The First World War Centenary, which started at the beginning of 2014 and will end in 2018, is the first worldwide commemoration held in honor of the brave souls who fought, bled, and lost their lives on the battlefields of Europe so that their children can live a better life.
Although more than a century has passed since the beginning of the Great War which engulfed all of Europe, and most individuals who served during the great conflagration have passed away, The Old Continent will always remember its sons and daughters who gave their everything so that we can live free.
As part of the First World War Centenary, World Report Now is honored to present some of the least known or even obscure facts about the War to End All Wars.
The United States Joined the Fight after the Lusitania Incident
In 1915, a passenger ship named Lusitania was torpedoed by a German submarine. The aftermath was disastrous: 1,915 passengers perished, including 128 American citizens. Despite President Woodrow Wilson’s attempts to keep the United States of America out of the war which consumed most of Europe, the sinking of Lusitania and the increasing pressure on the Government forced Wilson’s hand to declare war on Germany.
Trench Warfare Concept Was Different for Both Sides
When it came to conducting trench warfare, there was a major difference of opinion on how they should be built. For example, while the Triple Entente, especially the British military, preferred easy to build and narrow trenches for protecting its soldiers, the Triple Alliance constructed fully-equipment and sturdy trenches. Historical records show that a German trench system contained water tanks, lights powered by electricity, beds, furniture, doorbells, and cupboards.
Why is it called a ‘Dogfight’?
Although the term of ‘dogfight’ is common among people who use military jargon, few know its true origin. The term was coined in World War 1, and it referred to a maneuver performed by pilots. Since the idea of air warfare was new, the first military planes had a couple of issues. For example, during the flight, the pilot was compelled to turn the plan’s engine on a couple of times to prevent the contraption from stalling. When the aviator restarted the engine, the device would emit a sound similar to a dog’s bark.
Joyeux Noel is based on true events
The 2004 award-winning Joyeux Noel movie, starring Benno Furmann and Diane Kruger, is based on the events which took place in 1914, on Christmas Eve. On that day, the commanders called a truce for Christmas and, for the first time, in many years, Entente and Triple Alliance soldiers cast their weapons aside and joined in celebrating the birth of Christ. Some documents showed that the truce lasted more than a week in some areas.
Mustard Gas Wasn’t the Only Chemical Weapon Used During the First World War
By all accounts, no less than 30 types of poisonous chemicals have been deployed on the battlefield during the First World War, mustard gas being the most notorious of them. Because gas masks were introduced after the Battle of Ypres (1915), soldiers were taught to soak a cloth in urine and to cover their faces with it in case of a chemical attack.