The First World War
Although the First World War gets less attention than its successor, it was really the watershed event of the 20th century.
This conflict shaped the world that came after to this day. It was the catalyst for the rise of soviet communism in Russia, whose unraveling less than a decade and a half ago continues to affect worldwide diplomacy and economics.
Germany's defeat provided the opportunity for fascism and Hitler to come to power there, causing the Second World War and its greater destruction.
The defeat of the Ottoman Empire during the First World War and the diplomatic and political morass that followed was the precursor for the reconstitution of Israel and eventually brought the Middle East into center stage today.
This series is based upon the books and encyclopedic knowledge of Professor Hugh Strachan. It examines every aspect of the war, from its causes to the conduct of the war on and behind the front lines to its aftermath.
In doing so, it covers the diplomatic, political, military and social aspects, each of which played a role in shaping what happened and why. It does not just present the summary facts but goes in depth in its explanations.
For example, instead of simply depicting the spring 1918 German offensive on the western front, it gives detail about how they accomplished it, the attitudes of the troops on each side and the thought processes of the respective high commands.
Watch the full documentary now (playlist - 7 hours, 35 minutes)