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    

Ww1-tunic-helmet-1916-rar!!!!!!rar!!!!!!!Ww1-1917-tunic-rar!!!!!!Wwi M.c Medals Group Maj.e.h Huxford R.g.a 1914 Star & Bar Military Cross + BoxWw1 German Helmet. Stahlhelm. Size 66. Camouflage. Complete With Liner. Named.Wwi Canada Army Medal Uniform Pants Tunic Cap Coat 1st Battalion Heavy TransportWwi Princess Mary Tin Pencil Christmas 1914 Troops Trenches Ww1 Imperial German M1916 Combat Helmet Shell Vet Bring Back Et64 StahlhelmGerman World War One Steel Helmet Ww1 English Enfield No.1 Mk.3 Complete Wood Stock W/ Handguards No.1 Mk.iiiWw1 Turkish Captured British Army 1907 Bayonet & Scabbard Enfield Sword AnzacWw1 Dorset Regiment Nco Veteran’s Group Of 6 Medals. 216 Wo1 J Winzar. OzlWw1 British / Australian Brodie Pattern Steel Helmet Mk.i (anzac - Aif) €Naval General Service Medal - Bar Persian Gulf 1909-1914 CasualtySmle Lee Enfield No1 Mkiii Fore-end . Oa Very Good ConditionRare Ww1 1915 British Army Gurkha Kukri Bayonet Knife & Scabbard SwordOriginal Ww1 Imperial German M1916 Combat Helmet Camouflage Camo StahlhelmWw1 French Blue M1915 M15 Adrian Combat Steel Helmet InfantryTrench Art Solid Brass Ww1 Zeppelin Pocket Airship Whistle Vintage Aircraft Wwi German Spike Pickelhaube Metal Helmet Lobster Tail Vg Liner Juncker 1914Original Wwi Us Army M1917 Field Surgical Kit Medical Instruments & Case 1917Vintage Art Deco Ww1 Sterling Silver & Enamel Raf Wings Sweetheart BroochWwi Ww1 World War One U.s. Army Doughboy Uniform Tunic Jacket And TrousersGroup Of 4 Medals To Drummer J Timms Royal Munster Fusiliers & Royal Irish RegtCivil War Us Ames Cavalry Dated 1860 Sword With Scabbard #k74A Boxed Anzac Medallion To Corrigan 4th Light Horse Ww1 Aerial Darts - Flechettes Dropped By Aircraft Onto The EnemyVintage & Rare Ww1 Turkish Army Officer's Sword & Scabbard Captured Gallipoli German Imperial Ww I BayonetAttributed Canadian Victoria Cross Ribbon & Original Box: Capt F.a.c Scrimger VcCivil War Us Ames ? Cavalry Sword With No Scabbard #l20Handsome 95 Year Old Wartime Antique Ww1 British Vintage Union Jack FlagM 1871 Mauser BayonetWw1 German Officers Sword And Scabbard With Wkc Makers Mark With Porapee #l24Ww1 British Army Officers Prismatic Compass 1917 Verner's Mk V11 Pattern1918 World War I Wwi Poster Over The Top For You Vintage Soldier American FlagPre Wwi U.s. Army China Relief Expedition 1900-1901 No. #1259 Full Wrap BroachPre Civil War German Impo Marked Heavy Cavalry Wrist Breaker Sword ~aGerman Germany Wwi Ww1 Gold Baden Order Zahringer Lion Commander Cross MedalGerman Stag Handle Hunting Dagger Knife Clemen & Jung SolingenWw1 Imperial German Navy U Boat Commemorative Flag Very Rare Otto Weddigen U9Ww1 Us Dated 1918 Bolo Fighting Knife With Scabbard #l6Russian Imperial Order.st Anna Order OrdreWw1 Imperial German Prussian Gas Service Mask W/ Canister Original Ww1 Us Navy Officers Sword With Scabbard Great Condition Dated 1917 Blade MakerLarge Officers? Wwi Trench Watch Pilots? Working A Must See!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ww1 British Enfield No.1 Mk.3 Bayonet Bayonette W/ Scabbard P-1907 And FrogOld First World War Officers Bearskin Busby With Chinstrap In Great OrderGerman Imperial Baden Zahringer Lion W/crossed Swords In SilverWw1/ww2 Australian Slouch Hat Good ConditionWw1 Trench Art - Brass "penny Coin" Soldier's Pocket Lighter, Good Condtion.Great War Ww1 Officers Trench Whistle Dated 1916 Somme Verdun JutlandWw1 Military Pocket Compass In Dennison Base Metal Case.Ww1 - Medal Group - Low Number Plus Ww2Ww I German Combat Helmet - Estate Item Mcclellan Us Army Cavalry M1904, M1906 Leather Horse Saddle W & S Hmr Stamp 1918Ww1 German Butcher Saw Back Bayonet W Scabbard With No Makers Marks #k12Australia. Wwi 7th Light Horse Regiment. Original Colour PatchWw1 German Iron Cross Medal-maker Marked-original RibbonScarce, Early Wwi Us Marine Corps Usmc Ega Eagle Globe Anchor Device BadgeWw1 British 1908 Pattern Webbing Side Pack & Strap