World War I Facts

July 7, 2014 · Posted in Military History, World War l · Comments Off on World War I Facts 

World War 1 began on July 28, 1914 and lasted until November 11, 1918. Differences in foreign policies were to blame, although the immediate cause was the assassination of Austria’s Archduke Ferdinand.

The two main sides were the Allies, which included France, Great Britain and Russia; and Germany and Austria-Hungary. In total, 30 countries were involved in the conflict. Italy, once part of the Triple Alliance with Germany and Austria-Hungary, fought on the side of the Allies.

Soldiers fought largely in trenches during the war, and thousands suffered from stress, known as shell-shock. The British and French trenches were often squalid, whereas the German trenches were almost luxurious in comparison, with bunks and decent cooking facilities. (Click here to learn more about life in the trenches)
By the end of WW1, over 9 million soldiers had been killed, and another 21 million wounded. Over a million soldiers were killed in the infamous Battle of the Somme alone, including about 30,000 in just one day.

Around 11 percent of the population of France was killed or wounded during the war. About 116,000 Americans were killed, even though the US was only in the war for about 7 months.

World War 1
During World War 1, dogs were used to carry messages in capsules attached to their body. Dogs also carried and placed telegraph wires in important areas.
Pigeons were also used during the war. About 500,000 pigeons were regularly dropped into enemy lines by parachute, and then sent back with messages.

On Christmas Eve, 1914, both sides declared an unofficial truce and sung Christmas carols to each other. A football match was played in no-man’s land (the area between the German and British) trenches, and German and British soldiers exchanged food and souvenirs. The following Christmas, sentries on both sides had orders to shoot any soldier who did this.

Cannons and artillery were often extremely loud. In 1917, the explosives used to destroy a bridge in France could be be heard over 130 miles away in London.

Many new weapons were invented or first used during World War 1. Big Bertha was one of the most famous; it was a 48 ton gun capable of firing a shell over 9 miles. It took 200 men several hours to assemble the gun.

Tanks were so called because of early attempts to disguise them as water tanks. They were also known as male and female tanks; male tanks had cannons and female tanks had machine guns.

How World War One Started and the Timeline That Followed

February 25, 2014 · Posted in Military History, World War l · Comments Off on How World War One Started and the Timeline That Followed 

1914
June 28th

Francis Ferdinand assassinated at Sarajevo

July 5th

Kaiser William II promised German support for Austria against Serbia

July 28th

Austria declared war on Serbia

August 1st

Germany declared war on Russia

August 3rd

Germany declared war on France and invaded Belgium. Germany had to implement the Schlieffen Plan.

August 4th

Britain declared war on Germany

August 23rd

The BEF started its retreat from Mons. Germany invaded France.

August 26th

Russian army defeated at Tannenburg and Masurian Lakes.

September 6th

Battle of the Marne started

October 18th

First Battle of Ypres

October 29th

Turkey entered the war on Germany’s side. Trench warfare started to dominate the Western Front.

1915

January 19th

The first Zeppelin raid on Britain took place

February 19th

Britain bombarded Turkish forts in the Dardanelles

April 25th

Allied troops landed in Gallipoli

May 7th

The “Lusitania” was sunk by a German U-boat

May 23rd

Italy declared war on Germany and Austria

August 5th

The Germans captured Warsaw from the Russians

September 25th Start of the Battle of Loos

December 19th

The Allies started the evacuation of Gallipoli

1916

January 27th

Conscription introduced in Britain

February 21st

Start of the Battle of Verdun

April 29th

British forces surrendered to Turkish forces at Kut in Mesopotamia

May 31st

Battle of Jutland

June 4th
Start of the Brusilov Offensive

July 1st

Start of the Battle of the Somme

August 10th
End of the Brusilov Offensive

September 15th

First use en masse of tanks at the Somme

December 7th

Lloyd George becomes British Prime Minister

1917

February 1st

Germany’s unrestricted submarine warfare campaign started

April 6th

USA declared war on Germany

April 16th

France launched an unsuccessful offensive on the Western Front

July 31st

Start of the Third Battle at Ypres

October 24th

Battle of Caporetto – the Italian Army was heavily defeated

November 6th

Britain launched a major offensive on the Western Front

November 20th

British tanks won a victory at Cambrai

December 5th

Armistice between Germany and Russia signed

December 9th

Britain captured Jerusalem from the Turks

1918
March 3rd

The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was signed between Russia and Germany.

