25 Mind-Blowing Facts About World War I That Shaped The World

When most people hear the term “world war” their mind automatically goes to World War II, Nazi Germany, and the Holocaust among other things. However, not many are aware of the immense global effect World War I had and how it triggered a series of other historical events that shaped human history. Here’s a list of 25 shocking facts that prove how World War I was indeed one of the most significant events in the history of humankind.

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During WWI, American hamburgers (named after the German city of Hamburg) were renamed Salisbury steak. Frankfurters, which were named after Frankfurt, Germany, were called “liberty sausages," and dachshunds became “liberty dogs.” Schools stopped teaching German, and German-language books were burned.


Soldiers in the trenches were highly superstitious. Some believed that angels had appeared over the trenches to save them from disaster while phantom cavalry were also seen.


None of the soldiers wore metal helmets in 1914. The French were the first to introduce them in 1915. Future prime minister Winston Churchill wore a French one during his time on the front in 1916.

metal helmets

“Hello Girls,” as American soldiers called them, were American women who served as telephone operators for Pershing’s forces in Europe. The women were fluent in French and English and were specially trained by the American Telephone and Telegraph Company. In 1979, the U.S. Army finally gave war medals and veteran benefits to the few Hello Girls who were still alive.


Disease accounted for a third of the deaths during the war. Duck boards eventually helped ease cases of trench foot, an infection caused by damp and cold. But with semi-sanctioned brothels being set up behind the frontlines, 150,000 British soldiers came down with venereal infections.


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