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The Great War in Numbers3:47 PM - 4:42 PM20m leftExploreEpisode 1 tells the story of the outbreak of war in 1914. In the decades since the last European War the world has changed. In Europe and America industrialisation has created unprecedented wealth, for some, and introduced new technologies and mass production. The machine age is changing society and it is about to transform the nature of human conflict. At the same time the Empires of Britain, France, Russia and Germany have carved up the globe. The British Empire is the largest the world has ever seen, covering 33 million square kilometres, ruling over a quarter of the worlds population, few of whom have any say in how they are governed. But despite their vast territories and immense wealth, the imperial powers are still not satisfied. They are constantly scheming and plotting against each other. When two shots are fired in Sarajevo in the summer of 1914, killing the heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire and his wife, it will spark a conflagration that will pit Empire against Empire and engulf the world in a conflict that will eventually claim 18 million lives. In the summer of 1914 young men will charge into battle in brightly coloured uniforms behind buglers and banners. And they will be mown down in their hundreds of thousands by machine guns and artillery. They will quickly learn that the old rules of war no longer apply. Battles wont be won by courage and daring, theyll be won by machinery and sheer weight of numbers.1147Conflict
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