The BBC has a site up looking at how World War I influenced The Lord of the Rings. It's an eight-part multimedia site, and it's hosted by Gimli John Rhys-Davies.

Those parts:

  1. A lost generation
  2. The battle for Middle-earth
  3. Machines and monsters
  4. Sam Gamgee and the Tommy
  5. Allegory of war?
  6. The shell-shocked hobbit
  7. Fact or falsehood?
  8. Where next?

Tolkien resisted his work being read as an allegory for the World Wars, so purists may have an issue with it. But it could be interesting nonetheless, and acknowledges Tolkien's resistance and how the work can't be reduced to just a simple allegory.

Check it out for yourself and see if Rhys-Davies and the BBC has something worthwhile to say about Tolkien and war, or if they're just blowing smoke.