First World War Collection

Sir Martin writes:

Two very different wars were fought between 1914 and 1918. The first was a war of soldiers, sailors and airmen, of merchant seamen and civilian populations under occupation, where individual suffering and distress were on a massive scale, particularly in the front-line trenches. The second was a war of War Cabinets and sovereigns, of propagandists and idealists, replete with political and territorial ambitions and ideals, determining the future of Empires, nations and peoples as sharply as the battlefield.

Sir Martin on the battle field of Ypres with his assistant,1969
Sir Martin on the battle field of Ypres with his assistant,1969

There were times, particularly in 1917 and 1918, when the war of armies and the war of ideologies combined, leading to revolution and capitulation, and to the emergence of new national and political forces. The war changed the map and destiny of Europe as much as it seared its skin and scarred its soul.

On This Day: 25 April 1915, Gallipoli

“After the failure of the naval attack of 18 March 1915, Allied troops landed on 25 April, hoping to capture the high ground of Achi Baba and Sari Bair, and to reach the shore of the Narrows. But a tenacious Turkish defence kept them pinned down to their tiny beachheads. … The two areas on the Gallipoli Peninsula held by Allied troops were known as ‘Hellas’ (after the Cape) and ‘Anzac’ (after the colloquial Australian name for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, or Anzacs, who took a leading part in the northern landings.”

Routledge Atlas of the First World War


Read more about Sir Martin’s inspiration and interest in world war history, his blogs, films and book talks: Sir Martin & The First & Second World Wars