World War I Unfolds in a Three Minute Time-Lapse Film: Every Day From 1914 to 1918

As time places us ever fur­ther from the event, our knowl­edge of (and—generally speaking—interest in World War I) has shrunk pre­cip­i­tously.  That trend is revers­ing as the cen­ten­ni­al of Arch­duke Franz Fer­di­nand’s assas­si­na­tion draws nigh.

The Atlantic’s Alan Tay­lor launched an excel­lent 10-part series on World War I, which thus­far explored the role of tech­nol­o­gy and ani­mals.

Car­toon­ist Joe Sac­co doc­u­ment­ed the Bat­tle of the Somme’s first day in The Great War, an aston­ish­ing twen­ty-four-foot-long panora­ma.

The UK’s Impe­r­i­al War Muse­um is invit­ing the pub­lic to con­tribute pho­tos and fam­i­ly anec­dotes to Lives of the First World War, an inter­ac­tive dig­i­tal data­base.

It’s a good time to play catch up.

Before I start­ed study­ing this game-chang­ing cat­a­stroph­ic event with my young son, one of my few ger­mane pieces of infor­ma­tion was that a lot of sol­diers lived and died in trench­es dug along the West­ern front. Even with­out pho­tos, sta­tis­tics, or per­son­al sto­ries, this defin­ing aspect hits home hard in Emper­or Tiger­star’s ani­mat­ed map of the Great War’s chang­ing front lines in Europe and the Mid­dle East, above.

The trench­es were built fol­low­ing the First Bat­tle of the Marne in Sep­tem­ber 1914. Even­tu­al­ly they cov­ered over 25,000 miles. Hun­dreds of thou­sands met their ghast­ly ends there, via bombs, ill­ness, and poi­son gas attacks, but these loss­es result­ed in very lit­tle geo­graph­ic gain for one side or the oth­er.

If you’re look­ing for change, keep your eye peeled for the Russ­ian Rev­o­lu­tion. The West­ern Front was a dead­lock.

An ani­mat­ed time­line of World War II can be found here.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

The BBC’s Hor­ri­ble His­to­ries Videos Will Crack You Up and Teach You About WWI (and More)

British Actors Read Poignant Poet­ry from World War I

World War I Remem­bered in Sec­ond Life

Ayun Hal­l­i­day is the author of sev­en books, and cre­ator of the award win­ning East Vil­lage Inky zine. Fol­low her @AyunHalliday

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