Affiche The Great War
  • 3 saisons
  • 32 épisodes
  • Début :
  • Statut :
  • Hashtag :

In the early 1960s the BBC embarked on one of their most important and ambitious series ever. It was to be the definitive history of the First World War, complete in twenty-six 40-minute episodes. An inspired account of the world-shattering events of 1914-1918, The Great War is narrated by Sir Michael Redgrave and employs the voice skills of many other leading actors of the day including Sir Ralph Richardson and Marius Goring. The series includes authentic archive footage and stunning photographic images gathered from 37 separate sources around the world. It also features interviews with many veterans of the war (by this time most were still only in their 60s), as well as almost 150 separate extracts from diaries, letters and reports from the war.


Saisons & épisodes Les résumés de tous les épisodes de The Great War

S01E01 On The Idle Hill of Summer 30/05/1964 In 1914, the world was on the brink of enormous change. Worried by increasing German militarism, the French and the British entered into the Entente Cordiale against Germany and her allies, splitting Europe into opposing sides. Two shots would ignite the powder keg.
S01E02 For Such a Stupid Reason Too 06/06/1964 The assassination of the Austro-Hungarian heir Archduke Franz Ferdinand in June 1914 led to a breakdown in international diplomacy that ultimately led to war.
S01E03 We Must Hack Our Way Through 13/06/1964 Following the declaration of war, the German army began to carry out one of the most famous military plans in history. Known as the Schlieffen Plan, its objective was to finish the war in 40 days.
S01E04 Our Hats We Doff to General Joffre 20/06/1964 How the British army fought its first battle at the Belgian town of Mons. Despite initial success, the British infantry were sent into retreat after two weeks. Yet as the Germans pressed forward to Paris, apparently invincible, French Commander-in-Chief General Joffre slowly began to build a more solid resistance - which would lead ultimately to Allied victory.
S01E05 This Business May Last a Long Time 27/06/1964 The Battle of the Marne in September 1914 ultimately proved to be a pivotal victory of the war for Allied Forces, but, at the time, they were not able to exploit it to bring a swift end to hostilities. Instead, both sides encountered the phenomenon of trench warfare. Culminating at Ypres late in 1914, the trench line stretched from the sea to Switzerland.
S01E06 So Sleep Easy in Your Beds 04/07/1964 Attention turns to the battle of the sea. British confidence in the Royal Navy was to be shattered as it suffered defeats - the worst one at Coronel off the coast of South America on 1st November 1914.
S01E07 We Await the Heavenly Manna 11/07/1964 In 1915, France and Britain struggle to keep up with the demand for shells and artillery, but Germany - the most modern industrial system in Europe - have no shortages, having smoothly switched over to war production and introduced the use of gas made by chemical factories. The Allies discover democracy and laissez-faire industry will not suffice if they are to regain ground.
S01E08 Why Don't You Come and Help? 18/07/1964 As Minister of Munitions, David Loyd George was faced with a restricted industrial capability; Britain even imported materials from Germany in key areas. But with the help of US equipment, Lloyd George brought troops up to date, and by 1916 had transformed the armed services into a modern military power.
S01E09 Please God Send Us Victory 25/07/1964 By Christmas 1914, the bloody impasse in the trench lines on the Western Front saw Lord Kitchener looking elsewhere for victory. In an attempt to sieze control of strategic Turkey, a British naval expedition advanced on the Dardanelles, and allied troops landed at Gallipoli with the aim of taking Constantinople. However, events did not go according to plan and, after 37 weeks, soldiers were evacuated from the beaches.
S01E10 What Are our Allies Doing? 01/08/1964 1915 brings little progress for the Allies, but a huge German offensive at Gorlice-Tarnow forces the Russians to retreat in the East. The Allied conference at Chantilly agrees on a strategy of simultaneous attacks upon the Central Powers in 1916.
S01E11 Hell Cannot Be So Terrible 08/08/1964 One of the bloodiest battles in history, the fighting at Verdun continues throughout the year 1916. French and German forces suffer over 700,000 casualties.
S01E12 For Gawd's Sake Don't Send Me 15/08/1964 Following Lord Kitchener's appeal in 1916, the British Army was reinforced by over two million volunteers. Despite the reservations of General Sir Douglas Haig, the new Commander-in-Chief, many of these mew recruits were sent to the scene of Britain's biggest military endevour - The Battle of the Somme.
S01E13 The Devil is Coming 22/08/1964 The Battle of the Somme - which began in July 1916 and continued into February 19 - leaves 415,000 Brits in a muddy grave.
S01E14 All This It Is Our Duty to Bear 29/08/1964 Both sides make heroic bids for victory - but what will they have to show for it?
S01E15 We Are Betrayed, Sold, Lost 05/09/1964 The French Army is rallied for a great spring offensive - but mutiny looms when the plans fall foul of the Germans.
S01E16 Right is More Precious than Peace 13/09/1964 The future of the world is changed when America joins the conflict and the Communists come to power in Russia.
S01E17 Surely We Have Perished 20/09/1964 On the Western Front in 1917, the British fought alone for three-and-a-half months during one of the wettest summers Flanders has ever seen. The result was the horrific battle of Passchendale.
