas, smoke and infantry. That day, 21 March 1918, heralded the start of Operation 'Michael', the first of the German Spring Offensives. It was...

  • Image of plywood figure charicature of Herbert Henry Asquith

    Liberal politician and statesman, 'H H Asquith' was Prime Minister of Great Britain between 1908 and 1916. His pre-war liberal government laid the foundations of today's 'welfare state' introducing old age pensions and unemployment insurance. Social...

  • Image of painting by Charles Ernest Butler depicting Kaiser Wilhelm on horseback

    The reign of Kaiser Wilhelm II as King of Prussia and Emperor of Germany (1888-1918) witnessed the meteoric rise of Germany as an economic and military power. It also saw the fragmentation of Europe into opposed camps of mutually-mistrusting alliances, a...

  • Image of Toby jug depicting Field Marshal Haig

    The First World War was fought on a vast scale and raised unprecedented challenges for the leaders of the combatant nations. The political leaders were responsible for the decision to go to war, and for deciding what war aims to pursue. The horrific...

  • Image of Canadian troops engaged in a rat hunt

    Throughout the history of warfare there have been many recorded instances of opposing armies tacitly agreeing to breaks from the intensity of continuous fighting. Even in the wars of the modern industrial era the natural human tendency to abstain from...

  • Image of  the SS Brussels after being captured by the Germans in 1916

    In wartime, Britain depended on civilian cargo ships to import food and raw materials, as well as transport soldiers overseas, and keep them supplied. The title 'Merchant Navy' was granted by King George V after the First World War to recognise the...

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