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World War 1

10 Surprising Facts About WW1: From Female Tanks To Liberty Dogs



World War 1, also known as the Great War, was a time of immense upheaval and change that impacted the world in profound ways. While most people are familiar with the basic facts of the war, there are many lesser-known details that are often overlooked. In this article, we will explore ten surprising and fascinating facts about WW1 that shed light on the innovation, sacrifice, and tragedy of this global conflict.

One surprising aspect of WW1 was the gendered classification of tanks. While tanks were a new and innovative technology, they were not immune to the gender norms of the time. Female tanks were designated with a ‘C’ for ‘female and were often used for communication and support roles, while male tanks were designated with a ‘M’ for ‘male and were used for combat. This gendered classification of tanks reflects the societal norms of WW1 and the ways in which gender impacted all aspects of life during this time.

Key Takeaways

WW1 Tank Gendering

Tanks during WW1 were gendered in an unusual way, with male tanks being equipped with cannons and female tanks carrying machine guns.

This little-known fact about the war highlights the unique aspects of WW1 weaponry and provides insight into the role of women during the war.

World War 1, WW1

The gendering of tanks was not merely a symbolic gesture but rather a practical decision made by military leaders.

Male tanks were designed to break through enemy lines and attack fortified positions with their powerful cannons.

Female tanks, on the other hand, were smaller and more maneuverable, making them ideal for supporting infantry with their machine guns.

This gendering of tanks shows the extent to which military strategy was influenced not only by technology but also by social and cultural norms.

The role of women in WW1 extended beyond the battlefield, as they were also employed in factories producing weapons and munitions and suffered from TNT toxicity as a result of their work.

Innovations in Medicine

Despite the devastation of WW1, significant advancements in healthcare were made during the war. The introduction of plastic surgery and routine blood transfusions revolutionized the medical field and paved the way for modern medicine.

Plastic surgery was initially developed to reconstruct facial injuries, which were common among soldiers due to the use of trench warfare and close combat. This led to the development of facial reconstruction techniques and paved the way for new surgical methods that are still used today.

The use of routine blood transfusions also became common during the war, which saved countless lives and helped to mitigate the impact of blood loss on the battlefield.

The impact of WW1 on mental health cannot be overstated. The war caused immense trauma, leading to the development of new treatments and therapies for mental health disorders.

Many soldiers suffered from shell shock, now known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which was initially misunderstood and often treated with harsh methods such as electroshock therapy. However, the war also led to the development of new therapies, such as psychoanalysis and cognitive behavioral therapy, which are still used today to treat mental health disorders.

The advancements in healthcare during WW1 have had a lasting impact on the field and continue to influence modern medicine.

Cultural Impact on America

The cultural impact of WW1 in America was significant, with the German language and culture being banned and traditional German foods and names being changed to more Americanized versions. This was due to the anti-German sentiment that was prevalent during the war, as suspicion of German spies and sympathizers was high.

Propaganda posters were used to encourage Americans to buy war bonds and support the war effort, while patriotic music was played to boost morale.

Food rationing was also introduced during the war, with the aim of conserving food resources for the troops overseas. Traditional German foods such as sauerkraut and frankfurters were renamed to liberty cabbage and hot dogs, respectively, while hamburgers, a food that originated from Germany, were still allowed but renamed to Salisbury steak.

The German language and culture ban was lifted after the war ended, but the cultural impact of WW1 in America had lasting effects.

Frequently Asked Questions

How were tanks assigned their genders during WW1 and what was the reasoning behind this?

Tanks were assigned genders during WW1, with male tanks equipped with cannons and female tanks carrying machine guns. The reasoning behind this was to differentiate their roles. It impacted the war effort by increasing firepower but may have had psychological effects on soldiers.

What specific medical innovations were developed during WW1 and how did they impact modern medicine?

The development and impact of medical advancements during WW1 were significant, including pioneering advances in plastic surgery and routine blood transfusions. These innovations revolutionized modern medicine, saving countless lives and improving patient outcomes.

How did the ban on German language and culture in America during WW1 affect German-Americans living in the United States?

The ban on German language and culture in America during WW1 had a significant impact on cultural identity and discrimination against German Americans. The government’s propaganda influence and surveillance exacerbated the situation, leading to distrust and persecution of German Americans.

How did the use of Native American and African American soldiers in WW1 impact their communities and their treatment in the military?

The use of Native American and African American soldiers in WW1 had a significant community impact, but discrimination within the military persisted. Over 200,000 African Americans served in segregated divisions, while Native Americans were used as code talkers and scouts.

How did the young age of some soldiers in WW1 affect their experience and the overall war effort?

The effects of youth on the mental health of young soldiers in WW1 were significant. Conscription forced many underage boys to fight, resulting in trauma and lasting emotional effects. The war effort was also impacted, as inexperienced soldiers often struggled in combat.