Videos

The Somme Secret Tunnel Wars

A BBC documentary from 2013
Published on YouTube 20 May 2013

Beneath the Somme battlefield lies one of the great secrets of the First World War, a recently-discovered network of deep tunnels thought to extend over several kilometres. This lost underground battlefield, centred on the small French village of La Boisselle in Picardy, was constructed largely by British troops between 1914 and 1916. This documentary follows historian Peter Barton and a team of archaeologists as they become the first people in nearly a hundred years to enter this hidden, and still dangerous, labyrinth.


WW1 Tanks

A BBC documentary from 1995
Published on YouTube 21 Aug 2012

This is documentary from the Timewatch series looks at the effect of the tank on the First World War and how it was used as a propaganda weapon. Veterans contribute stories and experts put their arguments across.


The War Revolution 1914

A BBC documentary
Published on YouTube 7 Oct 2013

This is an interesting documentary from the Timewatch series that examines three major inventions that helped to prolong the Great War. It provides useful information for explaining why the First World War lasted so long, and is therefore ideal for students. Uploaded for educational purposes only.


The First Blitz

A BBC documentary from 2007.
Published on Jun 12, 2014

Known as ‘Iron Thunderstorms’, the Zeppelin bombing raids of the First World War brought a new style of warfare directly to the British public. By autumn 1916, a wave of panic had spread across London and the South East, hundreds of thousands of residents fled the city, many sought shelter deep underground and over 1,500 people were killed in the attacks.

These horrific bombing raids ushered in a new type of warfare that would become the defining feature of 20th century combat. Timewatch looks at the effect on the British psyche of the first-ever Zeppelin raid in 1915 on the town of Great Yarmouth in Norfolk, and maps in detail — using first-hand testaments and archive — how the Germans waged their first airborne terror campaign on British civilians.


The Somme – From Defeat To Victory

A BBC documentary from 2006
Published on YouTube 15 Apr 2014

The 1st of July 1916 was the bloodiest day in British military history. But there was much more to the Somme than senseless slaughter. The Somme: From Defeat to Victory challenges the traditional view of the battle as a disaster and reveals how it was on the Somme that the British Army learnt to fight a modern war. Based on extensive research in British and German archives, the film mixes realistic, historically sourced drama scenes, archive, documentary footage and state of the art computer graphics to bring the extraordinary events of the Somme to life. It has been made with the advice of some of the world’s top military historians. The result is a film that offers a radical new perspective on the Somme, putting the terrible events of July 1st into their proper historical context.

The film is also influenced by the personal perspective of its writer, director and producer Detlef Siebert, who says: “As a German, I approached the battle of the Somme without the preconceptions that most British people seem to have. Even 90 years on, the Somme is still seen as a prime example of the recklessness and idiocy of British generals who sent wave after wave of brave young men to certain death.

“And although the battle of the Somme lasted almost 5 months, it is normally only the first day that is remembered. This popular view of the Somme struck me as rather one-dimensional and I wondered how the British Army would have won the war if it was really led by ‘donkey’ generals. In fact, recent historical research has demonstrated that many British commanders proved able and willing to learn from the disaster of the 1st of July.

“I wanted to make a film that not only shows the human tragedy of trench warfare but also highlights the learning curve of the British Army on the Somme.”


The Trench

Film released on 17 September 1999
Published on YouTube 17 Apr 2014

A story about a group of soldiers last days before the battle of the Somme in 1916 it shows the conditions in the trenches during World War One and takes you into the minds of the soldiers.

Directed by William Boyd
Writen by William Boyd
Staring: Paul Nicholls, Daniel Craig and Julian Rhind-Tutt


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