In WWI, many British naval ships were painted with “Dazzle Camo”, a camouflage scheme designed not to make them hard to see, but rather to create a confusing perspective that made judging ship type, speed, and direction difficult.
When Archduke Franz Ferdinand was murdered in his car – triggering the start of World War One – the number plate of his and his wife’s car read “AIII 118”. 11/11/18 was the date when the armistice was finally signed.
During World War I, a Canadian soldier made a black bear his pet and named her Winnipeg. “Winnie” was later a resident of the London Zoological Gardens where she was an adored attraction, especially to a boy named Christopher Robin. The boy even named his teddy bear after her.
The phrase “The First World War” was used as early as 1918, by a journalist who felt it would not be the last.
A goat called Sergeant Bill became a Canadian war hero during WWI when he head-butted three soldiers into a trench to avoid an exploding shell.
The most decorated American WWI veteran from Texas was an undocumented Mexican immigrant named Marcelino Serna. He was also the first Hispanic to be awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.
During WWI, King Albert I of Belgium personally lead the desperate defense against the Germans, while the Queen served as a nurse, and their son, the 14 year-old Crown Prince enlisted in the infantry as a private.
In 1917, the U.S. War Industries Board asked women to stop buying corsets to free up metal for war production. This was said to have saved some 28,000 tons of metal, enough to build two battleships.
The British Army considered (and attempted) training seagulls to poo on enemy submarines periscopes before realizing that seagulls don’t fly that far out to sea.
In the US being clean shaven became popular after troops returned as heroes from WWI–they had been required to shave so gas masks would securely fit.