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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(926 words)

Author(s): Loulos, Konstantin
Macedonia With the outbreak of the First World War, the multinational region of Macedonia became a battlefield of the Great Powers. Germany’s stra…

Mackensen, August von

(576 words)

Author(s): Afflerbach, Holger
Mackensen, August von (December 6, 1849, Haus Leipnitz [Kreis Wittenberg] – November 8, 1945, Burghorn [now part of Habighorst, Kreis Celle]), German field marshal. The son of an estate manager, Mackensen took part in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870/1871 before studying for two years in Halle and subsequently returning to the army, where he pursued a rapid and brilliant career as a cavalryman in spite of his not having attended the Kriegsakademie (War Ac…

Making Friends and Foes: Occupiers and Occupied in First World War Romania, 1916–1918

(14,194 words)

Author(s): Mayerhofer, Lisa
Mayerhofer, Lisa - Making Friends and Foes: Occupiers and Occupied in First World War Romania, 1916–1918 Keywords: Austria-Hungary | civilian population | Germany | Military Administration | occupier | Romania | war experience ISFWWS-Keywords: Romania | Home fronts | Germany | Austria-Hungary | Politics | Russia | Economy | Prisoners of War | Bulgaria | The Ottoman Empire and the Middle East Abstract: The phenomenon of 'occupation' was thus an integral part of the war experience for numerous contemporaries. This chapter outlines how several Roman…

Malvy, Louis-Jean

(370 words)

Author(s): Horne, John
Malvy, Louis-Jean (December 1, 1875, Figeac [Département Lot] – June 9, 1949, Paris), French politician. A radical socialist (and member of the French National Assembly from 1906), and a friend of Joseph Caillaux, Malvy was interior minister from the outbreak of the First World War until August 31, 1917, having already held that office in René Viviani’s prewar administration. He frequently demonstrated his trust in the patriotism of the labor movement, for exampl…

Manifesto of the 93

(963 words)

Author(s): vom Bruch, Rüdiger
Manifesto of the 93 Published on October 4, 1914, an appeal addressed “to the civilized world” ( An die Kulturwelt! Ein Aufruf ) and endorsed by 93 German men of letters, scientists, scholars and artists, rejected as “untrue” allegations made by the Entente against the German “militarism” and atrocities verifiably committed by the German Army in neutral Belgium. The Manifesto followed numerous other, similar declarations made especially by well-known cultural figures on both sides in the “war of the minds” (

March, Peyton Conway

(449 words)

Author(s): Showalter, Dennis E.
March, Peyton Conway …


(1,369 words)

Author(s): Becker, Jean-Jacques
Marne River in France. Two battles of far-reaching significance in the First World War occurred on the Marne. In September 1914, after a long period when the Allies were retreating, the French Army and the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) resumed the offensive and forced the German Army to retreat, bringing about the failure of the original German operational plan. France had not been defeated in six weeks, and a long war became a possibility. This was the First Battle of the Marn…

Martial Law and War Crimes

(6,911 words)

Author(s): Kramer, Alan
Martial Law and War Crimes…

Marwitz, Georg von der

(292 words)

Author(s): Pöhlmann, Markus
Marwitz, Georg von der ( July 3, 1856, Klein Nossin [Kreis Stolp] – October 28, 1929, Wundichow [Kreis Stolp]), German general. Marwitz joined the 2nd Garde-Ulan Regiment in 1875. He began his career in the Guards Cavalry and later served in the General Staff. He was appointed major in 1894, colonel in 1904, major-general in 1908, lieutenant general as well as commander of the 2nd Division in 1911, and inspector general of the cavalry in 1913. Entrusted with the task of reconnoitering and deceiving …

Masaryk, Tomáš Garrigue

(538 words)

Author(s): Hadler, Frank
Masaryk, Tomáš Garrigue (March 7, 1850, Hodonín [Göding] – September 14, 1937, Lány Castle [near Prague]), Czech politician (state president). Masaryk studied in Vienna and Leipzig. After obtaining his doctorate and professorial qualification, in 1882 he moved from Vienna to Prague, where he worked as Professor of Philosophy at the new Czech University, and entered politics as a member of the Bohemian Parliament and the Austrian Reichsrat (1891–93, 1907–14). After the beginning of the First World War, he played a leading part in founding a secr…


