Many of us are relatively well knowledgeable on many aspects of World War I, but there were interesting facts that were so unusual that they have not been able to reach school textbooks ultimately. In celebration of the centennial of the Great War, here are some facts concerning World War I that may come as a shock to you.
Unlike other neutral nations, Portugal was furious at the German U-boat assaults on its commercial shipping service. The Portuguese were also afraid that the German army effort in Africa would expand into their territories in Angola and Mozambique.
Germany waged war on Portugal in March 1916. In addition to policing the seas and tightening their frontier protection in Europe, the Portuguese even dispatched a naval force to the western sector. The Portuguese gained admiration for their more seasoned comrades and fought an especially persistent war against the famous german Spring Offensive of 1918.
Who packed all the sandbags we see in the trench images? Who filled the weapons, ammo, and provisions into the trucks or carriages? Who cleaned up after the last train had been diverted or a headquarters structure had been destroyed?
The response came from the Chinese Labor Corps. They were recruits from the Chinese plains who had been to Britain to serve a crucial yet almost entirely neglected part in making the Allied victory achievable.
The first official partnership between Britain and Japan until 1914. It was intended to alleviate the Royal Navy of some of the responsibility of protecting the British Asian territories. It also allowed Britain and Japan to support each other to secure their specific objectives in Korea and China.
As cosmetic surgery was not yet discovered, the artists produced copper masks to conceal the wounds. The masks were placed on the glasses and decorated to match the skin color of each person. Some of them also included eyelids made of twisted metal wire.
Driven by the image of soldiers’ faces devastated by bullets, much of which stayed veiled with helmets, Harold Gillies opened up the world of cosmetic surgery, leading the first efforts at facial surgery. As well as that, organ transplants were necessary for the evacuation of prisoners, with the first blood bank set up on the front line in 1918.
This was confidential work. And the staff who built the machines were left in limbo. They were instructed to create mobile water tanks for land combat. The tanks were initially named “space vehicles,” but it was modified to “tanks” to deceive the opponent.
Did you know that during WWI, Americans hated the Germans so much that they even changed the names of food? Take a look at these interesting facts: Hamburger which came from the German city of Hamburg, or frankfurters which came from Frankfurt, these things were not spared in the war, the Americans were filled with hatred and paranoia that they stopped using these terms entirely.
In America, the paranoia of the German people became so strong that even German shepherd dogs had been slaughtered. The terms of Sauerkraut, Frankfurters, Dachshunds, and Hamburgers have all been modified to American terms, German has ceased to be studied in classrooms, and German-language books have been prohibited. It was the third most commonly used speech in the US before the actual war.
In the meantime, as more and more males went to war, women began to take up their work. Eventually, women served on ships, hospitals, and warehouses, all the employment that should have been discriminated upon in times of peace. Women who served in ammunition manufacturing were called “canaries” since their skin often turned yellow as they came into touch with hazardous substances.
A century may seem like a good while ago, but it’s not. Your ancestors were around then, so they may have served through and maybe even participated in this awful war. World War 1 is still discussed in classrooms today, and this significant historical incident contains many fascinating incidents and details that need to be recalled.