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.
The #BattleofCambrai is often mistakenly identified as the first mass-use of tanks in the theatre of war. Whilst it is true to say that vast numbers of the Mark IV tank were used during the battle, and they did achieve some success in overcoming the German trench systems, but their armour was still in need of development and they only played a major role during the first day.
The major victory of the campaign was it’s demonstration of the effectiveness of new artillery and infantry methods, which would later be put to use during the Hundred Days Offensive.
Pen & Sword Books have a great selection of titles to help you better understand this famous battle of the First World War. Click the photo below to browse all of our Cambrai titles.
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.