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War Widows

(505 words)

Author(s): Rouette, Susanne
War Widows Most war widows were young women with children. According to estimates based on postwar pension budgets in Germany in 1924 there were 372,000 women receiving widows’ pensions, after approximately 200,000 had ceased to be dependent on state support because of remarraige. In France the figureof dependent widows was more than 700,000, in Great Britain in 1925 there were 248,000 widows. Relief schemes for war widows were inadequate in all countries during the war. In Germany, the level of t…

Hidden Courage: Postwar Literature and Anglican Army Chaplains on the Western Front, 1914–1918

(13,743 words)

Author(s): Madigan, Edward
Madigan, Edward - Hidden Courage: Postwar Literature and Anglican Army Chaplains on the Western Front, 1914–1918 Keywords: Anglican army chaplains | British Expeditionary Force (BEF) | postwar writers | Robert Graves | Western Front ISFWWS-Keywords: Western Front | Britain | Religion | Literature | Experience of combat | Published memoirs and biographies | Legacy Abstract: Robert Graves was perhaps the most scathing postwar critic of the Anglican army chaplains who served with the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) during the Great War. It…

Robertson, Sir William R.

(333 words)

Author(s): Bourne, J.M.
Robertson, Sir William R. ( January 29, 1860, Welbourn [Lincolnshire] – February 12, 1933, London), British field marshal and chief of the General Staff. Robertson joined the army as a private in 1877, the first of many steps in his singular rise to field marshal. As a man of excellent intellect and initiative, Robertson was to become the first officer to have risen through the ranks and then passed the military academy. As a staff officer he would soon make his mark. He served as quartermaster gene…

Sexuality

(1,427 words)

Author(s): Sauerteig, Lutz
Sexuality The crisis-related effects of the World War also had consequences for the sexual life of human beings. The separation of (married and non-married) couples became a mass phenomenon of hitherto unknown extent. Extramarital sexuality and prostitution reached new dimensions. Even though the frequency with which soldiers sought extramarital contacts during the war cannot be assessed with precision, a number of indications suggest that soldiers no longer felt bound to middle-class sexual morals as a result of their direct experiencing of war and death. The debate over issue…

Lost Generation

(423 words)

Author(s): Reimann, Aribert
Lost Generation A collective expression in postwar Anglo-American culture denoting a group of American writers of the generation of World War I. The formula goes back to a remark of Gertrude Stein about Ernest Hemingway, “You are all a lost generation.” Hemingway himself used the expression as an epitaph in his novel The Sun also Rises (1926). The literary “lost generation” movement was characterized by a feeling of lost worth, existential disorientation, and opposition to postwar normality – particularly to the civilian middle-class attitude, and t…

Sabotage

(501 words)

Author(s): Bavendamm, Gundula
Sabotage (French: sabot, wooden shoe) This expression refers to actions committed with the intention of weakening the resolve of a state. Sabotage may be further categorized into acts perpetrated by members of foreign powers, such as agents and prisoners of war, versus acts by individuals against their own nation. In the World War, sabotage was mainly committed by foreign agents. As a rule intelligence agents were responsible for the planning and execution of sabotage acts. Included under the head…

San Giuliano, Antonino Paternò Castello Marchese di

(368 words)

Author(s): Isnenghi, Mario
San Giuliano, Antonino Paternò Castello Marchese di (December 10, 1852, Catania – October 16, 1914, Rome), Italian politician (foreign minister). San Giuliano’s political career began in the ranks of the liberal right wing, at a time when many political figures of national standing, among them Francesco Crispi, were emerging from Sicily. A member of the Italian parliament from 1882, he became undersecretary of state in 1892, and in 1898 served as a minister in the reactionary government of General Pell…

Lichnowsky, Prince Karl Max

(442 words)

Author(s): Wüstenmeyer, Manfred
Lichnowsky, Prince Karl Max (March 8, 1860, Kreuzenort [near Ratibor, Upper Silesia] – February 27, 1928, Berlin), German diplomat. In some ways Lichnowsky was a typical representative of the Imperial German diplomatic class, which consisted overwhelmingly of members of the nobility. Nevertheless, Lichnowsky was an independent and shrewd individual. Wilhelm II appointed him ambassador to London in the autumn of 1912, against the objections of the German Foreign Ministry. The Kaiser’s hope that the appointment of an Anglophile as his representative might ensure Br…

Tsingtao (Qingdao)

(510 words)

Author(s): Zimmerer, Jürgen
Tsingtao (Qingdao) Administrative center of Jiaozhou, a German colony established on the northeastern coast of China in 1897. It was militarily important as the base for their East-Asia Cruiser Squadron. Unlike the other German colonies, Tsingtao was controlled by the Reich Naval Office rather than the Reich Colonial Office. Tsingtao later lost its strategic significance when the Imperial Navy transitioned from war cruisers to a battleship-fleet based doctrine. Still, the 500 km2 protectorate of Jiaozhou (Kiautschou) remained important as the economic and political…

General Government/Occupation Government

(1,029 words)

Author(s): Zilch, Reinhold
General Government/Occupation Government In World War I, a general government was a conquered territory under the supreme command of a governor general. This territory would have its own administrative unit attached, and was divided into the front, and the administrative zones. The governor general possessed the highest legislative, judicial, and executive power in the general government, and the troops stationed in the area were also placed under his command. He had the task of organizing public l…

