The Last Phase

A discussion on the last phase of the First World War. A talk given at 'Wilfred Owen: From Doomed Youth to Battle of the Sambre', Imperial War Museum, 10th November 2012.

Max Egremont, writer and lecturer asks: How bad was the Allies' position in the last months of 1917, after Ypres and Passchendaele? Was it possible to imagine defeat? Why was this transformed during 1918, after the huge German advances of the spring? Was there any truth in the Germans' 'stab in the back' claim that politicians had betrayed a still defiant military? The roots of the catastrophe of the 1930s are already apparent in the last year of the First World War. But can they be traced further back, even to 1914?