WW1 was the first war to be fought on a global scale. Many European countries were destroyed, many were created and many were financially torn. Here are 60 Interesting Facts About World War 1.

1-5 Interesting Facts About WW1

Sping Bycyle

1. Germany made tires for bicycles out of metal springs after WW1 because there was no more rubber available. – Source

2. During WWI, France built a ‘Fake Paris’ near its capital city to confuse German pilots. – Source

3. Until it was suppressed forcefully during WWI, German was the second most widely spoken language in the United States of America. Most of the local governments, schools, and newspapers operated in German. – Source

4. In 1964, the German government decided to pay back East African soldiers (Askari) that had fought for them in WWI. Most of them had no proof of service, so they had to perform the Manual of arms in German (handling and using weapons in formation) with a broom to prove themselves. Not a single one of them failed and did it perfectly. – Source

5. During WWI, a Hungarian soldier named Paul Kern was shot in the frontal lobe, resulting in him being unable to fall asleep. He lived for years after that and no one really knows how. – Source

6-10 Interesting Facts About WW1

Albert I, King of Belgium

6. During WWI, Albert I, the King of Belgium (pictured above), fought alongside his troops and his wife, Queen Elisabeth, worked as a nurse at the front. – Source

7. Minnie Schönberg, the mother of the Marx Brothers, upon hearing that farmers were exempt from being drafted, bought a farm and forced the brothers to work on it, so they won’t be called to fight in WWI. – Source

8. During WWI, a lone Portuguese soldier convinced the German soldiers that they were fighting against an entire unit for three days without eating or drinking. – Source

9. The ocean liner Olympic, sister ship to Titanic, became the only merchant vessel in WWI to sink an enemy warship when she rammed U-boat U-103. – Source

10. Some cataract patients have an “extraordinary sensitivity” to ultra-violet light. They were used in WW1 to detect flashing UV beacons. – Source

11-15 Interesting Facts About WW1

Dazzle Camo

11. In WW1, US Navy painted complex patterns of geometric shapes on ships as “dazzle camo.” – Source.

12. During WWI, 16 days before the ship RMS Lusitania set sail, Germany published a warning in the New York Times that they would sink the ship if it set sail to Britain. They went anyway and 1198 people died. – Source

13. In WWI, Canadians survived the first chemical attack by urinating on their handkerchiefs and holding them over their faces as masks.

14. After WWI, the Australian military started “The Great Emu War” where they tried to cull emus with machine guns, but finally the emus mostly won. – Source

15. There was a wounded pigeon in WWI that saved the lives of 198 American soldiers. – Source

16-20 Interesting Facts About WW1

Adolf Hitler Germanys influencial wartime Leader<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> NO COPYRIGHT ON PRINT

16. Hitler used to have a full-sized mustache, but was ordered to trim it down to a ‘toothbrush’ during WWI to better accommodate wearing a gas mask. – Source

17. During WWI sauerkraut was renamed as ‘Liberty Cabbage’ in USA. – Source

18. Adolf Hitler was adamant about not using poison gas on the battlefield in WWII as a result of his exposure to it during WWI. – Source

19. 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. – Source

20. 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.” – Source

21-25 Interesting Facts About WW1

Bayer Heroin

21. The pharmaceutical company “Bayer” discovered Heroin and, until WWI, sold it as a cough treatment. – Source

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

23. 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 – Source

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

25. The casualties during Taiping Rebellion almost equals that of WWI. – Source

26-30 Interesting Facts About WW1

Concrete Ship

26. 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. – Source

27. 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. – Source

28. 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. – Source

29. The deadliest nonnuclear explosion every recorded was a mine explosion during WWI that killed 10,000 Germans. – Source

30. 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. – Source

Categorized in:

Fact List, General Knowledge, History,

Last Update: December 24, 2020