Questions on World War I, events that caused it, strategy and tactics employed by the battling sides and the consequences of this war.

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How did soldiers in WWI who wore Jackboots keep the boots from being sucked off in the mud?

In the trench warfare of the First World War, the mud was often knee deep, although it sometimes reached well above the soldiers' chests. These conditions were obviously horrendous, and made it ...
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1answer
91 views

Were non German soldiers treated differently than German soldiers in the German army during the Great War?

For some reason I cannot find reliable source about that. Germany's population were in majority German, but there was also Frenchs in the west, Danes in the north, Lithuanians, and Poles in the east, ...
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4answers
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What were the causes of the “Dardenelles” fiasco in World War I

During World War II, the Allies sent supplies to the Soviet Union via Murmansk/Archangelsk in the north, via Persia and the Caspian Sea in the south, and via the Tran-Siberian railroad. Why didn't ...
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2answers
116 views

Why and how did George V give titles to his generals over lands that he did not possess?

Edward Allenby was given the title Viscount Allenby, of Megiddo and of Felixstowe in the County of Suffolk. Megiddo lies in Israel, it was outside British possessions, although it was controlled by ...
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4answers
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How come all the major WW1 rifles were bolt action?

The main disadvantage of bolt action is that one has to remove the right hand from the trigger which leads to slower rate of fire. Neither lever nor pump have this problem. Rate of fire was viewed as ...
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3answers
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Why did the United States enter World War I?

The topic of World War I came up last night with a few strangers, at a bar, of course. One seemingly knowledgeable gentleman, who happened to have Howard Zinn's A Peoples' History of the United States ...
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4answers
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War Guilt Methodology: Was Germany solely to blame for WWI? [closed]

Article 231 of the Treaty of Versailles places the blame of the war solely on Germany and her allies. This is the quote: The Allied and Associated Governments affirm and Germany accepts the ...
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1answer
112 views

Is it true that Serbia was offered “Great Serbia” instead of Yugoslavia at the end of the WWI by Allies?

Allegedly, the king Alexander Karadjordjevic, the unifier, was offered to choose between Yugoslavia (called the kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes) or greater Serbia which would have been smaller ...
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When did the use of “Contact!” by soldiers emerge?

I was recently watching a World War One docudrama-esque show (Our World War (BBC)) and, while patrolling and fighting to control Trones Wood some British troops unexpectedly encounter the German ...
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6answers
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Why was the Treaty of Versailles so harsh?

When Germany signed the armistice in the first world war, they were still (technically) in a decent bargaining position. Germany still had troops in France and Belgium There were no enemy forces in ...
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1answer
96 views

Nejd (Saudi Arabia) and the Arab Revolt

Did Nejd (Saudi Arabia) actually engage the Ottoman Empire during WWI or did they just fight al Rashid (Jabal Shammer), who was loyal to the Ottomans? Did al Rashid fight the Allied forces?
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121 views

When did it become openly known that Wilson supported the Balfour Declaration?

According to this source he agreed with the declaration about one month before it was published. ...
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6k views

Did the Germans purposefully arrange to send Lenin to Russia to start a revolution?

A recent documentary, The World Wars, on the History Channel suggested, strongly, that the Imperial German government secretly arranged safe-passage for Vladimir Lenin to return to Moscow from ...
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2answers
378 views

Did the Weimar governments publish revelatory WWI documents?

Consider this statement from a speech by Yegor Gaidar: Historically, such myths have a dangerous precedent--namely, Germany between World War I and World War II. Then, the legend went that ...
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2answers
143 views

Did World War I soldiers carry swagger sticks, while in combat?

At 1 minute 3 seconds juncture of the TV movie All the King's Men, Captain Frank Reginald Beck, MVO is depicted leading an infantry charge, while wielding some kind of whip or baton or stick in his ...
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6answers
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Why did Italy abandon its alliance with Germany in WW1 and join the Allied side?

