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Portuguese Forces in the First World War

Portuguese Forces in the First World War


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On 7th August, 1914, President de Arriaga of Portugal declared his support for the Allies. At this time, Portugal had over 33,000 men in its army. By November, 1914, Portuguese troops were involved in skirmishes with German troops on the frontier between Mozambique and German East Africa. However, this did not provoke a full-scale declaration of war.

In February, 1916, the Portuguese government ordered its navy to seize German ships in its harbours. Germany responded by declaring war on Portugal. About 100,000 Portuguese eventually fought with the Allies on the Western Front and in Mozambique. The army suffered 21,000 casualties, including over 7,000 dead.


Portuguese Empire

The Portuguese Empire (Portuguese: Império Português), also known as the Portuguese Overseas (Ultramar Português) or the Portuguese Colonial Empire (Império Colonial Português), was composed of the overseas colonies and territories governed by Portugal. One of the longest-lived empires in world history, it existed for almost six centuries, from the capture of Ceuta in 1415, to the handover of Portuguese Macau to China in 1999. The empire began in the 15th century, and from the early 16th century it stretched across the globe, with bases in North and South America, Africa, and various regions of Asia and Oceania. [1] [2] [3]

The Portuguese Empire originated at the beginning of the Age of Discovery, and the power and influence of the Kingdom of Portugal would eventually expand across the globe. In the wake of the Reconquista, Portuguese sailors began exploring the coast of Africa and the Atlantic archipelagos in 1418–19, using recent developments in navigation, cartography and maritime technology such as the caravel, with the aim of finding a sea route to the source of the lucrative spice-trade. In 1488 Bartolomeu Dias rounded the Cape of Good Hope, and in 1498 Vasco da Gama reached India. In 1500, either by an accidental landfall or by the crown's secret design, Pedro Álvares Cabral reached what would be Brazil.

Over the following decades, Portuguese sailors continued to explore the coasts and islands of East Asia, establishing forts and factories as they went. By 1571 a string of naval outposts connected Lisbon to Nagasaki along the coasts of Africa, the Middle East, India and South Asia. This commercial network and the colonial trade had a substantial positive impact on Portuguese economic growth (1500–1800), when it accounted for about a fifth of Portugal's per-capita income.

When King Philip II of Spain (Philip I of Portugal) seized the Portuguese crown in 1580 there began a 60-year union between Spain and Portugal known to subsequent historiography as the Iberian Union. The realms continued to have separate administrations. As the King of Spain was also King of Portugal, Portuguese colonies became the subject of attacks by three rival European powers hostile to Spain: the Dutch Republic, England, and France. With its smaller population, Portugal found itself unable to effectively defend its overstretched network of trading posts, and the empire began a long and gradual decline. Eventually, Brazil became the most valuable colony of the second era of empire (1663–1825), until, as part of the wave of independence movements that swept the Americas during the early 19th century, it broke away in 1822.

The third era of empire covers the final stage of Portuguese colonialism after the independence of Brazil in the 1820s. By then, the colonial possessions had been reduced to forts and plantations along the African coastline (expanded inland during the Scramble for Africa in the late 19th century), Portuguese Timor, and enclaves in India (Portuguese India) and China (Portuguese Macau). The 1890 British Ultimatum led to the contraction of Portuguese ambitions in Africa.

Under António Salazar (in office 1932–1968), the Estado Novo dictatorship made some ill-fated attempts to cling on to its last remaining colonies. Under the ideology of Pluricontinentalism, the regime renamed its colonies "overseas provinces" while retaining the system of forced labour, from which only a small indigenous élite was normally exempt. In 1961 India annexed Goa and Damaon and Dahomey annexed Fort of São João Baptista de Ajudá. The Portuguese Colonial War in Africa lasted from 1961 until the final overthrow of the Estado Novo regime in 1974. The Carnation Revolution of April 1974 in Lisbon led to the hasty decolonization of Portuguese Africa and to the 1975 annexation of Portuguese Timor by Indonesia. Decolonization prompted the exodus of nearly all the Portuguese colonial settlers and of many mixed-race people from the colonies. Portugal returned Macau to China in 1999. The only overseas possessions to remain under Portuguese rule, the Azores and Madeira, both had overwhelmingly Portuguese populations, and Lisbon subsequently changed their constitutional status from "overseas provinces" to "autonomous regions".


Radical Object: Military Sweetheart Brooches of the First World War

Several years ago, while reading through some documents in the Mass Observation Archives at the University of Sussex, I came across a survey of London retailers from 1939 that mentioned increasing wartime sales of gold and diamond ‘sweetheart badge brooches’, a term I had not previously come across. Shortly afterwards, as frequently happens, I heard the phrase again. On BBC One’s Antique’s Roadshow (11 March 2011), jewellery consultant John Benjamin remarked that members of the public often brought these brooches to him to identify but that they seldom, if ever, knew what they were or anything about their histories. Further research revealed that many thousands of these brooches were manufactured, mainly in Birmingham and London, from the late 1880s to the present day reaching a peak of popularity during the First World War, yet they had largely disappeared from public awareness. There seemed to be a neglected subject here ripe for study and, as it turned out, no-one had looked closely at these emotive, personal objects and the feelings and motivations embedded within them.

These little brooches are miniature replicas of the badges of military regiments, naval units, the Royal Flying Corps and the RAF, generally known as sweetheart brooches because they were often given as romantic keepsakes by members of the armed forces to their wives and girlfriends before they left for the front. One Londoner recalled that they ‘were received as gifts, love tokens or symbols to display that one of your loved ones was “doing their bit”‘ and remembered that ‘almost every female seemed to wear one’. Widely sold in retail and jewellery stores throughout the country and in small shops set up in military camps where last-minute gifts could be purchased before embarkation, families visibly articulated their support for their men as they left for potentially lengthy periods of separation in wartime by wearing brooches that matched the soldiers’ insignia. In the photograph below, a very young recruit to the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment poses in his pristine new uniform before leaving for his posting to France. The whole family wear replicas of his cap badge to support him: his wife wears a brooch at the collar of her blouse and even their baby’s dummy is pinned with another to a length of ribbon.

