World War I (Part 1)

World War I Amazing Facts 4u

40 Amazing World War I Facts (Part 1)  | Amazing Facts 4U

  1. It all began on June 28, 1914, when a Serbian terrorist shot and killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne and his pregnant wife. Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia on July 28, 1914. The Allied Powers consisted of Belgium, France, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, Montenegro, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia and the United States sided with Serbia, and The Central Powers consisted of Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, Germany, and Ottoman Empire (now Turkey) supported Austria-Hungary. Other countries around the world were soon pulled into the fighting. WWI officially ended 4 years later on November 11, 1918.
  2. Amazingly the number of people engaged in this war from 30 countries counted up to almost 65 million. The Allied powers amazingly lost 6 million men and The Central Powers approx. 10 million . In fact about two-third of the soldiers were wiped out during battles. There were heavy casualities due to disease and bad environmental conditions. There were also 25 million civilian casualties.
  3. During WWI, Albert I, the King of Belgium amazingly fought alongside his troops and his wife, Queen Elisabeth, worked as a nurse at the front.
  4. The war in fact claimed the lives of at least 6,000 men a day.With 1.7 million deaths during World War I, France suffered losses more than the total losses of the US armed forces in all conflicts since 1776, including the civil war.
  5. About as many horses were killed on the Western Front in WWI as people (8 million).
  6. Russia mobilized an amazing 12 million troops during WWI, making it the largest army in the war. More than 3/4 were killed, wounded, or went missing in action.
  7. Amazingly battle of Verdun, 1916 alone resulted in over a million casualties in ten months.
  8. Bloodiest battle in World war I was an amazing hundred Day Offensive which claimed 18,55,000 lives.
  9. In the start of the year 1917, British cryptographers deciphered a telegram from German Foreign Secretary Arthur Zimmermann to Germany’s minister in Mexico. The telegraph in fact encouraged Mexico to invade U.S. territory. The British kept it a secret from the U.S. for more than a month so they could use it at just the right time to help draw the U.S into the war on their side which they did. U.S. was in actual combat for only seven and a half months during which time 116,000 men were killed and 204,000 were wounded.
  10. U.S. troops fought their first battle of World War I on November 2, 1917, in the trenches at Barthelemont, France.
  11. Amazing fact is that some 25,000 miles of zig-zagging trenches were dug on the Western Front alone. Many had nicknames like Bond Street or Death Valley. German trenches were far superior to Allied ones. Built to last , some had shuttered windows, bunk beds, furniture, cupboards, water tanks with faucets, electric lights, and doorbells. Over 200,000 men died in the trenches of WW1 . Trenches were infested with millions of rats, frogs and lice.
  12. Periscope rifles were developed to see over the 12 ft trenches. Other new weapons included flame throwers and tanks . The first tank, in 1915, was called Little Willie. Tanks were so called because of early attempts to disguise them as water tanks. Tanks were split into males (armed with cannons) and females (with machine guns).
  13. In the morning of the Battle Of The Somme, July 1, 1916, the British amazingly suffered 60,000 casualties – 20,000 dead. It was the worst toll for a single day in military history. Allied forces advanced six miles.
  14. Amazing fact is that a total of 346 British soldiers were shot by their own side, mostly for desertion.
  15. None of the soldiers had metal helmets in 1914. The French were the first to introduce them, in 1915.
  16. WWI pilots used to use pistols and carbines in air to air combat before guns were installed on planes.
  17. In WW1 British and American fighter pilots were never issued any parachutes because they were considered cowardly.
  18. WW1 planes used Castor Oil as engine lubricant and the Pilots suffered from persistent diarrhea due to inhaling unburnt castor oil coming out of the exhaust.
  19. The first use of anti-aircraft fire was not during World War 1, but during the AmericanCivil War. The Confederates used artillery and small arms to attack the Union Balloon Corps. The first specialized anti-aircraft weapon was used by the Germans during the Franco-Prussian War.
