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World War I Trivia

Brain Snacks: Tasty Tidbits of Knowledge

On 1 July 1916, some 58,000 British soldiers were killed and wounded (20,000 killed) on the opening day of the Battle of the Somme. The entire active United States Army numbered fewer than 58,000 men on that date.11

General John J. "Black Jack" Pershing, commander of American forces in Europe during World War I, is the only six-star general in American history. He was awarded the rank of General of the Armies by Act of Congress in order to simulate the European rank of Field Marshal (which does not exist in the United States Army), so as to put Pershing on an equal footing with haughty French and British commanders. Pershing was a humble man, however, and he never wore his sixth star on his uniform.12

Over one-third of all men born in Britain between 1892 and 1895 were killed during the Great War.13

Originally called the Land Ship, tanks got their name from a British codeword used to describe them during their secret development. Since they looked vaguely like water tanks, someone gave them the name and it has stuck to this day.14

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