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A French firing squad escorts a deserter to his execution in November 1914

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The French general and the deserter

Even early in the war, desertion was punishable by death. Edward Spears, a British liaison officer, saw the macabre spectacle of an execution

French General Joseph Joffre (second right), Commander- in-Chief of the French Armies, and General Michel Joseph Maunoury (right) on the front during the First Battle of the Marne. Six hundred scarlet taxis were requisitioned, at a cost of Fr70,102, to ferry reservist troops to the Battle of the Marne in 1914

A History of the First World War in 100 moments: The legend of 'the taxis of the Marne'

No.9 Paris, 7 September 1914: In the early weeks of the conflict, getting troops to the right place quickly could be a matter of life or death. One particular episode has passed into French legend. John Lichfield continues our daily series marking the centenary of the First World War

Crowds gather outside a recruitment office

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The call of King and country sees a rush to enlist

Within weeks of war breaking out, it was clear that Britain needed many more fighting men. A series of recruitment initiatives produced an unprecedented surge of volunteers – and some enduring myths. Andy McSmith tries to unpick fact from fiction

Wounded and exhausted British and Belgian soldiers retreating after the Battle of Mons

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The defeat that turned into a rallying legend

The Battle of Mons was a shocking setback for the British Expeditionary Force. Yet somehow, like Dunkirk 26 years later, the defeat and subsequent retreat became a cherished symbol of heroism and hope. John Lichfield examines the making of a military myth

Captured soldiers of the Russian 2nd Army after their defeat at the Battle of Tannenberg

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Russia loses an army at the Battle of Tannenberg

For Russians, it was one of the great military disasters: an episode of epic incompetence that spawned at least one literary masterpiece. Richard Askwith reflects on the events in East Prussia in August 1914

Civilians near the Austrian lines in Serbia are strung up – probably as a reprisal for guerrilla resistance to the invaders

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Austro-Hungarian army executes civilians in Serbia

No.5 Serbia, September 1914: Any illusions about the romance of war rapidly evaporated when the  Austro-Hungarian army invaded Serbia. Overwhelming force was met with implacable resistance, spawning a vicious cycle of atrocities. Tony Paterson continues our series by focusing on a moment that stood for all too many more

German infantry advance through Belgium in August 1914

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The Germans advance into Brussels

No.4  Belgium, 21 August 1914: Our 100-day series marking the centenary of the First World War continues with a report by US journalist Richard Harding Davis on the German war machine’s unstoppable progress into neutral Belgium

The innocents: New recruits, with bicycles, training with the British Army in 1914

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The first British fatality

In the third part of a 100-day series marking the centenary of the outbreak of the Great War, John Lichfield tells the moving story of Private John Parr, the first of a million soldiers fighting for Britain to die in the first industrialised conflict

Crowds in central London cheer Britain’s declaration of war on Germany

A History of the First World War in 100 moments: The day the lights went out

No.2  London, 4 August 1914: Britain declares war on Germany - news that Britain was joining the conflict in Europe was greeted with a delight that would seem inexplicable once the fighting had started. Andy McSmith continues our 100-day series marking the centenary of the First World War

Supporting troops of the 1st Australian Division walking on a duckboard track near Hooge, in the Ypres Sector

A History of the First World War in 100 moments: Sarajevo, 28 June 1914 and the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand that started it all

How do you remember a war that destroyed four empires, killed 18 million people and left tens of millions of other lives irreparably broken? Today, as the world prepares to mark the centenary of a conflict that left no corner of the planet untouched, we begin a unique daily series that attempts to make sense of an incomprehensibly huge chapter in human history by distilling it to a mere 100 'moments': episodes, big or small, that in one way or another capture a sense of what it was like to be caught up in the catastrophe of the First World War. Boyd Tonkin introduces our first moment

War stories: witness accounts bring the horror of the Great War home

Never before seen personal accounts of Great War offer vivid picture of life at the Front

The footage has been unearthed from the BBC archives, says Gerard Gilbert

Written by Hitler in 1924, Mein Kampf contains elements of autobiography and rambling accounts of his political ideology

Mein Kampf topping Amazon ebook charts because it ‘follows same trend’ as 50 Shades of Grey

Versions of Adolf Hitler’s manifesto have been cropping up in numerous politics, philosophy and history bestsellers charts online

In the trenches in France in 1916

Who was to blame for the First World War?

The hottest political issue of the day pits Conservatives against Labour, academics against academics, Boris against Baldrick. Not sure which side you’re on? Here,  Sean O’Grady delves beyond the politics to identify who or what was – and wasn’t – responsible for the conflict

Professor Margaret MacMillan points to the striking parallels between the Balkans a century ago (the assassination in Sarajevo, left) and the Middle East today (Syria rebellion, right)

Is it 1914 all over again? We are in danger of repeating the mistakes that started WWI, says a leading historian

The Great War was sparked by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in the Balkans. The Middle East could be viewed as the modern-day equivalent, argues Professor Margaret MacMillan

The Queen ‘plotted to hit Idi Amin with a sword’ if he visited Britain

Revelations from Lord Mountbatten’s diary show royal concerns over Ugandan dictator

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone