IntroductionOn this page you will find interesting facts and some strange facts about WW1. If you are looking for more basic information and statistics on World War 1 please see our home page World War One Facts. This page is written for kids and adults and includes information such as how the war helped emancipate women and why news reporters were banned from the front lines.
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List of World War 1 Interesting Facts
- World War One was the first major war where most of the deaths were due to battle and not disease.
- This war resulted into several countries gaining their independence; these include Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.
- Due to the extreme racism in the U.S. at the time of this war black soldiers were usually relegated to task such as digging trenches and other manual labor and held back from combat positions. One of the only African American troops that saw battle was the Harlem Hell Fighters. For their acts of heroism in battle France awarded them the French Croix de Guerre medal whereas their bravery was hardly even mentioned in the United States.
- In 1917 a huge amount of explosives was placed under the German trenches on Messines Ridge at Ypres in Belgium. When they were detonated the explosion could be heard as far away as London which is 140 miles (220 kilometers) away.
- Tanks were first used in WW1. They get their name "tank" from the British who in an attempt to conceal them as weapons and trick any enemies who may intercept messages into thinking they were storage tanks.
- Dogs were used during this war to carry messages to commanders on the front lines. The messages would be placed in small canisters that would be hooked onto the dogs.
- Woodrow Wilson, who was President of the United States when WWI began, kept the U.S. out of the war during his first term. He ran for a second term with the slogan "He kept us out of war". After winning reelection and a just a few weeks into his second term the United States entered the war.
- In 1917 Germany tried to persuade Mexico to attack the United States.
- Anti-German sentiments were high in the U.S. during the war. During the war hamburgers, which are named after Hamburg, Germany, were renamed Salisbury steak and frankfurters, which were named after the city of Frankfurt Germany, were referred to as liberty sausages.
- Native American Indians, from the Choctaw tribe who were members of the Oklahoma National Guard, were used by the U.S. Army to create important secret messages. The Germans could not decipher their complex language. These Native American Indian soldiers became known as the Choctaw Code Talkers.
- A strange World War One fact is that on Christmas Eve of 1914 soldiers in trenches from both sides along the Western Front sung Christmas carols to each other. On Christmas day, along most of the Western Front, the soldiers declared an unofficial truce.
- During World War One women were needed to fill jobs that were traditionally considered men's jobs in order to replace men who had gone off to the war. Women showed they could do these jobs just as good as men. This helped change the perception many men had of women and helped women gain their equal rights. This included the 1920 ratification of the 19th amendment of the U.S. Constitution granting women the right to vote.
- Today news reporters are present on the front lines and report on all aspects of battles this was not the case during WW1. For example the British threatened any journalists attempting to report from the front lines with the death penalty due to the fact they saw this as having the potential of supplying the enemy with important secret information.
- Prior to WW1 Italy entered into an alliance with Germany and Austria-Hungary. When war broke out Italy did not participate in the fighting declaring Germany and Austria-Hungary had started the war and Italy's alliance was only for defense of the three countries. Italy would later declare war on both Germany and Austria-Hungary. For more information about Italy visit Interesting Italy Facts.