Brill’s Digital Library of World War I

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Subject: History

Brill’s Digital Library of World War I is an online resource that contains over 700 encyclopedia entries plus 250 peer-reviewed articles of transnational and global historical perspectives on significant topics of World War I. This collection includes Brill’s Encyclopedia of the First World War, an unrivalled reference work that showcases the knowledge of experts from 15 countries and offers 26 additional essays on the major belligerents, wartime society and culture, diplomatic and military events, and the historiography of the Great War.

The 250 articles address not only the key issues from political, historical and cultural perspectives, but also engages with aspects of the war which have remained underexplored such as the neutrals, the role of women before, during and after the war, and memory. The chapters have been drawn from a select number of Brill publications that have been published in the last 15 years. Brill’s Digital Library of World War I is a unique digital library that will allow researchers to discover new perspectives and connections with the enhanced navigational tools provided.

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La Dame Blanche: Gender and Espionage in Occupied Belgium

(93 words)

Author(s): Proctor, Tammy M.
Proctor, Tammy M. - La Dame Blanche: Gender and Espionage in Occupied Belgium Keywords: Belgium | Women and War | Home fronts | Britain | Legacy | Society ‛Uncovered Fields’ Jenny Macleod and Pierre Purseigle, Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, 2004 e-ISBN: 9789047402596 DOI: 10.1163/9789047402596.014 © 2004 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Proctor, Tammy M.

Lamszus, Wilhelm

(315 words)

Author(s): Brandt, Suzanne
Lamszus, Wilhelm (July 13, 1881, Altona [now part of Hamburg] – January 18, 1965, Hamburg), German primary school teacher and writer. In 1912 he published a novel entitled Das Menschenschlachthaus ( The Human Slaughter-House), originally intended for young people. It is still considered one of the few pre-1914 treatments of a future war. It describes in an unheroic and disillusioning manner the scale and brutality of the forthcoming conflict. Lamszus completely dismantled all the hero clichés accepted at that time, creating an …

Langemarck Legend

(647 words)

Author(s): Hüppauf, Bernd
Langemarck Legend One of the peculiarities of the First World War was the mythologizing of towns and locations where strategically decisive or particularly costly battles had been fought. The resulting legends combined facts, interpretations, and fantasies to form collective memories that transcended military events and the topographical limits of the battlefields concerned. Of the three legendary battles that occupied a prominent place in Germany’s consciousness for decades – Langemarck, Tannenbe…

Lanrezac, Charles Louis Marie

(258 words)

Author(s): Krumeich, Gerd
Lanrezac, Charles Louis Marie (July 31, 1852, Guadeloupe – January 18, 1925, Neuilly-sur-Seine), French general. In 1905 Lanrezac, who was known as an expert in tactics, became a professor at the École de Guerre – a function he continued to perform until 1914 when, at the age of 62, he was appointed commander of the Fifth Army. In that capacity he saw action during the French opening offensive into Lorraine and was then exposed to the enveloping German counterattacks near Charleroi (August 22–23, 19…

Lansing Note

(488 words)

Author(s): Waechter, Matthias
Lansing Note A diplomatic note conveyed to the leadership of the German Reich on November 5, 1918, by the United States, France, and Britain. Known in Germany by the name of then American Secretary of State Robert Lansing. The Allies declared in this note that they accepted American President Wilson’s 14-point program as a common basis for peace negotiations. This declaration followed several weeks of exchanges of notes between Germany and the United States concerning conditions for the cease-fire and the peace. The leadership of th…

Last Chance: Belgium at Versailles

(6,312 words)

Author(s): van Tuyll, Hubert P.
van Tuyll, Hubert P. - Last Chance: Belgium at Versailles Keywords: Belgium | Politics | Legacy | Netherlands | Pre-war period | International Relations during the War Abstract: Belgium's political divisions over annexation reflected much more than the usual political squabbles. It was a young state moving towards finding its identity. (Sensitivity to slights on the nation contributed to a certain prickliness at Versailles.) In a sense, Belgium pursued many goals with a single strategy, while the Nethe…

Last Days of Mankind ( Die Letzten Tage der Menschheit )

(575 words)

Author(s): Pfäfflin, Friedrich
Last Days of Mankind ( Die Letzten Tage der Menschheit ) A drama by Karl Kraus. This writer believes that this play was written as “military theater.” This stage work first appeared in book form in May 1922, having previously been printed in four special editions of the Magazine Die Fackel (1918/1919). The work was reprinted in December 1922 and in 1926, on each occasion in revised form, for a total printing of 23,000 copies. The play has remained the most reprinted work of the Austrian writer Karl Kraus (1874–1936). This antiwar book documents in dialogue form what “they” – the wage…

Lavisse, Ernest

(370 words)

