Fifth Of Brits Think We Fought WWI To Stop Nazis

Nearly one in five Britons thinks we fought the First World War to stop the rise of Nazi Germany, according to a survey.

One in 10 people polled thought Winston Churchill was Prime Minister and 18% thought Adolf Hitler led Germany in to war.

A minority (1%) believed troops gave each other tours of their trenches, while eight people believed they gathered to watch a screening of the Great Escape.

However, the survey of 2,493 adults commissioned by The Times WWI Centenary Facsimile also found a majority of those questioned were clued up on key facts.

Nearly seven in ten people (69%) knew that Franz Ferdinand was the Archduke of Austria-Hungary.

His assassination is widely seen as having set in motion the chain of events that led to the war.

More than half (57%) knew that Britain became involved in the First World War because of a treaty with Belgium to defend it in the event of an invasion.

Only 36% correctly answered that the British prime minister at the time was Herbert Henry Asquith.

One in three people knew that it was David Lloyd George, whose premiership started during the war.

People in the East Midlands are the most knowledgeable about the war, according to the research.

They got an overall 70% of correct answers. Londoners were found to know the least, with only 63% of right responses.

Those from Scotland (68%) were slightly more successful than respondents from England (66%) and Wales (64%).

People aged 55 and over were the most knowledgeable, with 72% of correct answers.

More men than women answered correctly to each of the nine factual questions they were asked.

The research also found that only one in 10 people believed the First World War is the most important British history subject for children to learn about at school.

Rose Wild, archive editor of The Times, said: “These results demonstrate that although many people are aware of some basic facts about WWI, there is much more to be learnt.”

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