Today we will focus on knowing the most surprising curiosities of the First World War (also known until the Second World War as "the Great War"). It was about a war conflict in which, although it focused on Europe, several nations of the world were involved in two blocks and the fighting took place in such different scenarios as Europe, Africa, the Middle East, the islands of the Pacific Ocean, the American coasts and even for a short period of time in China.
Its starting date is set on July 28, 1914, while its completion date is found on November 11, 1918. During the confrontation, 70 million soldiers fought and mobilized, of which 60 were European . Between nine and ten million soldiers died to which we must add some twenty million wounded combatants and civilian casualties are estimated between 9 and 10 million people.
It is easy to assume, therefore, that the conflict it represented a catastrophe not only in the warlike aspect, but it constituted a social gap of great drama in the demography of many countries. If you want to know the most curious facts about this event, we suggest you join us to know our selection of World War I Curiosities. A surprising conflict in many aspects.
10 Curiosities of the First World War
1. One of the curiosities of the First World War is directly related to the beginning of it; the murder in Sarajevo of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife on June 28, 1914. This is a very curious coincidence: The registration number of the Archduke car was "A 111 118" and some have wanted to see in it the date of the day the contest ended: «Armistice, November 11, 18».
2. World War I caused millions injured. Some of them returned home with their faces shredded by shrapnel and were forced to cover themselves with a mask. Sir Harold Gillies was a pioneer of plastic surgery that rebuilt many of those devastated faces. If you want to know more about the fabulous task of this surgeon, be sure to read: The history of the faceless men of the First World War will surely impress you. In addition there were many other advances in the medical field, such as blood transfusions routinely, which saved thousands of soldiers during the contest. In 1917 the first blood bank was established in the front.
3. Many freedoms were cut during that period and especially press freedom. It was not allowed to report certain events or against the war under penalty of death and censorship was fierce. This is why the flu epidemic that caused millions of deaths during the war was called the "Spanish flu." Only Spanish newspapers reported on it, since the country was not at war.
4. Another curiosity of the First World War was the creation of women's battalions by the Russian Provisional Government in 1917. They were called "Women's Battalion" or "Women's Death Battalion." Its function was more propagandistic than real and with that it was intended to exemplify and revitalize the tired troops by inspiring and at the same time embarrassing the male soldiers. All recruits were volunteers. In France and Britain, women accounted for almost 37% of the industrial workforce at the end of the war.
5. The longest battle of the war was the Battle of Verdun. It lasted more than 300 days between February and December 1916. The first day of the battle, 7,000 horses died. Throughout the entire war, 8 million horses perished among all disputing sides. At present, you can see in the city of Ostende, in Belgium, in the War Museum, the remains of the fortifications on land that were built during the First World War.
6. Another curiosity of the First World War was the evolution of the uniforms of the soldiers who participated in it. The hats, for example, began being made of cloth, but the new armament caused the combatant's headdress to be modified. changed by helmets to protect against artillery fire. It should be noted that according to German statistics, in 1914-1915 for every 49 victims of the infantry there were 22 dead by artillery, however, between 1916-1918 for every 85 victims of artillery there were 6 caused by the infantry.
7. The use of chemical warfare marked this war. Although the use of gas had been banned by the Hague Conferences of 1899 and 1907, mustard gas, chlorine and phosgene were used. 1.2 million soldiers were victims of gas attacks. The Germans used 68,000 tons of gas and 51,000 French and British. Although only 3% of the victims died from gas, it had devastating and disabling effects on those affected.
8. Another curiosity of the First World War is that due to the anti-German sentiment that was generated, the British royal family changed their last name: from Saxony-Coburg and Gotha to Windsor.
9. Aviation developed and perfected during the Great War. Although at the beginning the work of aviation was basically recognizable, its functions changed as the content progressed, developing fighter planes and bombers. In total, about 70 types of aircraft were used between both sides.
10. The submarines also actively participated in this contest. One of the most unfortunate events starring a submarine was the sinking of the Lusitania cruise. It was May 7, 1915 when the Lusitania was torpedoed by a German submarine. 1,198 people died. Among them were 128 Americans. Historians claim that this fact and all the attacks produced by German submarines influenced the decision the US made. of joining the Allied side in 1917.
There are hundreds of curiosities of the First World War worth mentioning, we have chosen these that we have found especially significant, but if you are thirsty for more equally surprising data, do not hesitate to read us in the best Curiosities Blog. Did you know these curiosities of the First World War? Do you have other curious facts about World War I? Share them with us! We will be happy to read them and expand this list of curiosities.