(1,257 words)

Author(s): Stone, Norman
Masuria Masuria comprised the southeastern portion of the German province of East Prussia, the part of the Reich that was most exposed to a threat from Russia. Two great battles took place here and immediately across the border in Russian Poland in 1914/15. The Russian Army occupied Masuria at the beginning of the war, and remained there until it was defeated at Tannenberg at the end of August 1914. After this battle the remnants of the Russian Second Army, which had entered Masuria from the south, withdrew across the border into Poland.…

Mata Hari

(314 words)

Author(s): Bavendamm, Gundula
Mata Hari (August 7, 1876, Leeuwarden – October 15, 1917, Vincennes [executed]; real name Margaretha Geertruida MacLeod, born Zelle), Dutch dancer and spy. This daughter of a hat-maker made her living as a dancer, occasional prostitute, and double agent. Mata Hari remains one of the best-known figures in the history of 20th-century espionage. After a failed marriage to a Dutch colonial officer (1895–1902) she moved to Paris. Between 1905 and…

Matériel, Battle of

(671 words)

Author(s): Thoss, Bruno
Matériel, Battle of Characteristic form of positional warfare that prevailed in particular on the Western Front. In combat operations that lasted for months on end and involved the massive deployment of heavy weapons, the belligerents aimed for the total destruction of the opponents’ fortified lines and of the troops fighting in them. The ultimate goal of the armies was to break through the enemy front line and to begin regaining ground in depth. Notable examples of the battle of matériel are the Battles of Verdun (February–December of 1916), the Somme ( July–November of 1916), and in Flanders ( July–Novem…

Maurras, Charles

(347 words)

Author(s): Mollenhauer, Daniel
Maurras, Charles (March 20, 1868, Martigues [Département Bouches-du-Rhône] – November 16, 1952, Tours), French politician. Maurras is considered one of the most influential theorists and instigators of French conservatism in the first half of the 20th century. His influence extended far beyond the neo-royalist organization Action française, of which he was the leader for over 40 years, and also far beyond the newspaper that bore the same name. The appeal of Maurras’ ideas lay in their highly original manner of combining royalist and nationa…

Maximilian, Prince of Baden

(1,091 words)

Author(s): Schwabe, Klaus
Maximilian, Prince of Baden ( July 10, 1867, Baden-Baden – November 6, 1925, Salem; real name: Maximilian Alexander Friedrich Wilhelm; also known as Max von Baden), German Reich Chancellor. The son of Prince Wilhelm of Baden, and last German Reich Chancellor before the collapse of the Wilhelmine Reich, Max von Baden became heir apparent to his childless cousin, Grand Duke Friedrich II of Baden, in 1907. After attending humanistisches Gymnasium (high school emphasizing classical studies) and studying law, the prince took up an officer’s career…

Medals and Military Decorations

(510 words)

Author(s): Thoss, Bruno
Medals and Military Decorations Externally visible decorations recognizing particular achievements and merits. Starting with absolutist France, in the 18th and 19th centuries orders were created in all states as signs of particular attachment to the ruling house, or to reward military achievements. Their design and distribution, and the manner of wearing them, were precisely laid down in laws, statues and regulations. As a rule, decorations were given in a number of classes, the highest of which were linked…

Medical Services

(704 words)

Author(s): Gradmann, Christoph
Medical Services Under the pressure of the extremely high losses of the first months of the war, and the immobilization of the Western Front, me…


(5,871 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang U. | Gradmann, Christoph
Medicine For medicine as well, the First World War was the first major war of the scientific technical age. At the same time, it was the result of a rapid parallel development of military and medical technology. Losses from war actions exceeded for the first time those from war epidemics.1 This is not only, as is often supposed, because of the increased effectiveness of medicine, particularly bacteriological hygiene, which made possible effective action against typhoid, typhus, and chole…

Mercier, Désiré Joseph

(324 words)

Author(s): Roolf, Christoph
Mercier, Désiré Joseph …
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