Friday, June 8, 2018

For your information: Some WWI Facts

European diplomatic alignments shortly before the war. Note: Germany and the Ottoman Empire only formed an alliance shortly following the outbreak of the war.

Map of the world with the participants in World War I in 1917. Allies are in green, the Central Powers in orange and neutral countries in grey.
     World War I began in 1914, after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife that occurred on 28 June 1914 in Sarajevo.  He was the heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne.  Historians feel that a number of factors beyond the assassination contributed to the rivalry between the Great powers that allowed war on such a wide-scale to break out.

     WWI began in the Balkans in late July 21914 and ended November 1918, leaving 17 million dead and 20 million wounded.

     During the conflict, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire (the Central Powers) fought against Great Britain, France, Russia, Italy, Romania, Japan and the United States (the Allied Powers).

On April 6, 1917, the U.S. joined its allies--Britain, France, and Russia--to fight in World War I. Under the command of Major General John J. Pershing, more than 2 million U.S. soldiers fought on battlefields in France. Many Americans were not in favor of the U.S. entering the war and wanted to remain neutral.

For WWI, the Selective Service Act of May 18, 1917, introduced a system of conscription.

Uncle Sam created in 1917 for Army recruiting posters. Created by James Montgomery Flagg.  He also created 46 other posters during WWI.  Uncle Sam "I want You" posters also used in WWII.

George M. Cohan's song "Over There" captured the patriotic mood of the time.

June 6, when American entered the Battle of Belleau Woods in WWI, is ALSO D-Day for WWII

PBS has an excellent three-part series on WWI.  If you can stream PBS, I recommend watching this series

Red Poppies commemorate WWI. The remembrance poppy is an artificial flower that has been used since 1921 to commemorate military personnel who have died in war, and represents a common or field poppy, Papaver rhoeas. Inspired by the World War I poem "In Flanders Fields", and promoted by Moina Michael, they were first adopted by the American Legion to commemorate American soldiers killed in that war (1914–1918). They were then adopted by military veterans' groups in parts of the British Empire. (from wikipedia)
also SEE this year's Vietnam War Memorial poppy display at

Animals in the WWI

Sgt Stubby info from Wikipedia 
Stubby is a real dog who was the official mascot of the 102 Infantry Regiment (US), assigned to the26th (Yankee) Division.
     Stubby served for 18 months and participated in seventeen battles on the Western Front. He saved his regiment from surprise mustard gas attacks, found and comforted the wounded, and once caught a German soldier by the seat of his pants, holding him there until American soldiers found him. His actions were well-documented in contemporary American newspapers.
     Stubby has been called the most decorated war dog of World War I and the only dog to be nominated for rank and then promoted to sergeant through combat, a claim having no official documentary evidence, but recognized in connection with an exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution.
     Sgt. Stubby is the subject of a 2018 animated film:
 Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero is a 2018 computer-animated adventure film centering on the real-life Sergeant Stubby, a stray Boston Terrier] who becomes a hero during World War I. Directed and co-written by Richard Lanni. The film was released in North America on April 13, 2018 by Fun Academy Motion Pictures.
     What great way for younger generation to learn about WWI.

American soldiers paying tribute to all the horses that lost their life in World War I.
This was taken in 1918. Very powerful photograph!
below is information accompanying this photo on facebook

The British, Commonwealth and Allied forces enlisted many millions of animals to serve and 
often die alongside their armies. These animals were chosen for a variety of their natural 
instincts and vast numbers were killed, often suffering agonising deaths from wounds, 
starvation, thirst, exhaustion, disease and exposure. 

This Memorial is a fitting and lasting tribute to them all.  There are many inspiring and often
 tragic stories of the great devotion and loyalty shown between horses, mules and donkeys
 and  their masters during some of the bloodiest conflicts of the 20th century, as can be
 read in Jilly Cooper's moving book Animals in War, published by Corg

Horses, Mules and Donkeys 

Eight million horses and countless mules and donkeys died in the First World War. They were
 used to transport ammunition and supplies to the front and many died, not only from the
 horrors of shellfire but also in terrible weather and appalling conditions. Mules were found to
 have tremendous stamina in extreme climates and over the most difficult terrain, serving 
courageously in the freezing mud on the Western Front and later at Monte Cassino in 
World War II. Equally they toiled unflinchingly in the oppressive heat of Burma, Eritrea 
and Tunisia. 


The dog's innate qualities of intelligence and devotion were valued and used by the forces
 in conflicts throughout the century. Among their many duties, these faithful animals ran 
messages, laid telegraph wires, detected mines, dug out bomb victims and acted as guard or
 patrol dogs. Many battled on despite horrific wounds and in terrifying circumstances to the
 limit of their endurance, showing indomitable courage and supreme loyalty to their handlers.


More than 100,000 pigeons served Britain in the First World War and 200,000 in World War II. 
They performed heroically and saved thousands of lives by carrying vital messages, some-
times over long distances, when other methods of communication were impossible. Flying at
 the rate of a mile a minute from the front line, from behind enemy lines or from ships or 
aeroplanes, these gallant birds would struggle on through all weathers, even when severely
 wounded and exhausted, in order to carry their vital messages home.

Other Animals

Elephants, camels, oxen, bullocks, cats, canaries, even glow worms — all these creatures,
 great  and small, contributed their strength, their energy and their lives in times of war and 
conflict to the British, Commonwealth and Allied forces during the 20th century.

2001 Release:   Against the backdrop of the Great War, Joey (the horse) begins an odyssey full of danger, joy and sorrow, and he transforms everyone he meets along the way. 

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