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Britain's Great War: The war machine - guide & clips

Updated Saturday 22nd July 2017

In the second episode, the whole population is enlisted to turn an unprepared Britain into a war machine.

Jeremy Paxman stands in a recreated battlefield trench Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: BBC/Dave Williams In the second part of his landmark series on how the First World War affected the lives of the British people, Jeremy Paxman describes the crisis facing the country as it becomes clear it is fatally unprepared to fight a modern industrial war.

Now the whole population is enlisted to turn the country into a war machine: women fill the factories to make bombs and bullets, men are forced to fight at the Front, conscientious objectors are threatened with the firing squad, and striking shipbuilders with jail. Even the beer is watered down on government orders.

Britain is having to learn to do as it is told.

The Great War from the OU & the BBC

This episode was first broadcast on Monday February 3, 2014 on BBC One. For more information, and a link to watch again on the iPlayer where available, visit the BBC website.





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