First World War Websites : 14 to 18 years
First World War Encyclopaedia: A comprehensive encyclopaedia of the First World War. Each entry contains a narrative, illustrations and primary sources. The text within each entry is hypertexted to other relevant pages in the encyclopedia. In this way it is possible to research individual people and events in great detail. The sources are also hypertexted so the student is able to find out about the writer, artist, newspaper, organization, etc., that produced the material. So far the following sections are available: Chronology (1), Outbreak of War (22), Countries (22), Allied Armed Forces (32), Important Battles (34), Technology (10), Political Leaders (94), British Home Front (20), Military Leaders (58), Life in the Trenches (24), Trench System (22), Trench War (18), Soldiers (74), War Heroes (12), Medals (8), War at Sea (24), War in the Air (48), Pilots (28), Aircraft (30), War Artists (34), Cartoonists and Illustrators (90), War Poets (16), Journalists (28), Newspapers and Journals (16), Novelists (36), Women at War (56), Women's Organisations (14), Weapons & War Machines (42), Inventors and the War (12) Theatres of War (6) and War Statistics (18).
People of the Great War: A new free educational resource from the Imperial War Museum, this website features short films, original photographs, posters, documents and a range of great teaching ideas for schools. Two major exhibitions open at the Imperial War Museum this year telling the stories of those who lived, fought and died in the First World War: In Memoriam: Remembering the Great War (An exhibition exploring the personal stories of those who experienced the Great War through rarely-seen objects from the Museum’s unrivalled First World War collections) and Horrible Histories (A family-friendly exhibition exploring the First World War through Terry Deary’s words and Martin Brown’s illustrations alongside objects from the Museum’s collections).
First World War Digital Archive: The web site is packed with images of manuscripts and letters of Owen, Graves, Rosenberg, Thomas, Brittain, and Leighton - and over this year we will be adding Blunden, Jones, Gurney, and Sassoon. It has online tutorials, resource packs, 'paths' all ready to use and aimed across English & History KS1-4, A level, and UG teaching. It also has tools to allow teachers and students to make their own resources. In addition to the poetry, there are several hundred photographs, audio clips, and film clips related to the War drawn from the Imperial War Museum's collections and there is the Great War Archive - 6,500 items submitted by the public to do with their family's experience during the War. It's all free to use, and the licence allows you to download anything you want and to use it for educational purposes.
Trenches on the Web: Trenches on the Web is an evolving project being developed by Mike Lavorone in the USA. New material is being added all the time and this reflects the concerns and interests of the people who use the site and are willing to send information to the webmaster. Lavorone describes himself as the trench-keeper ("a history technician, not a historian, recording these events with the tools currently available"). Students can explore a wide variety of themes and topics. It is also possible to look at certain issues in great detail. The range and display of statistics in this website is especially impressive. The visitor is never allowed to forget the human tragedy of this conflict and heart-rendering photographs appear next to the tables and graphs on the screen.
First World War Open Directory: The Open Directory follows in the footsteps of some of the most important contributor projects of the 20th century. Just as the Oxford English Dictionary became the definitive word on words through the efforts of a volunteers, the Open Directory follows in its footsteps to become the definitive catalog of the Web. The Open Directory was founded in the spirit of the Open Source movement, and is the only major directory that is 100% free. Its directory of the First World War contains 356 websites: General Accounts (29), Armed Forces (12), Personalities (113), Theatres of Operation (51), Regional (85), Aviation (25), Art and Literature (24) and Aftermath (11).
The Aerodrome: Aces and Aircraft of World War I: Scott Hamilton is responsible for this beautifully designed and easy to use website. As the title suggests, the website contains details of all the main First World War aces and aircraft. The database includes biographies of aces from sixteen different countries. The entries are extremely detailed and very good use is made of hypertexted links. Other features include a Discussion, Forum and Today in History, where information is provided on all the significant events that took place on that particular date during the war.
