Road to War

Image for Road to WarNot currently available on BBC iPlayer

Episode 2 of 6

Duration: 59 minutes

Britain basks in the heat of a long Edwardian summer, but tension and violence are never far below the surface. Women are attacked while campaigning for the vote, Ireland is divided over liberation from the British Empire, and dockers and miners strike for improved conditions and wages.

With magical archive footage and vivid storytelling, Andrew Marr explains why fears of a German invasion were stoked by the popular press. He also shows how the radical new Liberal chancellor, David Lloyd George, faced a very modern dilemma: pensions or battleships, welfare or warfare? With the birth of flight and the movies, this is also a story of magnificent men in their flying machines, and future Hollywood stars Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel touring together across Britain.

The assassination of an archduke in Sarajevo sets in motion the wheels of world war. In the corridors of Westminster old allies Winston Churchill and David Lloyd George fight over strategy. Out on the streets, the people are eager for battle, determined to 'teach the Hun a lesson'. Britain is on the road to war.

  • Photo: Bristol Boxkite bi-plane

    Photo: Bristol Boxkite bi-plane

    Andrew Marr stands in front of a replica Bristol Boxkite bi-plane, similar to the one flown by Claude Grahame-White in the famous London to Manchester Air Race of 1910.

  • Photo: Buckingham Palace

    Photo: Buckingham Palace

    Buckingham Palace in central London has been official home to the British monarch since 1837.


Andrew Marr
Andrew Marr
Fatima Salaria
Fatima Salaria
Chris Granlund


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