The 15 Best Documentaries About WW1

Jul 24, 2023 | Best Of, History, Military/War

To commemorate this tragic event, we’ve compiled a list of 15 extraordinary documentaries about WW1 that provide insight into this devastating conflict and its lasting impact on our world today. From interactive media to archival footage, these documentaries will take you through some of history’s most defining moments as they unfold before your eyes. So join us now as we explore the stories behind WWI and those who fought so bravely for their countries during this tumultuous period in time.


World War I: Cause and Effects (1999)

Discover the fascinating events and complex alliances that sparked the first modern war in human history. From the origins of World War I to the devastating impact it had on society, this documentary delves into a pivotal moment in time that continues to shape our world today. Experience the rise of communism, witness the Russian Revolution, and unravel the intricate web of political tensions that ignited a global conflict. Don’t miss your chance to uncover the full story of this transformative period in history.





The Great War Begins (2014)

Experience the untold stories of courage, sacrifice, and resilience during one of history’s most devastating conflicts. Through powerful testimonies from those who lived through it, this documentary takes you on a journey through the Great War like never before. From the trenches to innovations that changed our world forever, immerse yourself in the human perspective of a war that shaped our future.






Horrors of WW1: The Battle Rages (2023)

This is not your average war documentary. Step back in time and witness the raw, unfiltered footage of WWI through the lens of Wilfred Owen. You’ll be transported to a time when humanity was pushed to its limits and forced to confront the brutal reality of trench warfare. With haunting images and never-before-seen footage, this gripping documentary will leave you on the edge of your seat.






WWI: The First Modern War (2014)

Discover the advancements in technology that led to game-changing weapons such as WMDs, submarines, armored tanks and air attacks. From the trenches of World War I to the battlefields of today, experience the evolution of warfare and its impact on global conflicts.




The Concise History of WWI (2016)

Experience the gripping and tumultuous journey of World War I, also known as “The Great War”, through rare and captivating archival footage. From the fateful assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand to the tense signing of the Treaty of Versailles, this exceptional documentary delves into one of the most defining moments in human history.






The Great War: 1914-1918 (2007)

Are you ready to dive into one of the most significant events in world history? Join us on an immersive journey through the harrowing and transformative years of World War I. Witness the rise and fall of empires, devastation on a global scale, and the unwavering resilience of humanity in this gripping 8-episode documentary series.




The First World War: The War To End All Wars (2016)

Discover the untold stories of the First World War in this captivating documentary series. Experience the turmoil and devastation through never-before-seen footage, shedding light on a war that still haunts our collective memory 100 years later. Witness how innovative technologies such as tanks and airplanes revolutionized warfare, shaping military strategies for generations to come.




The First World War: The Complete Series (2003)

This gripping ten-part series delves deep into the tumultuous events of the First World War, through the eyes of renowned figures such as Winston Churchill, Karen Blixen (pen name Isak Dinesen), Georges Clemenceau, David Lloyd George, Siegfried Sassoon and Rudolf Hess.




They Shall Not Grow Old (2019)

Get ready to embark on a journey through one of the most pivotal events in history. With stunning visuals and captivating storytelling, Academy Award-winner Peter Jackson brings to life the First World War like never before.







The Best Free Documentaries About WW1


1. The True Cost Of Peace After WW1

November 11th, 1918 marked the end of World War 1 and with it came a peace that was doomed. This video takes you through what happened in the aftermath of WW1 – from political scheming to wounded egos, and how this led Germany into total defeat. It also examines how these events sowed the seeds for an even bloodier Second World War 20 years later. Professor David Reynolds guides us through this journey as we learn about the true cost of peace after WW1.



2. Last Voices – World War

This documentary tells the story of those who were fortunate enough to survive World War I. Their stories are told through their own words and pictures taken in the trenches, providing an emotional insight into what it was like to experience war first-hand. Last Voices is a powerful look at a generation that experienced one of history’s darkest moments, but also a celebration of their courage and resilience. A must see for anyone interested in this period of our past.


3. 1918: The Final Months Of World War One

The Great War between the Allies and Germany was filled with destruction, tragedy, and loss. In this documentary we explore how the last months of World War I impacted the future of both nations involved. We’ll look at how Germany’s reputation as an aggressor nation was cemented and how it forced them to pay for their losses in reparations – a staggering 20 million casualties and 4 billion dollars spent! We will also examine if World War I truly deterred any future wars or if its message towards history proved that war can actually work. Get ready for a journey through one of history’s most devastating wars!


