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Facts about World War 1

All the Facts about World War 1.

1. In World War 1 Germans were the first to use flamethrowers, these flamethrowers could fire jets of flames as far as 40 meters.

2. In World War 1 (WWI) more than 65 million men from 30 countries fought and nearly 10 million of them died. The Central Powers lost about 4 million people and the Allies lost about 6 million soldiers.

3. In this war over 15 million died and 20 million were wounded and there were over 45 million soldier and civilian casualties.

4. Nearly 66% of military deaths in WWI were in battle. Most deaths were due to diseases in the previous conflicts.

facts about world war 1

5. During WWI Russia mobilized 12 million troops making it the largest army in the war. 75% of the troops were killed, went missing or wounded in action.

6. 33% of military deaths in WWI are caused due to Spanish flu.

7. At Aerschot German troops shot and killed 150 civilians in August 1914. The killing was part of war policy and the purpose of killing was to terrify civilians in that areas so that they wouldn’t rebel.

8. You will be surprised to know that British tanks were initially categorized into “males” and “females” during WWI. Female tanks had heavy machine guns and males had cannons.

9. “Little Wilie” was the first prototype tank in WWI, it could travel as fast as 3 mph and carried a crew of three.

10. You will be shocked to know that explosives blowing up beneath the German lines on Messines Ridge in Belgium could be heard in London 22o km away in 1917.

11. Do you know that the Pool of Peace is a 12-m deep lake in Belgium and it fills a crater made in 1917 when the British detonated a mine containing 45 tons of explosives.

12. Dogs were used as messengers and carried orders to the front lines in capsules attached to their bodies during WWI and they were also used to lay down telegraph wires.

13. In WWI, Germans used Big Bertha which was a 48-ton howitzer and could fire a 930-kg shell at a distance of 15 km. Germany had 13 of these huge guns and these things took a crew of 200 men in six hours.

14. Rittmeister von Richthofen (1892-1918) was the most successful fighter of the entire war, he shot down 80 planes highest by a WWI pilot. By shooting down 75 enemy planes France’s René Fonck (1894-1953) was the Allies’ most successful fighter pilot.

15. Margaretha Zelle (1876-1917), also known as Mata Hari was accused of being a double agent. In 1917 the French executed her, though she always denied being a spy.

16. Alfred Joubaire, French Second Lieutenant wrote in his diary about WWI just before he died that

“Humanity is mad! It must be mad to do what it is doing. What a massacre. What scenes of horror and carnage! I cannot find words to translate my impressions. Hell cannot be so terrible! Men are mad!”

17. Some Americans joined the French Foreign Legion or the British or Canadian army as they disagreed with the United States’ initial refusal to enter WWI. A group of U.S. pilots formed the Lafayette Escadrille, became one of the top fighting units on the Western Front, which was part of the French air force.

18. British cryptographers deciphered a telegram from German Foreign secretary to Germany’s minister in Mexico which encouraged Mexico to invade U.S. territory. The British kept it a secret from the U.S. and wanted to show them at the right time to help draw the U.S into the war on their side.

19. On April 6th 1917, about a month after Woodrow Wilson took office, the U.S declared war on Germany. “He kept us out of war.” was the campaign slogan for his second term.

20. During WWI, American congress passed the Selective Service Act to increase the size of the U.S Army. The act was also known as the draft or conscription, in May 1918. By the end of the war 1.3 million men volunteered and another 2.7 million men were drafted.

21. You will be shocked to know that people of German heritage were suspected in the U.S during WWI. Protests against Germans were violent, including the killing of German shepherd dogs, burning of German books, and even the murder of one German-American.

22. Herbert Hoover was appointed U.S Food Administrator and his job was to provide food to the army and its allies. He encouraged people to plant personal gardens and more than 20 million Americans planted their own garden and food consumption in the country decreased by 15%.

23. For the U.S. the total cost of WWI was more than $30 billion.

24. During the WWI, the term “dogfight” originated.To prevent stalling when the plane turned quickly in the air the pilot had to turn off the plane’s engine from time to time and when restarted the engine sounded like dogs barking.

25. The sixth deadliest conflict in world history is WWI.

26. T.E. Lawrence worked for Allied intelligence in the Middle East, also known as Lawrence of Arabia.

27. Ottoman, German, Austro-Hungarian, and Russia are the four empires that collapsed after WWI.

28. World War I was also known as the War to End All Wars, the World War, the Great War, and the War of the Nations.

29. WWI was fought from 1914-1918 and most of the fighting  took place in Europe. And war was fought on every ocean and on almost every continent.

30. On June 28, 1914 WWI began, when a Serbian Terrorist shot and killed Austro-Hungarian throne heir Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife. On July 28, 1914 Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. Germany sided with Austria-Hungary, France and Russia supported by Serbia. Other countries were soon pulled into the fighting and war officially ended 4 years later on November 11, 1918.

31. The U.S joined the war during the final year and half of fighting.

32. From 1914-1918, for the span of WWI, 6,596 ships were sank by German U-boats. The five most successful U-boats were U-33 (84 ships), U-34 (121 ships), U-38 (137 ships), U-39 (154 ships), and U-35 (sank 224 ships) and most of these were sunk near the coast.