Author(s): Wüstemeyer, Manfred
Lavisse, Ernest (December 17, 1842, Le Nouvion-en-Thiérache [Département Aisne] – August 18, 1922, Paris), French historian. A “rationalist republican” since 1870/1871, and advocate of national educational renewal, Lavisse became a professor at the Sorbonne in 1888. His meteoric career took him to the Académie Française in 1892, and in 1904 he was appointed director of the École Normale Supérieure. He published various historical works, and, with his articles on the teaching of history in the elem…

Lawrence, Thomas Edward

(391 words)

Author(s): Haidl, Roland
Lawrence, Thomas Edward (August 15, 1888, Tremadoc, Wales – May 19, 1935, Moreton, Dorset), British officer, archaeologist, author and adventurer (“Lawrence of Arabia”). Lawrence had participated in excavations in Syria and Anatolia before the war, when he took up a post with the Arab Bureau in Cairo. Because he had since 1916 been in contact with the Emir of Mecca, Hussein bin Ali, the British government gave Lawrence the task of organizing the Arab Revolt against the Turks. He received support in…

League of Nations

(487 words)

Author(s): Dülffer, Jost
League of Nations (German: Völkerbund, French: Société des Nations). The measures instituted by the Hague Peace Conferences of 1899 and 1907 proved insufficient to prevent war. Therefore, during the World War, the peace movements of several nations considered founding a new institution. After 1917–1918 government representatives in Great Britain, France, the United States, and also the German Reich increasingly considered the possibilities. For American President Woodrow Wilson, the creation of a League…

Leave and Schizophrenia: Permissionnaires in Paris During the First World War

(102 words)

Author(s): Cronier, Emmanuelle
Cronier, Emanuelle - Leave and Schizophrenia: Permissionnaires in Paris During the First World War Keywords: French society during the war | French Army and its combattants | Home fronts | Society | Published memoirs and biographies ‛Uncovered Fields’ Jenny Macleod and Pierre Purseigle, Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, 2004 e-ISBN: 9789047402596 DOI: 10.1163/9789047402596.009 © 2004 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Cronier, Emmanuelle

Lenin, Vladimir Ilyich

(600 words)

Author(s): Brand, Bettina
Lenin, Vladimir Ilyich (Real name V.I. Ulyanov; April 22, 1870, Simbirsk [from 1924 Ulyanovsk] – January 21, 1924, Gorki [near Moscow]), Russian revolutionary and politician. Lenin was born into an upper class family. A critical youthful influence was the conviction and execution in 1887 of his older brother Alexander, who had taken part in an assassination attempt against the Tsar. Lenin qualified to practice as a lawyer after studying law at the University of Kazan. In 1893 he moved to Saint Pete…

Leopold, Prince of Bavaria

(337 words)

Author(s): Haidl, Roland
Leopold, Prince of Bavaria (February 9, 1846, Munich – September 28, 1930, Munich), German and Bavarian field marshal. Leopold, the second son of the future prince regent Luitpold, joined the Bavarian Army in 1861 and took part in the 1866 and 1870–1871 campaigns. A lieutenant colonel in 1871, he was appointed commanding general of the Ist Bavarian Army Corps in 1887. From 1891 to 1913, Leopold served as inspector general of the Fourth Army District. During this period he attained the ranks of colon…

Lersch, Heinrich

(400 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Thomas F.
Lersch, Heinrich (September 12, 1889, Mönchengladbach – June 18, 1936, Remagen), German writer. The son of a boilermaker, after attending Volksschule (elementary school) Lersch completed an apprenticeship in his father’s trade, before traveling as a journeyman around Germany and becoming a boilermaker himself. He volunteered to fight in 1914, and took part in the Battle of Champagne in 1914/1915. Having been buried alive and wounded, in 1916 he was discharged as medically unfit. After the war, he resumed his trade as a boilermaker but later lived from his writing. Lersch began his w…

Lethal Journey between Four Fronts: First World War Experiences of the Reichstag’s Deputies

(8,581 words)

Author(s): Patin, Nicolas
Patin, Nicolas - Lethal Journey between Four Fronts: First World War Experiences of the Reichstag’s Deputies ISFWWS-Keywords: Germany | Experience of combat | Published memoirs and biographies | Russian Front | Legacy | Politics | Western Front Other Fronts, Other Wars? Joachim Bürgschwentner, Matthias Egger and Gunda Barth-Scalmani , (2014) Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, 2014 e-ISBN: 9789004279513 DOI: 10.1163/9789004279513_003 © 2014 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Patin, Nicolas

Lettow-Vorbeck, Paul von

(330 words)

Author(s): Zimmerer, Jürgen
Lettow-Vorbeck, Paul von (March 20, 1870, Saarlouis – March 9, 1964, Hamburg), German general. Lettow-Vorbeck was celebrated during the First World War as the commander of the German colonial forces in German East Africa. He began his military career in 1881. In 1900/1901 he took part in the suppression of the Boxer Rebellion in China, and between 1904 and 1907 served as a captain in the war against the Herero and the Nama tribes in German Southwest Africa. As a lieutenant-colonel, Lettow-Vorbeck b…