Keys to the Past


World War I

1914-18 World War I, military conflict, from August 1914 to November 1918, that involved many of the countries of Europe as well the United States and other nations throughout the world. World War I was one of the most violent and destructive wars in European history. Of the 65 million men who were mobilized, more than 10 million were killed and more than 20 million wounded.

Most fighting took place on the Western Front (E France and Belgium), the Eastern Front (Russia and Poland) and in Turkey. The heavy bombing of England that was common in World War II did not take place. However, there were some attacks on the civilian population of the north-east. Zeppelins dropped bombs on Berwick-upon-Tweed in 1916. One airship was shot down by planes based at Cramlington. A number of defences against attack from the sea were built. For example the Defence Lights were designed to search for enemy ships. Unusually, the Robert's Battery used an old battleship gun turret as part of the defences at the mouth of the Tyne, although these were not completed until the end of the war. Other remains includes the traces of trenches dug at Hive Point.

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