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Belleau Woods, France
WWI Facts


OTHER NAMES FOR THE GREAT WAR

World War One
The War to End All Wars
The War to Make the World Safe for Democracy
The War of the Nations
The First World War
The World War

Famous Alumni of World War One

Humphrey Bogart, Walt Disney, Charles DeGaulle,
Ernest Hemmingway, Pope John XXIII, Lawrence of Arabia,
Winston Churchill, Bella Lugosi, Fritz Kreisler,
Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussollini, Fiorello LaGuardia
Harry Truman, King Edward VIII, General Marshall,
General George Patton, General E. Rommel, G. Marconi
General Douglas MacArthur, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Field Marshall Montgomery, Walter Brennan

CASUALTY FACTS

"The Real Face of War"
Chemin des Dames, France 1918

During the summer and fall of 1914, France lost as many men on the battlefield as the U.S.Army would lose in all of the 20th century!

Russia's losses were never actually counted. It is estimated that over 6 million Russian soldiers were killed in WWI.

During World War One, 230 soldiers perished for each hour of the four and a quarter years it continued.

The world's worst train accident occured in France, in December 1917 with the deaths of over 600 soldiers.

There were 70,000,000 men and women in uniform of that number one-half were either killed, wounded or became prisoners of war.

In Great Britian at the end of the war there were 250,000 wounded soldiers who suffered total or partial amputation.

The Spanish Influenza of 1918 killed 51 million people worldwide!

The U.S. was in the war in actual combat for only seven and a half months. During this time 116,000 were killed and 204,000 were wounded.

In 1916 in the Italian Alps a winter avalanche killed 10,000 men. In four years of conflict on the Italian Alpine Front 50,000 soldiers killed by avalances.

The Italian Front 1915-1918 was the site of the largest scale mountain warfare in history.

During the course of the Great War 11% of Frances's entire population was killed or wounded.

The site of the Battle of Verdun is remembered as the battlefield with the highest density of dead per square yard.

The biggest naval battle in history occurred off the coast of Jutland in the afternoon of May 31, 1916. More than 200 warships and 100,000 men of the rival navies were involved. The British "Grand Fleet" lost 14 ships. The German "High Seas Fleet" lost 11 ships.

Half of the dead of Great War have no known grave.

The largest man made explosion occured at Halifax Harbor, Nova Scotia, Canada 1917 with the collison of 2 ammo ships.

The 10 month Battle of Verdun, 1916 caused over a million casualties.

At the end of the war in France the 650,000 war widows became a powerful voting block .

Italian Front
60,000 Alpine troops would freeze to death in the "high mountains" (Dolomiti Adamello ranges) during 3 years of war.

WORLD WAR ONE FIRSTS

First war to be fought on 3 continents.
First industrialised conflict.
First use of chlorine & mustard gas.
First use of the flame thrower.
First tank battle.
First use of mass airplanes.
First use of x-ray in the military.
First use of a blood bank.
First use of guide dogs by blinded soldiers.
First four-star general, General John J. Pershing
First use of trillion in estimating war costs.
First commissioning of war art for propaganda.
First use of the IQ Test given to Doughboys of 1917.
First U.S. president to visit a European country
while in office was Woodrow Wilson on 12/04/18.

WORLD WAR ONE ANIMALS

1917 - "Stubby" a mutt, who wandered into the Connecticut National Armory, goes overseas with the 102nd Inf. Regiment during WW1. The dog saves his regiment from surprise mustard gas attacks and locates wounded soldiers. "Stubby" was decorated for Valor by Gen. John Pershing.

1918 - "Cher Ami" a U.S. Army Singal Corps carrier pigeon is wounded during the Battle of Verdun, France. He dies of wounds in 1919 and is awarded the French Croix de Guerre.

1918 - "Rin Tin Tin" a German Shepherd dog was born in a trench in 1918 and rescued by an American Soldier. The dog became the nation's most famous dog and starred in more than 40 films.

It is estimated that over 800,000 horses were killed in the line of duty with the British Forces on the Belgium Front.

Over 40,000 war dogs were killed while serving with the Allied Armies.

Buddy, the offspring of a war dog, is the first seeing eye dog.

The Original Pooh Bear was a Canadian World War One Mascot.

Rin Tin Tin ,a German Shepherd war dog, helped shape our image of dogs, as a problem solver, paved the way for Lassie and made the dog into an American Folk Hero.


WAR SLANG

The following words were first used in the trenches of WWI, and are still used today!

Over the Top, Trench Coat, Ace, Buddy, Pushing up the Daisies, Red Tape, Zoom, Sniper, Washout, Cootie,
Tune Up, In the Pink, Zero Hour, Zoom, Busted , Guy
Ticked Off, Put a Sock in it, Hit the Deck, Washout, Rookie, Coffin nail, Seconds, Fed Up, Rise & Shine, Pipe down, Mess up, Get knocked off, Hike, Gadget,
Kick the Bucket, Rank & File, Chow Down, Bull, Cushy, Scrounge, Shot(inoculation), Humdinger, Missed the Bus, Basket Case

DID YOU KNOW????

Veteran's Day was once called Armistice Day.
The day WWI ended, peace was declared on the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month, 1918.

Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and King George V of England were all first cousins-grandchildren of Queen Victoria of England.

Claude Ryan of California, a World War One aviator built Charles Lindburgh's "Spirit of St. Louis".

The first women to serve in the military in an actual branch
of service were World War One yeomanettes in the US Navy. They were formally designated yeomen(F) for female.

Over 100,000 Chinese laborers were used by the British Army to dig trenches on the Western Front.

The winter of 1917 was the coldest winter on record.

On a 10 mile front in Flanders Field, Belgium in 1917 over
5,000,000 artillery shells were fired in 3 day period.

The Last Post is still sounded each night at 6 p.m. at the Menin Gate in Ypres, Belgium to honor the War Dead. (Suspended only during the occupation by Germany during the Second World War)

Somme Battlefield

The Battle of the Somme in France July 1st 1916 marked the end of an age of vital optimism in British life that has never been recovered.


60,000 MEN WERE KILLED OR WOUNDED IN ONE DAY!
On July 1, 1978 my daughter and I find a shell on the Somme Battlefield. It is now part of my collection.

60th Anniversary of Battle of Verdun

On the 60th Anniversary of the Battle of Verdun, my son helps a veteran display his flag at the foot of the Douamont Ossuary. Verdun France, 1976


"THEY SHALL NOT PASS"
VERDUN 1916
A BATTLE CRY IS BORN
In front of Verdun, one day at nightfall a battalion commander goes up towards the front line to see his men and cheer them on. The front line is a string of shellholes and in these holes, one by one, the men are crouched. He leans over one of these dark pits and in a low voice so the enemy may not hear asks: "How goes it?" there is no movement but a voice replies in a muffled tone as though telling a secret, "All is well colonel, they shall not pass." He goes on his way continuing his rounds " How goes it?" and from each dark shell hole rises the same secret whisper.

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