33. German trenches were built to last and included water tanks with faucets, furniture, cupboards, electric lights,bunk beds, and doorbells and were in stark contrast to British trenches.

34. The first country to use gas against enemy troops in WWI was France and they fired the first tear gas grenades against the Germans in August 1914. Germany first used to tear against Russian armies in January 1915 and in April of that year, the Germans were the first ones to use poisonous chlorine gas.

35. The British and French released 51,000 tons of gas, and the Germans released about 68,000 tons during WWI. In total, 91,198 died horrible deaths on both sides due to this gases.

36. During WWI, approximately 30 different poisonous gases were used. In an emergency soldiers were told to hold a urine-soaked cloth over their faces. Gas masks with filter respirators usually provided effective protection by 1918. Many countries signed treaties outlawing chemical weapons, at the end of the war.

37. The U.S. shipped about 7.5 million tons of supplies to France to support the Allied effort, during the war. That included 70,000 horses or mules as well as nearly 1,800 locomotives, 50,000 trucks, 27,000 freight cars.

38. WWI introduced the widespread use of the machine gun and most machine guns used in War were based on the Maxim design. In 1884, a weapon Hiram Maxim patented in the U.S.. The Maxim was water cooled and weighed about 100 pounds and it could fire about 450-600 rounds per minute.

39. The French had guns which the Germans called as the Devil Gun was accurate up to 4 miles, at 75 mm.

40. More than 75,000 people gave about 7.5 million four-minute pro-war speeches in many places including movie theaters to about 314.5 million people, during U.S involvement in WWI.

41. American women who served as telephone operators for Pershing’s forces in Europe, were called as “Hello Girls” by American soldiers. The women were fluent in English and French and were specially trained by the AT&T Company. The U.S. Army finally gave veteran benefits and war medals to the few Hello Girls who were still alive, in 1979.

42. American hamburgers were renamed Salisbury steak, during WWI. German-language books were burned and schools stopped teaching German.

43. Due to the horrors of trench warfare, millions of soldiers suffered post-traumatic stress disorder or “shell shock.” These men often had uncontrollable diarrhea, whimpered for hours, twitched uncontrollably, and stopped speaking. Some soldiers suffered for the rest of their lives.

44. Until 1924, even though the U.S. government didn’t grant Native Americans citizenship nearly 13,000 of them served in the war.

45. Only 11 % of 2000,000 African Americans who served in WWI were in combat forces. The rest were put in , building roads, and digging ditches, labor units, and loading cargo. They were trained separately and served in segregated divisions.

46.Do you know that more than 500,000 pigeons carried messages between the front lines and headquarters, and these are trained to return to front lines. These were dropped into occupied areas and kept there until soldiers had messages.

47. In 1914 on Christmas Eve, soldiers on both sides of the Western Front sung carols to each other. A truce was declared by troops along 2/3 of the Front on Christmas Day and the truce lasted a week in some places. And sentries on both sides were ordered to shoot anyone who attempted a repeat performance, a year latter.

48. Edith Cavell was a British nurse who saved soldiers from all sides and helped 200 Allied soldiers escape from German-occupied Belgium, the Germans caught her and executed by a German firing squad.

49. The Harlem Hell Fighters received the French Croix de Guerre, a medal awarded to soldiers from Allied countries for bravery in combat, for their extraordinary acts of heroism. There were one of the few African American units that saw the front lines.

50. Alvin Cullum York (1887-1964) was the most decorated American of WWI, He returned home Medal of Honor, a gift of 400 acres of good farmland, a promotion to Sergeant, and the French Croix de Guerre. He led an attack on a German gun nest taking 32 machine guns, capturing 132 German soldiers, and killing 28 German soldiers.

51. On November 2, 1917, in the trenches at Barthelemont, France. U.S. troops fought their first battle of World War I.

52. The United States was transformed into the largest military power in the world during WWI.

53. British suffered 60,000 casualties in one day which is the largest single loss of life in the history of the British army.

54. The long-term effects of WWI include the formation of the League of Nations. This laid the groundwork for the U.N and a worldwide arms race.

55. After WWI, Latvia, Estonia, , Lithuania, Finland and Poland emerged as independent nations.

56. WWI acted as a catalyst for the transformation of Russia into the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR). Historians note that this was the most important and startling consequence of WWI.

57. WWI helped in bringing lot of changes, Physicians learned better management of things, better wound management and the setting of bones. It helped them to teach the advantages of Professional and specialization management.

58. In the 20th century the migration of African Americans during WWI from the south to the north was one of the most significant population shifts.

59. Post-WWI literature includes  T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land (1923), Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms, Wilfred Owen’s tragic poem, “Anthem for Doomed Youth.” and Erich Maria Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front.

60. The Treaty of Versailles gave Lorraine and Alsace back to France, stated that Germany had started WWI. The Treaty left Germany impoverished and humiliated, which left the world vulnerable to another world war.