Soldier of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment with his family (British Library)

It had long been customary, of course, for soldiers to adapt pieces of their uniforms into mementoes for their families to wear: metal collar dogs, shoulder titles and buttons were especially popular and army orders had to be issued to prevent the practice. Hand-made objects, together with items fashioned from battlefield matériel, which sometimes included jewellery constructed from shrapnel or bullets, are known as trench art and often incorporated insignia produced for the purpose: for instance, soldiers could buy printed or embroidered badges to appliqué to pincushions as gifts. But the first replica badge commercially made as a piece of jewellery for a woman to wear can be traced to a gold, diamond and enamel brooch in the form of the insignia of the 10th Royal (Prince of Wales’ Own) Hussars, commissioned by the Earl of Airlie as a gift for his wife Mabell on their wedding day on 19th January 1886. Lady Airlie recorded in her diary that she believed she had started a new fashion she seems to have been correct as no earlier brooch has been identified and by the beginning of the First World War, brooches were available for every regiment of the British army, as well as for units of the Royal and Merchant navies and the Royal Flying Corps, hand-made by goldsmiths and silversmiths at one end of the economic spectrum and mass-produced in factories at the other, in materials varying from brass or paste to costly gemstones. Their material value was always less important, however, than their symbolic and emotive capacity to evoke people and memories.

The Airlie Brooch (1885-1886). White gold, diamond and blue enamel replica insignia of the 10th Royal (Prince of Wales’s Own) Hussars (Image: Penny Streeter, collection of the King’s Royal Hussars, Tidworth)

The brooches’ visible and tangible presence in the quotidian lives of women across all strata of society served as a strong link between front line personnel and civilians on the home front. But these distinctive pieces of jewellery communicated more than simple romantic devotion, expressing sentiments about a range of social and cultural themes, including notions of status, societal solidarity and patriotism. Contemporary newspaper accounts describe how they were worn as talismans in the hope that they might generate good luck and bring the soldier home safely, thus reuniting the brooch and the original insignia that inspired it. Photographs from the period frequently depict a uniformed bridegroom ready to leave for the front, while on the bride’s wedding dress can be seen her military sweetheart brooch, a disconcerting visible symbol since it binds the hopeful couple together but also foregrounds the conflict that we understand will soon separate them, perhaps permanently. Images like these, taken just before the start of the war or during a brief period of leave were sometimes almost the only remnant of hastily conducted wartime marriages of such short duration that they might seem, if the soldier did not return and without even a body for burial, never to have happened. Many such photographs indicate that women wore their brooches as a constant reminder of a missing husband or son’s absence, often with his portrait in a locket, and that they publicly demonstrated their bereavement in this way.

George Errall Withall enlisted with the Queen’s (Royal West Surrey) Regiment and was killed in action at Festubert in Northern France on 16 May 1915. Before he left he had given his wife Annie the sweetheart brooch she wears, with his portrait, in this photograph:

Annie Gertrude Withall wearing her Queen’s (Royal West Surrey) Regiment sweetheart brooch, with her sons Richard Henry (left) and George Thomas, c. 1915 (Image: Penny Streeter)

Before he enlisted, George Withall was a farm worker in Frensham, Surrey and the photograph depicts Annie and her two little boys, George and Richard, probably outside the family’s cottage. The children’s ages (George would have been about five years old at the time of his father’s death and Richard just three) suggest a probable date for the photograph of 1915. They are all dressed in their best formal clothes and, judging from their sorrowful expressions, it is likely that this image records a service held in Withall’s memory. His body was not recovered, so instead of an indentified grave he was commemorated on the le Touret Memorial near Festubert in the 1920s. In common with millions of other women bereaved as a result of the war, Annie was denied the consoling ritual of a funeral. To bereaved women like Annie who had no grave to visit and make the focus for their memories, sweetheart brooches given as tokens of love and affection often became dearly treasured commemorative objects.

The unprecedented death toll of the First World War meant that many brooches originally given in quite happy circumstances inevitably became associated with grief as repositories of memory and mourning. We should also remember that many soldiers were too young to have established families of their own or didn’t have sweethearts to cherish their memory while they were on active service. For these usually younger men, their mother was often still the most significant female influence in their lives and she would thus be given a brooch to wear. The reasons why bereaved women wore the military brooches they had been given in happier times were complex and are difficult to unpick. For some, the brooch was a straightforward symbol of pride while others felt that only a patriotic display could justify their losses and wore their brooches defiantly. But mothers, sisters, wives and sweethearts were strongly encouraged by government propaganda and societal expectations to persuade their men to enlist and to wear a regimental brooch to show they had done so and were thus made complicit in their own bereavement. If women felt anger at the deaths of friends and relatives, however, this was an unacceptable rejection of the code of stoical acceptance to which they were expected to adhere in the interests of maintaining morale on the home front. For more angry or simply ambivalent women in mourning, the brooches’ military connotations were poignant, unwelcome reminders of the cause of their loved ones’ deaths and a reason for concealing these keepsakes from their families.

This may be one reason why so many sweetheart brooches have become separated from their histories. Grieving mothers, wives and sweethearts put aside the jewellery given to them by beloved sons, husbands and lovers who did not survive the war because they were embedded with such painful memories. For example, just before the end of the war, in August 1918, Lt. Charles Bodman of the Durham Light Infantry was killed near Arras. His body was never recovered but the army returned his personal effects, including his photographs, his papers and a sweetheart brooch presumably intended for her, to his bereaved mother in Gloucestershire. Unable to contemplate these haunting reminders, she put them into a wooden chest and entrusted them to her surviving son, asking that it be kept safe but not opened. The box was stored in the family grocery shop and only rediscovered in 2015.

Woman wearing a sweetheart brooch of the Prince of Wales Own (West Yorkshire) Regiment, c. 1914-1918

And thus a deeply personal decision to hide away objects with painful associations show us how the stories of sweetheart brooches becomes lost to us as these emotive objects move beyond living memory. Another reason they’ve faded from public consciousness is their status as hybrid objects. From a curatorial perspective, they are neither officially military in design nor simply simply decorative. As such they have largely fallen outside the remit and interest of military museums (where, if they are displayed, their significance is rarely explained to the visitor). Typically, they come into museum collections as part of private donations that include more obviously relevant items such as medals, uniforms and weapons. Whether brooches are displayed or marginalised depends on the importance placed by individual curators (or their trustees) upon the connections between the members of the forces and their families, which is not always accorded much significance. Neither, however, do they fit easily into the collections of design museums, which perhaps regard them as military items, and no major cultural museum in Britain holds examples. Yet badges and emblems always, or at least very often, convey personal and political messages.

