The First World War Uncovered looks at different aspects of the Great War with authoritative and engaging speakers

Saturday 27 September

10am to 4.30pm

Marshall Auditorium, AirSpace

Professor Gary Sheffield presents two fascinating lectures. In Douglas Haig Reassessed he looks at the controversial military commander who is seen by some as a great leader, while others view him as a callous, unthinking butcher.

In this lecture, Professor Gary Sheffield, author of the most recent biography of Haig, weighs up the evidence and argues that while both extremes of opinion are wrong, Haig deserves a great deal of credit for the Allied victory in the First World War.

In his second lecture, Not Sleepwalking: The Origins of the First World War Revisited, Professor Gary Sheffield argues that the currently fashionable view that no state can be blamed for causing the war, that Europe ‘sleepwalked’ into a devastating conflict, is wrong. The origins of the war rest with the leaders of Germany and Austria-Hungary, who took conscious decisions in the summer of 1914 which led to the ensuing Armageddon.

Jonathan Krause is a Lecturer in Strategic Studies at the Royal Air Force College at Cranwell. He discusses Philippe Petain who, in 1914, was a 58 year old Colonel and just two years away from retirement after a long and middling career. The next four years would turn Petain into a household name.

Rising quickly to the rank of General, Petain would be rocketed to fame upon taking control of the Battle of Verdun in the early, desperate days of that ten-month-long struggle. Petain’s popularity with his soldiers, who appreciated his caring, attentive command style, led to his becoming Commander-in-Chief of French forces in the aftermath of the disastrous Nivelle Offensive and resulting mutiny.

Jonathan Krause will introduce you to Petain, both as a commander and as a human being, to better contextualise his influence on the conduct of the First World War.

Andrew Spooner presents a talk about medicine in the First World War. He will cover everything from trench diseases, such as trench fever and trench foot, to injuries sustained in action. He will explain how casualties were evacuated from the trenches to the rear lines and then finally back to the Voluntary Aid Detachment hospitals in Britain.

Andrew will have a range of original First World War medical artefacts on display and will use these artefacts, alongside original images, to demonstrate how various injuries were treated.

Places for The First World War Uncovered Special Interest Day must be booked in advance and can be booked online

Ticket prices (including admission to all IWM Duxford exhibitions):

Adult (16-59 years) £21.50

Child (under 16 years) £4

Senior (60 years and over) £17.20

Student (in possession of a valid student card) £17.20

Unemployed (with proof of entitlement) £17.20

Disabled Adult (proof of disability allowance required) £17.20

Disabled Senior (proof of disability allowance required) £15.05

Disabled Student (proof of disability allowance required ) £15.05

Disabled child (proof of disability allowance required) £4

Carer (one per disabled visitor) £4

Supporter (Duxford Aviation Society Member, Friend of Duxford, IWM Friend, IWM Volunteer) £4