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April 19, 2019


Lesser Known Battles of World War One

World War One battles that are widely talked about and well-known include Passchendaele, Ypres and the Somme but as it was called a global war, this means many battles were fought right across the globe. Many of these battles remain largely unknown and certainly didn’t all take place in the muddy fields of Europe. Here are three lesser known but still significant battles of the First World War:

  1. Togo

Finding the precise moment that a global conflict began is never easy, but it could be argued that the first shots of WW1 didn’t even occur in Europe. Indeed, the first shots occurred in West Africa in a German colony called Togo.

Troops were amassing on the front lines of Europe by summer 1914 but many thousands of miles away is a small Togolese town called Kamina, Alhaji Grunshi was the first soldier under British command to fire a shot. The first British officer killed in the war was Lieutenant George Thompson on 22nd August 1914.

The Germans were using local labour to construct a wireless station, which would have been a major advantage. When war broke out, it wasn’t complete but was operational. Allied forces soon closed in on the station. The Germans tried to gather a local police force, as there were no soldiers in the region. However, they were forced to surrender and destroy the station. This event ended German rule in the colony and was the first allied victory of the war.

  1. Malta

This small island became known as the nurse of the Mediterranean as it treated over 100,000 war casualties. Malta’s battle became the struggle to save as many soldiers as they could, treating wounds never seen before in any other war previously. Malta opened up its 27 hospitals to treat the injured as they overwhelmed the island from the front lines of Europe.

Soldiers were brought to the island on hospital ships. Malta is conveniently located in the centre of the Mediterranean, so could easily accommodate injured soldiers fighting in Turkey and Greece for example.

The First World War was the world’s first industrialised war, so the injuries they saw were unprecedented. WW1 saw the first use of tanks, aircraft and machine guns. There were no antibiotics and sepsis caused many deaths but despite this, thousands of soldiers survived thanks to care they received on Malta. Tanks were first seen on the battlefields of WW1 and have made a huge impact on warfare ever since. For your very own Tank Driving Days, visit Armourgeddon Tank Driving.

  1. Mexico

The Mexican border is one of the most monitored in the world and runs at almost 2,000 miles in length. The reason they are so forcibly monitored today is the result of a small paper telegram sent during the First World War.

By 1917, the Germans wished to exploit the tensions between the US and Mexico over their shared border. The German Foreign Minister sent a coded telegram to Mexico proposing an alliance. They wanted to draw the US into a conflict with Mexico to detract it from events in Europe. Before it reached Mexico, it was uncovered and decoded, revealing the plans to the world.

Health Tips

Protecting our lungs from dust

Lungs are the essential organs that enable us to breathe, bringing in oxygen from the atmosphere into the body and then exchanging it for carbon dioxide. As such, our lungs are extremely sensitive to what we breathe in and if that contains dust and other, our lungs can get damaged.

Our lungs do have a defence mechanism and are able to remove dust particles from our respiratory system. However, if exposure is significant and over long periods of time, damage in the form of lung diseases can occur.

When we breathe in dust, dust particles enter the nose with some not reaching the lungs at all. Noses are effective filters with most big particles stopping here, often forced out through sneezing or blowing our noses.

Smaller particles are able to pass down into the windpipe and the air tubes leading to the lungs called the bronchi and bronchioles. Mucus-producing cells entrap most of the dust and little hairs called cilia move the mucus up towards the throat, to be coughed up, swallowed or spat out.

Any particles small enough to avoid these defences thus far, make it to the inner part of the lungs in small air sacs called alveoli. These important sacs are how the body absorbs the oxygen it needs.

Dust consists of solid particles of varying sizes which are either organic or inorganic. Inorganic dust can come from minerals like rock or soil and metal grinding. Inorganic dust includes asbestos, coal and silica.

Organic dust comes from animals or plants. The production of grain is one example of how organic dust is created. This type of dust also includes things like fungi, microbes or toxins released from microbes.

How the respiratory responds, depends a great deal on where the dust settles. Dust in the nose can lead to rhinitis. Dust in the larger air passages can lead to inflammation of the trachea or bronchitis. The worst reactions occur when dust settles in the deepest parts of the lungs. Dust that evades all the previous defences will end up in the sacs or at the end of the airways.

For workers in dusty environments, it’s highly important to protect their airways as much as possible. Controls must be in place to avoid respiratory problems. Such controls might include:

Using wet cleaning and vacuuming and not dry sweeping

Keeping the dust-producing activities enclosed under a negative air pressure system

Dust containing air to be exhausted through a dust collection system before emission into the atmosphere. For quality components for dust removal systems, like a Spiral Duct, visit Dust Spares.

Proper storage and transport

Controlled dangerous waste disposal

Use of personal protective equipment where required. This should always be used as a last resort and is no substitute for proper and effective dust control methods.