Many, I’m sure, are still kept by their original owners’ families. Accessing items owned by private individuals is always challenging, but like other wartime artefacts these are fascinating objects with stories to tell about how people lived and felt and memorialised their loved ones at times of unimaginable tension and heightened emotion. I hope to compile a record of images of brooches, those who gave them and those who wore them, with accompanying stories and any surviving documentation. If any readers would like to add their family histories to this database, so that they are not lost to history, I would very much like to hear from you. Please e-mail me at [email protected]

This article was originally posted on the blog Historians for History in October 2018 and is reposted with the kind permission of the author and editors.

Penny Streeter is a historian of the First World War. She was recently awarded a PhD in the History of Art by the University of Sussex for a doctoral project that explored jewellery replicating military badges, worn by families of service personnel from the Boer Wars and throughout the 20th century. She tweets as @pennystreeter2.


The Cape Coloured Corps and the First World War

In September 1915, the Union Government offered to raise an infantry battalion of Cape Coloured men for service in the First World War. A strict selection process was decided upon. Only men ‘of exceptionally good character, between the age of 20 and 30, minimum height 5ft. 3in., chest measurement 33 ½ in., unmarried and without dependants would be accepted for service.(Difford: 20). The Cape Corps War Recruiting Committee was formed with its headquarters in Cape Town. Notices were placed in the press announcing that recruitment was to take place. On 25 October 1915, the first recruitment station opened at the City Hall in Cape Town. The response was so huge that the assistance of the police was required to control the crowd. Only 22 recruits were enlisted on the first day as the vast majority did not meet the stringent conditions for enlistment. They were then sent to Simonstown for training and were joined by fellow recruits from Stellenbosch, Worcester, Port Elizabeth, Kimberley and various mission stations including that of Saaron and Mamre.

The number of men enlisted from rural areas and mission stations far outnumbered that of the city of Cape Town, as many of the would be recruits from the city did not meet the stringent physical requirements. Also many men who came to enlist at the City Hall were dissatisfied with the pay offered.

The Cape Corps in East Africa

The First Battalion of the Cape Corps embarked for East Africa on 9 February 1916 on board the H.M.T. Armadale Castle, arriving in Mombasa on 17 February 1916. For the first nine months, the battalion was occupied with tasks that supported the advancing British troops. This included guarding bases, patrolling roads, building of bridges, transport duties, hospital duties and various administrative tasks. Many succumbed to malaria in the first weeks of April 1916. The ‘C’ Company under the command of Captain Bagsawe and two platoons of ‘D’ Company and half of ‘B’ Company were sent to guard Taveta, where a railway line was being constructed and to build blockhouses. The detachment had to move through heavy swamps during the rainy season. Fifty percent of the detachment succumbed to malaria and had to be relieved by another company, who in turn also came down with malaria. By the end of April half of the Cape Corp battalion was in hospital or sick on duty.

The Rufji River campaign

In December 1916, The Cape Corps battalion left to partake in the Rufji River campaign. Under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Morris, the battalion set off with four machine guns, a two-gun section of the Kashmir Mountain Battery, and a detachment of the Faridhkot Sappers and Miners. The main objective of this campaign was to cross the Rufji River and secure the area on the opposite bank against enemy encroachment. A dawn bayonet attack against the German position at Makalinso was launched successfully.

As the British advance followed the retreating German East African army, who attempted to delay the advance by stationing a field company at Mkindu, the Cape Corps was sent forward to reinforce a Nigerian Brigade at Mkindu. In January 1917 a column consisting of the Cape Corps, the Second Nigeria regiment and a two-gun section of the Kashmir Mountain Battery – under the command of Morris advanced on the German position at Kibongo. Morris used the Cape Corps as the central attacking force. The German army under Captain Ernst Otto offered a determined resistance, but were forced to withdraw by 12h00. At this point the heavy rain made further military movement impossible and many porters, members of the South African Native Labour Contingent (SANLC), struggled to deliver food rations through heavy swamps and mud. Both members of SANLC and the Cape Corps succumbed to malaria. By March only five officers and 165 men were fit for duty. Many were being treated in military hospitals in East Africa while some had to be repatriated to South Africa.

The next major military operation of the Cape Corps battalion was to join British and Belgian troops against German raiding parties led by Captain Max Wintgens who were attempting to enter British East Africa. By October 1917, the German threat had been eliminated, a feat in which the Cape Corps played a major role. Many members won awards for distinguished military conduct. In October 1917, the battalion had been re-organised and strengthened its numbers to 1 200 and ordered to assist the worn out British troops in the Lindi area of German East Africa. In November, the Cape Corps was leading the advance against the enemy and came under heavy fire at Mkungu. They were forced to withdraw 50 metres and dug in on a ridge.

The next action took place on the Makonde Plateau, where a German hospital containing 1 000 sick and wounded surrendered to a column led by the Cape Corps. The German commander, General Paul von Letow-Vorbeck moved with about 2 000 men towards Portuguese East Africa. After continuing with mopping-up operations the Cape Corps battalion was examined by a Medical Board. It was recommended that they be repatriated to South Africa. Although their battle casualties were not very high many were succumbing to malaria. On 20 December the battalion boarded the HMT Caronia back to South Africa.

From East Africa the Cape Corps went to Egypt, Palestine, Turkey.

South African gunners in German East Africa. source: www.delvillewood.com

Back in South Africa:

On arrival back in South Africa, it was announced that, on account of their outstanding military record in East Africa, another battalion of the Cape Corps would be raised for service in Egypt. First the battalion needed medical attention and rest. Before sending men home for a period of recuperative leave they had to undergo strenuous medical tests for malaria. Two groups of three hundred men were entrained to Kimberley and Potchefstroom, while the remainder of six hundred men were sent to Jacobs Camp in Durban. They were to remain in quarantine for ten days, and only after their blood tests registered a double negative for malaria were they allowed to proceed home for a month’s recuperative leave. Those whose blood tests did not register negative for malaria were given further treatment and put on special diets of fresh milk and eggs. When they recovered they were sent home for a month’s leave.

By 20 February most of the men had returned to the depot at Kimberley. For the next month they were involved in training and preparation for the next phase in their service which was to be in Egypt. They undertook fresh training in gunnery, signalling, and bombing. Just before the end of March, it was announced that they would depart for Egypt in early April. The Battalion left Kimberley in three special trains for Durban on the 31 March. On 3 April they left for Egypt on the H.M.T. Magdalena.