  20. Amazingly during WWI, a British soldier had a chance to kill Hitler, but didn’t! Private Henry Tandey fought in a battle near the French town of Marcoing, when a wounded enemy soldier entered his firing line but he didn’t kill him . The enemy soldier was Adolf Hitler.
  21. Officially a British soldier had to be 19 years old to serve overseas but many lied about their age. About 250,000 under-age boys served. The youngest was discovered to be just 12.
  22. At Christmas 1914 an unofficial truce was observed along two thirds of the Western Front. Near Ypres, Belgium, some German and British troops played a football match in No Man’s Land. Germany won 3-2.
  23. Amazingly one of the biggest blasts of the war occurred when the British detonated a million pounds of explosives under the Germans at Messines Ridge, in Belgian West Flanders. The resulting explosion could be heard 150 miles away in London.
  24. The deadliest nonnuclear explosion ever recorded was a mine explosion during WWI that killed 10,000 Germans.
  25. In 1917 food shortages at home caused by the loss of British shipping to German U boats meant the government amazingly banned the use of rice at weddings and the feeding of pigeons.
  26. At the height of the war the British Army had 870,000 horses. Dead ones were melted down for fat which was later used for making explosives.
  27. The gas was in fact used by French for the first time, in 1914. Throughout the War, 1,19, 000 tons of gas were used and almost a million soldiers were gassed meeting an awful death. Initially the only protection against gas attacks was a cloth soaked in a soldier’s own urine. British officer Edward Harrison invented the first practical gas mask, saving thousands of lives.
  28. Amazingly the war in the air saw Germany’s Baron von Richthofen, dubbed the Red Baron, shoot down 80 Allied aircraft. The top British ace, Major Edward Mannock, shot down 61 enemy planes. Both later died in action.
  29. For the span of WWI, from 1914-1918, 274 German U-boats sank amazing 6,596 ships. Most of these were sunk near the coast, particularly in the English Channel.
  30. When soldiers returned there was a baby boom. Births increased by 45 per cent between 1918 and 1920. But the 1918 influenza pandemic killed more people worldwide than the war.
  31. Amazing fact is that most of the weapons the armies around the world possess today were either built back then in the First World War or have been built using concepts derived from the blueprints of those weapons. Everything from flamethrowers, tanks, submarines to some of the best machine guns of all times were invented during the Great War.
  32. Big Bertha was a 48-ton howitzer used by the Germans in WWI. It was named after the wife of its designer Gustav Krupp. It could fire a 2,050-lb (930-kg) shell a distance of 9.3 miles (15 km). Amazing fact was that it took a crew of 200 men six hours or more to assemble. Germany had 13 of these huge guns or “Wonder Weapons.”
  33. The Devil Gun is another one of the most famous weapons of this conflict. It belonged to the French and it was a cannon which could accurately shoot at a 4-mile distance.
  34. Germans were the first to use flamethrowers in WWI. Their flamethrowers could fire jets of flame as far as 130 feet (40 mtrs).
  35. Amazingly during the war, the U.S. shipped about 7.5 million tons of supplies to France to support the Allied effort. That included 70,000 horses or mules as well as nearly 50,000 trucks, 27,000 freight cars, and 1,800 locomotives.
  36. Amazing fact was that More than 500,000 pigeons carried messages between headquarters and the front lines. Groups of pigeons trained to return to the front lines were dropped into occupied areas by parachutes and kept there until soldiers had messages to send back.
  37. There was a wounded pigeon in WWI that saved the lives of 198 American soldiers.
  38. After WWI, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland emerged as independent nations.
  39. During WWI, 16 days before the ship RMS Lusitania set sail, Germany published a warning in the New York Times that they would sink the ship if it set sail to Britain. They went anyway and 1198 people died.
  40. During WWI, France built a ‘Fake Paris’ near its capital city to confuse German pilots.

By Amazing Facts 4U Team

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