In honor of the 100th anniversary of WWI, we are publishing photos
of local men who served in what has been dubbed as ‘The War
to end all Wars’. Listed below are some interesting facts about that
• The total cost of WWI for the U.S. was more than $30 billion.
• The term “dogfight” originated during WWI. The pilot had to turn off the plane’s engine from time to time
so it would not stall when the plane turned quickly in the air. When a pilot restarte his engine midair, it
sounded like dogs barking.
• The war left thousands of soldiers disfigured and disabled. Reconstructive surgery was used to repair facial
damage, but masks were also used to cover the most horrific disfigurement. Some soldiers stayed in nursing
homes their entire lives.
• WWI is the sixth deadliest conflict in world history.
• To increase the size of the U.S. Army during WWI, Congress passed the Selective Service Act, which was
also known as the conscription or draft, in May 1917. By the end of the war, 2.7 million men were drafted.
Another 1.3 million volunteered.
• Some Americans disagreed with the United States’ initial refusal to enter WWI and so they joined the
French Foreign Legion or the British or Canadian army. A group of U.S. pilots formed the Lafayette
Escadrille, which was part of the French air force and became one of the top fighting units on the Western
Front.Artillery barrage and mines created immense noise.
• In 1917, explosives blowing up beneath the German lines on Messines Ridge at Ypres in Belgium could be
heard in London 140 miles away.
• The Pool of Peace is a 40-ft (12-m) deep lake near Messines, Belgium. It fills a crater made in 1917 when
the British detonated a mine containing 45 tons of explosives.
• Germans were the first to use flamethrowers in WWI. Their flamethrowers could fire jets of flame as far
as 130 feet.
• More than 65 million men from 30 countries fought in WWI. Nearly 10 million died. The Allies (The
Entente Powers) lost about 6 million soldiers. The Central Powers lost about 4 million.
• There were over 35 million civilian and soldier casualties in WWI. Over 15 million died and 20 million
were wounded. Nearly 2/3 of military deaths in WWI were in battle. In previous conflicts, most deaths were
due to disease.
• During WWI, the Spanish flu caused about 1/3 of total military deaths.
• Russia mobilized 12 million troops during WWI, making it the largest army in the war. More than 3/4 were
killed, wounded, or went missing in action.