In the past couple of weeks the French official Government website which will act as their portal into the WW1 Centenary went live. Mission Centenaire 14-18 is a well designed and slick site, with good images, graphics and text, although of course at the moment the entire site is in French only. This is not that surprising as most British Centenary sites are in English only. However, I have a feeling that some aspects of the site will have English options as we move nearer to 2014-18. At the moment the translate option in browsers like Google Chrome can help with translation.
Even if you don’t have French, the site does give us an immediate insight into what other countries feel about the centenary and what they want to commemorate. This is not a site where you will find much on the Somme or Flanders, but one of it’s first articles covers the amazing La Main de Massignes site on the border of the Champagne and Argonne. This was a site which saw heavy fighting, tunnelling and mining, and has an extensive area of battlefield remains and incredible reconstructed trenches; yet it is largely unknown to English speaking audiences. Hopefully web portals like this one will enable such sites to get better known during the 2014-18 period.