Small Hands in a Big War is the very first TV series about World War One aimed at children. When war broke out in Europe in summer 1914, many believed it would be over by Christmas. They were wrong. The assassination of Austria's heir to the throne on June 28 had sparked a chain of events that turned a Balkan crisis into a conflict of unprecedented scale: World War One. Millions of people on five continents were affected – including children. In the initial euphoria of nationalism thousands of them lied about their age to join the army as boy soldiers. The youngest being only 12 years old! School children were told stories about heroes and their selfless sacrifices on the battlefield, girls dressed up as nurses, boys played army games and said goodbye to their brothers and fathers, many of whom would never return. Others tried to flee the violence in war-stricken areas and faced hunger and hardship, losing their homes, belongings and childhood. Their experiences have been recorded in numerous diaries and letters, that vividly recall the spirit of those days.