BBC History interactive: World War One: This BAFTA award-winning BBC History interactive website offers the chance to explore the human face of the First World War. Discover what life was like in the trenches and on the Home Front through dramatizations of original diaries, letters and photographs through interactive movies. Leading academics such as Gary Sheffield, Joanna Bourke and Stephen Badsey answer the key questions: why did the First World War start? Were the men really lions led by donkeys? And, ultimately, what was the impact on society? You can explore original documents and take a virtual tour of a 3-D trench system, whilst animated maps of the Western Front highlight the movements of the armies and the key battles.
Cecil Slack's War: Andrew Moore has producing an outstanding website on the letters and diaries of Cecil Slack, a soldier who took part in the First World War. As well as Slack's own writings the website also contains photographs of the man and his family. There is also a wealth of ideas on how you can use the material to teach History and English to students aged 9 to 14.
Art and the First World War: This is an excellent website devoted to the art produced during the First World War. Created to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Armistice, the database includes 54 artists and images of 100 pictures from museums in London, Paris, Berlin, Bonn, Vienna, Caen and Verdun. All the exhibits includes background details of the work and a brief biography of the artist. The paintings are listed under seven different categories: War Declared, Fighting Men, Age of Artillery, The Battlefield, Total War, Suffering and Death.
BBC: Art and the Front: The Western Front was a short train journey away from central London. The British government took advantage of this by commissioning the leading artists of the day to make eye witness accounts of the events of the war. Initially, the intention was to reproduce images for propaganda purposes, then to commemorate and record the service and events of the war. This BBC website enables you to explore the battleground terrains through artists' eyes and to find out how events of international significance were recorded.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission: The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) was established in 1917. Its duties involve marking and maintaining the graves of the members of the forces of the Commonwealth who were killed in the two World Wars. The CWGC is also responsible for keeping records of those who lost their lives and over the years has become an important source of information for those carrying out historical research. The CWGC has now made this material available on the Internet. It is now possible to obtain details of the rank, regiment, date and burial of all members of the armed forces killed in the First World War.
Canadian Air Aces and Heroes is a set of biographies on Canadians who distinguished themselves in military aviation from WWI through WWII and Korea. Linked with the biographies are technical pages on the aircraft they flew and fought against. It is continually being updated and added to so check back occasionally to see if anything new has been added.
Women in World War One: It was not until the United States got involved in the World War One that some parts of the government got serious about using women power. During the conflict nearly 13,000 women enlisted in the Navy and the Marine Corps. This website, produced by Barbara Wilson, a former captain in the USAF, contains information of these women and the large number of nurses who served in Europe during the conflict.
Godfrey Chavasse: Captain Noel Godfrey Chavasse was Britain's most highly decorated serviceman in World War One. He was not however a soldier, being Medical Officer to the 10th (Liverpool Scottish) Battalion. When the Great War started, Noel went with his battalion to France, arriving there in November 1914. Noel won his first medal (a Military Cross) at the Battle of Hooge in June 1915. Noel's first Victoria Cross was gained at Guillemont on 8th August 1916 during the Battle of the Somme. When the Third Battle of Ypres started on 31st July 1917 Noel was in the front line with his men. For nearly two days he went out into the battlefield rescuing and treating wounded soldiers. It was during this period Noel performed the deeds that gained him his second VC. Unfortunately he was never to know about the award as he was killed in his aid station when a shell came through the door and exploded.
Canadian Military Heritage Project: This website is dedicated to presenting Canadian military history - the wars, uprisings and conflicts in which Canadians participated. The goal of the project is to preserve the records and memories of Canadians who served their country, and to ensure that their sacrifices are not forgotten. The website provides historical background for each conflict, chronological timelines, statistics, battles, weaponry, uniforms & equipment, famous Canadians, biographies of soldiers, heroes and their stories, contributions of women, other countries who participated, muster rolls for conflicts before 1900, letters from soldiers at the front, music and poetry, guest authors' submissions and links to other online resources.
