The following is some interesting facts and information about WWI that we found fascinating and worth sharing with our readers:
A total of 28 nations (24 Allied and 4 AXIS) participated in the Great War to end all wars. Those 28 warring nations contained a population GREATER than the remainder of the earth! The conflagration belted the earth and consumed most civilized capitols. A 20th century “Babel” of Armies, arrayed in a multitude of exotic uniforms, came to France to decide its outcome. The world would never be the same and the clash of “modern warfare” against antiquated military tactics cost an enormous estimated 33,000,000 casualties and $249,000,000,000 to wage. Civilian casualties were never even counted.
The following figures (they vary from book to book) will give you a rough idea of America’s involvement:
America entered the war on April 6, 1917. On June 26, 1917, the first American troops landed in France. On October 23, 1917, the first American troops entered the trenches. On November 2, 1917, the first Americans were killed in battle. By December 31, 1917, 204,965 American troops were in France.
America mobilized 4,274,991 men of which we suffered 130,494 deaths of all types, 234,000 wounded and about 4,500 prisoners or missing.
Of every 100 men in the service in WWI, 10 were National Guardsmen, 13 were Regulars, and 77 were National Army(draftees). Of the 54,000,000 males in our population, 26,000,000 were registered for the draft.
The average soldier who fought in France had 6 months training in the U.S., 2 months training overseas and one month in a “quiet” sector before going into battle. Two out of every three Americans that reached France took part in battle. Out of the 2,084,000 men in France 1,390,000 saw active service at the front.
For a comparison to the Civil War of 1861-1865, at the battle of Gettysburg in July of 1863, about 100,000 Union soldiers participated. At the Battle of St.Mihiel, 550,000 U.S. soldiers participated and the artillery fired more tonnage of shells than was fired in the ENTIRE U.S. Civil War. Over 4,000,000 rounds were fired in four hours! The Meuse-Agonne campaign, lasting 46 days, involved
1,200,000 American soldiers!
Ever wonder why there were so many surplus American uniforms and gear left after WWI?
For every soldier in France there was one uniform in stores there awaiting issue. There was another uniform on its way to France, another uniform in stores in the U.S., and another in production. This was because a uniform was expected to last THREE MONTHS in the field. America was preparing for a BIG push in the Spring of 1919, so a lot of field gear was ordered in the fiscal year of July, 1918 to July of 1919. Contracts let after JULY of 1918 bear a 1919 date. When Germany surrendered in November of 1919, what contracts the suppliers had purchased raw materials for were completed, with any over that being canceled.
The era of wartime “chivalry” died in the mud in France, never to be revived in any great extent. The study of WWI is just beginning with the recent 100th anniversary. New collectors are finding WWI an affordable hobby as well as a good investment. We at Great War have helped a lot of collectors build fabulous collections over the almost 25 years we have been in business.