The complete story of World War I - from outbreak to conclusion - and the fragile peace that followed. The Great War was a conflict driven by quantity and numbers, fought by calculating generals for who no cost was too high. For the first time in history, everything was recorded in exacting detail and this documentary reveals the startling facts behind the staggering scale of the war to end all wars.Written by
Finally a series that explains clearly why WWI was called the Great War
This is a great documentary for a number of reasons, or should I say for a reason of numbers? I have watched documentaries about WWI before. Between the grainy black and white footage and some level of monotone narration, I can't say any of these shows grabbed me. The Great War in Numbers held my interest. And not merely because of the numbers they throw at us. If it were just facts and figures, I would be napping in no time. The numbers do let us know the scale of the war with the astronomical quantity of men, weapons and other details that still seem incredible to someone who thought the U.S. Civil War was calamitous. The numbers also told me which side held the advantage at different stages of the war, and how those advantages fluctuated during the continuing stalemate in the trenches.
And yes, in between the numbers game, you still have the sometimes grainy film of the time, but they use the now standard tactic of having historians providing the human and political details of the costs of this terrible war. What they explained always seemed relevant to The images on the screen. We learn what happened not just to the countries and their leaders, but also to the masses of citizens sent to their slaughter, the civilians back at the home fronts, and yes, the costs to the colonial empires empires tied up in this world conflagration.
Two bonuses for me were the explanation of how the war started, with more detail than just that King Ferdinand and his wife got shot, and how The Great War guaranteed in a way future conflicts like the Vietnam maelstrom and, of course, World War II. I am glad I watched it and I didn't nod off once. What more can be said for a war documentary?
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