The Cape Corps in Egypt

The battalion arrived in Port Suez in Egypt on 19 April 1918. Initially they were tasked with escorting duty at various prisoner of war camps. They were also involved in communication work. It was not envisaged that they would be involved in actual fighting and they had arrived without any equipment. This caused much dissatisfaction and their commanding officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Hoy, appealed to General Edmund Allenby, Commander of the British Empire’s Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF), to allow them to participate in the fighting. Accompanying his request was a detailed memorandum that listed the battalion’s record in East Africa. General Allenby inspected the battalion himself and agreed to let them in the front line, on condition that they undertake further intensive training.

Cape Corps machine gun instruction. source: www.kaiserscross.com

In Egypt the Cape Corps unit was faced with a very different set of circumstances than in East Africa. The army was far more professionally organised, the military campaign systematic and methodical, and auxiliary services such as hospitals and supplies excellent compared to East Africa. In the words of Difford, ‘We had left the amateur stage behind us and were by way of becoming professionals. A period of intensive training was commenced in musketry, bayonet fighting, the use of hand grenades, gas warfare and trench warfare. Officers were expected to be proficient in map-reading and topography.

In July 1918 the First Battalion Cape Corps (ICC) was assigned to 160th Infantry Brigade of the 53rd Welsh Division, one of several making up the EEF headed by General Allenby. Facing the EEF were three Ottoman Armies of 3 000 horsemen, 32 000 infantry, and 402 guns. The ICC entered the line on 19 August against the 53rd Division of the Turkish army, about ten miles north of what is today Ramallah. The battalion faced heavy artillery fire on a continuous basis for the next month.

Men of the Ist Battalion, Cape Corps(160th Brigade, 53 Welsh Division)- Palestine 1918. source: www.delvillewood.com

Allenby planned a major offensive to commence in the early hours of 19 September and the unit was ordered to undertake reconnaissance and rehearsals in preparation for the offensive, by thinning out the front lines and concentrating on their attack positions. The 1/17th Indian Infantry Brigade was to be the advance guard, followed by the ICC. The ICC would pass through them, take Square Hill and then protect the right flank of the Brigade. The Cape Corps succeeded in their objective taking Square Hill in an attack that lasted from 18:45 on 18 September to 04:00 on 19 September 1918. They captured 181 prisoners, eight officers, and 160 members of other ranks, as well as an enemy field gun. The ICC lost one man, and another was wounded in the battle of Square Hill. Their next action involved the taking of KH Jibeit, a hill 700m north of Square Hill. They did not have artillery support and lost 51 men, 101 were wounded and one was taken prisoner. These actions were decisive in paving the way for Allenby to break through to Damascus and ‘knock the Ottoman Empire out of the war’.

Church parade of the 1st Battalion, Cape Corps, at El Arish, Egypt, after the battle. source: samilitaryhistory.org


Other Aspects of Local Life ↑

As in other warring nations, inflation made it necessary to increase salaries in Macau local markets did not have enough goods, but other aspects of the economy and finance were maintained without significant changes. Local authorities offered 30,000 pounds to the “Mother homeland”, especially to help hospitals and soldiers’ families. To overcome students’ inability to travel to Portugal, the local high school implemented a higher level of education.


Most of the battles of World War I took place in Europe, and willingly or not, the people of most of the countries were somehow active in the conflict. For the Allies, 5 million British men served in the conflict, just under half of the available pool of men aged 18-51   7.9 million French citizens were called to serve.  

A total of 13 million German citizens fought in the war between 1914 and 1918.   In the occupied territories, Germany and its allies also coerced civilians into labor: citizens from Italy, Albania, Montenegro, Serbia, Romania, and Russian Poland all had conscripts fighting or assisting with the Entente efforts.


The Seven Years’ War: The First World War?

Even from the earliest historical account of organized warfare, there were two types of wars that shaped history forever wars that change and shape a nation and wars that change and shape the world. In July 1914, war broke out in Europe which resulted in a multi-theater and multi-participant war of massive proportion, leading to just over four years of battle earning the title of World War I, which it will forever remain. This, however, was not the first multi participant war fought over multiple regions whose effects could be felt around the world. The Seven Years’ War, which took place one hundred and sixty years prior to World War I spanned across the globe for nine years of battle, engaging fifteen militaries in battle not to end until 1763 with the signing of four peace treaties. This has led many historians to question if it is not in fact the very first world war and if so, how the world had overlooked a conflict of such magnitude.

The Seven Years’ War was not small in any respect, but rather extremely large in scale and area of which was covered during the war. Many, however, do not recognize the Seven Years’ War yet, they do recognize the seven separate wars fought within the Seven Years’ War in various regions around the world. As in the First World War, the theaters in which the war was fought spread across the globe over the nine years of unrest and affected an unprecedented amount of regions. 1 This is a result of conflicting dominance and alliances of various countries, hurling belligerents into some of the most infamous wars the world has ever come to know.

The first of a series of wars the makes up the Seven Year’s War was the French and Indian War, also known by many as the War of the Conquest, fought in North America between 1754 and 1763. 2 Fought between the respective British and French colonies settled in the region and backed by their parent militaries, as well as France’s allies the Native Americans, as both sides hoped to claim dominance over the region for their sides. 3 In the 1750s, much of the land east of the Mississippi River was dominated by the French and British settlers that had come to the continent in order to live. 4 The British settlers, largely outnumbering that of the French, dominated the coat which the French greatly dispersed their settlers in the northern and central regions with some settlement in the south. This left the region in between the two settlements to be dominated by the Native Americans of the land. 5 As the British hoped to expand their influence over greater amounts of land, they granted settlement to a hundred families in the Ohio Valley region that France had already laid claim to in order to establish trade posts within the region smudging their borders and causing conflict between the two settlements. 6

In a series of battles for control of the continent, the French enlisted both its settlers and its allies the Native Americans to fight the British over the next nine years. This proved to have dire consequences on the British’s ability to secure victory over their adversaries fortunately for the British, they possessed strength in numbers and training that the French could not overcome. 7 With their superior equipped army, the British made a bold move and captured Fort Duquense from the French and renamed it after their Prime Minister William Pitt the British victory causing the Native Americans to begin to take sides with the opposing adversaries. 8 After this crucial victory, the British forces rallied toward Quebec where they secure yet another victory, this being a massive blow to the French. Finally, in 1760, the British took control of Montreal and the French were unable to recover losing the North American theater of the Seven Years’ War and ending with the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1763. 9

Though it is true that throughout the course of the war, the British and the French were engaged in battle in the North American Region east of the Mississippi, the Seven Years’ War extended to regions other then that covered by the British and French in the French and Indian War. The Seven Years’ war was also largely fought in the European theater with numerous battles in Spain, Portugal, Britain, Sweden, Prussia, and Austria. The earliest battles to form part of the Seven Years’ War in Europe was the Third Silesian War between Prussia and Austria.

