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50 INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT WORLD WAR 1

  1. The formation of Triple Entente (Russia, France and Britain) in 1907 and Triple Alliance (Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy) in 1882 laid the foundation of global war (World War 1) that started in 1914. These treaties formed the two powers during WW1, the Allies and the Central Powers respectively.
  2. Italy had alliance with Germany and Austria-Hungary. But the country entered the World War 1 in support of Allied powers in 1915.
  3. The immediate cause of start of World War 1 was the assassination of heir of Austro-Hungarian Empire, Franz Ferdinand, by a member of a Yugoslav terrorist organization Young Bosnia. 
    Franz Ferdinand of Austro-Hungary
    WW1 started after assassination of Franz Ferdinand  
  4. The number plate of car carrying Franz Ferdinand has a strange coincidence with the ending of WW1. The number plate license is AIII 118. The armistice to end the war was signed on 11th November 1918. (Source)
  5. At the start of WW1, it was expected to be a short lived battle. But it continued for 4 years and resulted in deaths of millions.
  6. World War 1 was a global warfare that was fought on 3 continents (Europe, Asia and Africa) while forces from Australian and North American continents also took part in WW1. 
    Indian men of British colony marching
    4 million men from colonies fought the WW1
  7. More than 4 million men from various European colonies participated in WW1. (Source)
  8. Around 16 million animals (dogs, horses, pigeons etc.) served during WW1. 9 million of them perished. (Source)
  9. Pigeons played important role during WW1. Few of these birds accomplished their tasks despite receiving injuries. (Source)
  10. More than 100,000 pigeons were used during WW1. These birds were the most reliable means for sending messages. (Source)
  11. Tanks were invented during World War 1 by Britain. The first model was named Little Willie
    first tank "Little Willie"
    Britain invented the first-ever tank during WW1
  12. British tanks were marked as male and female tanks during WW1. Tank armed with gun was known as “Male Tank” while tank only with machine guns was “Female Tank”. (Source)
  13. Russia contributed 12,000,000 men for World War 1 and provided the largest military for Allied Powers.
  14. Around 3 million (military and civilian) Russians lost their lives during WW1 which is the highest by any combating nation.
  15. These deaths and financial crisis during WW1 was the direct cause of Russian Revolution in 1917 after which Russia ended its participation in the World War 1.
  16. World War 1 resulted in downfall of Russian Empire, German Empire, Ottoman Empire and Austro-Hungarian Empire.
  17. On the first day of Battle of Somme, 1st July 1916, Britain lost 19,200 men which is highest number of deaths of Britain in any conflict in a single day.
  18. Ottoman Empire is blamed for genocide of Armenian people during World War 1. Around 1.5 million Armenians were killed during WW1. 
    Corpses of Armenians during World War 1
    Over 1 million Armenians died during WW1
  19. Serbia lost more than half (around 57%) of its male population during World War 1.
  20. Australia had the highest casualty rate during WW1. Almost 65% Australian soldiers were killed or wounded during the war. (Source)
  21. During Gallipoli Campaign (April 1915-January 1916), more than 11,000 soldiers from Australia and New Zealand lost their lives. The day of landing on Gallipoli (April 25) is remembered as Anzac Day in both Australia and New Zealand.
  22. Around 39 million soldiers from both sides were dead, wounded or missing during World War 1.
  23. World War 1 effectively ended in November 1918 and treaties were signed with all the losing Central Powers in 1920 and 1921. But the nationalist leaders of Turkey rejected the conditions of Treaty of Sevres and started Turkish War of Independence. The war remained successful and Turkey regained all the lost territories of Anatolia and later signed quite respectable Treaty of Lausanne that resulted in the formation of Republic of Turkey.
  24. Due to harsh conditions against Germany after the end of World War 1, the war is known as one of the causes of World War 2 as Hitler and his party used these conditions for propaganda to gain support of German public.
  25. After the end of World War 1, League of Nations was formed in June 1919 in order to prevent any such large scale warfare again. 
    Opening of League of Nations
    League of Nations failed to prevent WW2
  26. Modern flamethrowers were initially used by Germany during World War 1.
  27. The term dogfight (close range aerial battle) was first used during World War 1. 
  28. In 1914, both warring sides of WW1 observed truce to celebrate Christmas. It is known as “Christmas Truce” and regarded as one of the strangest events of human war history. (Source)
