89 Brutal Facts From World War 1 for True History Fans

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76Fort Douaumont incident

In WWI, over 600 German soldiers burned to death at Fort Douaumont because someone tried to heat up coffee with flamethrower-fuel, resulting in a fire that spread to the ammunition


77. The most decorated American WWI veteran from Texas was an undocumented Mexican immigrant named Marcelino Serna. He was also the first Hispanic to be awarded the Distinguished Service Cross


78. The most decorated enlisted man in the British Army in WWI was a conscientious objector who never fired a single shot. He was a stretcher bearer who won the Victoria cross for charging into fire unarmed and carrying out 3 wounded men on his back


79. A family went into hiding from Soviets in Siberia after WWI. And weren't found for over 40 years, unaware of WWII, the space race, or plastic bags


80. An American soldier named Henry Gunther was killed 60 seconds before the WWI Armistice came into effect after he charged and shot at a German roadblock. The Germans knew about the coming peace and tried to wave him off.


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81Banger

The British slang for sausages is "Banger" because of WWI food shortages. Meat shortages forced sausages to be made with high water content, causing them to burst when being cooked, hence the name.


82. Henry Johnson, a WWI veteran, saved his friend from over 20 German soldiers by himself by using his rifle as a club and then proceeding to attack the rest with his bolo knife.


83. Harry S. Truman was so nearsighted, that he cheated and memorized the army's eye chart to be enlisted in WWI.


84. During WWI, Dominic "Fats" McCarthy was awarded the Victoria Cross after he, virtually unaided, killed 22 Germans, captured 5 machine guns, 50 prisoners, and half a kilometer of the German front. When it was over even the prisoners he'd captured patted him on the back for what he'd done.


85. After WWI, the US began forced sterilization to prevent 'imbeciles' and 'promiscuous' individuals from having children in order to clean up the gene pool


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86Adrian Cart de Wiart

A British soldier who fought in both world wars, was shot in the face, head, stomach, ankle, leg, hip, and ear, survived two plane crashes, tunneled out of a POW camp, bit off his own fingers when a doctor refused to amputate them, and said of WWI, "Frankly, I had enjoyed the War."


87. The name 'Aspirin' was originally a trademark belonging to German pharmaceutical company 'Bayer', but after Germany's loss in WWI the company was forced to hand over the trademark as a part of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919.


88. Teddy Roosevelt’s son, Ted, was awarded the Medal of Honor for leading the first wave of US Soldiers attacking Utah Beach on D-Day. He volunteered for the assignment and had to walk with a cane due to WWI injuries and a heart condition. He was the oldest man in the first wave at age 56.


89. One of the most successful military regiments in WWI was denied their going away parade because they were a colored regiment, but were invited after the war due to their valor

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