The Third Silesian War was a series of battles connected to the Seven Years’ War involving Austria and Prussia from 1756 to 1762 as the two countries fought to secure Silesia from one another. Since 1740, the Austrians had been engaged in war with the Prussians in an attempt to recapture the province of Silesia from he reign of Frederick the Great. 10 Within the last two wars, this had been unachievable, yet Austria persisted, all the while, Prussia, under the leadership of Frederick II grew strong militarily and pushed back as the Austrians struggled to secure a decisive victory over the strong army. 11 This time, while Frederick pursued Saxony, the Austrians decided to attack once more in an attempt to once more reclaim the region. 11 Yet, as Austria’s ties to Britain were severely injured by the previous wars, the British began to switch their alliance to the Prussians, leaving Austria weaker in the battle yet, Russia still remained at Austria’s side. In the resulting years, the Austrian and Russians gained favor within the war, however, after the death of Russian Empress Elizabeth in 1763, Russian forces were recalled by the newly crowned Peter III and Peter sought to make concessions to Prussia which would prove detrimental to the Austrian war effort. 12 Within the year, the Austrians were forced to enter peace talks with the Prussians and the war ended in 1763 with the signing of the Treaty of Hubertusburg. 13

A year after fighting began in the Third Silesian War began between Prussia and Austria, Prussia entered another war in the European theater that would be forever recognized as part of the Seven Years’ War. This time the fighting would take place in several regions of Swedish and Prussian Pomerania between 1757 and would not end until six years later in 1763, leaving Prussia to face war against Sweden. 14 In 1757, the Swedish force made their way into Prussian Pomeranian territory yet were forced to retreat and faced a year long blockade at Stralsund until their Russian allies could relieve them. 15 As they began to once again gain more strength, the Swedish forces pushed forward into the Prussian territory, successfully destroying a Prussian fleet in the process which allowed them to advance as far as the Prussian territory of Prenzlau by 1760 only to retreat back to their own safe camps of Swedish Pomerania for the winter. 16

As the Swedish began yet another campaign the following summer, both armies struggled to gain an advantage over another and the Swedish army immense supply shortages that put their army at a greater disadvantage in 1761. 17 In the winter months of 1761 and 1762, the Swedish and Prussians met up once again for battle, this time just over the Swedish Pomerania border in Mecklenburg where they would engage in their last fight of the Pomeranian war before the Treaty of Ribnitz was agreed upon and signed in August 1762. 18 At this time, the Russians, their alliances waning ever so greatly, switched their loyalty over to the the side of the Prussians and it was clear to the Swedish that they would no longer have the strength to pursue and defeat the Prussian army. 19

As the Seven Years’ War pressed on, war also ensued in Spain as well as Portugal in what is known as the Spanish-Portuguese War from 1761 to 1763. Before this time, Spain and Portugal had succeeded to stay fairly neutral in the Seven Years’ War and, although they had had their own differences about their territories within South America at the time, all remained peaceful until the year of 1761, as Charles III ascended to the throne of Spain, bringing with him his fervent desire to maintain a strong empire for Spain. 20 This, however, threatened the Portuguese borders in the South American colonies as they had previously been agreed to in treaties signed with the former Spanish ruler, King Ferdinand VI, throwing the two countries into war. 21 As the British began to win the war in the colonies against the French, it became ever clearer that the rising power of Britain would soon threaten the imperial balance across Europe thus, prompting the Spanish to seek an alliance with the French making the countries stronger and angering the British who would, in response, joined the fight in 1762, just one year after it had commenced. 22

Under the advisement of the French, the Spanish-Portuguese War pressed on with the Spanish attacking the borders of the neutral Portuguese whose army was less than capable of taking the assault. 23 As it was known that Portugal had become an ally of the British, the French hoped to divert some of the force from the North American theater with hopes of gaining an advantage in the French and Indian War. 24 The fighting not only extended to the borders of Spain and Portugal, but also to the provinces possessed by the Portuguese in South America, something that the Portuguese had feared would happen as Charles III of Spain had assumed reign over the country in 1761. 25 The war heightened as the dominating Spanish army stormed and captured the Colonia de Sacramento, a region in Portuguese control. 26 The war did not see its end until the end of the Seven Years’ War when finally the British and French signed the Treaty of Paris in 1763, extending peace to their allies in Spain and Portugal and the previous Treaty of Madrid was once again in place, leaving Spain and Portugal in peace and neutrality once more. 27

As an extension of the Spanish-Portuguese War, the British and Spanish were engaged in the Anglo-Spanish War as well until 1763. This was a result of the Spanish attacks on the Britain’s ally, the Portuguese and caused the British to divide their forces between the American colonies where they were engaged in war with France and Portugal, where they would send over five thousand troops to attempt to thwart the Spanish aggression against the Portuguese. 28 While the Spanish were engaged in the battle in Portugal, the British turned their attention to Spanish territories that they could attack and made their way toward the shores of Havana, Cuba. In the raid against Cuba in August 1762, the British took the Western Cuban region and captured as many a fourteen ships of the Spanish Caribbean Fleet. 29 Furthermore, the British did not stop at merely Cuba, but decided to attack Spanish claimed territory in the Philippines as they took Manila for their own, cutting Spain off from their capital cities in the West and East Indies. 30 The Spanish gained some success against the British in South America in 1762 as the British unsuccessfully attempted to attack a Spanish coastal outpost, only to be sunk just off shore. This, however, did not give Spain the complete advantage after numerous devastating blows from the British within Portugal as well as in their satellite territories around the world, leading to the success of the British and the end of the war in 1763, just as the Spanish-Portuguese War ended with the signing of the Treaty of Paris between the British and French. 31

The Seven Year’s War was undoubtedly fought largely within the European theater, however, the war was one of global proportion and was fought on several other continents as well. By 1757, the war was to include a new territory on the Asian continent, as the Third Carnatic War between British and French East India Companies shook the divided lands of India in a power struggle for imperial control. South India had faced much hardship since 1744 as small independent nations struggled to maintain sovereignty throughout their region from the increasing powers of the French India Company and the British India Company who both sought influence over the land. 32 Further still, the British and French tensions rose as dominance over the trade economy within the area became more important and battle ensued. 33 The conflict was heightened further still as the native leaders struggled amongst themselves as well as the French and British to solidify their borders for themselves. 34

In the third series of battles, deemed the Third Carnatic War that laster from 1757 to 1763, the British and French once again saw the importance of their positions in India as their influence was threatened by the French and Indian War on the North American continent. 35 This left the both the French and British in a precarious position, just as the war between the Spanish and Portuguese in Portugal and South America would just five years later. If the French were to compel the British to deploy forces to the Indian territory, they would then have far less resources and personnel expendable for the war over the colonies in and around the Ohio Valley in North America and the French might have a better chance of meeting the Britain’s force with their own and gain an advantage. This, however, would also do the same to France’s expendable amounts of resources as they too would be compelled to engage in a war in on the Indian subcontinent, deploying numerous men and resources in order to defeat the Britain’s force.

