|"Someone ought to establish a firm to insure against loss of glory in war."|
|--||Carl Adolf Maximillian Hoffmann,|
German General Staff,
The Great War
- Although the French Army tended to ignore heavy artillery, on the eve of the Great War they did have some guns and mortars in calibers from 122 mm to 270 mm, designed by the aptly named Col. Charles Ragon de Bange, who died at age 80 on July 9, 1914, just a few weeks before his creations began becoming popular with the troops.
- During the World War, the Belgian birth rate fell to about a third of the pre-war level.
- While overall 51.3 percent of the 45,582 officers in the Russian Army in August of 1914 were blue bloods, noblemen only comprised about 40 percent of infantry officers, as many of company grade officers were former enlisted men.
- Early in the Great War, German soldiers who shot down "enemy" carrier pigeons were sometimes given leave.
- Formed in 1901 to promote the adoption of military conscription by Britain, on the eve of World War I in 1914, the National Service League seems to have had 200,000 members and associates.
- About 22 percent of adult German noblemen died in the 1914-1918 war; the extended von Bulow family, with a long tradition of military service, lost 33 members.
- Between 1900 and 1911, applications for entry to the French military academy at St. Cyr fell from 1,895 a year to 871, while those for the infantry officer candidate school at St. Maixent went from 842 to 380, with the result that on the eve of the Great War in mid-1914 the active army was short about 800 lieutenants.