S01E18 Fat Rodzianko Has Sent Me Some Nonsense 27/09/1964 Russia's short-lived democracy is examined.
S01E19 The Hell Where Youth and Laughter Go 04/10/1964 This episode recounts the war's terrible effects; not just the scale of the loss of life, but also the toll it took upon the human spirit.
S01E20 Only War, Nothing but War 11/10/1964 Exploring how modern ideas of states' responsibility for their citizens grew out of the horror of "total war".
S01E21 It Was like the End of the World 18/10/1964 The story of the German offensive of March 1918, a desperate gamble to grab victory at a stroke.
S01E22 Damn Them, Are They Never Coming In? 25/10/1964 As Allied troops fall back in confusion under a German counter-attack, they wait for the arrival of US reinforcements.
S01E23 When Must the End Be? 01/11/1964 On 17th July 1918, an Allied counter-attack marks the beginning of the end for Germany.
S01E24 Allah Made Mesopotamia - and Added Flies 08/11/1964 Stalemate on the Western Front saw Allied generals look for victory via an alternative route - the Middle East.
S01E25 The Iron Thrones are Falling 15/11/1964 Its allies beaten, Germany faces defeat alone.
S01E26 ...And We Were Young 22/11/1964 Relief spreads throgh the ranks on all sides as history's bloodiest conflict finally comes to an end. With the Armistice now in effect, the Allied countries are overcome by a frenzy of joy and exultation.
S02E01 De Hel van Ieper 00/00/0000
S02E02 De slag van de Somme 00/00/0000
S02E03 De slag van de Somme 00/00/0000
S02E04 Verdun 00/00/0000
S02E05 00/00/0000
S02E06 Zeebrugge 00/00/0000
S00E01 Voices from the Western Front 00/00/0000 Extra footage included on the DVD of the series.
S00E02 The Finished Fighter 00/00/0000 Second extra on the bonus disc included in the DVD box set.
S00E03 Frank Brent 00/00/0000 Frank Brent was a NCO with the Australian Imperial Force and fought at Gallipoli. His account illustrates how ordinary men morphed into wild animals driven by revenge over fallen friends when faced with desperate surroundings and little support. He paints a vivid picture of the battles fought at Gallipoli, with its dusty ridges and cooling sea that quelled a soldier's nerves as well as cleaned his kit.
S00E04 Katie Morter 00/00/0000 Katie was happily married to husband Percy Morter when he was recruited by music hall star, Vesta Tilley. In 1915 he was posted to France with the 9th Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. It would be six months before Percy got leave at Christmas - and had only six days with Katie. Percy returned to the Western Front, and Katie found out she was pregnant. In July 1916, not long before the baby was due, Katie received a letter from Percy's Sergeant, regretfully informing her that Percy had been killed in action at the Somme. Katie lost a husband who never got the chance to meet his son.
S00E05 Henry Williamson 00/00/0000 Henry Williamson joined the 5th London Regiment as a Private in January 1914, and was greatly excited when the order for mobilisation came in August. He was one of many who believed the war would be over by Christmas. Initially exhilarating, he soon found life in the trenches to be almost unendurable as mud and death became part of the daily routine. The Christmas Truce of 1914 - a short moment of peace and civility in the otherwise relentless reality of gunfire and shelling - left a deep impression on him.
S00E06 Cecil Arthur Lewis 00/00/0000 Cecil was a fighter pilot with the Royal Flying Corps, and had only 20 hours of flying experience when first posted to France for reconnaissance and contact patrol duties. His unique account documents the appearance of the Somme from the air - trenches that looked like the edge of lace doilies, and shells like lobbed tennis balls. His account is permeated with fearful honesty about how frightening it was to fight alone in the air, in stark contrast to the almost enjoyable hours spent on the airfields and towns of France.
S00E07 Stefan Westmann 00/00/0000 Stefan Westmann was a Corporal with the German 29th Infantry Division while fighting for ground on the Western Front. His description of killing a French Corporal is honest and harrowing, as Stefan wonders how war turns civilised men into killers. While on an offensive near La Bassée, he witnessed something quite the opposite - British soldiers risking their lives to raise a Red Cross flag and bring the German side their dead.
S00E08 Charles Carrington 00/00/0000 Charles Carrington enlisted in 1914, and by December 1915 found himself stationed on the Western front between Gommecourt and Serre. Up until the spring of 1916, Charles enjoyed the experience; a sort of 'outdoor camping holiday with the boys, with a slight spice of danger to make it interesting'. The war tactic soon changed - as did the weather - and Charles found himself living in a world of mud, noise, and always a few shells away from nervous breakdown. The trenches became the real world, and far-off London - and his family - began to feel very unreal.