The Austro-Hungarian Army: The aim of this website is to document the organizational history of the land forces of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy from just prior to the outbreak of the Great War until the collapse of the monarchy in 1918. The subject is huge and therefore the site will be a continually evolving project. The authors intend to produce as time goes on not only the organization of the land forces, but also biographies of senior commanders, individual regimental histories and details of particular engagements and battles in the Italian, Galician, Carpathian, Rumanian and Serbian theatres of operations.
The Great War 1914-18: As well as general information on the Ypres Salient the site includes an innovative detailed study of the Second Battle of Ypres, 1915. The study so far consists of 80 pages of text and maps for the Prelude to the Battle and the battle from 5.00pm to midnight. It also features unique map and timeline windows. The next phase of the battle study for 23 April 1915 will be added to the site shortly.
One Day's Fighting on the Western Front: This website looks in great detail at what happened to the men of the 2/8th Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment) during one day's fighting on the Western Front in September 1917. Produced by the Great War Family Ancestry and Research Services, the website also provides an illustrated account of the Polygon Wood battlefield today.
54th Canadian Infantry Battalion: A website devoted to the activities of the 54th Canadian Infantry Battalion that fought in France and Belgium during the First World War. This includes photographs and biographies of a large number of the volunteers who fought in the regiment.
First World War.com: This is a wide-ranging frequently updated website providing information on a variety of Great War topics. Containing some 500 biographical sketches and over 100 battle summaries from all fronts of the war, the site also offers an extensive (and eclectic) collection of short memoirs penned by participants (from nurses to infantrymen to prisoners). A special section addresses the impact of much of the prose and poetry written during and as a consequence of the war's effects. Archive photographs are set alongside pictures of the battlefields today, each with a short summary describing its significance. A timeline is available detailing events for every day of the war from the July Crisis to the Armistice. Special features deal with given aspects of the war, from its planning and origins to the curious Christmas Truce of 1914. Archive songs and speeches from the 1914-18 era recall the popular tunes of the day in audio. Finally the site offers a collection of key source documents associated with the conflict, including treaty texts (Versailles, Brest-Litovsk) and diplomatic agreements.
The Great War in Flanders Fields: From 1914 to 1918 the 'Westhoek', the western part the Province of West-Flanders, i.e. the area of Nieuwpoort, Diksmuide, Leper (Ypres), Poperinge, was the scene of the Great War. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers of more than 20 nationalities fell in this conflict. After the often pointless battles and vast destruction, the Westhoek rose from its ashes. This interactive website gives you the opportunity to learn more about World War I in the Westhoek. The central database includes all monuments, sites, locations, cemeteries, etc. in the Westhoek. Furthermore you will find all important events referring to the Great War, a reading list, the museums, accommodation, a number of interesting websites and extensive historical information.
The Heritage of the Great War is dedicated to the events and consequences of World War One. This website puts some emphasis on unorthodox and thought-provoking points of view. And it shows people rather than strategic plans or statistics. To this end this site features one of the most extensive and explicit World War One photo collections on the Internet. The articles on this website are mainly in English, some are in Dutch (Flemish) only. There are special sections for English and Dutch speaking students, where they will find help with their schoolwork.
The War to End All Wars: The First World War was fought between 1914 and 1918. Even before it had finished people were saying that it must be "The war to end wars". They meant that the war was so awful that nothing like it must ever be allowed to happen again. The seven main galleries in this exhibition will help students to understand why so many people felt like this after the First World War.
The Illustrated Enemy: This website looks at graphic depictions of national leaders and military and civilian life, as illustrated by artists both before and during World War I. These images were originally published in magazines, books, posters and postcards. The artists are French, German, Italian, Dutch, British and American. Many are unabashedly patriotic, even jingoistic; others are just as firmly anti-war.
