Professor David Reynolds takes a fresh look at the extraordinary events and personalities involved in the Armistice which brought the First World War to an end in 1918. He uncovers a story of wounded egos, political scheming and brinkmanship behind the lines as statesmen and generals haggled over the terms of peace while, at the front, the soldiers fought on as the cost of human life escalated.
In a journey that takes him through command centres and battlefields, he explores why half a million men were killed or wounded in the bitter endgame of the 'Great War' and he unravels how Germany ultimately plunged to total defeat. In March 1918 the Germans nearly won the war; in November they not only lost it, their country also fell apart in revolution, leaving them unable to resist the Allies' harsh terms. So, for many Germans, the new order was a betrayal of all they had fought for a lasting resentment that would eventually fuel Adolf Hitler s rise to power. The events that led up to the Armistice are vividly told in this fascinating programme explaining exactly how Germany lost the war.
November 11th proved to be a doomed peace - a prelude to a century-long struggle for mastery of Europe. David Reynolds argues that it was the frenetic politicking and brutality of the fighting in 1918 that sowed the seeds of the even bloodier Second World War just 20 years later.
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