The First World War (2003) The Complete Series - Channel 4

The First World War, Episode 1: To Arms

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Video Description

Episode 1:

The First World War shaped the twentieth century. It sparked the Russian Revolution. It launched America as a world power. The fault-lines from its failed peace settlement led the world to a secondterrible war barely twenty years later, then to the Cold War. But the ideas the men of 1914 fought for, still shape our world today - nationalism and democracy, the rule of international law and the rights of nations. We still live with its unresolved, bitter consequences: in the Middle East, the Balkans and Ireland.

It was in the Balkans that it all began, nearly a hundred years ago. "To Arms" explores the tensions between the decaying Austro-Hungarian Empire and its aggressive neighbor, Serbia. The film shows how Serbian army officers gave Gavrilo Princip the weapons and training he needed to assassinate Archduke Franz Ferdinand. It explains how a local storm in the Balkans grew to engulf Europe and the world - and how Britain joined in, more to protect her great empire than for the defense of small nations. The merciless pattern of the war was set within the very first month, by Austro-Hungarian atrocities against Serbian civilians.

Category: Education, History


world war one austro-hungary serbia ww gavrilo princip archduke franz ferdinand sarajevo bosnia-herzegovina assassination

Documentary Description

Television has tended to look at the First World War through a veil of tears, seeing only a tragic waste of life in the mud of Flanders. This definitive series strips away ninety years of myopia to get back to the reality of the war.

This was a global conflict from the start, involving nations in every continent and people of all classes and races. Using fresh archive footage and specially shot material from authentic locations in 22 countries, the multi-layered series demolishes myths and answers key questions from the origins of the war to its bitter end.

Universally acclaimed as one of the finest documentary series ever made about the Great War. The First World War is a powerful, original and truly comprehensive account of the conflict. It places the war in truly Global military context as never before, exploring many of the little known campaigns, battles and actions as well as the better known conflict on the Western Front. The series combines previously unseen footage from newly accessible archives in Central and Eastern Europe with exclusive film of many of the battlefields as they are today, studies key participants and weaponry, and diary entries and letters home from soldiers, officers and commanders.

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Displaying 1 comment:

Pierce Cushenbery wrote 11 years ago.
I wonder if Gavrilo Princip sat in jail, and heard little
tid bits of information on the course and magnitude of the
war he had almost individually started.

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