S00E09 Mabel Lethbridge 00/00/0000 A 17-year-old Mabel Lethbridge lied about her age to get a job cleaning detonators at the No. 7 National Filling Factory in Hayes, Middlesex. It was a dull job, and when on her sixth day of work a poster appeared requesting staff to work in Amatol Filling Section - the Danger Zone - she immediately volunteered. Injury and deaths were frequent due to novice workers and highly explosive materials. On Mabel's ninth day of work, a shell exploded and her left leg was mutilated beyond repair. It was later amputated, and she was awarded a Medal of the Order of the British Empire (known as a BEM nowadays) for her courage and devotion to duty.
S00E10 John Willis Palmer 00/00/0000 18-year-old shop assistant John enlisted into the army in 1911, and became a Gunner with the Royal Field Artillery. In August 1914 he was appointed Acting Bombardier and posted to France, where the realities of mud, fatigue and death began to break his spirit. His account is tinged with the hopelessness and cowardice felt by many men who did not feel mentally or physically capable of the endless advances and retreats over a few feet of pock-marked ground. During a time when John contemplated self-inflicting wounds to remove himself from the situation, he was injured by a nearby shell burst. Having sustained severe wounds to his back and shoulders, he returned to England.
S00E11 Edward Glendinning 00/00/0000 Edward was a 17-year-old clerk when he enlisted in 1913, and by February 1915 found himself in France as a Private in the 5th battalion of the Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Regiment, the Sherwood Foresters. He describes in detail the process of going over the top and running through no man's land, past dead and dying comrades, under the merciless fire of the enemy. He remains haunted by the memory of an injured comrade he didn't stop to help when making the precarious journey back to the British trenches.
S00E12 Horace Leslie Birks 00/00/0000 Horace Leslie Birks sailed for France in 1915 as a Private with the 5th Batallion of the London Rifle Brigade. Having been wounded at Gommecourt in July 1916, he was transferred to the Machine Gun Crops heavy branch and became a Second Lieutenant in February 1917. He recalls his nervousness when first ordered to command a tank in action at Passchendaele, and what it was like to operate inside those hot, steamy and altogether claustrophobic cockpits while machine gun fire and shells rained down. Next came Cambrai, the first battle to use tanks en masse.
S00E13 Richard Henry Tobin 00/00/0000 Richard Henry Tobin had joined the Royal Naval Reserve Mersey Division in 1911, and when war broke out he was promoted to Leading Seaman with the Hood Battalion. Having landed at Antwerp, Henry saw the civilian impact of war in the desperate and fearful Belgian refugees. As a Sergeant Major he would spend the next three years to-ing and fro-ing over Passchendaele and the Somme, and remembers the feeling of dropping into a Somme trench in March 1918 that he had first occupied in November 1916. This is an inspiring account of how the British unwillingness to give up and give in is one of the greatest examples of human endeavour during the Great War.
S00E14 Edward Louis Spears 00/00/0000 Born in Paris to British parents, Edward Louis Spears first became the liaison officer between Field Marshall Sir John French and General Charles Lanrezac, commander of the French Fifth Army, in August 1914. In this month General Lanrezac made a sudden decision to retreat - a manoeuvre that would have left the British forces on his flank dangerously exposed. Edward urgently reported this to Sir John French who called off a British advance the night before it was due to commence - and in doing so prevented a massive loss of life. In the following month Edward met the French General Joseph Joffre who had begun to plot out Allied strategies ahead of the First Battle of Marne. He was extremely impressed at the ease with which one man could exercise his will over a million men for the fate of his country without the slightest hint of reservation, and still be in bed by 10 o'clock. Edward was party to many intimate moments of the generals - he recalls how Joffre's dramatic plea for British involvement at Marne made Sir John French cry. By 1917, Edward was head of the British Military Mission to the French government in Paris. The French army was haemorrhaging lives, fuelling unrest within the ranks. Mutiny was in the air, and swept through the regiments - Edward reported this to London before the British army became swept up in the mess. Summoned from the Front to 10 Downing Street, Edward was interrogated by Lloyd George as to the severity of the mutinies - and in a scene that would be unbelievable had it been written for a drama - Edward lost his temper at the Prime Minister. Edward's account is a fantastic example of how a subaltern could become the bearer of overwhelming responsibility, and provides a privileged insight into the mind of some of the Allied forces' most important leaders.
S00E15 Norman Macmillan 00/00/0000 Norman Macmillan enlisted as a Private with the Glasgow Battalion of the Highland Light Infantry. He served as an infantryman in France from November 1914 until September 1916, when he was commissioned to the Royal Flying Corps as a temporary second lieutenant. This was his calling. Norman describes one particular strafing mission at Passchendaele that became the most thrilling flight of his life. With a natural flair for manoeuvres and for developing his own combat techniques, Norman excelled in what was a very lonely and terrifying task. The skies of Passchendaele were also the stage for dogfights, and with incredible detail Norman recalls tactics that scattered seven German Albatross Scout planes and shot down their leader. His account is a rare opportunity to hear of the differences between life in the trenches and in the air.
S00E16 I Was There - The Great War Interviews 14/03/2014 In the early 1960s, the BBC interviewed 280 eyewitnesses of the First World War for the series, The Great War. Using never-before-seen footage from these interviews, this film illuminates the poignant human experience of the war, through the eyes of those who survived it.

Les critiques & échangesDiscussions et débats sur la série