Trial by fire in the great war : from euphoria to trauma
In 1914, Churchill was First Lord of the Admiralty. Traumatised by the disaster of the Dardanelles which led to his resignation in 1915, he developed an interest in painting and this slowly became a passion which helped him to treat the depression which afflicted him and which he called the Black Dog. He voluntarily chose to serve in Flanders, donning an officer’s uniform and discovering the trenches.
De Gaulle was a lieutenant in the 33rd Infantry Regiment of Arras when he had his baptism of fire in the course of the Battle of Dinant in Belgium, on 15 August 1914. He was wounded for a third time at the Battle of Verdun in 1916, leading to his being taken prisoner by the Germans until the end of the war.