Battle of Baghdad 1917: In the First World War the Ottoman (Turkish) Empire sided with the Germans and Austrians. The Turks had held Mesopotamia since 1534 and they had a firm grip on many of the Persian and Arabian oilfields. Britain wanted that oil for its large navy. The British gained Basra and its oil wells in November 1914. They also occupied the terminal of the oil pipeline and the refineries on the island of Abadan in the river of Shatt El Arab, in the south-western corner of Persia (Iran). In December 1916 the Mesopotamian Expeditionary Force crossed the river Tigris and captured Kut-el-Amara. Over the next few months the British and went on to take Beersheba, Jaffa and Jerusalem. This website takes a look at what happened when the troops reached Baghdad in March 1917.
An Echo in My Heart: This website provides the correspondence between a well educated, articulate couple, Frederick Stanley Albright and Evelyn (Kelly) Albright, who wrote regularly to each other between 1913 and 1917. The correspondence spans the time of their early courtship, engagement and marriage and their separation when Fred Albright went overseas in World War I. Between them, the couple wrote over 550 letters. The correspondence contains absorbing, first hand accounts of life in Canada, before and during World War I, Army training in England and of life behind the lines and on the battlefields of France. Fred Albright was killed at Passchendaele in October, 1917.
The Western Front: The men who signed up to fight in 1914 believed the war would be short and glorious. New developments in military technology soon proved them wrong. By 1915, the armies of both sides had ground to a halt and dug themselves into long lines of trenches - the Western Front - which stretched from the coast of northern France and Belgium to the Swiss Alps. The Front became a hellish wasteland scoured by artillery shelling and machine-gun fire. By the time the fighting ended in November 1918, the war had killed almost 10 million men. This simulation, produced by Rob Fleetwood of Smestow School, is intended to aid pupils' understanding of what the First World War must have been like for the men who fought it.
South Belfast Friends of the Somme Association: The primary objective for this site is to allow the visitor to gain some understanding into the role of the 36th (Ulster) Division in the Great War of 1914-1918 and in particular to expose the awful reality of that tragic and bloody summer of 1916 on the fields of the Somme and the devastating impact it had on a tight-knit community that has since become a core theme in the Ulster Protestant tradition and mythology. The website follows the fate of the Ulster Volunteers who began by forming and arming themselves against the British during the Home Rule Crisis, and finished up fighting and dying as British soldiers on the far away fields of France.
First World War: The new C4 series on the First World War started yesterday. There is an impressive website to go with the series and includes an Overview (A quick glance at the main events of the war); Controversies (key controversies plus video commentaries from the series); Combatant States (profiles of the main protagonists during the war period); Biographies (profiles of the key players during the war period) and a Timeline.
World War 1 Songs: This website contains popular American music from the World War 1 period, circa 1917-1918 as well as Patriotic American music from the early 1900s in MIDI music format, sheet music covers and lyrics. Songs featured include Over There, I Have Come to Say Good-bye, Oh, Moon Of The Summer Night (Tell My Mother Her Boy's All Right), When Yankee Doodle Learns To Parlez Vous Francais, I Don't Know Where I'm Going But I'm On My Way, Till We Meet Again, Welcome Home, Three Wonderful Letters From Home and Where Do We Go From Here.
World War One: This website includes the causes of the war; major battle fought in the war (Mons, Marne, Gallipoli, Somme, Ypres, Passchendaele, Tannenberg, Cambrai, Caporetto, Jutland); trench warfare; the role of British women in the war; modern weapons used in the war (machine guns, planes, poison gas and gas masks, tanks, artillery etc); conscientious objectors; military figures in the war (Haig, Foch, Joffre, Jellicoe, Petain, Beatty, Falkenhayn); propaganda in the war; Christmas and the war; an A to Z of the war; a timeline of the war and casualty statistic of the war.
First Day on the Somme: This CD-ROM, produced by Film Education, contains downloadable pdf's which take students through the process of constructing their own documentary on these historical events. Rushes from the period as well as contemporary footage allow students to discover ways in which propaganda can be created as well as the ways in which images can be manipulated. It also asks them to question the veracity of the moving image as used within documentary programmes on television. Full details can be found at the Film Education website.
