My grandfather severed in The Great War (The First World War) in the Meuse-Argonne campaign with General John J. Pershing, I wish I had listened more carefully to his recounting of his tales in the Argonne forest when I was a young teenager. Luckily there are excellent documentaries such as this one that can relay some of the story of the War to present generations.
Here is the superb award winning eight part series on The Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century. It is excellent and outstanding.
1. “Explosion” – Covers the causes of the war, focusing on international tensions resulting from rapid economic, technological, and social changes, as well as how the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria sparked a continent-wide war.
2. “Stalemate” – Covers the German army’s initial advance through Belgium and France which was stopped at the Battle of the Marne and quickly followed by the armies digging extensive systems of trenches.
3. “Total War” – Examines how the war spread geographically and extended beyond the front lines to civilian populations, including the Turkish massacre of Armenian civilians.
4. “Slaughter” – Focuses on the battles at Verdun, the Somme, and Passchendaele.
5. “Mutiny” – Examines the growing despair on all sides, culminating in revolution in Russia and a mutiny among a large portion of the French army.
6. “Collapse” – Covers the German army’s failed offensive in spring 1918 attempting to end the war before the United States army arrived in large numbers, and the resulting collapse of the German government.
7. “Hatred and Hunger” – Covers the continuing blockade on Germany as the Allies drew up the Treaty of Versailles, with considerable focus on Woodrow Wilson’s role in the Paris Peace Conference.
8. “War Without End” – Examines the cost of the war and its continuing reverberations through the rest of the 20th century.