Eight million men in total fought in the British Army during the First World War. More than half of them (5 million) served in France and Flanders on the Western Front.  These men came from the U.K. as well as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India and even the West Indies. Another 8 million soldiers fought for France.  The United States sent 4.7 million to war with Germany in the last two years of the war  and as many as 11 million Germans fought in France and Belgium as well between 1914 and 1918.  Interestingly enough these weren’t the only nations’ armies to have taken part in the fighting there. There were other, smaller, often overlooked contingents to the Western Front that history has largely forgotten. Here are their stories.
When war between the powers of Europe erupted in the summer of 1914, Portugal…
View original post 1,350 more words
Gas was a weapon that will be forever associated with the Great War. First used at Ypres in April 1915, it caused many casualties among the front line troops. But gas did not just linger on the battlefield – it drifted. And in drifting it moved into areas that were used to bring up supplies and ammunition, and as the war progressed, these areas became often as much targeted as the front line.
As the majority of transport in every army during WW1 was horse or mule transport, then these animals became as much affected by the gas as their human masters. Just as gas masks were developed for the troops, masks were equally introduced for horses; this image shows a British soldier wearing a Small Box Respirator, introduced in 1916, checking the gas masks of two horses pulling a service wagon. Gas warfare was a bad enough experience for…
View original post 18 more words