The First World War (1914-1918)

Articles and analysis of the Great War.

Russian Interest in the Mediterranean before World War I

by Scott Manning September 2, 2013
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As many have learned recently, Russia has a naval base in Tartus, Syria. More importantly, we should understand that Russia’s interest in the Mediterranean is a tradition dating back before World War I, an interest that shaped Russia’s position in that war. When Russia was still an empire, Tsar Nicholas II (r. 1894-1917) saw the […]

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Forget August 1914, if you want to understand World War I

by Scott Manning August 5, 2013
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We are one year from the centennial of World War I, and by this time next year, there will be streams of articles and books on how the war started. Some believe it was “,” others claim that the , and more recently, Christopher Clark theorizes that the participants . Clark challenges us to remember […]

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Norfolk, just one cemetery in the Somme

by Scott Manning May 8, 2013
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There are three predominate features of the Somme—farms, woods, and cemeteries. The French and British took a different approach with this massive battlefield. Instead of having one giant cemetery, they have numerous “small” ones. When you consider that the Allies suffered nearly 700,000 casualties in a mere 4 and a half months of fighting in […]

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Keegan on British and Southern Memory of War

by Scott Manning November 1, 2012
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The other day, I watched a talk by the late John Keegan on World War I, given at the Cambridge Public Library in 1999. He spent a good deal of time trying to answer why the war was still important to the British, covering the overwhelming number monuments and the yearly commemorations. Among several anecdotes, […]

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The Importance of American Sea Power

by Scott Manning October 23, 2012
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I hesitate to write this, as it may seem I am endorsing a candidate. I am not. I think both President Obama and Governor Romney are correct on the issue of America’s navy, but in different ways. I will explain further below, but first we need to be on the same page concerning sea power. […]

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Movie Review: War Horse

by Scott Manning December 26, 2011
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Steven Spielberg’s War Horse is a different type of war movie that focuses on animals instead of people. The following are some thoughts with no plot spoilers. The most important aspect is the main character–the horse. Although there are people in the movie, the horse gets the most screen time. The movie works hard to […]

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Finding Douglas Haig in Edinburgh Castle

by Scott Manning November 28, 2011
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On hilltop towering over much of Edinburgh, Scotland, is the city’s castle. The location is rich with military history, as the Scots and English fought over the castle and destroyed it on several occasions. Today, the castle acts as a large museum covering a wide range of Scottish history. Within it is the National War […]

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Luxembourg’s Golden Lady, a World War I Monument

by Scott Manning November 11, 2011
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Today is Armistice Day. In America, we refer to it as Veteran’s Day and honor the living. We have since 1954. After World War II (1939-1945) and the Korean War (1950-1953), it was difficult for Americans to honor veterans only from one war. However, many in Europe still continue with their flavor of Armistice Day […]

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Scotland’s Monuments to Her Fallen Sons in the Great War

by Scott Manning August 18, 2011
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While my wife and I were in Scotland recently, we were enamored with tales of Picts, Vikings, Highlanders, and Jacobites, but we could not help but also notice the seemingly endless World War I monuments strung throughout virtually every village in Scotland. Even as far north as the Orkney Islands, I saw several monuments in […]

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Churchill’s Efforts to Feed Germany after the Great War

by Scott Manning February 23, 2010
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Reprinted by permission of Finest Hour, Number 145, Winter 2009-10, The Churchill Centre and Museum at the Cabinet War Rooms, London (www.winstonchurchill.org). Text copyright © Scott Manning 2010. With America’s entry into the First World War in 1917, the Allies finally had enough ships and manpower to implement a full naval blockade on Germany. The […]

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