The Great War Terms and Concepts

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Kaiser William II

Emperor of Germany and formal commander of German forces, he occasionally interfered in strategy – which harmed his image when battles failed

Trench warfare

the military stalemate in France from 1915 to 1918 that caused millions of casualties in pointless attacks against fortified positions and destroyed military morale

Poison gas

a variety of gases (usually mustard, chlorine or phosgene) used by all forces through the war

Munitions “canaries”

British women who worked in munitions plants were given this nickname because the chemicals affected their skin and, like canaries in mines, the work was so dangerous

shell shock”

term to describe a number of injuries related to the damage that constant shell bursts did to men’s nervous systems

Lafayette Escadrille”

while Americans joined the French Foreign Legion as early as 1914 and served as ambulance drivers with the French army, American fliers joined the French Air Service and in late 1915 formed this special squadron

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