In 1757, Britain pushed the conflict into Bengal where they would achieve success in capturing the French territory of Chandernagore. 36 This was not the decisive victory in the war, however, and the fighting moved back into Southern India where the British were gaining an advantage over the French. In 1760, the French under the command of the Comte de Lally, were decisively defeated by the British in the Southern province of the Indian territory. 37 Within the next year, the French were losing all hope of withstanding the war and securing a victory as the British further gained advantage on their weakening state and seized their capitol city of Pondicherry. It was clear that the French had lost the fight in India, yet the fighting continued just as all the corresponding conflicts of the Seven Years’ War involving France and Britain with the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1763. 38

It was clear that the Seven Years’ War had reached nearly every continent across the globe and its numerous participants were torn between the expansive battlefronts as resources and personnel were divided in an effort to support and combat the ever growing war effort and tension between the leading forces of the age. The war also gave birth to the dividing and aligning of numerous nations as tensions brought forth by imperialism and dominant influence that were heightened by the extended land grab efforts made primarily by countries such as Spain, France, and Britain that were the leading forces within the global market in regard to trade and settlement abroad. Some, however, have contended that even though the Seven Years’ War reached many different theaters across the globe, affected numerous nations, and ended in not one, but four consequential treaties the Seven Years’ War has not, and will not, be considered the first world war because it was not what is called a “total war” and that this is a defining factor of a world war.

The term “total war” refers to a war that includes every and all aspect of private infrastructure and man power in order to mobilize for a war. A total war would extend this burden on private infrastructure and production to not only one or two countries, but across the globe to the point that the world’s economy would be affected by the mobilization and continued supply effort before the war. This can be seen during the First World War as the Triple Entente and their corresponding allies as well as the Triple Alliance worked toward best supplying their troops overseas and at home for four years of vigorous warfare. In the United States, this can be seen as the country struggled to mobilize to its best ability. It was not until the end of the war that the production of the nation’s infrastructure was to an adequate level yet, the war did work toward an exemplary ratification of wartime production, supply, and consumption.

In the United States, just as abroad, total war takes over many aspects of the national economy as they work toward a most efficient army on every front. Civilian food supply is rationed, and great lengths are taken to ensure that resources, especially those imported from countries that are engaged in the war are supplemented to their best abilities. In the First World War, the United States government went as far as to virtually take over the wool industry within the entire United States in order to ensure that the troops within the war were not faced with a shortage of uniforms. 39 This has become a well known standard of a world war for historians with the modern era.

The Seven Years’ War was a defining series of wars during the time of imperialism and growing influence as empires expanded their reaches to every corner of the globe. The infamous war lasted not seven, but nine years and included more than seven independent wars within regions from the Americas, the Caribbean, Asia, and Northern, Central, and Southern Europe, ending in four peace treaties which would include existing and newly solidified borders and alliances for each of the involved countries.

The theaters in which the fighting took place were war torn and exhausted of resources as the war came to an end in 1763. The two most incorporated nations within the battles were the British and French as they engaged in five simultaneous wars during the nearly decade of fighting, the battlefields spread from Asia to Europe and across the Atlantic to the American continents. The most decisive war in which they fought throughout the years was the French and Indian War in North American which was the first to ensue and determined their ability and willingness to engage in fighting in other theaters during the Seven Years’ War. In fact, France’s difficulty in the French and Indian War lead to their support of their allies, the Spanish as they pursued their adversaries during the Spanish-Porteguese War beginning in 1761 and their presence within the Indian subcontinent where they competed against the British for trade dominance and influence. Northern Europe was also torn at the time by the Seven Years’ war as Prussia’s Frederick II actively pursued dominance within his own region, bringing forth conflict between his nation, Austria, and Sweden as well as forming an alliance with Russia at the end of the war. The dramatic and long lasting implications of the Seven Years’ War proves that regardless of whether or not a “total war” is achieved, the massive war was in fact the first true world war.


Deconstructing the traditional narrative on the 1919 Revolution

In March 2019, Hakim Abdelnaeem published an article in Maha Masr titled “What is the first thing that pops to your mind when 1919 Revolution is mentioned?” The article is a thoughtful analysis of the popular imagination of the 1919 Revolution, and Abdelnaeem concludes that this imagination is primarily a visual one, shaped by film and TV series. He also argues that this visual imagination locates the revolution in the city, primarily in Cairo, and reduces the revolution to a series of demonstrations protesting against the arrest of Saad and his colleagues, and culminates in the army opening fire on the demonstrators on 10 March. Then there are of course the cliché images of upper-class women participating in the demonstrators and Coptic and Muslim clerics holding hands. Absent from this popular imagination, Abdelnaeem argues, are scenes of the workers strikes in urban centers and the peasant uprisings throughout the country, in the Delta and al-Said.

Fahmy’s death in “Bayn al-Qasrayn”, Hasan al-Imam, dir., 1964

Relying on the scholarship of Hakim Abdelnaeem, Kyle Anderson and Ali Mossallam, in this article I tried to point out to recent research that beseeches us to locate the origins of the Revolution not on March 9, 1919, when Saad was arrested, but in a much earlier period, in the summer and autumn of 1918, and not to restrict the Revolution to Cairo and other cities, but to look for the origins in the countryside among peasants who saw their livelihoods destroyed after four years of war. This was a war in which, as the Arabic saying goes, they neither had a camel or a she-camel لا ناقة ولا جمل, but a war to which they were dragged to serve for years on end losing in it limb and life.

