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.
A sand animation has recently brought to life the heart-breaking true story of the last fighting Tommy, Harry Patch. After being called up to serve in the 7th Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry, Harry was conscripted to Belgium aged just 19.
Harry became on of the half a million casualties of Passchendaele, surviving a blast which killed three of this best friends.
Here’s Martin Pegler author of ‘Sniping in the Great War’ with the same 1916 rifle as depicted on the book jacket! Pretty cool right?
Military snipers are highly trained marksmen who target individual enemy soldiers. They are regarded as vital specialists in modern warfare, and their role evolved throughout the Great War. As Martin Pegler shows in this wide-ranging, authoritative study, the technique of sniping adapted rapidly to the conditions of static warfare that prevailed through much of the conflict. His account follows the development of sniping from the early battles of 1914, through the trench fighting and the attritional offensives of the middle years, to the renewed open warfare of 1918. He concentrates on the continuous British and German sniping war on the Western Front, but he also looks at how snipers operated in other theatres, at Gallipoli and Salonika and on the Eastern Front. Sniper training, fieldcraft and counter-sniping measures are described in detail. There is a full reference section giving the specification of the sniping rifles of the period and assessing their effectiveness in combat. Also featured are vivid memoirs and eyewitness accounts that offer a fascinating insight into the lethal skill of Great War snipers and their deadly trade.