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History: Commemorating World War I 1914 - 2014

A guide for resources for History

Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany

“I look upon the people and the nation, as handed on to me, as a responsibility conferred upon me by God. And I believe, as it is written in the Bible, that it is my duty to increase this heritage, for which one day I shall be called upon to give an account. Whoever tries to interfere with my task, I shall crush.”   Kaiser Wilhelm II, 1913

 

“I look upon the people and the nation, as handed on to me, as an responsibility conferred upon me by God. And I believe, as it is written in the Bible, that it is my duty to increase this heritage, for which one day I shall be called upon to give an account. Whoever tries to interfere with my task, I shall crush.”
Kaiser Wilhelm II, 1913 - See more at: http://alphahistory.com/worldwar1/world-war-i-quotations/#sthash.WVvzQROP.dpuf
“I look upon the people and the nation, as handed on to me, as an responsibility conferred upon me by God. And I believe, as it is written in the Bible, that it is my duty to increase this heritage, for which one day I shall be called upon to give an account. Whoever tries to interfere with my task, I shall crush.”
Kaiser Wilhelm II, 1913- See more at: http://alphahistory.com/worldwar1/world-war-i-quotations/#sthash.WVvzQROP.dpuf
“I look upon the people and the nation, as handed on to me, as an responsibility conferred upon me by God. And I believe, as it is written in the Bible, that it is my duty to increase this heritage, for which one day I shall be called upon to give an account. Whoever tries to interfere with my task, I shall crush.”
Kaiser Wilhelm II, 1913 - See more at: http://alphahistory.com/worldwar1/world-war-i-quotations/#sthash.WVvzQROP.dpuf

The Schlieffen Plan

“Schlieffen concluded that a massive and successful surprise attack against France would be enough to put off Britain becoming involved in a continental war. This would allow Germany time to transfer soldiers who had been fighting in the successful French campaign to take on the Russians.” 

 

The Christmas Truce - December 1914


Captain R Armes wrote to his wife of "the most extraordinary scenes imaginable"

"The Germans had lit their trenches up all along the front and were shouting 'no shooting'."

The Battle of Verdun 1916 - War of Attrition

Painting
L'Enfer (Hell), Georges Leroux

“Humanity is mad! It must be mad to do what it is doing. What a massacre. What scenes of horror and carnage! I cannot find words to translate my impressions. Hell cannot be so terrible! Men are mad!”

Anonymous French soldier

American entry into World War I - 1917

"The world must be made safe for democracy. Its peace must be planted upon the tested foundations of political liberty.........We seek no indemnities for ourselves, no material compensation for the sacrifices we shall freely make."

Woodrow Wilson - American President

A summary of World War I

Ben Chaplin - Wipers Times
"A war to end all wars"

The role of women in World War I

"Their governments composed of men and responsible only to the men of each country, and backed by the majority of men who have caught the war and glory fever, have declared war on one another. The women of all these countries have not been consulted as to whether they would have war or not..."

Harriette Beanland, English dressmaker August 1914

World War I poetry - Wilfred Owen, Rupert Brooke, W.B. Yeats, Siegfried Sassoon

"I have seen and endured the sufferings of the troops, and I can no longer be a party to prolong these sufferings for ends which I believe to be evil and unjust."

“I believe that the war is being deliberately prolonged by those who have the power to end it”.

Siegfried Sassoon


British Awards for Gallantry in World War I

The Victoria Cross

World War I - Literature

355697
"We have lost all feeling for one another........... We are insensible, dead men, who through some trick, some dreadful magic, are still able to run and to kill."
"Forgive me, comrade; how could you be my enemy? If we threw away these rifles and this uniform you could be my brother"
 
"He had fallen forward and lay on the earth as though sleeping. Turning him over one saw that he could not have
suffered long; his face had an expression of calm, as though almost glad the end had come."

Erich Remarque

Mata Hari

“I am a woman who enjoys herself very much; sometimes I lose, sometimes I win.”

Mata Hari

The use of horses in World War I

Rudyard Kipling

"If any question why we died, Tell them, because our fathers lied."

Rudyard Kipling

History Today - WWI articles

November 1998

The Necessary War BBC - YOUTUBE

The Trench

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 1 and takes you into the minds of the soldiers.

