Western Front

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[edit] General Information

War Documentary hosted by Richard Holmes, published by BBC in 1999 - English narration

[edit] Cover

Image: Western-Front-Cover.jpg

[edit] Information

For most British people, the First World War was the Western Front, the trench line stretching from the Swiss Frontier to the North Sea. It was there that the majority of nearly nine million British and Dominion soldiers who enlisted during the war served, and where most of the 947,000 who were killed met their deaths. This detailed series covers everything from how the front was created and the experiences of the British Army in France, how the First World War was fought in trenches, forts and bunkers to the battle of Verdun and the last hundred days of the war. Professor Richard Holmes, the military historian, skilfully clarifies the complexities of the Western Front, highlighting the political, military and human dilemmas of this the most bitter and bloody of wars.

[edit] Making the Front

Richard Holmes follows the route taken between August and December 1914 by the 100,000 men of the British Expeditionary Force as they went to fight the Germans in France.

[edit] Feeding the Front

On April 22nd, the troops holding the Front were confronted with the first use of poison gas as a weapon of war. By the middle of 1915 over half of the 25,000 troops had been killed or badly wounded. Lord Kitchener's recruiting drive 'Your country needs you' prompted millions of young men to enlist. Veteran Robbie Burns, now 104, and Dick Trafford, now 102 recall the moment that they joined up. Dick also recalls the Battle of Loos where the British lost 8,000 men in an hour and Holmes relates the story of Rudyard Kipling's only son John who was among the reserves at Loos.

[edit] Holding the Front

A visit to Verdun in France, scene of the first battle where artillery totally dominated the battlefield, leaving one million soldiers killed or wounded.

[edit] Commanding the Front

Richard Holmes discusses the Battle of the Somme, which took place in northern France in 1916 and saw 60,000 British soldiers killed or wounded in a single day.

[edit] Enduring the Front

The story of the ill-fated Nivelle offensive of 1917, in which French commander Robert Nivelle galvanised 750,000 troops in a lightning attack on the German defences, only for the heavy losses inflicted on the French to lead to mutiny in the ranks. Meanwhile, the British found themselves under pressure at the third battle of Ypres, also known as Passchendaele, where the atrocious weather turned the battleground into a muddy hell. Richard Holmes also looks at the underground warfare waged during the battle.

[edit] Breaking the Front

In 1917 America joined the war against Germany, And Germany moved to finish the war quickly to their advantage. This programme examines Kaiserlacht (the Imperial Battle), the massive offensive launched by the German Army on 21st March 1918. It looks at how close Germany came to winning the war at this point, and the Allied counter-offensive that eventually led to victory and the German surrender.

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[edit] Technical Specs

Video Codec: XviD ISO MPEG-4
Video Bitrate: 1823 kbps
Video Resolution: 720x480
Video Aspect Ratio: 1.500:1
Frames Per Second: 25.000
Audio Codec: 0x2000 (Dolby AC3) AC3
Audio Bitrate: 192kb/s CBR 48000 Hz
Audio Streams: 2
Audio Languages: english
RunTime Per Part: 28:45.960
Number Of Parts: 6
Part Size: 350 MB (average)
Source: VHS
Encoded by: DocFreak08

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