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The Real First World War

Podcast Series In 10 Episodes

La Mitrailleuse, a painting from 1915  by the futurist artist C.R.W. Nevinson. It shows a French machine gun crew in action.

Photo © Tate

CRW Nevinson, La Mitrailleuse, 1915


The popular British narrative about the First World War (WWI) is that it was wasteful and futile - the verdict of a handful of poets who fought in the trenches. This view grew to prominence in the 1960s and continued to flourish during the recent centenary commemoration.

But this is not a view shared by professional historians. Over the last twenty to thirty years, using new approaches and fresh sources, they have transformed the picture of 1914-18 that we have been used to for so long. In books that came out to mark the centenary, they showed that this first global war was altogether stranger, more complex, and more modern than we've been led to believe.


Leading historians of the First World War tell us how their work challenges the traditional wisdom, offering new insights and overturning old myths.


If you think you know about WW1, It's time to think again.

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