Before WW1 Italy was part of an alliance with Germany and Austria-Hungary, yet it didn't join them when the war started and it even joined the Allied side later during the war. Why did Italy do this? ...
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2answers
429 views

What changed Japanese attitude to POWs in inter-war period?

I have read this excellent answer in which @Semaphore provides sources confirming that German defenders of Tsingtao were treated very well during World War I, which even lead to some tradition in ...
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When were the “War Relief Toy Works” set up and by whom?

There are a number of toys in existence - particularly Noah's Arks - which originate from the 'War Relief Toy Works', which was based in Stoke Newington, a suburb of London, UK. A representative ...
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What was the role of Konstantin Rokossovsky during WW1?

The Wikipedia article is very poor in this subject: On joining the Kargopolsky 5th Dragoon Regiment, Rokossovsky soon showed himself a talented soldier and leader; he ended the war with the rank ...
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10answers
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Are tanks the only reason for the abandonment of trench warfare?

The First World War in the West was for 4 years restricted to trench warfare. Gaining enemy territory cost many human lives for both sides. The main (or maybe most spectacular) battles were Verdun and ...
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1answer
2k views

Machine gun specs in WW1 [closed]

I know that machine guns were a vital part of world war 1. I know that they were mainly used in the trenches as fixed position weapons. However, I would like some specifications about the machine gun ...
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3answers
363 views

The Purpose of Mystery Object 40.9.11

In the summer of 1915, a wireless telegraph station in Sayville, Long Island owned by the German company Telefunken was caught sending covert commands to U-Boats patrolling the Atlantic Ocean. The ...
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4answers
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Why was Germany held accountable for WW1? [closed]

The Treaty of Versailles forced Germany to accept all responsibility for the war. If the war was initially due to the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand by Serbian assassins, why was Germany to ...
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2answers
356 views

Was there a serious proposal to offer India territory in East Africa?

In the recent World Service series The War That Changed The World the episode dealing with India contains a rather extraordinary claim. A panel member, an Indian, says there was a notion during WW1 ...
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2answers
217 views

Medical personnel fighting on the battlefield

How common was it for Red Cross medical personnel to take part in military action on the battlefields (in both World Wars)? How was this received by the combatants (friendly and enemy)? The question ...
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Why did Spain not participate in World War I?

Spain was losing influence in America for the previous 100 years, and there was a recent Spanish-American war. So how could have Spain remained neutral? Why could Spain not find a place in the ...
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4answers
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Did WW1 produce a “Baby Boom” like demographic effect in USA or elsewhere?

When WW2 American veterans returned home in 1945, one of the well known effects was the demographic one known as "Baby Boom" - a sharp spike in birth rate from 1946 till 1957 or 1964, depending on ...
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3answers
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Why was Switzerland not attacked during the two World Wars?

Why in WW1 or WW2 or ever nobody invaded Switzerland? All other countries was in some wars. How Switzerland do it and should we learn from them? I hear that many people with power have money in swiss ...
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2answers
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World War 1 Indian propaganda posters

In World War 1, because war broke out between the triple entente and the central powers (and they happened to have a lot of foreign colonies), the allies made posters to recruit soldiers from all ...
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3answers
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Were there any attempts to achieve peace in WW1 before 1918?

Did any of the great powers reach out to try and resolve the conflict before the Central Powers surrendered in 1918? Not counting the treaty of Brest-Litovsk, of course, because that didn't end the ...
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1answer
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How were dogs used in WW1

I know that dogs were used in WW1. I know that they weren’t vital, but didn’t play a reasonable role in helping the soldiers in the trenches. However, there is one thing that confuses me: How were ...
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1answer
149 views

French WW 1 infantry field uniforms

In the photo below, my grandfather is photographed center with another 29th Division soldier during World War I and a person on the left whose uniform I cannot identify. Is it French? My grandfather ...
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1answer
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Were the Germans quoting Hamlet to describe their existential struggle in the Great War?