  29. Plastic surgery was invented during World War 1. World’s first plastic surgery was done in 1917 to a wounded WW1 soldier. (Source
    World's first plastic surgery
    Plastic surgery was invented during WW1
  30. On 7th June 1917, British engineers blasted 19 massive mines beneath German trenches. This resulted in most powerful man-made explosion after nuclear blasts. These blasts killed around 10,000 German soldiers. These mines were buried near a Belgian village but the explosion was also heard in London. (Source)
  31. Up to 12 million letters were delivered to soldiers every week during WW1. Many of these were delivered to soldiers on the frontline. (Source)
  32. The youngest soldier that fought during WW1 was an 8 year old Serbian boy named Momcilo Gavric. (Source)
  33. Main concept of blood banks was developed during WW1. The first blood bank was opened in 1932 thanks to the experience gained in World War 1. (Source
    Blood transfusion during World War 1
    Concept of blood bank originated during WW1
  34. Initial motorized ambulances were used during WW1. Walt Disney and Ernest Hemmingway also served as ambulance drivers during this war. (Source)
  35. The women worked in munitions factories had yellow skin thanks to the affects of toxic chemicals. These girls were known as “canary girls”. Few of these workers gave birth to babies of “bright yellow” color. (Source)
  36. German was the most studied foreign language in USA before WW1. After entering the war, USA banned German language and took several other steps against German culture. (Source)
  37. German pilot Manfred von Richthofen (also known as the Red baron) was the most successful pilot of WW1 who shot down 80 opponent’s planes. (Source
    German WW1 pilot Manfred von Richthofen
    Manfred shot down 80 Allied planes
  38. Germans were the first to use poisonous gas during WW1 in January 1915. Both sides used 100,000 tons of chemical weapons during the war that resulted in 30,000 deaths and 500,000 injuries. (Source)  
  39. Germany used a 420 mm howitzer during WW1. This 47 ton weighed gun was nicknamed “Big Bertha”. Services of 240 men were required to operate this gun. It was the largest and most powerful mobile artillery piece of its time. A total of 12 Big Berthas were used by Germany during World War 1. (Source
    A large German gun during First World War
    Germans used large and powerful guns during WW1
  40. Britain was able to intercept and decode a telegram sent by German foreign secretary Arthur Zimmermann to German minister in Mexico in January 1917. The secret message was about the German-Mexican alliance in case of US participation in the war. The Zimmermann telegram played major role in US declaration of war against Germany. (Source)
  41. Large number of soldiers of WW1 suffered with war-related psychological disorders known as shell shock. Shell shock was observed in more than 80,000 British soldiers after the end of the First World War. (Source)
  42. Edith Cavell, a British nurse, saved soldiers of both sides. In 1915, Germany executed her for playing part in escape of 200 Allied soldiers. (Source
    British nurse Edith Cavell
    A British nurse saved soldiers of both sides
  43. Russia recruited women as soldiers after the 1917 February Revolution as a last effort to elevate their war efforts. The all-female battalions of these Russian women were known as “Battalions of death” and they took part in the war alongside male soldiers. (Source)
  44. Battle of Verdun was the longest battle of WW1. It lasted for 300 days and resulted in around 800,000 casualties from both sides. (Source)
  45. Battle of Verdun has turned the affected area into a “Red Zone”. Due to large number of explosives and toxicity, it is not possible to live or use the soil, water or animals of this area for more than 300 years. (Source)  
  46. On 22nd September 1914, a German U-boat (SM U-9) sank 3 British cruisers in less than an hour. This incident took lives of 1,500 British sailors. (Source
    A German u-boat
    202 u-boats were lost during WW1
  47. Germans lost 202 U-boats during WW1. (Source)
  48. Germany faced food shortages during winter of 1916-17 thanks to the British blockade. This period was named “Turnip Winter” in Germany as people had to eat turnip (considered to be inferior animal food) to avoid starvation. (Source)
  49. Jack Cormwell was the youngest recipient of Victoria Cross during WW1 at the age of 16 years. He died as sailor in 1916 during the Battle of Jutland. (Source) 
  50. 1920 is known as the biggest ever year for birth of babies in Britain. More than 1.1 million live babies were born in the UK in 1920. This biggest baby boom of 20th Century in the UK came after the end of WW1 and Spanish flu. (Source

Comments

  1. wonderful and nice information about world war. thse facts states that how some cruel minds shattered the destiny of mankind.

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