Our perceptions of the First World War today are dominated by the idea it was a futile conflict, a colossal waste of life, and an immense tragedy for Britain and all of Europe. It is a view that has been fostered by the war poets who wrote vividly about the experience of trench warfare, and by countless novels, films and television programmes in the years since. Many even go as far as suggesting that the First World War led directly to the rise of Hitler and the outbreak of the Second World War.
In a single documentary to mark the 100-year anniversary of the outbreak of war, Sir Max Hastings presents the argument that although it was a great tragedy, far from being futile, the First World War was completely unavoidable.
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