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Great War - 1918, The   -  Discontinued

Great War - 1918, The

Item Number:
56 min.
Closed Caption:
WGBH Boston Video
Grade Level:
9 - 12
During World War 1, all lingering 19th-century notions of the romance of battle were replaced by the terrible reality of 20th-century mechanized warfare. At Verdun, the French lost 300,000 men; at the Somme, the English lost one million. Against this setting, America reluctantly sent its boys to fight. The patriotic ideals of a war described as "the Eighth Crusade" quickly gave way to the squalid realities of trench warfare. Like the French and British before them, American troops smashed headlong against the devastating technology of battle. Poison gas, machine guns, and long-range explosives brought carnage and death to the world. Seventy years later, the unimaginable scope of devastation and death of the first World War—"The Great War"—is etched in the memories of its participants. American Experience presents the moving recollections of ambulance drivers, infantrymen, a junior officer, and journalist George Seldes to create a portrait of a long-ago war that continues to be personal and immediate.

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