89 Brutal Facts From World War 1 for True History Fans

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26Battle of Trindade

In WWI, British armed merchant cruiser RMS Carmania engaged and sank the German merchant cruiser SMS Cap Trafalgar. Ironically, the two ships had been disguised as each other.


27. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Author of Sherlock Holmes) tried to enlist when WWI broke out at the age of 55 stating, "I am 55, but I am very strong and hardy and can make my voice audible at great distances."


28. The pharmaceutical company "Bayer" discovered Heroin and, until WWI, sold it as a cough treatment.


29. Over 90,000 Chinese laborers were used by the British Army to dig trenches on the Western Front in WWI.


30. Woodrow Wilson, the President of the US during WWI, was known to be a white supremacist and who was responsible for revitalizing the Ku Klux Klan in 1915


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31Horses

About as many horses were killed on the Western Front in WWI as people (8 million)


32. The casualties during Taiping Rebellion almost equals that of WWI


33. Due to steel shortages during WW1, concrete ships (pictured above) were built. Only ten of them are still afloat, all of them in a small coastal town of British Columbia.


34. Karl von Müller, Captain of the German WWI vessel the SMS Emden allowed the passengers of the enemy merchant ships enough time to gather their belongings and abandon the ship before sinking it.


35. The ban on condoms in America due to anti-contraception laws (which lasted until 1972) led to higher rates of STDs among American soldiers during WW1.


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36Messines Ridge explosion

The deadliest nonnuclear explosion every recorded was a mine explosion (Messines_Ridge) during WWI that killed 10,000 Germans.


37. Hugh Lofting, not wishing to write his children about the horrors of trench warfare in WWI, instead wrote them imaginative letters that later became the Dr. Doolittle Stories.


38. Safety Razors were invented in the late 18th century but weren’t popularized until World War 1. During World War I, Gillette worked out a deal with the U.S. Armed Forces to provide with the U.S. Armed Forces to provide Gillette safety razors and blades to every enlisted man or officer on his way to Europe as part of his standard-issue gear.


39. WWI pilots used to use pistols and carbines in air to air combat before guns were installed on planes.


40. Rudyard Kipling urged John Kipling, his 18-year-old son to join WWI. He had such a bad eyesight that he was repeatedly turned down. Kipling used his connections with a Commander-In-Chief of the Army to get him in. John was sent into battle, where an exploding shell ripped his face apart.


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41Bras

Because metal was in great demand WWI, corsets began to fade and bras became popular.


42. During World War 1, the United States Government tried to rename hamburgers as "liberty sandwiches" to promote patriotism.


43. Kleenex brand of tissues was used as gas mask filters during the WW1.


44. An American hero in WW1 had the amazing ability to sense approaching mustard gas, hear incoming artillery before anyone else and even caught a German spy. He was awarded multiple medals including the purple heart. He was none other than a dog named Sergeant Stubby.


45. During World War 1, German and Allied forces came out of their trenches, on the Christmas day of 1914, to sing carols, trade equipment and even played football between their lines.


46500 old films

In 1978 in Yukon, Canada, a bulldozer uncovered buried reels of nitrate film during the excavation of a landfill. About 500 old films dating from 1910 to 1921 were uncovered. This included long lost newsreels of World War 1, and many long lost silent movies.


47. At the outset of World War 1, Tsar Nicholas II, King George V, and Kaiser Wilhelm II were first cousins and grandchildren of Queen Victoria.


48. In WW1 British and American fighter pilots were never issued any parachutes because they were considered cowardly.


49. 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.


50. New Zealand had one of the highest casualty per capita (wounded and dead) rates in WW1, at 58%.

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