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]

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    

German Wwi Camo Combat Helmet Absolutely Untouched And 100% Complete Camouflage Excellent Set Of Three Vintage Brass World War I Memorial Plaques - 320 S97Very Rare Carter Eb42 Wwi German Sawback S88/98 Ersatz Bayonet. No Reserve!!!Rare Maker German Ww1 Herm Konejung Solingen Marked Trench Knife German Ww1 H.boker & Co Solingen Marked Trench Knife With Correct ScabbardWwi Imperial German Bayern Bavarian Pickelhaube Helmet With Case One Year Volun Wwi German M.15 Pickelhaube Helmet-original-dated 1916Ww1 German Prussian Tschapka Spike Pickelhaube HelmetWwi Imperial German Crank Handle Fighting Knife / BayoOriginal Ww1 Prussian German Pickelhaube Spiked Helmet 1 WwWw1 Usmc Ega UniformOriginal German Ww1 Bavarian Steel Mounted 1915 Pickelhaube HelmetTrench Raiding Club One Of The Oficial Patern Original Ww1Wwi Us Army 28th Infantry Division 343 Infantry C Co Wool Tunic Used Look!Original German Ww1 M17 Steel Trench Combat HelmetPair Of Original 1808 Webbing Amunition Pouches Original Ww1 Shrapnel Relic Hms Lion Battle Of Jutland Trench Art Souvenir German ShellAustrian German Made Model 1869 Cavalry Officer's Sword Excellent BladeAntique Austrian Officer Sabre (sword) 1861 Pattern (belt Included)Rare Wwi Air Service Pilot Wings Homrichous Memphis Tn Variant Badge SuperbWwi Era British Officer Pith Sun Safari Hat / Helmet W/ Orig Spike & Canvas BagWw I / 1917 Deforest Bc-14a Crystal Radio Receiving Set .. For Parts Or RestoreOriginal Wwi Us Army 9th Corps 1lt Officer TunicRussia Imperial Order Of St.vladimir 2 Class Civil Division European Made GoldGenuine Russian Cossack Bebut M.1917 Shashka Kindjal Sword Dagger WwiPre Wwi Us Army M1910 Enlisted Garrison Belt-original-mills 1912Ww1 & Ww2 M1886 French Lebel Epee Bayonet & Scabbard – Pre 1893 Production Ww1 Trench Art Tank Corps Hip Flask 1917 / Military German Ww1 Ern Wald Rheinl Rasiermesser Fabrik Trench Knife No ScabbardAntique Ww1 Brass Shell Fuse Dinner Gong Trench Art 1918 Patton Sword And Scabbard British King Edward Vii Pattern 1895/1897 Royal Army Ordnance Corps SwordNew 1917 Enfield Stock & Hand GuardsWwi Us Army 86th Infantry Division 343 Infantry M Co Wool Tunic Used IdedPre Wwii Russian Model 1927 Shashka Cavalry Saber Sword-w/ KnotWwi German Dagger Pre Rzm Bayonet Knife Elite Blade Scabbard Wwii Nickel SheathWwi German P.08 Luger Holster -'unit Marked 'r.g.16'Original British Ww1 1905 Patt Grenadier Guards Peaked Cap Original 1833 Russian Sword Saber Blade Cavalry Zlatoust Napoleon French EraOriginal 1870 German Iron Cross First Class , Rare Variant .Dutch M1895 No. 1 Nm Cavalry/artillery Carbine Bayo W/ Scabbard-rareWw 1 German Steel HelmetBritish Pattern 1908 Cavalry Trooper Sword* Ww1 Genuine German 1st Class Iron Cross 1914 Eisernes Kreuz. Us Wwi Winchester M-1917 Rifle Bayonet W/s Original Rare Nice No ReserveVintage Wwi Rfc Royal Flying Corps Sweetheart / Trench Art Style Ladies Ring Great Ww1 German Model 1898/05a Sawback Butcher Bayonet, Scabbard And FrogRare Early Antique Militaria Wwi Trench Art Bronze Submarine / U-boat Naval NavySpiked Helmet -prussian Infantry Green Felt Ersayz HelmetQueen Mary Christmas Tin 1914 ,silver Tiped Bullet Pencil ,card And Packets EtcOriginal Field Grey Ww1 German Jager Zu Pferde Officers Tunic FeldgrauAustralian Ww1 Aif Light Horse Gallipoli Plaque Original Awarded Mm For BraveryWw1 C1915 Solid Silver Named Officers Trench Watch Pte Perrett Service No 22808Ww1 German Mauser Sawback Butcher Bayonet W/ Scabbard ~ Dated 1916 ~ M1898/05Wwi Us Army 1st Infantry Division Painted Helmet With Liner And Chinstrap Look!Complete Us Ww1 Doughboy Helmet Old Dry Surface With Liner & Leather Strap Belgium Wwi Era M-1868 Terssen Carbine Sawback Bayonet W/s Original No ReserveWw1 M 16 German Helmet Original Condition With LinerRare Ww1 Miniature/ Button Escape Compass By F Barker & Son London 19mm.Wwi French Model 1915 Adrian Helmet W/ Infantry Rf Flaming Bomb Badge