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What's on Sunday 3rd August

Brothers in Arms

ITV - 10.15pm

Who's in it?

Thanks to pristine archive footage from the early 20th Century, the actual soldiers who trudged into the mud and blood of World War One take the starring roles in this moving documentary.

In a nutshell

World War Two may have been bigger in terms of sheer devastation and the depravity enacted by seemingly civilised people, but it was the Great War which was arguably even more significant, historically speaking. Not just in how it changed the course of the century, reshaping Europe and ushering in the Soviet Union, but in how it altered our very concept of warfare itself.

Not that the first soldiers of World War One realised at the time, of course. Jingoism was its height, many ordinary young men rushed to enlist, with romantic ideas of charging into glorious battle for king and country. What they actually found was mechanised slaughter and the arduous, day-by-day drudgery of trench warfare. This is their poignant story, told to us through rare footage and written testimonies – the story of a generation of young men – brothers, cousins, fathers, friends – bound by a common trauma.

What's the verdict?

A fascinating glimpse back in time, this will hit viewers emotionally more than anything else: it's the human story behind the headlines of history.

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07-07-2011