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US Facts about WW1

Woodrow Wilson

US Facts about WW1: Woodrow Wilson was the 28th American President who served in office from March 4, 1913 to March 4, 1921. One of the most important events was the role of America in  WW1 and the American Expeditionary Force (AEF).

Definition and Summary of the US Facts about WW1
Summary and definition:
Interesting US facts about World War 1 include the causes of the Great War, the American Expeditionary Force (AEF), the countries of the Allies and Central Powers, the American troops, WW1 weapons and the different types of warfare they faced in the WWI battles.

World War One (28 July, 1914 - 11 November, 1918) was triggered on 28 June 1914 by the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his pregnant wife Sophie and resulted in a major European conflict between the Central Powers and the Allies. World War 1 started on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918. The role of US Facts about WW1 began on April 6, 1917, two and a half years after the outbreak of the war in Europe.

US Facts about WW1 for kids: Neutral until April 6, 1917
At the outbreak of WW1 President Wilson adopted a neutral position in an effort to keep the United States of America from being drawn into the war in Europe. For additional information refer to the Causes and Outbreak of World War 1 and facts about the
American Entry into WW1.

US Facts about WW1 for kids: The Allies and the Central Powers
The Allies consisted of the French Republic, the British Empire (including Canada, Australia and New Zealand) and the Russian Empire, also known as the Triple Entente. Italy ended its alliance with the Central Powers and entered the war on the side of the Allies in 1915. The Allies, consisting of the Triple Entente, were also joined in 1915 by countries of Japan, Belgium, Serbia, Greece, Montenegro, and Romania. The date of the US entry into the war was April 6, 1917. The Central Powers consisted of Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria and was also known as the Quadruple Alliance. The name "Central Powers" was derived from the location of the countries.

US Facts about World War 1: Causes of American Entry into WW1 for kids
Causes US entry into WW1: America joined the Allies in World War 1 due to the following causes:

  • The immediate cause was that Germany violated American neutrality by attacking international shipping with its unrestricted U-Boat submarine warfare campaign

  • Other causes included:


Facts about US Facts about WW1
The following fact sheet contains interesting facts and information on US Facts about WW1.

On May 24, 1917 the first U.S. convoy departed from the US to protect shipping to Europe

On July 3, 1917 the first wave of the American Expeditionary Force landed in France commanded by General John "Black Jack" Pershing

The American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) was the name of the United States Armed Forces sent to Europe in WW1.

Mobilization of troops: American soldiers were transported to Europe from New York, New Jersey and Virginia

General Pershing insisted that American soldiers should be well-trained before going into battle, so the majority of US troops did not arrive in Europe until the end of 1917 and started fighting in 1918.

Nicknames: The nicknames for the American soldiers were 'doughboys', British troops were called 'Tommies' and Germans were called 'Fritz'

The Western Front was the name the Germans gave to a series of trenches that ran 700 kilometres (435 miles) from the Belgian coast to the Swiss border

Trench Warfare: On the Western Front, troops dug a network of trenches that stretched hundreds of miles along the battle lines. The battle lines were subject to  massive artillery barrages and then soldiers would clamber out of their trenches, charge across 'no man’s land', and hurl grenades into the trenches of the enemy.

Trench Warfare: The trench network of WW1 stretched approximately 25,000 miles (40,200 km) from the English Channel to Switzerland. The Trenches were infested with millions of rats, frogs and lice

Trench Warfare and Illness: Soldiers suffered from the mental illness known as “shell shock,” or posttraumatic stress disorder, due to the horrors of trench warfare. Shell shock was caused by the effect of constant noise of explosions and guns, along with the smell and danger of the trenches. Trench fever was a horrible and painful disease caused by body lice during WW1. Trench foot was even more terrifying. Trench foot was caused by standing in the water and mud of the trenches for a long time and losing blood circulation which could lead to amputation. In some cases, soldiers socks started to grow on to their feet.

