Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Veteran Day

November 11 marks the ends of fighting in WWI after 4 years, 2 months and 13 days  of unimaginably brutal and devastating combats that left  millions dead soldiers and civilians.

 The armistice was signed on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day in the eleventh month (Paris time) in the forest of Compiegne, located just northeast of Paris inside  a railway car. 

Here are some sobering facts:

More than 65 million men from 72 countries fought in WWI. 

Nearly 10 million died. The Allies (The Entente Powers mainly France, United Kingdom, Belgium and their colonies and   Russia)  lost about 6 million soldiers. The Central Powers (Germany, Austro Hungarian Empire, Ottoman Empire ) lost about 4 million.  More than twenty  million soldiers and civilian were wounded.

Casualties of the war included also a staggering number of animals used during the combats: more than 11 million of horses, asses and mules.

Combats took place mainly in Europe ( France, Belgium, Italy, the Balkans, Greece ) but fighting took also place in Africa, North America, Oceania and Asia. 

WWI brought new methods of warfare including the use of air power (airplanes, dirigibles), submarines, trench warfares and the use of chemical- poisonous gasses that killed more than 1.2 million soldiers on both sides.

The United States stayed neutral until 1917 when it declared war to Germany after their U Boats consistently sunk a number of  US ships.  US's role at first was to supply the Allied forces with material and food.  In the spring of 1918, United States started to send troops, (the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) under the command of General Pershing),  at a rate of 10,000 a day.  These fresh faced soldiers were welcomed by the battle weary Allied veterans and they played a major role in the Hundred Days offensive that lasted from August to Armistice Day on November 11, 1918. More than 116,000 US soldiers lost their lives in WWI and many are laid to rest in the US military cemeteries of Europe.

Enchanted France offers custom  tours of WWI battle fields and cemeteries in France. Tours can include visit such the memorials in Verdun, Bois Belleau and  Chemin des Dames. Visit

#WWI #Francetours #