In illustrating how the Great War came to be viewed increasingly by Germans as an existential struggle, Max Hastings, in his Catastrophe: 1914: Europe Goes to War (p. 542), describes how The words ...
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Clauses against unifications in peace treaties

I have learned in school that the Treaty of Versailles (after World War I in 1919) contained a clause that forbade unification of Germany and Austria. Presumably it is Article 80: Germany ...
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3answers
957 views

What was unreasonable about Austria's ultimatum to Serbia?

There are actually three questions. First Question: It is often stated, especially in English-speaking media, that the terms of the Austrian ultimatum to Serbia 1914 were unreasonable. Sometimes the ...
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5answers
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Were cavalry used in first World War?

Due to the nature of trench warfare, a cavalry or a horse-back squad would’ve been rather useless in the war. But, I also know that countries had not anticipated trench warfare – they didn’t know that ...
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2answers
611 views

Was Nicholas II Romanov the last king of Poland?

Nicholas II Romanov, the last Emperor of All-Russia, used also (among many others) titles: Grand Prince of Lithuania, and King of Poland. The Wikipedia states he was "a titular" King of Poland. In ...
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3answers
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What were the individual soldiers motivated by during World War 1?

A history book will tell you that the First World War was started due to the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and a tangled mess of alliances and defensive treaties criss-crossing ...
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2answers
201 views

WW1 artillery defense testing

At the battle of the Somme the British bombarded the Germans for seven days. They fired over 1.5 million shells. But most of these shells were shrapnel shells. These shells failed to cut and ...
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Cost of producing posters in world war 1

I know that a lot of posters were printed out during World War 1, but am confused by the cost for the government to produce all these, a google search normally yields some results - but this time it ...
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2answers
264 views

Why did the assasination of Franz Ferdinand trigger WW1? [closed]

I understand that there were also other reasons other than the assassination, but this is widely considered the trigger for WW1. Why? And why did the whole world get involved with this one ...
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1answer
302 views

What is the origin of these WW1 “official history” maps?

I'm looking for a source, preferably the original atlas or set of documents in facsimile, for the following WW1 maps (and their siblings): I've only found these fragments, reproduced on the Web ...
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2answers
530 views

Was the assassination of Franz Ferdinand in 1914 captured on film?

I have a memory of reading about how Franz Ferdinand's assassination in 1914 was captured on film and watching it, but for the life of me I cannot find this and am beginning to think I fabricated it. ...
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1answer
169 views

WWI : odds to cross the man's land alive [closed]

During the first world war, what where the odds to cross the no man's land alive ? Not to mention staying alive once in the enemy's trench, just the odds to still be alive to either retreat or reach ...
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1answer
718 views

What was World War 1 called before World War 2? [closed]

Today it seems common to refer to both World Wars with the terms "World War 1" and "World War 2" pretty much everywhere. (in the respective translation of course) But I recently realized that this ...
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2answers
938 views

Was the Bosnian Crisis the trigger to WWI and not the assassination?

I've read that Austria-Hungary annexed Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1908, much to the dismay of the Serbs. Russia backed this action and was promised to have access to the Straits but were later denied. The ...
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3answers
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Why did Germany attack Neutral Belgium in the first world war?

I have a basic idea about the Schieffen plan and I know that Germany attacked Belgium in the First world war. But I am slightly confused about this topic, as despite the fact that the schieffen plan ...
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3answers
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WW1: What would happen if an aerial bomb was dropped from too high an altitude?

I've read that by the end of World War I they had both contact and timed fuses(fuzes?), so in the case of a timed fuse (early in the war?), the bomb would just explode early, but what of the contact ...
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3answers
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Did either of the World Wars involve South or Central America?

Were any South or Central American nations besides Brazil involved (not necessarily officially) in either of the World Wars? If any were, I'd appreciate information on their degree of involvement.