A War on Two Fronts: British Morale, Cinema and Total War, 1914–1958

  • Gerard OramEmail author


Lord Kitchener’s call to arms and the creation of a large citizen-army in 1914 likely marks the beginning of the era of total war in Britain. The establishment of the Ministry of Munitions and the introduction of conscription and food rationing would soon follow. In 1916, the film The Battle of the Somme played to packed cinemas across the country. Cinema had joined the war effort and would continue to play its part throughout the rest of the war, the next war, and beyond. With its ability to reach vast audiences and enlist the participation of large proportions of the population, the film proved to be the medium of total war. Often intended to bolster morale, it also provides a commentary on changing ideas concerning the nation at arms and on Britain’s role in the world.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Swansea UniversitySwanseaUK

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