4. WWI 1916: The Terror Of The First Tanks

This video tells the story of how the British Army used a revolutionary new weapon in World War I: the tank. In 1916, they deployed their first tanks against the German forces to try and get ahead in developing these powerful machines before their opponents did. This documentary shares how this marked history’s first tank war and what terror it caused on both sides. Learn more about this remarkable moment in time and see why it changed warfare forever!


5. Battle of the Somme

The Battle of the Somme was one of the bloodiest battles in history. In this documentary, we explore World War I through letters and journals written by soldiers who were involved in the conflict on Western Front. Through their accounts, we gain a unique insight into some of the most devastating events that took place during this time period. Join us as we uncover stories from those who faced war head-on and learn more about The Battle of the Somme.


6. World War I: The American Legacy

World War I was a global conflict that cost the lives of over 14 million people and changed our world forever. But behind these staggering numbers were stories of courage, sacrifice, and heroism from brave American soldiers who helped shape our culture today. This documentary reveals their forgotten stories – from Charles Whittlesey in “The Lost Battalion” to Father Duffy in “The Fighting 69th”, pilots Victor Chapman and Quentin Roosevelt, as well as ambulance drivers like Richard Hall who risked their lives to provide medical attention on the battlefields. Monuments across America still commemorate these men’s service and remind us of their legacy for future generations.


7. World War One (1/5)

This 5-part documentary series on World War One takes you from the start of the conflict to the armistice. Learn about WW1’s origins and how it changed history forever. Get an up close look at this Great War through our re-edited version of the original documentary, which offers a unique perspective into one of history’s most pivotal moments.


8. Doomsday: World War 1

World War 1 was a defining moment in history. It marked the beginning of a new era and changed the course of our world forever. In this documentary, we explore two iconic WWII leaders whose experiences on WWI battlefields shaped them into who they are today – Hitler and Montgomery, Goering and de Gaulle, Model and Patton. We look at how their lives were impacted by WWI victories or defeats; humiliation or glory. Join us as we examine these powerful stories from World War 1!


9. The War That Changed The Course of History

Experience the momentous event that changed the course of history – World War I. This documentary takes you through its causes, how it unfolded and its lasting legacy. We explore how this war has shaped our modern world and continues to do so a hundred years later. Join us as we uncover an event that changed everything!


10. How A Wrong Turn Started World War 1

The First World War was one of the most devastating wars in history, and yet it began with a single wrong turn. This documentary takes an in-depth look at the complex alliances between European nations that led to this conflict, starting from the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie at Sarajevo on 28th June 1914. From there we examine how Germany’s ultimatum gave Serbia only 48 hours before war was declared, and how this seemingly small event quickly escalated into a global conflict. Learn more about WW1 by watching this documentary!


11. The First World War: The War to End War

Welcome to Wars of the World, where we explore the dramatic changes brought about by The First World War. As Europe geared up for war in 1914, British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey remarked that “the lamps are going out all over Europe” and that they may not be lit again in his lifetime. This was a time full of uncertainty and fear, but also one which would bring significant change to our world even today. We will take you through this Great War from its origins to its consequences still felt a century later. Join us as we look back at one of the most defining moments of history!


12. The Spring Offensive: Germany’s Final Gamble To Win WW1

The First World War was a grueling battle of attrition that tested the strength and endurance of both sides. Knowing they couldn’t win by outlasting their enemies, Germany launched Kaiserschlacht, also known as the Spring Offensive – a final desperate push to gain victory in WW1. Join us for this gripping video exploration into one of the most pivotal moments in history. Uncover the untold story of Germany’s audacious gamble and experience the intensity of their strategic offensive firsthand. We’ll delve into critical decisions made, courageous sacrifices given, and ultimately discover what happened when they took their last chance at winning WW1.


13. World War 1- A BBC Documentary

This documentary takes us back to the start of World War 1. It will explore how this conflict began and its lasting impact on the world. We’ll look at some of the key events, including battles, leaders and technology that shaped this war. The video also delves into life during WW1 through archival footage, interviews with experts, and personal accounts from those who lived in that era. Get ready to take a journey through one of history’s most momentous conflicts!


14. The Deadliest Day of WW1

What was the deadliest day of WW1? This video will explore this question and uncover why it’s important to remember the forgotten battles. We’ll look at multiple candidates for deadliest day, including some of the biggest battles like Somme and Verdun. Dive into history with us as we explore WW1 from a unique perspective!


15. WW1 Battlefields: The Hidden Secrets Of Ypres

Norm Christie takes a journey to the WW1 battlefields to uncover the hidden stories of Ypres. He visits the cemeteries and memorials that remember those who have fallen in two crucial battles: Mount Sorrel and Hill 70. These battles cost Canada 5,000 lives but are rarely remembered today.

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David B