The Great War – A Phenomenal In-Progress History Lesson

World War 1 is often regarded as one of the most barbaric conflicts of all time, given its implementation of mass-casualty weapons including poison gas, full use of artillery, machine guns, and the brutal depictions of trench warfare. While true, this simplistic overview (especially the version taught in American schools) vastly oversimplifies the conflict.

Frankly, its a travesty that most believe that the assassination of the Archduke was “the” moment that sparked the war. It was simply a step on a long road to it which had been bubbling for years. I digress…

In now steps the YouTube channel The Great War which is providing a weekly update of the war exactly 100 years after it happened. Starting with events surrounding the war and now providing insight into battles, their scale, and the homefront, The Great War is a compelling watch.

The channel covers nearly everything, primarily with their weekly update on the war itself. After going strong for a few months, the channel has spun up other updates including “Out of the Trenches” which covers user questions and “Who did What in WWI” covering the key players across both sides of the war.

On a personal analysis the presenter, Indy Niedel is compelling in his delivery of each episode (and quite funny when dealing with user questions). The style is fast paced, but always keeps on-target to the horrors of modern warfare and the scale of which was never seen (and hopefully never will be again).

Fair warning, they are now about two years into the series, so those who have addictive personalities or are history buffs will be prone to lose a few days of time catching up, but the time is well worth it.

We’ve done some coverage of weapons and their use, but The Great War puts them into the larger picture.

Nathan S

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


  • Ramsey

    Definitely check out Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History podcast. Phenomenal history, with a lot of the buildup to the first World War

    • /k/ommando

      “A Military Atlas of the First World War” by Arthur Banks is a great companion for anybody learning about WWI, it has very clear, well laid out maps covering the various events.

  • Daniel M. Ramos

    I have been a subscriber to that channel for some time now. It is really great view for history types that enjoy getting into real depth on a subject. I think one of the most important things about the channel is that they often emphasis just how horrible the human cost was and how pointless it all was in the end. It is astounding how the soldiers in WW I came really close to just stopping the fighting on their own. That special circumstance will probably never happen again.

    • Jwedel1231

      Probably not.

      • iksnilol

        Thank God for drones, am I right!?

  • Rock or Something

    Very good series, just discovered it recently and have done some past episode binging to catch up. They even have two episodes dedicated to the rifles and handguns of the WWI era German and French military respectively, by teaming up with another channel (name escapes me at the moment) to bring in much needed expertise. Niedel, the host, will also have dedicated episodes to answers some email questions from the viewers

    The channel also has other episodes for other topics (Ancient dynasty China to modern day, Pirates, Cold War, etc) but the ongoing WWI series appears to be their main staple right now.

  • MechanizedSwede

    My great great grandfather (4 generations back) died on the battlefield in 1914, he fought on the austro-hungarian side. We still have a picture of him hand his platoon in our family. Gotta love history

  • insertjjs

    A good tie in to the great war series is candrsenal’s youtube series where they are doing an in depth look at the small arms of the waring nations

  • LG

    This is an excellent series. The only SERIOUS problem with it was the discussion of Billy Bishop. Almost all of the recent investigations, using accumulated Imperial German war records, indicate that Bishop was a fraud. He has an astonishingly high number of solo “confirmed” victories which can in no way be reconciled with actual Imperial German loss records. No other allied pilot was allowed so many unwitnessed victories. Bishop’s solo aerodrome attack is in NO way substantiated by any reading or interpretation of the Imperial German war records.

  • USMC03Vet

    Been watch for about a year already. When they do their firearms episodes there are some nice baps.

  • William Nelson

    Great to see this channel brought to light here; I do my best to sing the praises of it when I can.

  • Vitor Roma

    You wanna see sheer brutality and fury? Suggest to discuss the causes of WW1 in room full of historians.

    • DaveP.

      The War was started by Imaginos, in disguise as Desdenova the Foreign Minister, in order to create a massive blood sacrifice to procure the Instruments of Time from Les Invisibles.

      …Yes, Blue Oyster Cult’s version makes about as much sense as the actual history.

  • Jeff Smith

    I’ve been watching for nearly a year and I couldn’t love it more. It’s such a fantastic channel.

  • Don Ward

    It’s like a time machine back to August 2014…

  • nuke_road_warrior

    Whenever Indy asks “What happens …?” the answer is always thousands ( or tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands) of people die.

    • Doctor Jelly

      This sounds like a drinking game in the making!

  • Marshall Price

    Glad to see this here. I’ve been following The Great War for about a year now and it’s been really good.

    WWI doesn’t get the attention that other big war gets from most people despite it having very real consequences that we are dealing with today. I’m looking a you Sykes/Picot agreement.

    • smartacus

      Yep, and Treaty of Trianon.
      History teachers in our kids’ schools never even HEARD of Treaty of Trianon.

  • Oldtrader3

    The fact that Great War was fought between Monarch Relatives, such a the Kaiser, the Romanov Queen, et cetera, who were all cousins or siblings of Queen Victoria makes it even stranger still!

  • skusmc

    I’ve long though that WWI is one of the greatest crimes of collectivism, and should serve as a warning to everyone. Princip was arrested and died in prison. He paid for his crime as an individual and that should have been the end of it. Instead tens of millions were pulled into it because of the idea of collective punishment.

    Just a really sad conflict altogether.

  • Docduracoat

    Gavrilo Princip used a .380 to assassinate the Archduke and start the war.
    Makes you appreciate the power of .380
    One neck shot to the Archduke ( who was wearing body armor that did not protect the neck)
    One abdominal shot for the Princess
    Two one shot kills and then millions died.
    Makes me trust my Ppk/s will do the job if I ever use it.