The Ottoman Empire entered the war with a rallying cry to the Muslim world for Jihad - Holy War. The Allies thought Turkey - the "sick man of Europe" - would be a pushover. But Turkey tied up Allied troops across the Middle East for four years, threatening the British Empire. Constantinople became a hotbed of raffish spies pointing to set the East ablaze.
Turkey's first offensive against Russians on her Eastern border at Sarikamish was a disaster. It led to the death of almost 90,000 Turkish soldiers and to the deportation of nearly all Armenians living within the Ottoman Empire. Perhaps 800,000 Armenians died in all. Whether this was an act of centrally directed genocide is still a matter of furious debate.
The Turks won one of the most unexpected victories of war at Gallipoli; a quarter of a million Allied and Commonwealth soldiers lost their lives. But Australia and New Zealand came of age on the sun-baked hills of Gallipoli. A further humiliating defeat at Turkish hands was in store for Britain. A British invasion of present-day Iraq failed to reach Baghdad; the British force was besieged at Kut and forced to surrender. The Turks fought to the end, defying Allied preconceptions and following their own agenda.
Category: Education, History
Tags: turkey ottoman empire armenian genocide the first world war jihad russia eastern border sarikamish
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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