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World War One Centenary

Updated on August 6, 2014

Britain's Declaration of War 1939

World War 1 Remembered

The British were so passionate about serving their country during World War One that boys as young as fourteen years old lied about their age and enlisted for armed service, the youngest of these was a boy of twelve years old called Sidney Lewis who fought in the trenches alongside his adult counterparts.


Centenary Of The Great War

On the fourth of August 2014 the world will commemorate and remember something that happened exactly one hundred years ago.

On the fourth of August 1914 The Great War broke out in Europe changing the world as it was then forever.

Why should we care about something that happened such a long time ago?

For four years man fought against man in the bloodiest conflict in the history of the world that we live in.

Of the 65 million men who fought in World War 1:

  • 8 million men were killed in battle.
  • 2 million died of illness and disease.
  • 21.2 million were wounded.
  • 7.8 million were taken prisoner or went missing in action.
  • 6.6 million civilians were killed.

World War One almost wiped out a generation of young men who died fighting for their country and our future.

World War One Trench Warfare

The war on the Western Front soon became a war that would be almost impossible to win when both sides dug themselves into trenches, trench warfare meant a long drawn out and bloody war because trying to advance into enemy territory was a bloodbath with most soldiers gunned down within fifteen feet from their own trenches.

On the first day of July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme, British soldiers went over the top to attack the German trenches; the attack was a complete disaster from start to finish.

The soldiers were faced by a well prepared German army who bombarded them with heavy artillery and machine gun fire.

It was the biggest disaster in British military history with over sixty thousand British casualties, twenty thousand of them dead in just one day of fighting.

Your Country Needs You

Posters appeared all over Britain asking for volunteers to fight for their country.
Posters appeared all over Britain asking for volunteers to fight for their country. | Source

World War One The Trenches

From 1914 until 1918 it was said that Satan was using Western Europe as his playground, The trenches where the soldiers fought, slept, worked and played were his personal stomping grounds.

Conditions in the trenches were really bad and resulted in many soldiers being killed by illness and disease rather than by the bullet.

The men fighting in the trenches lived in stagnant conditions and shared their living space with many disease carrying creatures such as rats, lice, blood sucking insects, intestinal worms, maggots and flies.

The build up of mud in the trenches also caused a condition that became known as trench foot which in many cases led to the amputation of human limbs.

In 1918, there was a Spanish Flu epidemic which ripped through the trenches and was responsible for around a third of all deaths in the trenches at the time.

"Lest We Forget," World War One

Should we Remember World War One?

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Interesting Facts About Trench Warfare WW1

  • The British actually employed around one hundred and forty thousand Chinese laborers who were used to dig out the trenches for the soldiers to fight in, these laborers became known as The Chinese Labor Corps.
  • More than 65 million men from 30 countries fought in WWI. Nearly 10 million died.
  • The gap between the German and British trenches became known as "No man's land," because "No man," wanted to go there for fear of being killed.
  • Almost as many horses were killed in World War One as Soldiers with a reported eight million missing presumed killed in battle.
  • Russia had the biggest army with over twelve million soldiers although More than 3/4 were killed, wounded, or went missing in action.
  • The trench network of World War I stretched approximately 25,000 miles (40,200 km) from the English Channel to Switzerland. The area was known as the Western Front.
  • Adolf Hitler served as a corporal in the trenches of World War One
  • 65 million men from 30 countries fought in the War.

The Trenches Of World War One

Australian Soldiers Find Some Rare Respite In The Trenches
Australian Soldiers Find Some Rare Respite In The Trenches | Source

The Battle of Jutland World War One

The biggest battle at sea during world war took place between 31st May and 1st June 1916, The battle of Jutland took place in the North Sea just off the coast of Denmark.

For the first time in history and the last time during World War One, British and German Dreadnought class Battle cruisers faced each other in all out battle.

The British lost 14 ships and 6,094 men were killed. The Germans lost 11 ships and 2,551 men.

World War One At Sea

Although World War One was mostly fought on land the war at sea was of vital importance to the allies ships were essential for Britain's survival as the sea was Britain's main route for vital supplies and men.

