56 episodi

Dan Snow brings together the sound archive collections of the Imperial War Museums and the BBC to tell the story of World War I through the voices of those who were.

Voices of the First World War BBC

    • Storia

Dan Snow brings together the sound archive collections of the Imperial War Museums and the BBC to tell the story of World War I through the voices of those who were.

    25/12/2018

    25/12/2018

    In an omnibus edition of selected programmes from the final series, Dan Snow looks at some of the key events of 1918, from the German Spring Offensive in March, to the impact that the arrival of massed American troops had on the war. In interviews recorded by the BBC and the Imperial War Museums, those who were there recall the devastation caused by the Spanish Flu epidemic from May onwards, and the rapid advances made in the autumn as the Germans retreated. Finally Dan looks at the closing moments of the war on 11th November 1918, when the armistice took effect. When 11 o'clock came, alongside relief, disbelief, and celebrations, veterans recall that there was also an empty feeling, and a looming question that seemed to trouble many of them: what were they going to do now?

    Presented by Dan Snow
    Produced by Megan Jones for BBC Wales, and then

    • 56 min
    11 o'clock

    11 o'clock

    Dan Snow presents the final episode of Voices of the First World War, veterans recall what they were doing when the armistice took effect at 11 o'clock on 11th November 1918, and how they felt now the end of the war had at last arrived. Alongside relief, disbelief, and celebrations, there was also an empty feeling, and a looming question that seemed to trouble many of them: what were they going to do now?

    Presented by Dan Snow
    Produced by Megan Jones for BBC Wales

    • 13 min
    Mutiny in the High Seas Fleet

    Mutiny in the High Seas Fleet

    Dan Snow hears accounts of those who witnessed the restlessness, disorder and eventual mutiny of the sailors of the German High Seas Fleet in early November 1918, and recollections of one of the most remarkable sights in British Naval history, 10 days after the Armistice. The German Fleet, as a condition of the Armistice, surrendered to the Allies, and arrived in the Firth of Forth on the 21st. Members of the British Grand Fleet, some privileged to be above deck, some peeking through port holes, remembered a stunning sight as both fleets met off the coast of Scotland, against the backdrop of a large, red setting sun.

    Presented by Dan Snow
    Produced by Megan Jones for BBC Wales

    • 13 min
    Open Country

    Open Country

    'Green fields, no barbed wire, nothing…'. Those who were there recall what it felt like to be advancing at last in the autumn of 1918, after years of stalemate. After a series of assaults on the Hindenburg line, the vast system of German trenches, many remember excitement as they advanced so far they lost contact with their command. But there were pockets of fierce resistance, and an eerie feeling as they set about reclaiming abandoned villages where snipers and booby traps might lie in waiting for them.

    Presented by Dan Snow
    Produced by Megan Jones for BBC Wales

    • 13 min
    Amiens

    Amiens

    In August 1918 after years of disappointment, bloodshed and stalemate, Allied troops launched a surprise overwhelming attack on the German Army - a short, four day battle in which the Allied forces advanced 12 miles, more than the total advance of the Somme and Passchendaele offensives combined. Veterans recall how they did it.

    Presented by Dan Snow
    Produced by Megan Jones for BBC Wales

    • 13 min
    Torpedo

    Torpedo

    Across 50 programmes, in a major series throughout the commemorative period, Voices of the First World War has been tracking the story of the war through archive interviews with those who experienced it, year by year. Presented by Dan Snow, the programmes have featured recollections recorded by the BBC for the Great War series in 1964, and by the Imperial War Museums for their oral history collection in the 1970s and 80s. Speakers recall in great detail, as though it were yesterday, the conditions of the trenches, the brutality of the battlefield, the experience of seeing their first casualty and hearing their first shell, their daily and nightly routines as soldiers, pilots or navy members of all ranks, and their psychological state in the face of so much trauma.

    In the final series of five programmes, presented by Dan Snow, we hear from those who experienced the closing stages of the war, including those present at one of its most significant turning points, the Battle of Amiens. At last breaking the deadlock of trench warfare, veterans recall the excitement of advancing rapidly though open country, and the eerie feeling of reclaiming abandoned villages where snipers and booby traps might lie waiting for them. We also hear from German officers recalling the collapse in morale from October onwards, and those present at the mutiny of the German High Seas Fleet. Finally, in ’11 o’clock’, soldiers recall how they felt at the news of the Armistice. While there were celebrations and relief, the men report that there was also disbelief, an empty feeling, and a looming question that seemed to trouble many of them: what were they going to do now?

    In the first episode, Brian de Courcy-Ireland recalls a torpedo strike - the prolonged, terrifying ordeal that had led to the deaths of thousands of sailors during the war: the steel hull buckled and twisted by the blast, passageways blocked, hatches jammed, lights dimmed, and the slow, unstoppable ingress of seawater... He survived without injury, but the psychological impact would reveal itself soon after, and remain with him for many years.

    Presented by Dan Snow
    Produced by Megan Jones for BBC Wales

    • 13 min

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