Most individuals are quite knowledgeable about many of the critical details of World War I, including famous battles like the Somme and Passchendaele. However, some are so oddball that they have yet to make it into the textbooks. So here are the top 10 poorly known facts about World War I that could surprise you in honor of the centennial of the Great War.
An explosion was heard in London:
During the war, miners worked covertly to excavate tunnels beneath the trenches to install and explode mines there. The detonations were so loud that the prime minister, who was 140 miles distant from London, could hear them. They significantly damaged most of the German front line.
Tanks were made by the British:
Top-secret work was involved! It was kept a secret from everyone, including the factory employees who put the cars together. They were informed that they were building portable water tanks for desert combat. To throw the adversary off, the name “landships” for tanks was changed to “tanks.”
The majority of people suffering from facial injuries:
Artists constructed copper masks to conceal the wounds because plastic surgery was poor at the time. Each soldier’s cover was painted to match their skin tone and was secured with spectacles. Some even had metal eyelashes that were curled.
Dogs were used as messengers:
Dogs were employed as messengers during World War I, carrying orders in capsules fastened to their bodies to the front lines. Additionally, telegraph cables were laid down by dogs.
In trenches, soldiers were housed:
In trenches, soldiers were housed. They had to dig these canals out of the dirt. The living conditions were appalling, and many soldiers were ill. Nevertheless, they resided here and made their attempts to overpower the enemy. There were trenches for the opponents as well. No Man’s Land was the name given to the area between the two.
Women’s skin became yellow:
Then, as more and more men enlisted in the military, women had to fill their positions. As a result, women were suddenly working in places like factories, offices, and buses—jobs taboo during quiet times. Moreover, because their skin would often become yellow when exposed to hazardous chemicals, the women who worked at weapons plants were given the moniker “canaries”!
Remembrance Day is observed on November 11 every year. At this time, everybody dons a red poppy. On this day, we honor all members of the military services who fought and perished in the conflict.
Apart from all these, initiating the earliest attempts at facial restoration, Harold Gillies founded the profession of plastic surgery after witnessing soldiers’ faces damaged by shrapnel, many of which were still hidden by masks. Blood transfusions for saving soldiers became commonplace, with the first blood bank opening on the front lines in 1917.