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Planning for the Endgame: The Central Powers, September 1916–April 1917

(10,180 words)

Author(s): Sondhaus, Lawrence
Sondhaus, Lawrence - Planning for the Endgame: The Central Powers, September 1916–April 1917 Keywords: Central Powers | Erich Ludendorff | Franz Conrad | Paul von Hindenburg | Western Front ISFWWS-Keywords: International Relations during the War | Germany | Austria-Hungary | The Military and Naval War | Italian-Austrian Front | Russian Front | Western Front | Naval Warfare | Economy Abstract: Between September 1916, when Paul von Hindenburg and Erich Ludendorff were granted sweeping authority over the war effort of the Central Powers, and Apri…

Military Courts

(861 words)

Author(s): Jahr, Christoph
Military Courts This special law jurisdiction is limited to military personnel. It provides for a host of criminal offense categories that are not included in civilian criminal law. It is noteworthy that, as in civilian jurisprudence, criminal law is handled separately from procedural law. A comprehensive modernization of the military legal system was undertaken in numerous countries in the closing years of the 19th century. During the World War, the following regulations applied in the specified warring states: in Germany, the Militärstrafgesetzbuch of 1872; in France, the Code d…


(1,185 words)

Author(s): Höpken, Wolfgang
Albania Compared to other ethnic groups in the Balkan region the Albanians were relatively late to develop national aspirations of their own. Religious divisions within the population, the lack of a unified social stratum that would support a “modern” national movement, and the traditional, deeply fractured structure of Albanian society with its regional and clan affiliations delayed the creation of a politically organized movement of national rebirth ( Rilindja), which only emerged in the last quarter of the 19th century. When the peace negotiations after the R…

Benedict XV

(414 words)

Author(s): Becker, Annette
Benedict XV (November 21, 1854, Genoa – January 22, 1922, Rome; formerly Giacomo della Chiesa), Pope. Giacomo della Chiesa was elected Pope following the death of Pius X in September of 1914. He took the name of Benedict in memory of the great legislator Benedict XIV. Even though the promulgation of the Codex Iuris Canonici in May 1917 was of considerable theological significance, Benedict made history as the “Pope of the Great War,” especially since he died only a few years after the war. His entire tenure was characterized by a keen awareness of …

Hoyos, Alexander, Count

(277 words)

Author(s): Kronenbitter, Günther
Hoyos, Alexander, Count (May 13, 1876, Fiume – October 20, 1937, Schwertberg), Austro-Hungarian politician. Hoyos entered the Austro-Hungarian diplomatic service in 1900, and served on many missions overseas. In April 1912 he became chief assistant to the foreign minister Leopold Count Berchtold. After the assassination of heir to the throne Franz Ferdinand on June 28, 1914, the question arose of sounding out Germany’s attitude to a possible Austro-Hungarian war against Serbia, a war that might pro…

Ottoman Empire

(2,352 words)

Author(s): Zürcher, Erik-Jan
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire entered the First World War on the side of the Central Powers in November 1914. The real decision to take this step was not made by the cabinet, but by an inner circle of Young Turk politicians on October 25. Two days later, on the orders of minister of war Enver Pasha, a Turkish naval force under the command of the German Admiral Souchon attacked the Russian Black Sea Fleet in its bases. The Turks later sought to justify this unprovoked attack by claiming that th…

Gorlice-Tarnów, Battle of

(1,005 words)

Author(s): Stone, Norman
Gorlice-Tarnów, Battle of Two towns in Galicia (now situated in modern Poland). Even though the German Supreme Army Command was determined to decide the war in the West, developments in early 1915 brought the focus of attention to the East. The weaker the Austro-Hungarian army became, the more the German allies felt compelled to provide direct support. The situation deteriorated when Italy, hoping for territorial gains, threatened the Dual Monarchy with war. Now the German Eleventh Army (August von…

Freud, Sigmund

(626 words)

Author(s): Ulrich, Bernd
Freud, Sigmund (May 6, 1856, Freiberg [now Přibor, Czech Republic] – September 9, 1939, London), Austrian neurologist, founder of psychoanalysis. Freud’s attitude to the World War was at first little different from that of most intellectuals at that time. Freud is recorded as having said in the first phase of the war that his “whole libido” belonged to Austria-Hungary (1915). When this position changed, turning into one critical of the war, is disputed. In relation to fear of war and “infringement…

War Service Act (Kriegsleistungsgesetz)

(840 words)

Author(s): Geyer, Martin H.
War Service Act ( Kriegsleistungsgesetz) The German law of June 13, 1873, regarding war services subsequently amended by numerous implementing provisions that regulated “obligations of federal territories to all services” with respect to the German Reich. This law dealt with work service, billeting, and services and supplies in kind to the military by communes, individuals, and commercial companies, including the railways, which were obliged to convey men and materials at defined prices. These services were to be called upon only …

Declarations of War

(276 words)

Author(s): Pöhlmann, Markus
Declarations of War 1914 July 28 Austria-Hungary on Serbia August 1 Germany on Russia August 2 German invasion of Luxembourg1 August 3 Germany on France August 4 German invasion of Belgium* August 4 Great Britain enters the war* August 6 Serbia on Germany August 6 Austria-Hungary on Russia August 7 Montenegro on Austria-Hungary August 11 France on Austria-Hungary August 12 Great Britain on Austria-Hungary August 12 Montenegro on Germany August 23 Japan on Germany August 23 Austria-Hungary on Japan August 28 Austria-Hungary on Belgium October 15 Montenegro on Bulgaria October 29 the …