Full War Movie Daniel Craig Paul Nicholls James D'Arcy

Assassination of Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie

Franz Ferdinand's car, a Graf und Stift, showing where the bullet penetrated the car.  The car is displayed in the Heeresgeschichtliches Museum, Vienna

Belgium attacked by Germany

British cartoon from Punch (1914) depicting "young" Belgium barring "elderly" Germany's path

Gallipoli 1915

“Expeditions which are decided upon and organised with insufficient care generally end disastrously.”
Lloyd George

The Battle of the Somme - 1916

“We go up to the attack tomorrow. This will probably be the biggest thing yet. We are to have the honor of marching in the first wave.”

Alan Seeger - American, fighting with French troops

The Battle of Passchendaele 1917

“We could not believe that we were expected to attack in such appalling conditions. I never prayed so hard in my life. I got down on my knees in the mud and prayed to God to bring me through.”
- Private Pat Burns, 46th Canadian Infantry Battalion, Passendale, November 1917

The Treaty of Versailles 1919

"Looking at the conference in retrospect there is much to approve and much to regret. It is easy to say what should have been done, but more difficult to have found a way for doing it."

Edward M. House 1919

 

The Story behind the Remembrance Poppy

Propaganda Posters from World War I

     

       

One of the main purposes of propaganda was to persuade people to act.

Edith Cavell

"I have no fear nor shrinking; I have seen death so often that it is not strange or fearful to me."
Edith Cavell (1865 - 1915)
Painting by Raymond Lynde

World War I movies

“All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake up in the day to find it was vanity, but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.”
T.E. Lawrence - Seven Pillars of Wisdom

The use of dogs in World War I

German World War I Soldier and Dog in Gas Masks

German solider in World War One - dogs equipped with gas masks.

The Home Front

“Wearing a uniform of some kind (whether in the forces or as a male or female police officer, postal worker or bus conductor) was an obvious way of contributing, but civilians working in a factory making uniforms, guns, ammunition, tanks or ships had every right to feel they were contributing as much to the war effort as a man with a gun. So, too, did dockers and miners.”

Aftermath of the war

Germany's response to devaluation of currency and runaway inflation in the early 1920s was to print more and more cash, until every paper factory was churning out larger and larger denomination bills - exacerbating the problem to the point where the Deutschmark was virtually worthless.

BBC History Magazine - WWI

Coward

"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.

World War I Sheet Music

War is declared

The Battle of Tannenburg - August 1914

The sinking of the Lusitania 1915

“Germans had been right all along in claiming the ship was carrying war materials and was a legitimate military target.... The diving team estimates that around four million rounds of U.S.-manufactured Remington .303 bullets lie in the Lusitania's hold at a depth of 300 ft.”

G. Edward  Griffin

The Battle of Delville Wood 1916

Hundred Days Offensive - Battle of Amiens 1918

“Today the fate of the British Empire hangs in the balance. I place my trust in the Canadian Corps knowing that where Canadians are engaged, there can be no giving way. You will advance or fall where you stand facing the enemy. To those who will fall, I say, you will not die but step into immortality.”

Arthur Currie’s speech to his troops

John Maynard Keynes

"Paris was a nightmare, and every one there was morbid. A sense of
impending catastrophe overhung the frivolous scene; the futility and
smallness of man before the great events confronting him; ......all the elements of ancient tragedy were there."
John Maynard Keynes
"........In a private letter to a friend, Keynes called the idealistic American president "the greatest fraud on earth." On June 5, 1919, Keynes wrote a note to Lloyd George informing the Prime Minister that he was resigning his post in protest of the impending "devastation of Europe."
This Day in History

Trench Warfare

"Trench life was terrible. The enemy would throw grenades and bombs that would make craters in the trenches. When it rained, the craters would fill up with water and get all soggy causing high fevers, colds and other horrible illnesses. One common symptom from water was trench foot."

Unknown soldier from trenches

The white feather campaign

You’re walking down the street and you see this girl. And you look at her, and she looks at you… So you smile at her and she smiles at you. You saunter over towards her – and she hands you a white feather, saying, “You should be in uniform.”

Songs, Art, Photos and Film from World War I

"Recognizing this capability, (of wartime songs) governments often used it as an effective means for inspiring fervor, pride, patriotism, and action in the citizens in order to gain manpower, homeland support, and funds."
K.A. Wells

The sinking of the SS Mendi

Some 616 South Africans died when the SS Mendi sank on 21 February 1917.

Weapons in World War I

Armored Tank

The Red Baron

   

"The English had hit upon a splendid joke. They intended to catch me or to bring me down"

Manfred von Richthofen

Cartoons from World War I

Ghost of the Old Pilot - "I wonder if he would drop me now!"

Quiz : World War I

How 2014 is Strikingly similiar to 1914

888,246 Ceramic Poppies surround the Tower of London to Commemorate WWI