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Forgotten Fighters: the First World War at Sea

A major exhibition opens in August at the National Maritime Museum, exploring the impact of the war at sea on the conflict

The National Maritime Museum is opening its Forgotten Fighters: The First World War at Sea exhibition on the 2nd August, exploring the naval and maritime aspects of the conflict, which has been less documented than the fighting that occurred on the Western Front.

 

The battles fought on the Western Front have dominated the common perception of the First World War, but the war at sea was fought on an epic scale and with terrible human loss. The exhibition foregrounds the personal stories of those who participated, showcasing objects including weaponry, photographs, medals and ship models. The gallery takes visitors from the heroism of merchant mariners to the realities of naval battle, through various battles and encounters.

 

The exhibition illustrates the importance of the Royal and Merchant Navy on the course of the War: although their activities often went unreported, the Royal Navy and merchant fleet made significant contributions to World War I, including protecting the nation’s trade and communications networks that were intrinsic for its survival, as well as the survival of soldiers in trenches, as they distributed supplies and reinforcements to those of the Front. The exhibition also looks at the impact the war at sea had on Britain as a whole, with the need for millions of workers in shipyards, coal mines, steel mills and armament factories.

 

Forgotten Fighters: The First World War at Sea opens at the National Maritime Museum on the 2nd August, running until November 2018 (the same duration as the War itself) from 10am – 5pm everyday. Free admission.

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