Tag: WW1

The Treaty of Versailles: Brutally Unfair or Righteous Retribution?

Reading time: 7 minutes
Marking the end of World War One, the Treaty of Versailles was signed by Germany on June the 28th 1919. Often cited as one of the leading reasons for Germany’s descent into fascism and the start of World War Two, the Treaty of Versailles along with the other treaties signed at the Paris Peace Conference vastly reshaped the borders and the economies of the European continent.

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History’s Greatest Nicknames

Reading time: 7 minutes
A browse through any military history book will no doubt bring up titles of famous officers, often bearing unusual, surprising, or sometimes downright hilarious nicknames. In many cases, it’s clear where the sobriquet originated, while other examples hold a less-obvious significance.

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Reading time: 1 minute
His is the true story of a young Australian soldier whose life of opportunity was challenged by trauma and salvaged by strength.

Nelson Ferguson, from Ballarat, was a stretcher-bearer on the Western Front in France in World War I. He survived the dangers of stretcher-bearing in some of Australia’s most horrific battles: the Somme, Bullecourt, Ypres and Villers-Bretonneux. In April 1918, at Villers-Bretonneux, he was severely gassed. His eyes were traumatised, his lungs damaged. Upon his return home, he met and married Madeline, the love of his life, started a family, and resumed his career teaching art. But eventually the effects of the mustard gas claimed his eyesight, ending his career. Courageously enduring this consequence of war, he continued contributing to society by assisting his son and son-in-law in their stained-glass window business. Advances in medicine finally restored his sight in 1968, allowing him to yet again appreciate the beauty around him, before his death in 1976.

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Ireland and the Battle of The Somme

Reading time: 8 minutes
The Somme was the first great action by a British Army on a continental scale. It was the longest, bloodiest battle of World War One, a campaign lasting four and a half months, and fought over a twenty-mile front near the Somme. In February 1916 Allied commanders had decided to launch an infantry offensive there,

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First World War ambulance trains

Reading time: 6 minutes
The railways, and the men and women who worked on them, made a significant and varied contribution during the First World War. Some railwaymen joined up to fight, and others helped to run the railways in France and Belgium, delivering men and supplies to the front line. One requirement considered early on in 1914 was the necessity of having to treat sick and wounded servicemen urgently, and the task of moving them away from the Front to hospitals and other places of recuperation.

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Maths swayed the Battle of Jutland – and helped Britain keep control of the seas

Reading time: 5 minutes
If you’re about to fight a battle, would you rather have a larger fleet, or a smaller but more advanced one? One hundred years ago, on May 31 1916, the British Royal Navy was about to find out if its choice of a larger fleet was the correct one. At the Battle of Jutland – as the major naval battle of World War I is known in English – these choices were unusually influenced by mathematics.

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