First World War

Since the early 1960s, historians have shone a more positive light on the Battle of the Somme, writes Allan Mallinson. But we must not forget the excesses and failures of that terrible campaign.  

Evidence from Britain’s First World War conscription tribunals reveals a surprisingly efficient and impartial system, as Rebecca Pyne-Edwards Banks asserts in this extract from her 2015 undergraduate dissertation prize-winning essay.   

The epic German offensive to take the strategically crucial fortress in north-east France reached its bloody end 100 years ago this month. Robert Foley looks at how and why Erich von Falkenhayn, the Chief of the German General Staff, sought to break the deadlock on the Western Front.

The first day of the Somme has become synonomous with incompetent leadership and a callous disregard for human life. Gary Sheffield offers a more complex picture of the battle and the role played by General Sir Douglas Haig.

‘Shell shock’ is associated in particular with the First World War. Stuart M. Archer recounts the often brutal treatment meted out to sufferers of the condition and looks at how use of the term fell into disrepute. 

The First World War threw together people from all over the world. Anna Maguire considers images of these chance meetings and the light they shed on a global conflict.

All too much of the recent literature on the background to the Great War has focused on the diplomacy and has seriously underplayed the roles of...

On the 500th anniversary of Henry V’s victory, British troops were once more struggling against overwhelming odds in northern France. Stephen Cooper looks at how Britons of the Great War found inspiration in the events of St Crispin’s Day, 1415.

Bulgaria suffered a swift and devastating defeat in the First World War, due, G.D. Sheppard argues, to its peasant leader-in-waiting’s shrewd use of propaganda.

There was long a complaint among military historians, one best voiced by Brian Bond, that there was a major disjuncture between their work,...