At the time Britain had the biggest navy in the world but the introduction of Submarines or U-boats by the Germans put that navy under threat, submarines changed the whole concept of war at sea because they were under water and went unseen; sailors didn't even realize that they were under attack until their ships or ships in their flotilla went up in an explosion.

The battle at sea ultimately led to America joining the war in 1917, German U-boats targeted and sunk the ship RMS Sussex which had American citizens on board, this led American President Woodrow Wilson to send an ultimatum to Germany.

"Unless The Imperial Government immediately stop their current methods of submarine warfare against passenger and freight carrying ships, The United States Government will have no choice but to sever diplomatic relations with the German Empire altogether."

The Biggest Navy Battle Of World War One

The Queen Mary explodes during the battle of Jutland.
The Queen Mary explodes during the battle of Jutland. | Source

Manfred Von Richthofen

Manfred Von Richthofen otherwise known as The Bloody Red Baron became the most successful fighter pilot of World War One with 80 confirmed kills.
Manfred Von Richthofen otherwise known as The Bloody Red Baron became the most successful fighter pilot of World War One with 80 confirmed kills. | Source

World War One In The Sky

At the outbreak of World War one air combat was in it's infancy and the leaders of both sides debated the usefulness of aircraft in a battle situation. Aircraft at the beginning of the war were mainly used to spy on the enemy trenches, take pictures and return with the information that they gathered.

Innovation and invention soon saw great leaps in aircraft design, machine guns were added to aircraft with a unique timer that synchronized the machine gun fire with the moving propeller blades. allowing pilots to fire at each another without causing damage to the aircraft's propeller.

Russia was the first to develop an airplane specifically for bombing raids: the Murometz, a large four-engine airplane that Sikorsky had developed in 1913 as a passenger plane, was adapted for use as a bomber in 1914 and was used successfully throughout the war.

Germany used Zeppelins or Airships, large air filled aircraft, to carry out bombing raids on London and Paris.

Although the development of aircraft moved forward at a fantastic rate during World War One, aircraft never really played a fundamental role during the war.

Aircraft provided vital information from inside enemy lines and bombing raids proved to be effective but unlike aircraft in the many wars that have come after World War One they never really changed the outcome of the war.

Armistice Day Around The World

Armistice Day 1918

On November eleventh at eleven am the peace treaty or armistice was signed bringing an end to the hostilities of the war, this sparked a global celebration and brought the people out on to the streets to celebrate.

The video (right) shows people celebrating in Capital cities around the world.

Armistice Day New York Times

On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month 1918 the Armistice was signed bringing an end to hostilities.
On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month 1918 the Armistice was signed bringing an end to hostilities. | Source

A War To End All Wars

Millions of men from both sides killed in the name of God and country, millions disabled for life, families bereaved, the war had cost the world more than it could afford to pay, it was a war to end all wars, a war to bring peace to the world forever but sadly 21 years later peace had broken down and the world was again at war.

Verse from the Ode Of Remembrance

by Laurence Binyon

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

Comments

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    • gardener den profile image

      Dennis Hoyman 

      4 years ago from Southwestern, Pennsylvania

      Great Hub on WWI. Keep up the good work or should I say great work! Gardener Den.

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 

      4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Jimmy. As always a first class hub. So well researched and presented. You certainly excel in this subject,

      voted up and all.

      Graham.

    • JYOTI KOTHARI profile image

      Jyoti Kothari 

      4 years ago from Jaipur

      We don't want war anymore but it happens again and again. The world has gained nothing in WW1 from 1914 to 1918.

      Rated up and beautiful.

    • jimmythejock profile imageAUTHOR

      James Paterson 

      4 years ago from Scotland

      Thanks Patty, I always love it when you visit my hubs.....jimmy

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 

      4 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Rated Up and more and shred. This is a very good Hub for remembrance.

    • jimmythejock profile imageAUTHOR

      James Paterson 

      4 years ago from Scotland

      Thanks Kaili, I am flattered by your words.....jimmy

    • Kaili Bisson profile image

      Kaili Bisson 

      4 years ago from Canada

      Oh Jimmy, this is so well done. Lots of great facts in one source, and presented in a way that is very readable. Voted up and more and tweeting.

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