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History US looks back at the first World War with miniseries

MUMBAI: US infotainment broadcaster History is commemorating the 100th anniversary of WWI with a new four-hour miniseries focusing on the game-changing weapons that were introduced during a transitional time in war history with ‘WW1: The First Modern War’ from 26 July.

When ancient war tactics like set ground battles with troops bunkered down in massive trenches became overwhelmed by powerful new weapons like tanks, air attacks, weapons of mass destruction and submarines, a pivotal game-changing moment in history occurred. These new weapons would end up defining modern warfare and now through experts, eyewitness testimony, riveting archive and specially- created recreations, History® is delving into the background of each weapon with an hour-long episode explaining the how and why they were developed, the strategy, and their ultimate effectiveness.

This is a four-part mini-series. One episode is called ‘Armored Beasts’. Tanks were the first armoured fighting machine to be used on the battlefield. These “land ships,” as they were first called, were championed by head of the British Admiralty Winston Churchill. Adapted from an American tractor with caterpillar tracks, the machine was designed in secrecy to break through the heavily fortified trenches and offer protection for troops that were being mowed down by heavy artillery.

Though a massive failure in their first combat in the Battle of the Somme – they broke down and got stuck in the mud – British government propaganda reversed the story and paved the way for thousands of tanks to be built and become a decisive weapon in the war.