A BBC Documentary
Published on YouTube 18 May 2015
This documentary explores the planning, operation and ultimate failure of the attempt at the Dardanelles to force Turkey out of the Great War. It also explores the lessons learned and how they were applied to the D-Day landings in 1944.
The documentary has been uploaded for educational purposes only. Any advertising that appears is beyond my control.
Film released on 2 December 2001
Published on YouTube 11 August 2012
The Lost Battalion is the name given to nine companies of the United States 77th Division, roughly 554 men, isolated by German forces during World War I after an American attack in the Argonne Forest in October 1918. Roughly 197 were killed in action and approximately 150 missing or taken prisoner before 194 remaining men were rescued. They were led by Major Charles White Whittlesey. On 2 October, the division quickly advanced into the Argonne, under the belief that French forces were supporting the left flank and two American units including the 92nd Division were supporting the right flank. Unknown to Whittlesey’s unit, the French advance had been stalled. Without this knowledge, the Americans had moved beyond the rest of the Allied line and found themselves completely cut off and surrounded by German forces. For the next six days, suffering heavy losses, the men of the division were forced to fight off several attacks by the Germans, who saw the small American units as a threat to their whole line.
The battalion suffered many hardships. Food was short, and water was available only by crawling under fire to a nearby stream. Ammunition ran low. Communications were also a problem, and at times they would be bombarded by shells from their own artillery. As every runner dispatched by Whittlesey either became lost or ran into German patrols, carrier pigeons became the only method of communicating with headquarters. In an infamous incident on 4 October, inaccurate coordinates were delivered by one of the pigeons and the unit was subjected to “friendly fire”. The unit was saved by another pigeon, Cher Ami, delivering the following message:
“WE ARE ALONG THE ROAD PARALELL 276.4. OUR ARTILLERY IS DROPPING A BARRAGE DIRECTLY ON US. FOR HEAVENS SAKE STOP IT.”
Despite this, they held their ground and caused enough of a distraction for other Allied units to break through the German lines, which forced the Germans to retreat.
Director: Russell Mulcahy
Writer: James Carabatsos
Stars: Ricky Schroder, Phil McKee, Jamie Harris
A CBC Documentary
Published on YouTube 11 November 2014
In the Remembrance Day special “Canada’s Soldier,” Peter Mansbridge retraces the steps that Canadians took as they were dispatched to fight in the First World War. Many memories from the Great War remain cloaked in mystery, including a tunnel with Canadian artefacts never seen before on TV.
A History Channel Documentary
Published on YouTube 19 January 2016
This documentary tells how the Anzac legend was forged, and reflects on the impact Gallipoli had on everyday Australians then and now. It includes never before seen interviews with the last ten Gallipoli Anzacs, and includes rare black and white film footage showing the beach and the trenches at Gallipoli, rarely seen images from The Age and war photographer Phillip Schuler.
A BBC Documentary
Published on YouTube 26 May 2012
Britain gets its first taste of total war. Andrew Marr argues that no shock has ever hit these islands with quite the force of what became known as the Great War. It transformed the lives of the British people – most dramatically the millions who fought on the frontline, but also those at home who were bereaved, bombed, uprooted and bankrupted.
With vivid archive and extraordinary anecdotes, Andrew Marr tells the story of Lord Kitchener’s volunteer army – the biggest in history. He also describes German gunboat assaults on the north east coast of England; the strange disappearance of Britain’s first sea lord at the height of the war; the first bomb ever to fall on Britain; and the sex scandal that threatened to destroy the British establishment.
Visiting the trenches of Flanders, Andrew Marr imagines the horrors of industrialised warfare and reveals the gallows humour that thrived there. Three quarters of a million men never returned from the battlefields. At home, civilians pulled together and worked for the war effort as never before. Under the premiership of David Lloyd George, they also witnessed the birth of ‘big government’ in Britain.
A BBC Documentary
Published on YouTube 5 Oct 2014
For four hundred years or more, Highland regiments advanced and attacked to the sound of the bagpipes. In the Great War, pipers climbed out of the trenches, unarmed, to face machine guns and shells. The descendants of those men return to the battlefields to discover individual stories of unparalleled bravery.
Copied from a 25 year old VHS tape.
Published on YouTube 10 July 2012
WW1 fighter pilot documentary from 1987 containing interviews with surviving pilots.
An RTE Two WW1 documentary
Published on YouTube 24 April 2011
The Crucified Soldier; refers to the widespread story of an Allied soldier serving in the Canadian Army who may have been crucified with bayonets on a barn door or a tree, while fighting on the Western Front during World War I. Three witnesses said they saw an unidentified crucified Canadian soldier near the battlefield of Ypres, Belgium on or around April 24, 1915, but there was no conclusive proof such a crucifixion actually occurred. The eyewitness accounts were somewhat contradictory, no crucified body was found, and no knowledge was uncovered at the time about the identity of the supposedly-crucified soldier.
Nevertheless, the story made headline news around the world and the Allies repeatedly used the supposed incident in their war propaganda, including an early propaganda film titled “The Prussian Cur” which included scenes of an Allied soldier’s crucifixion. It bears relation to other propaganda of the time like the Rape of Belgium and the Angels of Mons, and the German corpse factory or adaververwertungsanstalt.
A three-foot bronze sculpture by British artist Francis Derwent Wood of a crucified soldier titled Canada’s Golgotha was included in an 1919 exhibition of wartime art in London but the sculpture was withdrawn from the exhibit after protest. The sculpture was also displayed at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in 2000, again provoking some controversy. Even during World War I the German government protested the falseness of this atrocity story and after the end of the war they formally requested the Canadian government provide proof. With no knowledge of the identity of the soldier and having only a few eyewitness accounts, the crucifixion story was left unproven by a British inquiry after the War.