Northumberland Fusiliers: For a number of years now, Neil Storey has been researching the 4th (Territorial) Battalion of the Northumberland Fusiliers for the period 1908 to 1919. This all began as a family history project, to determine what happened to his Great Grandfather during the 1st World War, but very quickly developed into a plan to publish an account of the 4th battalions' exploits and compile a database of all those who served with the battalion during this period. The website now contains data relating to more than 2,200 men who served with the Battalion between 1908 and 1919 and the day to day location and actions of the Battalion throughout the 1st World War.
First Call: Although they only entered the First World War in 1917 the United States produced thousands of posters were created. The country's top illustrators such as Howard Chandler Christy, James Montgomery Flagg, Harrison Fisher and Edward Penfield, became involved in this process. The posters helped not only with the obvious aim of recruiting members for the armed forces, but with the parallel home-front efforts embodied in various conservation efforts, in the multiple aims of the United War Work Campaign and the work of the Red Cross. This Georgetown University Library collection features 25 of these posters.
Truth and Propaganda: The use of propaganda campaigns has been a crucial aspect of modern warfare. Various techniques and media have been employed by governments to attempt to modify their citizens' behaviour and outlook: to encourage recruitment for the armed service, bolster home morale and undermine the enemy. The diverse collections of the Imperial War Museum illustrate many aspects of the history of propaganda in the era of modern conflict. The material is organized under the headings: De-humanising The Enemy (the subtle employment of propaganda strategy), Myths And Heroes (icons, heroes and martryrs) and Machinery Of Delivery (media technology at war).
Great War Photographs: This Dutch website claims to have one of the largest collections of First World War photographs. The material is organized in galleries such as: Tinted War (more than 150 colour photographs of the war), They Die Young (40 photographs of underage soldiers), Shooting-Match (pictures of the Gallipoli campaign), Bloody Picnic (explicit photographs of the death and destruction caused by the war), The Americans are Coming (photographs of the American Expeditionary Force), Unforeseen Epidemic (shellshock victims) and Love & War (romantic postcards from the war).
Imperial War Museum Collections Online: It is now possible to access the Imperial War Museum catalogues online. If you want to browse there are short essays on major historical themes which lead you to selected highlights from all the collections. The Imperial War Museum contains objects and works of art, a library, plus archives of documents, film, photographs and sound. The present database covers the collections of documents, film and sound in detail; other collections will be added over the next few months.
The Great War and the Shaping of the Twentieth Century was a co-production of KCET/Los Angeles and the BBC in association with the Imperial War Museum of London. The official site for the PBS documentary on the Great War, provides an online synopses of each episode, an interactive First World War timeline, a book list, an interactive gallery with maps and locations of the war. The site also features interviews with prominent historians such as Diane Atkinson, Stephane Audoin-Rouzeau, Niall Ferguson, Orlando Figes, Paul Fussell, John Keegan, Wolfgang Mommsen, Peter Simkins, Jay Winter and Norman Stone.
African Americans and the Great War: During the First World War 380,000 African Americans served in the wartime Army. Approximately 200,000 of these were sent to Europe. More than half of those sent abroad were assigned to labour and stevedore battalions, but they performed essential duties nonetheless, building roads, bridges, and trenches in support of the front-line battles. Roughly 42,000 saw combat. This website includes photographs and documents on this subject plus several ideas on how they can be used in the classroom.
Great War in Colour: The first experiments with colour photography were carried out in 1904 near Lyon in France, where father Lumière owned a photographic factory. In 1907 the Lumière brothers patented the autochrome process they had invented. Jean-Baptiste Tournassoud was Chief of the Photography and Cinematography Organization of the French Army during the First World War. Tournassoud and other French photographers visited the Western Front in an attempt to record these events in colour. This website provides a collection of autochrome pictures taken by French photographers during the war.
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