The Widening of the First World War conference 2015

27th July - 31st July 2015


The Gallipoli Campaign grew out of the British War Council's frustration with stalemate on the Western Front. Launched with high expectation, the new campaign achieved no more than bridgeheads on the Peninsula and re-imposed familiar issues of whether success might be achieved by using still more men and new initiatives. Meanwhile the demands of the Western Front remained inexorable, the wider war threw up still more problems and the war effort on the Home Front required a transforming effort. 1915 was a year which offered little prospect of success but endless fascination for the student today.

The cost in human terms of waging war on the offensive in the First World War, no matter the scale of casualties in previous conflicts, dwarfs all losses hitherto. The explanation for this is usually found in inept military leadership and the repetition of unimaginative, provenly unsuccessful tactics. The offensives of 1915 on the Western Front and on the Gallipoli Peninsula are used as prime examples of this, so many months before the notoriety of the Somme. But is this entirely fair? Deliberation over this will be a central theme of this conference, but there will be consideration too of Churchill at the Admiralty, of the first stage of the U-Boat war, of the use of propaganda, of the peripheral fronts, of Zeppelin bombing, of the expansion of the role of women in the war and of deeds which earned the Victoria Cross. Surely an accumulation of topics to whet the appetite of anyone with a serious interest in the First World War.

This conference is currently under development. More information will follow shortly.


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