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First World War

Illustration by R. Fresson.

A secret communication between Germany and Mexico was exposed on 3 March 1917.

Robert Graves in 1920

The life and work of the war poet and author is revealed in all its rich complexity.

German stormtroops depicted in ‘Either … Or …’, from the magazine Simplicissimus, August 1918. Illustration by Eduard Thöny.

When the Great War broke out in 1914, the German imperial army was regarded as the finest fighting force on earth. Just four years later, it was crushed by Britain and its allies.

Armistice celebrations  in London, 11 November 1918.

Having survived the rigours of the Great War, soldiers faced the return to civilian life. For some, it presented an even greater challenge.

Holding the line: French soldiers blinded by gassing at the Marne, 1918.

The British public are obsessed with the First World War, but know little about how it was brought to an end.

Winston Churchill, First Lord of the Admiralty, on board the Royal Yacht, 1912.

Competing narratives on Churchill’s role in the tragedy of Gallipoli have confused the man with the myth.

On 24 October 1917, the Central Powers launched a massive offensive at Italy’s north-eastern border. The resulting battle – popularly known as Caporetto – has been described as the greatest defeat in Italian military history.   

How did an evocatively named Flanders village become shorthand for a whole series of battles around the Belgian city of Ypres?

The work of military nurses at Passchendaele transformed the perception of women’s war service, showing they could perform life-saving work and risk their lives at the front.

Creative healing: The Hydra, alongside a photograph of Wilfred Owen. Ⓒ Johnny Greig.

The Hydra, a magazine produced by shell shock patients, was pioneering as a mental health care treatment.