A Discovery Channel documentary
Published on dailymotion 21 April 2014
The Gallipoli Campaign took place between 25 April 1915 and 9 January 1916, on the Gallipoli peninsula (Gelibolu in modern Turkey) in the Ottoman Empire during World War I. Aiming to secure a sea route to Russia, the British and French launched a naval campaign to force a passage through the Dardanelles. After the naval operation, an amphibious landing was undertaken on the Gallipoli peninsula, to capture the Ottoman capital of Constantinople (Istanbul). After eight months the land campaign failed with many casualties on both sides, and the invasion force was withdrawn to Egypt.
The campaign was one of the greatest Ottoman victories during the war and is considered a major failure of the Allies. In Turkey, it is perceived as a defining moment in the nation’s history – a final surge in the defence of the motherland as the Ottoman Empire crumbled. The struggle formed the basis for the Turkish War of Independence and the founding of the Republic of Turkey eight years later under Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, a commander at Gallipoli. The campaign is often considered to mark the birth of national consciousness in Australia and New Zealand and the date of the landing 25 April, is known as “Anzac Day”. It remains the most significant commemoration of military casualties and veterans there, surpassing Remembrance Day (Armistice Day).
An Everyman documentary first viewed in 1991
Published on YouTube 13 March 2013
An Everyman documentary with memories from a few remaining British WW1 survivors of the Battle of the Somme.
A BBC documentary released in 2014
Published on YouTube 23 March 2015
Hidden Histories: World War 1’s Forgotten Photographs is a documentary telling the extraordinary untold story of soldiers’ photography in the First World War. The British and German soldiers marched off to war with secret ‘vest pocket’ cameras, determined to record what they thought would be a great adventure, but few were prepared for the horrors they were about to witness and photograph. Their photos – many never seen before in public – provide a deeply moving document of their lives in the trenches and their rapid loss of innocence.
With no soldier photographer alive to tell the tale, we join their close relatives on emotional journeys of discovery as they go in search of the secrets hidden within their ancestors’ photographs.
This is the war viewed from a new and surprising perspective – through the eyes of the men who fought in it.
A Short Film set during World War 1
Published on YouTube 11 January 2013
Directed By: David Roddham
Starring: Martin McCann, Sean Stewart, Cillian Roche, Charlie Clements, Joe Van Moyland, Mark O’ Halloran and Brian Markey
306 British soldiers were executed for the offences of disobedience and desertion. Many were later believed to be suffering from shell-shock. In 2006, 88 years after the end of the war, the British government agreed to pardon all 306.
“COWARD” is a 28 minute film set during World War 1 that brings to light some of the brutal treatment soldiers received for suffering what would now be known as shell-shock. It follows two cousins, Andrew and James, from their home in Northern Ireland who join the British Army to fight for their Country and make their families proud. Through their eyes we see the reality of life on the front lines.
A Channel 4 documentary
Published on YouTube 25 May 2014
A quarter of a million boy soldiers, some as young as 14, enlisted in World War One by lying about their age. Around 120,000 of them were killed or injured. One 17-year-old was shot for desertion. The government and military — desperate to boost recruitment — turned a blind eye to the thousands of child soldiers sent to the trenches.
A BBC documentary screened on 11 November 2010.
Published on YouTube 11 Jan 2015
Jeremy Paxman tells the tragic story of World War One poet Wilfred Owen. At a time of jingoism and wartime propaganda, one Shropshire lad was compelled to tell the truth. Paxman travels to the battlefields of France to discover how the ugliest and most terrible arena imaginable gave birth to some of the most poignant and powerful poetry in the English language. Wilfred Owen is played by Samuel Barnett.
A BBC Documentary from 2008-2009
Published on YouTube 17 Jan 2014
Michael Palin tells the story of how the First World War ended on 11th November 1918 and reveals the shocking truth that soldiers continued to be killed in battle for many hours after the armistice had been signed. Recounting the events of the days and hours leading up to that last morning, Palin tells the personal stories of the last soldiers to die as the minutes and seconds ticked away to the 11 o’clock ceasefire.
A BBC Documentary screened on 4 June 2014
Published on YouTube 2 July 2015
A documentary to mark the 100-year anniversary of the outbreak of war, Sir Max Hastings presents the argument that although it was a great tragedy, far from being futile, the First World War was completely unavoidable.
He presents the case that the rulers of Germany in 1914 were intent on dominating Europe and, after Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in June 1914, actively encouraged the Austrians to invade Serbia. They were responsible for igniting the spark that turned a local controversy into a full-blown European war.
Published on YouTube 18 November 2015
The story of trench warfare during World War I, with a focus on the lives of British soldiers. Includes dramatizations of the actual experiences of soldiers.
A BBC Production
Published on YouTube 31 July 2014
Dr. Sam Willis investigates the reality of being attacked by one of the German navy’s highly effective submarine fleet: a U-Boat. At first, the British Admiralty underestimated the offensive threat posed by the German U-Boats but they very quickly realized that the Royal Navy was facing one of the greatest threats in its history. Yet it wasn’t just the Navy that had to contend with the lurking threat beneath the waves. In 1915, the German Admiralty began to pursue its controversial policy of unrestricted warfare against all enemy shipping.
A BBC Production
Published on YouTube 23 May 2014
Rising comedy talent Thomas Gray plays the part of a young junior officer who has just returned to duty after a raucous last night on leave. It may surprise many but this fictional account of British Army soldiers visiting a brothel in northern France is based on one of the less well-known aspects of WW1.
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.
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.
A BBC documentary from 2007.
Published on YouTube 31 May 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.
A BBC documentary from 2006
Published on YouTube 11 Mar 2012
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.”
Film released on 17 September 1999
Published on YouTube 8 February 2016
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