Biological / Chemical Warfare: The strategy of trench warfare failed to bring fast results so both sides started to use new technology in the form of poison gas. Chemicals used included tear gas that caused tears, pain, vomiting, and even blindness and mustard gas that caused large blisters on the exposed skin and in the lungs.

Tank Warfare: Technology developed further and the new strategy of tank warfare was adopted

Aerial Warfare: The First World War saw the birth of military airpower when airplanes were used in combat. Initially the military uses of airplanes were focused on reconnaissance to gain a bird’s eye view of the battle field. Then, as technology advanced further, the airplanes were equipped with bombs.

Dogfights: As technology advanced further machine guns were attached to aircraft enabling WW1 pilots to engage in deadly close range air battles known as dogfights. Smaller, lighter machine guns were also added to aircraft. The German Fighter Ace nicknamed the 'Red Baron' (Manfred von Richthofen) was credited with shooting down 80 Allied aircraft until he was shot down and killed by the British on April 21, 1918.

The American Expeditionary Force was engaged in 13 campaigns, during the period 1917–1918. The AEF fought with the French Army on the Western Front during the Aisne Offensive (at Château-Thierry and Belleau Wood) in June 1918, and fought its major actions in the Saint-Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne Offensives in late 1918.

World War One weapons: A variety of weapons were used in WW1 including weapons such as Rifle, Bayonets, Swords, Knives, Handguns, Machine Guns, Submachine Guns, Grenades, Field Guns, Zeppelin airships (which carried machine guns and bombs), Flamethrowers, Mortars, Tanks, Airplanes and Torpedoes from Submarines.

The invention of plastic surgery and early techniques of facial reconstruction were pioneered during the Great War as a result of the terrible injuries inflicted on the troops.

During World War One the Spanish flu caused about 1/3 of total military deaths

The total cost of World War One for the U.S. was more than $30 billion

The World War One led to collapse of 4 empires: the Ottoman Empire, Austro-Hungarian Empire, German Empire and the Russian Empire.

During WW1 274 German U-boats (submarines) sank 6,596 ships. The first military submarine, called the Turtle, was first used during the American Revolutionary War.

The Tank warfare played a major role in the war and were initially called "landships".  However they became known as 'tanks' after the British attempted to disguise them as water storage tanks rather than as weapons.

Some Americans joined the French Foreign Legion or the British or Canadian army before the US declared war on Germany. American Volunteer Pilots in WWI joined the Lafayette Escadrille as the Escadrille Americaine. In 20 months the 38 American Volunteer pilots shot down 57 German planes

American women who served as telephone operators for General Pershing’s forces in Europe were nicknamed the "Hello Girls".

400,000 African Americans were drafted during the war, and over 40,000 African Americans served overseas as combat troops.

Alvin Cullum York (December 13, 1887 – September 2, 1964), aka Sergeant York, was one of the most decorated American soldiers in World War One and hailed as the greatest American hero of World War I. Sergeant York led an attack on a German machine gun nest during which 28 German soldiers were killed, capturing 132 German soldiers and taking 32 machine guns

Capt. Edward Vernon Rickenbacker (October 8, 1890 – July 23, 1973) was an American fighter ace in World War I. Eddie received the Medal of Honor with 26 confirmed aerial victories

Dogs were used in World War I as messengers, carrying orders to the front lines in a capsule attached to their body

The Leaders of World War 1 were Kaiser Wilhelm II, Tsar Nicholas II, Prince Alexander of Serbia, Sir Edward Grey British Foreign Secretary, President Wilson U.S. President, H. H. Asquith and David Lloyd George.

The U.S. was in WW1 in actual combat for only 7½ months during which time 116,000 Americans were killed and 204,000 were wounded.

The famous American battles of WW1 were the Battle of Cantigny (May 28, 1918), Chateau-Thierry (June 3, 1918), Battle of Belleau Wood (June 6, 1918 - June 26, 1918) and the Battle of St. Mihiel (September 12, 1918).

World War 1 ended when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month on November 11, 1918.

US American History
1913-1928: WW1 & Prohibition

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