WWI ammunition frozen in time for nearly a century has been found as glacier melts in northern Italy
First World War ammunition frozen in time for nearly a century has been discovered in northern Italy. More than 200 pieces of the ammunition were revealed at an altitude of 3,200 metres by a melting glacier on the Ago de Nardis peak in Trentino. The 85-100mm caliber explosives weighed between 7-10 kilos and explosives experts have been to the site to safely dispose of the weaponry. The once-perennial glacier began partially melted during a recent heat wave, allowing the Finance Police Alpine rescue unit to catch sight of the brownish metal points emerging from the ice.
Football used during the Battle of Loos in 1915 conserved and on show
At the start of the Battle of Loos in 1915, Allied troops planned to kick footballs into the German trenches as they attacked across no-man's-land. However, officers did not like the plan and deflated all but one of the balls. It is believed that ball was the one which - after being rediscovered - has been conserved in Northampton and is now on display in the London Irish Regimental Museum in Camberwell.
"King Anthony" claimed throne from George V
Police inspector Anthony Hall claimed to be related to King Henry VIII threatened to behead the reigning monarch and take his place on the throne in the 1930s, according to secret files. He wrote a letter to the king: "You have no connection with the British royal family. You are an outsider. Therefore, leave this country." George V, who changed his Germanic surname Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to Windsor during World War One, was a "pure-blood German" who had no right to be king, Hall argued.
WW1 U-boat UB-85 attacked by seamonster?
April 30, 1918, in the waning days of World War I, the crew of the British patrol boat were astounded to find a German submarine (the UB-85) floating on the surface of the North Atlantic. With almost no provocation, the entire crew of the UB-85 abandoned ship. According to U-boat's commander, his submarine had surfaced in order to recharge its batteries. Suddenly, a "strange Beast" climbed onto the side of his ship. The shaken crew of the UB-85 noted that during the struggle the forward deck plating had been damaged and the U-boat could no longer submerge. The entire account was chronicled by members of the British Navy, only hours after the event.
Dorothy Lawrence secretly posed as a man to become a soldier
Dorothy Lawrence was an English reporter who secretly posed as a man to become a soldier. In 1914 Dorothy was living in Paris and had a desire to be a war reporter on the front lines, but was unable to get employment because she was a woman. She persuaded two Scottish military policemen to cut her hair military style and then dyed her skin using diluted furniture polish to give it a bronzed color. With forged identity papers as Private Denis Smith of the 1st Leicestershire regiment she headed for the front lines, eventually arriving at the Somme.
The last British cavalryman to have ridden into battle on the Western Front
The last British cavalryman to have ridden into battle on the Western Front has died aged 108. Albert "Smiler" Marshall, who survived the brutal campaigns at Loos and the Somme, was one of only about a dozen remaining survivors of the First World War. Mr Marshall served with the Essex Yeomanry, and is thought to have been the last English cavalryman to have charged with a drawn sword.
Red Baron brought down by a shot fired the previous year
A head wound suffered by the Red Baron the year before his death was the underlying reason he was eventually shot down, according to a study by neuroscientists. There has been endless speculation over who killed the 25-year-old WW1 flying ace but the study suggests that more credit is due to the British airman who grazed his skull in 1917 than to the Australian gunner who eventually brought him down in 1918. The killing machine feared by the Allies and revered by his countrymen suffered significant brain damage to his frontal lobes when a machinegun round fired by Second Lieutenant A E Woodbridge of the Royal Flying Corps splintered his skull.
Adolf Hitler's life was once allegedly spared by a British soldier
Private Tandey led a bayonet charge against outnumbering enemy troops which helped bring fighting to an end. As the battle wound down and enemy troops surrendered or retreated, a wounded German soldier limped out of the maelstrom and into Private Tandey's line of fire, the battle weary man never raised his rifle and just stared at Tandey resigned to the inevitable. "I took aim but couldn't shoot a wounded man. so I let him go." The young German soldier nodded in thanks and the two men took diverging paths. Hitler retreated with the remnants of German troops. Tandey put that encounter out of his mind and rejoined his regiment, discovering that he had won the Victoria Cross.
Pigeons During the Two World Wars
During World War I some actions were undertaken after forces were informed by photos taken by military pigeons. German forces took possession of more than one million Belgian race pigeons. Airplanes and war-ships were always accompanied by racing pigeons. Military pigeons brought 717 tidings of crashed airplanes at sea. 95% of the military pigeons returned from their mission. Many birds were badly injured. Cher Ami reached his loft although he was wounded very badly. He saved 194 lives of the "Lost Battalion".
Historians dispute legend that soldier spared Hitler's life (Article no longer available from the original source)
A WW1 legend that Adolf Hitler's life was spared by a soldier who had him in his sights has been questioned by new research. Pte Henry Tandey, who was serving with the Duke of Wellington's Regiment, reputedly had a chance to kill the future Führer during fighting at Marcoing, near Cambrai, France, on the day he won a Victoria Cross, Sept 28, 1918. But he could not bring himself to kill a wounded man and instead let Hitler go. Hitler was indeed wounded in northern France, but work by historians has cast new doubt on the story. Documents in the Bavarian State Archive show that Corporal Hitler was on leave on the day in question and nowhere near the battle.