March 21st

Germany broke through on the Somme

March 29th

Marshall Foch was appointed Allied Commander on the Western Front

April 9th

Germany started an offensive in Flanders

July 15th

Second Battle of the Marne started. The start of the collapse of the German army

August 8th

The advance of the Allies was successful

September 19th

Turkish forces collapsed at Megiddo

October 4th

Germany asked the Allies for an armistice

October 29th

Germany’s navy mutinied

October 30th

Turkey made peace

November 3rd

Austria made peace

November 9th

Kaiser William II abdicated

November 11th

Germany signed an armistice with the Allies – the official date of the end of World War One.

Post-war – 1919

January 4th

Peace conference met at Paris

June 21st

The surrendered German naval fleet at Scapa Flow was scuttled.

June 28th

The Treaty of Versailles was signed by the Germans

North Korean Victory Day Parade Marks 60th Anniversary

July 27, 2013 · Posted in Military History · Comments Off on North Korean Victory Day Parade Marks 60th Anniversary 
north-korea

” As chief Asia photographer for the Associated Press, David Guttenfelder has had unprecedented access to communist North Korea. Here’s a rare look at daily life in the secretive country. See Slide Show

Many remember, what is sometimes called the “Forgotten War” , that ended sixty years ago on July 27, 1953. It would be another six years before my birth, but my father, alive and serving in the United States Marine Corp, fought in and survived the Korean War, as well as, World War ll.

Why is it that the Korean War, lasting from 1950-1953, is sometimes referred to, as the Forgotten War, despite the devastating loss of life, two million deaths for the Chinese and North Koreans and 450,360 for the U.S.-led United Nations coalition?One answer is that the other wars eclipsed it. There was World War II, Vietnam, Desert Storm and the recent conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Korean War began at 0400 hours on Sunday, June 25, 1950. The United States, sanctioned by the United Nations, fought to contain the North Korean communist from invading the South.

An important outcome of this overlooked war, is that we learned a new definition of victory. Victory, in the form of a divided country, gave an example to follow, when we needed a way out, of our long endured quagmire, in the jungles of the Vietnam War.

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Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address

November 19, 2012 · Posted in Military History, Presidential history · Comments Off on Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address 

President Abraham Lincoln delivered, on November 19, 1863, a military dedication during the American Civil War. His dedication at a military cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania was to become one of the most famous speeches of all time.

Though only 272 words long, Lincoln’s address moved the public in its reminder of the necessity of the Union’s fight to win. Just four months prior to his speech the Battle of Gettysburg was waged. It was the bloodiest battle fought in the Civil War killing more than 45,000 men in just three days time and the point at which General Robert E. Lee retreated from Gettysburg in defeat. It was the last Confederate invasion of Northern territory.

Proceeding Lincoln’s words, that took him only a few minutes to deliver, the crowds listened for two hours as Edward Everett, one of the most famous orators of the day, delivered his wordy and meticulously prepared dedication. And though a fine orator, Everett’s many words were eclipsed by Lincoln’s brief, yet brilliant and moving address.

This was what he said in its conclusion: “The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Read full Gettysburg Address

by Editor

Source: This Day In History: 11/19/1863 – Lincoln Gettysburg Address. (2012). The History Channel website. Retrieved 11:16, November 19, 2012, from http://www.history.com , http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/11/19.

First Veterans Day Proclamation

November 11, 2012 · Posted in America, Military History · Comments Off on First Veterans Day Proclamation 
Eisenhower signs Vets Day resolution

President Eisenhower signing HR7786, changing Armistice Day to Veterans Day. From left: Alvin J. King, Wayne Richards, Arthur J. Connell, John T. Nation, Edward Rees, Richard L. Trombla, Howard W. Watts

On October 8th, 1954 President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first Veterans Day Proclamation.

It was on June 4, 1926, that Congress passed a resolution to observe the anniversary of the end of World War I, Nov. 11, 1918.

In 1938, before the holiday was known as Veterans Day, Congress made Nov. 11 a legal holiday called Armistice Day.

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