The sacrifices endured during the First World by Egyptian peasants, by far the overwhelming majority of the population, are what lay behind the 1919 Revolution. A key factor in this hardship was being “volunterred” in the Egyptian Labour Force. Hundreds of thousands of Egyptian men were dragged into serving in this dreaded force as part of the British imperial war effort. The months they spent in the different fields of operation, in Mesopotamia, Palestine, Gallipoli and the Western Front, hardened them and threw the injustice they suffered from back home into sharp relief. While most were eager to return to the comfort of their loved ones, few must have also been radicalized on the Front. Upon returning home, and upon finding that their compatriots had fared only slightly better due to what al-sulta had subjected them to, the situation was then rife for a nationwide revolution to erupt.

The facebook page of the spokesman of the Armed Forces, 11 November 2013

However, the present Egyptian army is now making preposterous claims that distort the historical record. By relying on a charlatan, it has convinced itself that the Egyptian Labor Force was composed of soldiers not of peasants, that this force was part of the Egyptian not the British army, and that the sacrifices endured during the war were endured by the military rather by the civilian population. Behind these claims is not the desire to point out a long forgotten chapter in the nation’s history or to uphold the right of the Egyptian people to live in peace and dignity, but rather and as the army spokesman himself admitted to have the opportunity to “raise the Egyptian flag in London and in Greece next to the mightiest armies of the world.”

The army can have its flags and it can have its cheap photo ops. But snatching the 1919 Revolution from us, just as it has robbed us of the 2011 Revolution, is something that should not and will not pass.

You can watch a video recording of this lecture below (the lecture starts at 2:45:00)


K is for… Knitting

All kinds of knitwear were sent in quantity to the men at the front. Women sent articles directly to their loved ones, but they also knitted (from around the world) for organisations such as Queen Mary’s Needlework Guild, which in turn sent on the socks (718,388 pairs), balaclava helmets, mittens and many other articles it received. The beneficiaries included not only men on active service, but also their families, the wounded, refugees, prisoners of war (PoWs) and even civilians who had lost their jobs as a result of the war.

Surviving letters of thanks reveal how gratefully received these comforts often were. However, it was not always a chorus of approval. One officer in 1914 complained in a letter that “bales” of well-intended knitwear were jamming up the postal system, and took a dim view of the “heel-less sock”. Stockings without heels figured largely among the knitted garments needed in hospitals. They were especially wide to allow room for splints and bandages, and pattern booklets for such hospital garments were readily available, including items ranging from bath gloves to eye bandages.


Attitudes To The First World War History Essay

Attitudes to World War 1 (WW1) known as 'The Great War' changed throughout the duration of the conflict. At the outbreak of war the general attitude to the war was positive the British public had feelings of euphoria. Despite objection from conscientious objectors, support for the war remained relatively high through out, however the positive attitude of the British people soon began to dwindle. There were several reasons for this, such as the increasing number of casualties, and the reality of trench welfare. The government attempted to intervene through propaganda, and rationing systems in order to maintain positive public opinions and ensure supply of production and men to the front line.

Initial attitudes to the war were positive. British government justified their participation in the war as a moral obligation ‘its pledge to Belgium and its duty to destroy Prussianism in a war to end war’ [i] Britain decided to aid Belgium and France and declared war on Germany. The declaration of the war was greeted by most with enthusiasm and jingoism. British people had not experienced anything on this scale for over a century. The public felt a 'mixture of fear, curiosity and anticipation, spurred by the realisation that this was a struggle for national preservation' [ii] A joyous mood swept over Britain as they began gearing in support of the war, there were street celebrations throughout the whole of Britain as they rejoiced in the nationalism and pride the war would bring unaware that it would take the lives of over 700,000 British Soldiers. The British people believed the war was going to be short crusade and that it would all ‘be over by Christmas’ as they believed that victory against Germany was a certainty. Young soldiers saw the war as an adventure, they were eager and determined to show their bravery and devotion to their country, unaware of the horrors which faced them believing it would be a romantic heroic affair. Positive attitudes to the war at the outbreak is apparent due to the number of volunteers that enlisted, 'recruiting figures ran at 300,000 in August, 450,000 in September, 137,000 in October, 170,000 in November, 117,000 in December and 156,000 in January 1915’ [iii] Much of this motivation is believed to be the result of government propaganda. Prime Minister Asquith said ' no nation has ever entered a great conflict with clearer conscience or stronger conviction to defend principles vital to the civilized world’. Soldiers were made to believe that Germany posed a threat to British interests.

During the First World War Propaganda in many different forms were used by government to influence the attitudes and public opinion of the British People and to ensure that people knew only what they wanted them to. With only a small army at the start of the war the government attempted to use propaganda to gain support for the war and increase recruitment into the Army from volunteers. Media-enhanced propaganda was one of the most influential forms of shaping public opinion. The government used Poster campaigns throughout the war, they were used to appeal to patriotism and to honour and showed picture of soldiers, woman and children in order to conjure up support for the war. It was important that the government got more men to enlist, as the number of deaths and causalities increased, they instilled a sense of duty into the nation with slogans saying 'your country needs you' which led to the recruitment of many patriotic men. Huge efforts were also made to blacken the enemies name in order to twist peoples thoughts and viewpoints towards the war and create a hatred and suspicion that would encourage them to sign up for example newspapers printed headlines that would stir emotions and write stories about German atrocities, this led British soldiers to believe that the war was worth fighting for. Propaganda was used to maintain high spirits and morale on the home front. Public opinion also had to remain positive following the appalling casualties of the young soldiers as the war progressed. All forms of information was controlled and censored by the government including newspapers and soldiers letters. The government realized that they needed the support of the people in order to win the war. Often newspapers report information only beneficial to Britain in order to keep public opinion in support of the war. They would fabricate the number of British deaths or write only of the deaths of the enemies. British successes were emphasized whilst minimal gains were omitted from their information this led British people to believe the conflict was benefiting them. Propaganda was aimed at woman as they aimed to show that everyone was part of the war despite being excused for military services, and give them a sense of importance. They produced posters with slogans on posters such as 'Woman of Britain say GO'. Men were encouraged to sign up as they would be seen as masculine and courageous by the woman. If they did not sign up they were made to feel guilty and shameful as woman ridiculed them by giving men out of uniform white feathers which was a sign of cowardice, this was a successful method of pressuring many able men to enlist with the army. ,

