World War I coincided with numerous advances in technology, resulting in the introduction of new hardware and combat accessories on the battlefield. For example, wristwatches, which had been popular as jewelry pieces for women, replaced the bulky pocket watches that had been favored by men. Even items as simple as belts, which were traditionally made of leather that cracked and frayed under harsh conditions, were upgraded to woven webbed cotton, a more durable material in cold, damp trenches.

As with militaria from most wars, medals hanging from multi-colored ribbons, badges designed to be affixed to caps, and insignia sewn onto the collars, cuffs, and shoulders of jackets, remain popular with collectors, whether they are interested in British, U.S., Russian, French, or German pieces. While jackets are relatively difficult to come by, countless helmets have survived, be they the plain, bowl-shaped headgear worn by members of the American Expeditionary Forces or the elaborate parade versions of the German Pickelhaube, whose tops were crowned by aggressive spikes and sometimes menacing eagles.

Although World War One was the first major conflict in which the airplane played a role, it was also fought on horseback. Thus, many items were designed for members of the cavalry, from swords with sturdy nickel-plated hilts to ammunition-filled bandoliers that could be worn across a trooper’s chest or wrapped around the neck of a rider’s trusty steed.

Technology impacted the weapons troops carried, too. Rifles were outfitted with accurate sniper scopes, so the enemy could be picked off from a safe distance. Still, the hardware that attached blades and bayonets to the ends of these rifles was also present—some were even designed to be clamped to revolvers for combat at close range.

On the homefront, citizens were exhorted to support the doughboys “over there” with wartime propaganda posters that encouraged thrift, contributions to the war effort, and enlistment. The most famous of these was a 1917 poster titled “I Want You for the U.S. Army” by James Montgomery Flagg, which featured a stern-faced, top-hatted Uncle Sam, pointing an accusatory finger at the viewer. In fact, Flagg made 46 different images to support the war effort, including one of a sleeping Lady Liberty that shouted “Wake Up, America!” across its brow. In fact, Flagg's Uncle Sam poster was so popular, it was also widely used in World War II.

Other famous American artists of the day included Howard Chandler Christy, whose “I Want You for the Navy” from 1917 featured a flirty blonde in a man's Navy uniform. A year later, Christy put a fetching brunette in a floppy, white sailor’s cap proclaiming, “Gee!! I Wish I Were a Man. I’d Join the Navy, Naval Reserve or Coast Guard.” Joseph Christian Leyendecker’s images were more sober and classically heroic—a sailor shaking hands with a somber Lady Liberty; a group of bare-chested, barefoot men loading ordnance into an artillery gun; a Boy Scout holding an enormous sword bearing the words “Be prepared.”


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Great War Dust Jackets

Great War Dust Jackets

Alan Hewer's comprehensive site is devoted to World War I books and dust jackets from 1914 to 1939. Most of the boo… [read review or visit site]

myArmoury.com

myArmoury.com

This resource for historic arms and armour collectors provides exhaustive information on modern reproductions (cust… [read review or visit site]

The Civil War

The Civil War

Paul McWhorter’s amazing reference site tells the story of the Civil War through high resolution scans of Harpers… [read review or visit site]

Mikes Tanks

Mikes Tanks

Mike Seeber’s extensive collection of over 500 diecast tanks and military vehicles, dating back to WWII. Browse b… [read review or visit site]



Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Imperial Russian Model 1827 Engineer Sawback Sword-massive & ImpressiveStunning 1914 Rare Gun Metal Offices Military Trench Wristwatch, Original StrapGerman Wwi Imperial Pickelhaube Spike War Combat Damaged Helmet Germany Ww1 1822 Pattern French Light Cavalry Officer Sabre (sword) Modified 1882Large Wwi-wwii Officers Silver J W Benson Trench Watch Box Works Spares RepairsWwi German Wurttemberg M1889 Officer's Sword, Made By Carl EickhornWw1 British Small Box Respirator 1917, Haversack, Anti Dim KitUs Ww1 Wwi Or Earlier Usmc Marine Corps Officer's Leather Belt & BuckleLarge Antique Gorham Wwi Shrapnel Artillery Shell Cocktail Shaker, NrWwi Imperial German Iron Cross 1st Class-original-vaulted-“900” Marked Wwi German 98/05 Mauser Butcher Sawback Bayo-anker-werke Bielefeld-navy MarkedUs Wwi Army Officers Eagle Insignia Olive Green Leather Visor Cap Hat Ultra Rare Ww1 Imperial German Jager's Or's (em's) Tunic. Original. Rock.Great Usmc Banana Wars Medal Group: Good Conduct, West Indies Victory, HaitianNamed Wwi 26th Division 102nd Infantry Wounded Soldiers Uniform & Painted HelmetImperial German War Flag Battle Flag Kaiser Not Turkey Or Austria FeldmutzeWw1 Us 2nd Division 2nd Battalion 15th Field Artillery Painted Helmet Ww1 British Brodie War Office Pattern Helmet- Excellent Condition With Tag WwiWw1 German HelmetWw1 Austro-hungarian Aviation Pilot-observer Wings Enameled Badge - No ReserveGerman Helmet Ww1 M-1918 M-18 Cutaway HelmetWwi German 98/05 "butcher" Bayonet, Unit Marked, Stahlblume Schulte & Co.Us Wwi Model 1905 Garand Bayonet With Model 1910 Canvas Sleeve Scabbard Ww1 Imperial German Saxon Or's (em's) Metal Version Pickelhaube 100% Ww2 German K98 Bayonet With Scabbard & FrogWwi German Imperial Officers Koenig Kugelhelm Spiked Helmet Pickelhaube W/scalesUsmc Ega Officer Dress Collar Emblems Bb&b Marine Corps100% Original Joblot Of Trench ArtPre Wwi German Prussian Model 1873 Cavalry Saber Sword-luneschloss 1905Mint Blade German Ww1 F. W. Holler Solingen Sword 1915 Ww1 Canadian Cased Memorial Cross For Pvt George Leonard, 29 Battalion CefWw1 French Army Artillery Helmet. Original.World War 1 Named 3rd Army GroupingOriginal Ww1 War Diary Somme British Army Field Message Book To Sgt Rowe RascAntique Wwi Imperial German Spike Helmet Picklehaube Original Prussia Wwi German Saxon Infantry Model-em's Spiked HelmetGerman Wwi Officer's Spike Helmet Pickelhaube Leather Brass Scales Chinstrap Ww1Russia Imperia! Ww I George Cross I St! Gold! RareMilitary Medal Group - Gallantry - London Brigade R.f.a. T.f. - Wounded By BombA 1908 Pattern British Army 5 Pocket Ammunition Carrying Pouch. Rare Piece!!!Rare Ww1 British Royal Navy Air Service CapPre Ww1 Us Army Eagle Snap Canteen & Cover Unit Stenciled Ria 1915 Field GearWwi German 98/05 Mauser Butcher Sawback Bayo-simson 1915Rare Model 1917 Hungarian First War Steel Combat Helmet Hungary Ww1 Wwi Rare Original Rfc Royal Flying Corps Pilots Silver WingsWw1 1918 Dated Officers Brass Pocket Compass & Leather Case By E.koehnAntique Original German Military Wwi Helmet Shako Tschako Jaeger Hat LeatherOriginal Ww1 German Chnistrap For Steel HelmetDated German Pickelhaube Preussen Spiked Helmet Stahlhelm Casque Point Casco ElmJapanese 1883 Nine Leaf Navy Arsenal Marked Sword Medal Group - Qsa No Clasp 1914/15 Star Trio Shipwright Lieutenant Royal NavyWw1 Imperial German Named Silver Plaque Given By Kaiser Wilhelm To 35 Kill AceRare Sabre Of The Naval Officer - Not Russian,soviet, Not Dagger, Sword, Shashka9th Batt Sherwood Foresters Ww1 Compass .Wwi Austrian M.1895 Mannlicher Ersatz Bayo W/ Scabbard & Frog-original-scarce Important Group Of Miniature Medals To Major General William H.b. MirrleesPre Wwi Us Model 1910 Bolo Knife-springfield Armory 1912-rareWwii M1942 M1 Garand Long 16" Oneida Ol Bayonet W/ M3 Scabbard Very Good CondOriginal Spare Scabbard For Lle And 1903 Bayonet SmleOriginal Wwi Manufacturers Cutaway Display Mills Grenade In Original Box