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.

290 Responses to World War 1: Facts and Information

  1. these are amazing and outstanding facts about world war 1 there are lots of facts about it and I enjoyed reading them thank you

  2. thanks this helped me a lot witrh my English homework πŸ™‚ and thanks again xx

    • Glad we could help you out with your homework, Shannon. Hope you get a good grade!

      • Thanks a lot James! πŸ˜€ it helped with an essay, i hope i get a good grade tbh πŸ˜€

    • This helped for my English homework as well as I am doing the book called Private Peaceful which is about WW1! πŸ™‚

  3. 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.

  4. 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

    • haha! I was reading Private Peaceful and this helped me too!

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

  7. thx I may be at secondary school but this got me a A+ yaya thx james

  8. Hello James. This really helped me with my history project, Thanks!!!!

  9. thanks this has helped with my english homework a lot thanks again πŸ™‚

  10. 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!

  11. Thanks!! really helped me with my English H/W as we are doing Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo!!!

      • james thanks alot for helping me out i had to write a letter about the WW1 in history again thanks for the facts its helped me alot x

  12. These facts really helped me with my homework my mum says that she will spread the word about this amazing website

  13. I came on this website because there are lots of good facts about world war 1 and it was for my English homework as well.

  14. hay…. thanks for the help of this website my home work is done….

  15. 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

  16. hi thank u you really hellped me with my english homeowrk there are some really fascinating facts there

  17. 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˜€

  18. Finally,a website that actually has good facts! Thanks a lot James!;-)

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

  20. amazing my teacher told me and my class to find facts about word war 1 this really helped

  21. Your fact are totally amazing and helped me with my homework so much
    Thanks guys!!!:-)

  22. thank this helped me a lot for my home work and there is so many good facts about this thanks again

  23. Thank you so much. It was so hard trying to find a website with as awesome facts as this. I’ll be back… xx

  24. Those facts were great they helped me to do a ww1 booklet for homework thank u :)!!!!!❀️

  25. Thanks for all of that really helped me with my heritage fair project

  26. This information is brilliant my 8year old daughter is amazed at the information she has found on here

  27. 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

  28. thank you for all the help with my history homework!!! πŸ™‚

    • 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

  29. you really helped me study for this test. thank you soo much ;D πŸ™‚

  30. Thanks for the facts.It really helped me do my homework.
    Year 5

  31. 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

  32. Thanks this help me for my English assignment! We have to write a story about ww1 with fiction characters!

  33. 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.

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

  35. Thanks this helped me with my english homework and my revision thanks πŸ™‚

  36. if it was not for this website i wouldn’t of been able to my homework

  37. i love all the facts i can’t wait to tell all my class thank u so much

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

  39. these are great facts. thnx. this will help me in school. Thanks, thanks and thanks again.

  40. That was great, thanks! Really interesting and informative.

  41. Thanks James, great revision help, ill definitely be coming back keep up the good work πŸ™‚

  42. Thanks so much. Hope this helps tomorrow with my test gonna be using this page a lot tonight. Need an A+

  43. Thanks this helped me a lot for my homework. Thanks again. πŸ™‚

  44. Wow! Thanks! This helped a lot, I had a home learning project in the Summer about WW1, and this helped!!! Thanks man!

  45. thanks it helped with my drame homework because we are acting out scenes for world war 1

  46. 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!

  47. Hi thanks for it my English teacher gave me a an a+ and im in year 7


  49. this is the best site that i have found all day long and i will surly came back to do my paper.

  50. Thank you,you helped me with my classwork for the day

  51. Thanks this really helped with my ww1 homework

  52. 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˜€

  53. Thanks so much. This really helped me with my homework.

  54. I am doing a project about world war 1 love these facts

  55. thanks this website is good helped me on nearly everything, this is gonna be good for my project. lol thnx

  56. so cool website thank you for the useful information helped me a lot in my world war 1 project in school

  57. thanx this website helped me with my homework thank you again

  58. Thanks so much, my homework looks fab! Incredible facts, thanks for the time and effort xxx

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

  60. Thanks! This really was useful for my US history project!! THANK YOU!! ={D

    • Thanks for using Primary Facts, Jenna. Glad we were able to help you with your project.

  61. This was so useful for my English homework it was so much work but i got it done in time

  62. thanks so much this helped me with my english homework!

  63. thx so much you helped me get an a on my history report

  64. This is the day before my world war 1 test and I forgot to bring home my study guide and this helped me so much thank you

  65. 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

  66. My great uncle fought in this war so i wanted to know more about it and this helped a lot!

  67. Thanks really helped!! I think these facts are so amazing.!!

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

  69. 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!

  70. Thank you so much you helped me with my English homework I’m so glad that it is over thanks

  71. these facts helped me a lot in my homework!!! THX A+ HERE I COME

  72. Omg. Thank you so much . I have such a hard time doing my world war 1 homework in history. I hope I get a A+ on my work!!!

  73. these are amazing facts. I learned a lot and got to know how WWI started.

  74. This is so useful,I used it to finish my poster for my world history class.

  75. nice it helped with my christmas holiday project thanks

  76. thank you so much i now have some facts for english.

  77. 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?

  78. James, thank you so much for this information. This is helping so much on my essay.

  79. cool this helped me heaps with my research in history

  80. This has really helped me in my genius hour ( a time on a Friday in school when we can research what we want and do a project on it). ( :

  81. 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.

  82. those are really good facts…. thanks james you help me with my school work

  83. hi james this is a really good website and it is helping me with my social studies work in class on WW1 thanks ;p

  84. thanks so much, this really helped my with my History homework and i will always go back to this amazing site

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