Category: world war 1

You’re probably thinking sometime in the late 1800s. But it was actually…

The British Empire got some territorial gains after World War I, including Iraq, Oman, and Yemen.

August Sander was a photographer who used a certain formula for all his photographs. By presenting businessmen, farmers, actors, and beggars all with the same stark directness, the German-born Sander made everyone the everyman. Sander thought we can learn from everyone and every class in society, saying “We can tell from appearance the work someone does or does not do; we can read in his face whether he is happy or troubled, for life unavoidably leaves its trace there.”

This particular portrait is Sander’s most famous. Photographing a bricklayer in Cologne, Germany, Sander turned a sweaty, backbreaking job into dignity and bearing. The classical framing and quiet stateliness was especially poignant for Germany, a country still reeling from the impact of losing World War I.

It is rare to have 100-year-old wines, as people tend to drink them before they reach the centennial mark. But there has been a notable decrease in 100-year-old wines starting in 2014 due to World War I. It is expected for there to be a similar shortage starting in 2039.

From 1914 to 2005. Or, from World War I through the Invasion of Iraq

Since 1219, Estonia was ruled at various times by Danish, Swedish, German, and Russian governments. It declared independence after World War I, but that only lasted until 1940 when it was occupied by the Soviet Union. Estonia has only been an independent nation since 1991.

That means that since 1219, Estonia has been independent for exactly 50 years out of 800!

In German East Africa (Burundi, Rwanda, and Tanzania) during World War I, soldiers painted this pony to resemble one of the local zebras so it could be tethered in the open without being shot. The Imperial War Museum adds, “Two white ponies behind anxiously await their makeovers.”

While British and American suffragettes get all the attention, Japan had a contemporary suffragette movement. It began after the Meiji Restoration when major educational and political reforms started educating women but excluding them from participation in the new “democratic” government. By law, they were barred from joining political parties, expressing political views, and attending political meetings. Japanese women, more educated then ever and slowly participating in Japan’s workforce, began fighting for the right to participate in the new civil democracy as well.

Unfortunately, when Western white women began winning the right to vote after World War I, Japanese women’s participation in politics was still fighting for basic rights. In 1921, for instance, a court ruling overturned the law forbidding women from attending political meetings. This led to a flowering of women’s suffrage organizations in the 1920s, in addition to literary circles which began publishing feminist magazines during the interwar period.

Japanese women kept the issue alive, but did not win the right to vote until 1945, when election laws were revised under the American occupation.

In July 1917, during the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman empire, Lawrence of Arabia was making his way across the Sinai desert towards the Turkish stronghold of Aqaba with his Arab army. He had to fight his way past two outpost defenses first. On July 4th they came to the first outpost, called Kethira. The Arabs were fearful, believing the full moon would compromise their chances of a night attack. Lawrence reassured them “for a while there should be no moon”.

Lunar eclipses are when the Earth casts its shadow across the full moon. And in his diary, Lawrence had recorded that a lunar eclipse would happen on the night of 4/5 July. When it arrived right on cue, the moon appearing to drip red, the Ottoman outpost was terrified and distracted. They clanged pots and shot rifles, according to Lawrence, “to rescue the threatened satellite.” Kathira fell to the Arab army.

And the next day Lawrence took Aqaba, the final outpost connecting the Arabian peninsula to the rest of the Ottoman Empire.


A whole empire walking: Armenians who have escaped a Turkish starvation zone approach the British lines for protection.


European countries that announced neutrality during World War 2.

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