Was the sacrifice of an entire generation worldwide an avoidable or a necessary tragedy? Are the roots of World War II to be found in the devastation of World War I and the Treaty of Versailles? This series seeks to address such questions using a global and all-encompassing yet personal and sensitive approach, drawing from over 300 hours of archival footage and tracing the journeys of the civilians and soldiers across the world, anonymous or well-known, who fought for survival in this unprecedented period in human history, both heroic and barbaric.
The French army stops the German advance at the battle of the Marne, while the Germans halt the Russians at Tannenberg on the eastern front. In France, the warring parties dig themselves in for 4 years in the trenches. Soldiers from the colonies come lend a hand to their colonizers and the war becomes global.
S1E2 • 2014 • History
1916. The war is raging in Europe and stretches from the trenches in France to the Italian Alps and the Balkans, and beyond to the gates of the Eastern world. The conflict becomes industrial, and millions of shells rain down on the battlefields; Verdun and the Somme are the deadliest battles in this second year of the war. Who can stop this infernal machine?
S1E3 • 2014 • History
1917. People have had enough of the war. Behind the scenes, uprisings are brewing, like the one that toppled the Tsar in Russia; on the front soldiers begin to mutiny as they did at Chemin des Dames in France. German submarine attacks in the Atlantic will finally pull the Americans into the war, but they arrive too late to help prevent the carnage of the Battle of Passchendaele.
S1E4 • 2014 • History
All seems lost for the Allies. The Italians are defeated at Caporette, and a Bolshevik Russia pulls out of the war. But the American reinforcements are decisive, and the Allies emerge victorious. The Allies are unable to negotiate an honorable peace agreement, and the Treaty of Versailles, 20 years later, will have disastrous consequences.
S1E5 • 2014 • History