I don’t remember if they even taught anything about World War One in school. They must have. Really. They must have. I think they need to make it a much more prominent part of our education because I don’t remember learning ANY of this. And that’s just ridiculous.
So I went through the general timeline. Definitely interesting. Definitely a need to know for everyone. Definitely could have been avoided.
I want to learn more about several points.
The Allied and Central Powers
I’m just not understanding who the general umbrella of these terms are covering exactly. Or the hows and whys of them being grouped that way.
The allies were Britain, Russia, Italy, and the United States
The Central Powers were Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and The Furious Foot Stools (The Ottoman Empire)
As far as I can figure the whole logic to why there was the war in the first place was flawed. Every single one of the Allies tried to remain neutral but the central powers had something they had to prove.
What’s this about Christmas?
So I’ve scrolled past a fair amount of headings about Christmas of 1914, including that most people thought the war would be over by then. But what’s all the hullabaloo?
The pope at the time had asked for the fighting to stop, at least for Christmas Day as an observation of the holiday.
Miraculously it actually did in some places to the point where they allowed each other to cross into what was normally the no man’s land between the firing lines. They were able to collect their dead that were previously unreachable, they heard each other’s music, and some even exchanged gifts between parties!
This sounds insane to me. Like they honestly didn’t want to be fighting in the first place. The wtf were they?!
A cross memorializing the Christmas truce:
Land, Air, and Water Fighting
This area is interesting to me because I immensely enjoy using today’s technology. Seeing how it started out when people first thought it up and then created it is amazing. They took a crazy idea like a flying machine and then someone else thought up the crazy idea to use it to their tactical advantage not for travel, but for battle. Talk about having the upper hand…
People’s creativity and actual pursuit and use of that creativity leaves me in awe quite often.
Bayonet Sure I’ve heard the word but I couldn’t tell you what it is exactly other than a weapon. A sword type thing sometimes more knifelike, sometimes more saw like. Attached to rifles. Sounds brilliant actually! It was used in close quarter fighting. All sides used them but there were several different types. Sounds like they were often scoffed about: fire pokers, toilet cleaners, hot dog roasters…lol
Then there were Flame Throwers, guns and grenades.
Poison Gas I know I’m not the only one who associates Germans and poison gas. It really a weapon that the neutral nations frowned apon. On one hand I understand that the morals of shooting someone and choking them with chlorine gas are on different levels of evil. On the other, killing is killing so wether using a tank to blow someone up or gassing them, they’re still going to be dead.
Tanks they were first mass produced for this war. Created before the war but obviously this war pushed the development forward quite rapidly. Both sides used tanks (also known as “landships” by the British Royal Navy HAHAHA). Like computers, the first ones were huge compared to the ones made later.
Trench Mortars were kinda like little cannons that were used to shoot shit into the enemies trenches.
Air: Observation balloons, Zeppelins, and airplanes. First time air combat was part of a war.
The Zeppelins really creep me out. Yet they are kind of a landmark of that part of history for me. Also they remind me of that Dr Who episode…Are you my Mommy?
Water: Submarines, Mines, Torpedoes, and Destroyers…U-Boats
The British ship who looked mysteriously like the Titanic to me. A cruise ship. Sunk by a German submarine in a supposedly morally wrong move on their part due to it’s location and innocent passengers. On the Germans’ behalf The Lusitania was also carrying war supplies and had been previously warned through the newspaper.
What the heck is Prussia?
The leading state in the German empire evidently! I thought it was a typo at first. Their official motto was To Each Their Own. Oh my word. Oh my word.
What were the different armies like?
Each country was different in sizes, active countries doubling their army size during the war. Seems like most of them started out with only volunteers but ended up forcing people to join.
The Versailles Treaty
I thought it was the treaty that ended the war but no, it was just ONE of the peace treaties. Definitely a noted fact that it was signed exactly five years to the day that Archduke Franz Ferdinand and Sophie went to see Jesus. It was perhaps the most important of the treaties because it was the one Germany signed. The actual fighting had stopped in early November of 1918 though. The treaty included things like Germany’s disarming, loss of much territory, and it’s acceptance of responsibility for much damage and loss. Currently housed in the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles, France.