In August 1914 a mere 640 women had a clearly defined wartime role. Ignoring early War Office advice to ‘go home and sit still’, by 1918 hundreds of thousands of women from all corners of the world had lent their individual wills and collective strength to the Allied cause.
As well as becoming nurses, munitions workers, and members of the Land Army, women were also ambulance drivers and surgeons; they served with the Armed Forces; funded and managed their own hospitals within sight and sound of the guns. At least one British woman bore arms, and over a thousand women lost their lives as a direct result of their involvement with the war.
In this insightful talk, Pen and Sword authorVivien Newmanexplores the role of women in the First World War.
The optimism amongst the Western Allies following the defeat of the German armies in Normandy, was dissipated by the failure of Operation Market Garden and the bitter fighting on the borders of the Reich, all of which condemned Europe to another winter at war. In the new year having contained Hitler’s Ardennes offensive and reduced the resulting ‘Bulge’, the Allies concentrated on closing up to the Rhine. In the north, Second Canadian and Ninth US Armies fought through mud and floodwaters to clear the Rhineland’s woods, towns and villages. Their objective was to secure a firm grip on the banks of the, Rhine from where they could mount an assault crossing and envelope the engine of the German war machine, the Ruhr, thus bringing the war in Europe to a close within weeks.
1917 looks like it will become an award-winning blockbuster film, but how accurate is it?
Whilst the story behind the film is not strictly factual, it is based on a number of events that took place in 1917 which have been adapted into one script. Here we try to pick out those events and suggest further reading if you would like to delve deeper into the facts behind the fiction you see on-screen.