Animals in World War I

Discussing the role of animals in transport, logistics, cavalry and communications in the First World War. Introduction While the First World War witnessed the development of modern, technological warfare, it also made unprecedented demands on what we might see as archaic methods of campaigning. Despite the tanks, planes and machine guns, fighting still depended on[…]

When Germany Called Its Soldiers Hysterical

After WWI, German psychiatrists diagnosed traumatized soldiers as having “hysteria,” othering the men to somewhat disastrous effect. For many soldiers who returned from World War I, the terror of combat never abated. Though the statistics are still fuzzy, at least one historian estimates that upwards of twenty percent of all soldiers suffered from shell shock, the early twentieth-century[…]

Fighting talk: First World War Telecommunications

As a result of the need to exchange information faster and more efficiently, telecommunications advanced rapidly. As the First World War raged, governments harnessed modern technologies to give them an advantage in conflict. New inventions – from tanks to Zeppelins – appeared on the battlefield, while existing technologies were adapted to fit the needs of the British[…]

Experiences of Colonial Troops during World War I

An overview of the numbers and roles of colonial troops in World War One. Introduction Even by conservative estimates well over four million non-white men were mobilised into the European and American armies during the First World War, in combatant and non-combatant roles. What do we know about the daily lived war experiences of these[…]

The League of Nations: The ‘Great Experiment’ and the Failure of Collective Security, 1916-1936

President Wilson’s support for a new international system offered the first practical opportunity to create a universal organisation of states pledged to non-violent diplomacy. Abstract In 1918, President Wilson’s support for a new international system offered the first practical opportunity to create a universal organisation of states pledged to non-violent diplomacy. This article explores some[…]

Aerial Warfare during World War One

From Zeppelin airships to propaganda leaflet drops, exploring the significant role of aerial warfare in World War One – where it was used on a large scale for the first time. Introduction Aerial warfare was by no means a First World War invention. Balloons had already been used for observation and propaganda distribution during the[…]

From Munitionettes to Citizens – British Women in 1918 during the ‘Great War’

The experience of the Great War helped to radically change notions of citizenship in Britain. Three days after the armistice was signed, a general election was called and was held on Saturday 14th December 1918. Over six million women were able to vote in parliamentary elections for the first time following the Representation of the[…]

Weapons of Mass Persuasion: The First World War in Posters

The British poster artist Cyril Kenneth Bird, known as Fougasse, once referred to posters as “anything stuck on a wall with the objective of persuading the passer-by”. Introduction The British poster artist Cyril Kenneth Bird, known as Fougasse, once referred to posters as “anything stuck on a wall with the objective of persuading the passer-by”[…]