Welcome to the Histories section of our
Histories is the result of
a collaboration between the Commonwealth War Graves Commission
and the Imperial War Museum. Its aim - to give you an insight into
the major campaigns, battles and events of the two world wars.
Follow the links to: (Please note that these links will open
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The Battle of the
The Battle of the Somme, and especially its calamitous opening
day, has come to be regarded by many as symbolic of the
wastefulness and tragedy of British First World combat
Conceived in part as an attempt to distract German attention
from the French at Verdun, the British effort on the Somme resulted
in losses in manpower on a scale unimaginable in 1914.
"I should like to acquire the whole of the ruins of Ypres...
a more sacred place for the British race does not exist in the
world" - Winston Churchill, January 1919
In four years of concentrated warfare more than 200,000 British
and Commonwealth troops lost their lives in the dogged defence of
one cramped corner of the Western Front: the Ypres Salient.
1918: The German Offensives
With the collapse of Russia, thousands of German troops flood
back from the east to swell the ranks on the Western Front. Can
Germany now deal the decisive blow to finish the war before the
Americans join the fight on the Allied side?
1918: The Advance to Victory
Despite epic efforts in the spring and early summer, the
German Army has failed to break the Western Front. Growing in
strength, manpower and confidence, the initiative now passes to the
Allies. Their goal: Victory before winter. Will 1918 be the last
year of the War?
For three years Allied and Axis forces surged
back and forth across the hostile desert battlefields of North
Africa. Who would win this campaign of manoeuvre and movement to
become masters of the North African shore?