Burián von Rajecz, Stephan

(383 words)

Author(s): Afflerbach, Holger
Burián von Rajecz, Stephan (January 16, 1851, Stampfen near Pressburg, modern Stupuva near Bratislava – October 20, 1922, Vienna), Hungarian politician (foreign minister). Baron (from 1918 Count) Burián belonged to an ancient Hungarian noble family. After an initial period in the diplomatic service with postings to Alexandria, Bucharest, Belgrade, Sofia, Moscow, Stuttgart, and Athens, he became finance minister of Austria-Hungary in 1903. In that capacity he was also responsible for the administrati…

Two Kinds of Occupation? German and Austro-Hungarian Economic Policy in Congress Poland, 1915–1918

(8,808 words)

Author(s): Lehnstaedt, Stephan
Lehnstaedt, Stephan - Two Kinds of Occupation? German and Austro-Hungarian Economic Policy in Congress Poland, 1915–1918 ISFWWS-Keywords: Poland | Germany | Austria-Hungary | Economy 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_010 © 2014 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Lehnstaedt, Stephan

Bethmann Hollweg, Theobald von

(1,133 words)

Author(s): Tiefel, Marcus A.
Bethmann Hollweg, Theobald von (November 29, 1856, Hohenfinow near Eberswalde – January 2, 1921, Hohenfinow), German politician (chancellor). After studying law in Strasbourg, Leipzig and Berlin, Bethmann passed his Referendarexamen (first state examination required to enter the Prussian civil and administrative services) in 1879. For ten years, from 1886 to 1896, he held the office of Landrat (chief administrator) in his home district of Oberbarnim. Promoted to the position of Oberpräsidialrat (dep…


(1,698 words)

Author(s): Loulos, Konstantin
Greece While the real tragedy of the World War played out on Europe’s theaters of war, Greece remained neutral until 1917. This neutrality was above all benevolent toward the Central Powers – at least, as far as the head of state, King Constantine, was concerned. Since the monarch admired his brother-in-law Kaiser Wilhelm II as the personification of the German martial spirit, he refused to march off to war against the Central Powers. Thereupon, Greek Premier Eleftherios Venizelos advocated stron…

Diverse Constructions: Feminist and Conservative Women’s Movements and Their Contribution to the (Re-)Construction of Gender Relations in Hungary after the First World War

(8,854 words)

Author(s): Acsády, Judit
Acsády, Judit - Diverse Constructions: Feminist and Conservative Women’s Movements and Their Contribution to the (Re-)Construction of Gender Relations in Hungary after the First World War Keywords: feminists (FE) | First World War | Hungarian Women's National Federation (MANSZ) | prisoners of war (POWs) | remobilisation | women organisations ISFWWS-Keywords: Austria-Hungary | Legacy | Society | Literature | Religion | Prisoners of War | Gender | Intellectuals and the War Abstract: The issue of changing gender relations was handled very differently by the two …


(1,004 words)

Author(s): Prior, Robin | Wilson, Trevor
Dardanelles Straits between the Aegean Sea and the Sea of Marmara. After the outbreak of war in Europe, the Young Turk government of the Ottoman Empire had envisioned joining the war on the side of the Central Powers. The arrival of two German warships, the Goeben and the Breslau, at Constantinople on August 10, 1914, reinforced this decision. For Turkey joining the war meant territorial gains at Russia’s expense; in the Caucasus, at British expense; as well as in Egypt. On October 27, the Turkish fleet put to sea against the Russian Black Sea base, thereby triggering war with the Entente. Mean…

War Letters

(596 words)

Author(s): Jakob, Neil
War Letters War letters from soldiers were already published in large numbers during the war, but also in the postwar period. Just after the outbreak of hostilities, war letters were almost immediately published in all warring countries, at first in newspapers and later in book form. In the beginning, they were mostly intended to satisfy the population’s longing for eyewitness accounts, but also to support the public image of the war-enthusiastic nation and of the successful war in a propagandisti…

Conrad von Hötzendorf, Franz

(940 words)

Author(s): Jerabék, Rudolf
Conrad von Hötzendorf, Franz (November 11, 1852, Penzing near Vienna – August 25, 1925, Bad Mergentheim), Austro-Hungarian Field Marshal. Conrad, who was made a baron in 1910 and a count in 1918, not only had a typical career in the General Staff which predestined him for a higher office in the future, his participation in the 1878–1879 campaigns in Bosnia and Herzegovina and 1882 in Dalmatia also provided him with direct battlefield experience. Service with various bureaus of the General Staff enha…

Salandra, Antonio

(328 words)

Author(s): Isnenghi, Mario
Salandra, Antonio (August 13, 1853, Troia [Foggia Province] – December 9, 1931, Rome), Italian politician, prime minister. A lawyer from Apulia, later Professor of Constitutional Studies and Constitutional Law, was from 1886 a liberal right-wing member of parliament under Sidney Sonnino. He held office several times as secretary of state and minister, always playing a mediating role between the leaders of the Liberal Party, Sonnino and Giolitti. He became prime minister in March 1914. His period i…

Naval Blockade

(1,483 words)

Author(s): Neitzel, Sönke
Naval Blockade During the World War, the Allied naval blockade brought German foreign trade practically to a standstill, especially after 1916. It contributed significantly to the serious subsistence problems in Germany. On the eve of the World War Germany was one of the most important economic powers in the world. Obviously, accomplishing this required extensive trade relationships. This left the German economy highly vulnerable during such a long-lasting war. Indeed, Germany had to import 30% of all processed iron ore. The …
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