Ed Krayewski on 5 Lessons from World War I


Trench warfare
Imperial War Museums

One hundred years ago today a shot fired across the bow of the SS Pfalz from the Point Nepean fort in Victoria, Australia, became the first Allied shot of World War I. It was a warning shot—news of the state of war between the British Empire and Germany had just made its way down to Australia, and the SS Pfalz wasn't going to get away. The fate of the Pfalz, used by the Australians throughout the war and then sold for a profit, illustrates what happens in war—things get seized, even when they're only tangentially related to the war, and life becomes subordinated to war and the war effort. As we enter the centennial of the "war to end all wars," writes Ed Krayewski, here are five lessons that still remain relevant today.