World War 1: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about World War 1

  • World War 1 began on July 28, 1914 and lasted until November 11, 1918. Differences in foreign policies were to blame, although the immediate cause was the assassination of Austria’s Archduke Ferdinand. (Follow this link to learn more about how World War 1 started)
  • The two main sides were the Allies, which included France, Great Britain and Russia; and Germany and Austria-Hungary. In total, 30 countries were involved in the conflict. Italy, once part of the Triple Alliance with Germany and Austria-Hungary, fought on the side of the Allies.
  • King George V (Great Britain), Kaiser Wilhelm II (Germany) and Tsar Nicholas II (Russia) were cousins, and grandchildren of Queen Victoria.
  • Soldiers fought largely in trenches during the war, and thousands suffered from stress, known as shell-shock.Β  The British and French trenches were often squalid, whereas the German trenches were almost luxurious in comparison, with bunks and decent cooking facilities. (Click here to learn more about life in the trenches)
  • By the end of WW1, over 9 million soldiers had been killed, and another 21 million wounded. Over a million soldiers were killed in the infamous Battle of the Somme alone, including about 30,000 in just one day.
  • Around 11 percent of the population of France was killed or wounded during the war. About 116,000 Americans were killed, even though the US was only in the war for about 7 months.

World War 1

  • During World War 1, dogs were used to carry messages in capsules attached to their body. Dogs also carried and placed telegraph wires in important areas.
  • Pigeons were also used during the war. About 500,000 pigeons were regularly dropped into enemy lines by parachute, and then sent back with messages.
  • On Christmas Eve, 1914, both sides declared an unofficial truce and sang Christmas carols to each other. Football matches were played in no-man’s land (the area between the German and British) trenches, and German and British soldiers exchanged food and souvenirs. The ceasefire was known as the Christmas Truce. The following Christmas, sentries on both sides had orders to shoot any soldier who did this.
  • Cannons and artillery were often extremely loud. In 1917, the explosives used to destroy a bridge in France could be be heard over 130 miles away in London.
  • Many new weapons were invented or first used during World War 1. Big Bertha was one of the most famous; it was a 48 ton gun capable of firing a shell over 9 miles. It took 200 men several hours to assemble the gun.
  • Tanks were so called because of early attempts to disguise them as water tanks. They were also known as male and female tanks; male tanks had cannons and female tanks had machine guns.

What next? Discover more facts about World War 1, or check out these World War 1 resources and factfiles.

291 Responses to World War 1: Facts and Information

  1. Thank you lots it really,really,really helped me LOL! My History homework wouldn’t be the same without your help, gave me a few ideas.

  2. Thank’s James for this site!!!
    I am also doing English Homework based around Private Peaceful by Micheal Morpurgo so this site really helped me to finish my homework.

    Thanks Again!
    Nat πŸ˜› πŸ™‚ πŸ˜€ XD

  3. hello I think that the website is really great for kids projects.
    Also really good for world war 1:facts and info…
    The trenches are also a very sad place.

  4. These facts were helpful with my extensive research into Private Peaceful, also. Thanks for the outstanding facts, I’m sure that A* is in my grasp!

  5. thanks a lot this really helped with my homework as we are studying world war 1 poetry in English. this was a brilliant source of information for my project thanks!

  6. you knw what james, u rock it!!!!!
    you have helped me so much. iam having my history exam on wednesday. i am fully prepared for now.
    once agian thanks alot

  7. Thank u it really helped me with mt English homework we are reading a book called private peaceful.

    It seems that it is really helping people with English homework. πŸ˜€

  8. found it really helpful on my English homework I would recommend you to a friend for this homework thanks xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  9. This really helped me, as I am doing a P.I. on WW1! I couldn’t find any sites with information that I could understand, till’ I found this one! Thanks again x

    • me too i am learning about ww1 and my teatcher mis wyatt is going to be so happy when i show her my extra homework.i am only y5 and i thought i wouldnt find this

  10. Thanks loads! This added to the stuff I already knew about WW1. Also helped a bit with my drama homework, due tomorrow! Without your help I probably would have had a lunchtime detention. Thanks a lot James! xox <3

  11. Thank you so much these facts are so useful!☺️ Helped me a lot with doing my English homework. I’ll be thanking you if I get a good mark.

  12. Thank you so much. This really helped me and I acctually enjoyed reading it. I cant wait to turn in my assignment!!!

  13. i used these facts they are absolutly amazing especially with my sats this week
    thank you very much james

  14. Thx!!
    In school we are reading Private peaceful by Michael Morpurgo, and for homework we had to write 5 WWI facts!
    You are a lifesaver, primaryfacts!


  16. Thanks this really helped me out because I have to learn about World War 1 I needed to find facts about it and I could not find the right website but I finally have I can’t wait for my teacher to see this and read it so thanks again. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ : D : D : D πŸ˜€

  17. Thanks thanks and more thanks for helping me with my work great facts you shoulduse this web for your progect to:):):):):):)

  18. My father was in the Air Force in New Guinea during the second World War and like a lot of Australians he never talked about the World Wars .
    My son now wears his service medals on ANZAC Day and I can know explain the facts about World War One.

    Thank you

  19. Thank-you, this managed to get me 100% on my History assessment the ight before it was due! Great useful site πŸ™‚

  20. OMG Best Thing ever Thanks James so much I appreciate it so much I got a(n) A+ and I thought I was in trouble when the teacher told me to come in after school but she wanted to tell me I did better than the others and she didn’t wanna say it in front of them, So for that thanks so much for all the information!

  21. thanks!!!
    this help a lot! But whats “both sides” in the war? did u mean the allies and central powers? or just Germany and Russia?

  22. Thanks James, This was very helpful in my history assignment. I will definitely use this again and definitely spread the word. Well done on gathering relevant, easy to remember but still brilliant and true facts.

  23. thank you, this is for my humanities project and this has really helped me get the knowledge i needed and my teacher was very impressed with how much i found out and how much i remembered it from it. so thank you very much

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