However this positive attitude to war was not unanimous by everyone. Conscientious objectors (COs’) made it clear that not everyone had a positive attitude towards the war. COs’ were mainly middle class people rather than working class people. There was several types of conscientious objectors pacifists who refused to have any participation in the war, political objectors who did not consider the Germans their enemy and religious objectors such as ‘Quakers’ who felt that war and fighting was against their religion, Bert Brocklesby said ‘God did not put me on this earth to destroy his children’ [iv] . However many COs’ joined the Non-Combatant Corps where they did not have to fight but did jobs such as acting as stretcher-bearers for those who did. Following the increasing numbers of casualties in the early stages of the war conscription for British men was looking likely Pacifists campaigned successfully for a 'conscientious clause' which freed them from military service following the assessment of their claims at a tribunal, however only 16,000 COs’ refused conscription and therefore remained a small minority as they compromised ‘only 0.33 per cent of the total conscripts plus volunteers’ [v] . Many woman became active in public affairs setting up to campaign against the war, as they were excused from military services they could not be accused of being cowards, they set up groups such as the Women’s International League (WIL) however they had very little influence. Although they did not express the same feelings of jingoism as the majority of the British public, by the end of the first month of the war opposition to the conflict had declined and most decided to back government’s effort as they realized that war was necessary.

As the war progressed positive attitudes to the war were not always maintained as war weariness and opposition to the war began to grow. It was difficult for the government to maintain a positive public opinion once the reality of modern welfare became apparent. The Liberals were worried that once positive attitudes to the war began to wear off pacifist campaign may gain support from the British people. Soldiers who had initially excited to go to war quickly changed their attitudes once trench welfare set it. The devastation of the soldiers became apparent to the public back home through their poems and letters they expressed the horror that the young soldiers faced on a daily basis, British citizens were beginning to realise the reality of war for the first time, causing the public to have a more negative attitude of the war. Battles such as Ypres and Somme led to a large number of casualties, and voluntary recruitment had begun to dwindle by 1916, as people began to realize that this was not going to be a quick victory. Instead of excitement they were now eager for the war to come to an end as soon as possible. Shortages of men in the military caused the generals to appeal for conscription, and in 1916 the government eventually opted for it. This meant that all men ages 18-40 had to serve your country in the military for a certain period of time this had a huge impact on attitudes and morale to the war. Older men were pushed into the front line but did not share the same enthusiasm for the war as the young soldiers and the number of men refusing conscription increased. Inflation and Rationing systems introduced in 1917 also impacted on the attitude of the British people on the home front. The Defence of Realm Act (DORA) was used to ensure that food shortages did not occur in Britain as a result of Germany’s U-boat campaign to sink merchant ships in order to prevent the flow of imports entering Britain. Panic buying had also led to shortages and Inflation also meant that food prices increased, this meant that many working class families faced malnutrition by the end of the war causing negative attitudes towards the war.

The impact of the continual hardship faced by the British people on the home front led to civil unrest. Shortages began to occur to a short of male workers as more men were conscripted into the war, skilled workers in key industries such as engineering, mining and steel joined the armed forces. Female workers stepped in to fill the positions that previously only men had vacated, working in dangerous conditions in industrial factories producing weapons for the soldiers. The number of woman who agreed to work in these conditions shows the popular support for the war effort by the majority of British citizens at the beginning. However those who had been brought in to fill the gaps soon ‘realised that they were being exploited by government, who were making high profits.’ [vi] Trade union membership increased from 4 million to 6.5 million by the end of the war. There was a trade union agreement that meant that woman would only be employed during the war to ensure that men had jobs to come home to. The government knew that they had to maintain Britain’s economic strength. Lloyd George had to try and persuade leading trade unions to come to a truce in order to relax its ‘restrictive practices’ in industries vital for the war. many of the strikes which broke out during the war however they were quickly settled, and trade unions decided to postpone their demands until after the conflict had ended and turned their support towards helping government, in some cases even giving payments to their members, as they were worried that the war would lead to unemployment. Business owners were also encouraged by the government to pay unskilled workers higher wages as they did not want to hinder production. This shows that the British population knew that they must unite in order to win the war. Keir Hardie wrote ‘a nation at war must be united… With the boom of the enemy’s guns within earshot the lads that have gone forth to fight for their country’s battles must not be disheartened by any discordant note at home’ [vii]

British Soldiers on the front line were also finding it difficult to maintain a positive attitude. Young men enlisted in the Army for different reasons whilst some were forced into joining due to conscription, many had volunteered through loyalty to their country and felt they had to protect their country others were prompted by the unemployment. It can be said that they were ignorant to the horrors that life of the front line held for them. As the war progressed many soldiers began to suffer the misery of trench welfare. There are many written documents by WW1 soldiers such as ‘Goodbye to all that’ by Robert Graves or ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ by Erich von Remarque. Documents such as these highlight the horrific experiences endured by the British soldiers. The war caused many soldiers to be alienated from home they had to witness horrifying sights which often resulted in psychological trauma such as shell shock ‘Between 1914 and 1918 the British Army identified 80,000 men (2% of those who saw active service) as suffering from shell-shock’ [viii] . Soldiers had to put up with rats and lice and were forced to witness killing and bombing so regularly that many of them had to disregard their feelings.

By the end of the war nearly everyone across Europe had a negative attitude towards the war. The war had brought many people suffering, and had negatively shaped public opinion. Amnesty day brought about rejoice that the war had finally ended the nation was ready to celebrate the return of the soldiers, which showed that they remained faithful to the cause throughout. However the memories of the war remained strong with the British people who were unhappy with the little gains that had come out of their struggles. Prime Minister Lloyd George declared his intention 'to make Britain a fit country for heroes to live in' [ix] . However the British people wanted more from their efforts and demanded that Germany take full responsibility for the war, this led Lloyd George to campaign for indemnities for the total cost of the war from Germany in order to show the British People that the War was not for nothing.

In conclusion attitudes towards the war did not stay positive throughout, at the outbreak of war the public had a positive attitude towards the war, they were full of excitement and determination, however as the conflict continued the public opinion changed to a more negative outlook. Increasing casualties and short supplies of food caused to British population to become disheartened and they simply wished for the conflict to come to an end. The government was forced to take action in order to sway the public to have a more positive attitude in order to supply soldiers to the front line they did this through various forms of propaganda. Soldiers had believed that the war was going to be a short, exciting experience, however once the reality of the horror of the war sunk in, the attitude of the soldiers soon changed, many felt isolated and alienated, and others experience physical and mental torture. However through poems and letters written by the soldiers, the horrors of trench life got back to the British people at home. After this public remained negative to the end, and even after the war attitudes towards the war remained unfavourable as the nation remained hurt over the lack of results for their struggles.