Second batch of First World War unit diaries go online

national archives

The National Archives is making the second batch of 3,987 digitised First World War unit war diaries from France and Flanders available online via its First World War 100 portal.

This second batch contains records relating to the last of the Cavalry and numbers 8-33 Infantry Divisions deployed to the Western Front in the First World War. They cover the entire period of the units’ involvement in France and Belgium, from their arrival on the front to their departure at the end of the war.

According to William Spencer, author and military records specialist at The National Archives said: “This second batch of unit war diaries provides detailed accounts of the actions of the next troops to arrive on the Western Front. They show the advances in technology that made it the world’s first industrialised war with many mounted troops going into battle at first with swords on horseback and ending the war with machine guns and tanks. They also reveal the troops’ experiences and responses to new military technology as it developed throughout the war.”

 The first batch went online in January.

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