Benson, William Shepherd

(331 words)

Author(s): Herwig, Holger H.
Benson, William Shepherd (September 25, 1855, Bibb County GA – May 20, 1932, Washington DC), American admiral. Benson graduated from the Naval Academy 1877 and in 1888–1889 sailed around the world on the warship Dolphin. From 1890 to 1893 and 1896 to 1898 he taught at the Naval Academy, from 1910 to 1913 he commanded the battle ship Utah, and from 1913 to 1915 he was in command of the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. On May 10, 1915, he was called to Washington as the new Chief of Naval Operations. In early 1917 Benson conducted a reorganization of the fle…

Armed Forces (Italy)

(3,527 words)

Author(s): Massignani, Alessandro
Armed Forces (Italy) The defense of the Italian Kingdom proclaimed on February 18, 1861, was the duty of the Royal Army and the Royal Navy. The King was nominally the supreme commander of the military in peacetime, but the chiefs of the General Staff and the Admiralty functioned as the de facto Supreme Command in time of war. Italy’s new national army evolved from the Piedmontese Army that had fought in the Wars of Independence. Though gradually restructured into the Royal Italian Army, it maintained its traditional character, especially the imprint of…

The Imperial Japanese Navy and the First World War: Unprecedented Opportunities and Harsh Realities

(10,272 words)

Author(s): Schencking, J. Charles
Schencking, J. Charles - The Imperial Japanese Navy and the First World War: Unprecedented Opportunities and Harsh Realities ISFWWS-Keywords: Asia | Naval Warfare | Britain | Germany | Economy | Politics The Decade of the Great War Tosh Minohara , Tze-ki Hon and Evan Dawley , (2014) Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, 2014 e-ISBN: 9789004274273 DOI: 10.1163/9789004274273_006 © 2014 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Schencking, J. Charles

The Disappearing Surplus: The Spinster in the Post-War Debate in Weimar Germany, 1918–1920

(9,212 words)

Author(s): Sharp, Ingrid
Sharp, Ingrid - The Disappearing Surplus: The Spinster in the Post-War Debate in Weimar Germany, 1918–1920 Keywords: Hausfrau | post-war debate | surplus women | Weimar Germany ISFWWS-Keywords: Germany | Gender | Britain | Politics | Women and War | Society | Pre-war period | Culture | Literature | Masculinity | Economy Abstract: The concept of "surplus women" or Frauenuberschuss was absolutely central to the pre-war women's movement in Germany. This chapter examines the ways in which the single woman was represented in public discourse and in…

Salonica (Thessalonika)

(669 words)

Author(s): Simkins, Peter
Salonica (Thessalonika) Port in northern Greece. From October 1915 the base of the Entente’s so-called Army of the Orient. The multinational Entente campaign against Bulgaria was fought from the end of 1915 in inhospitable territory, and remained bogged down for long periods. In this theater of war the soldiers suffered most casualties from disease. The Entente forces finally achieved a sudden and decisive breakthrough in September 1918. After Bulgaria had received guarantees in respect of territorial gains in the Macedonian part of Serbia, its government signe…

Gallipoli

(1,150 words)

Author(s): Prior, Robin | Wilson, Trevor
Gallipoli A peninsula bordering on the Dardanelles. The military conflict at Gallipoli was a direct consequence of the failed naval operation in the Dardanelles. The British leadership wished to make up for this reverse by conducting a landing operation on the northern Turkish coast. This was remarkable inasmuch as it had always argued in front of the War Council that the great advantage of the Dardanelles operation lay in the fact that it could easily be called off in the event of a failure. It …

War Chronicles

(301 words)

Author(s): Pöhlmann, Markus
War Chronicles The war chronicles were the expression of a changed public awareness of journalism. The Franco-Prussian War of 1870/1871 had already led to a serious boom of popular military literature. Military topics gained a wider appeal in the German Reich due the growing agitation of the colonial unions, navy leagues, and defense associations since the turn of the century. The first war chronicles were printed at the beginning of the World War, usually by book publishers (Beck, Franck, Insel) …

War Weddings

(320 words)

Author(s): Rouette, Susanne
War Weddings Weddings celebrated at short notice or with no official notice at all, owing to the circumstances of war. Although the figures are not fully documented, it appears that war weddings were particularly common in Germany. There, unlike Britain and France, women living alone or not with their serving husband received no family support payments. The wave of war weddings in August 1914 was evidently an urban phenomenon. In the countryside, especially in the farming and agricultural communit…

The Propinquity of Place: Home, Landscape and Soldier Poets of the First World War

(10,639 words)

Author(s): Grieves, Keith
Grieves, Keith - The Propinquity of Place: Home, Landscape and Soldier Poets of the First World War Keywords: First World War | landscape | pastoral home | patriotism | premodern cultural formation | soldier poets ISFWWS-Keywords: Literature | Western Front | Home fronts | Britain | Published memoirs and biographies Abstract: Throughout the Great War and after, the notion of comforting sensuous antidotes, usually recollections of a pastoral home, was assumed to have a rightful place alongside depictions of the “bloody drama”. The…

Ireland

(1,952 words)

Author(s): Horne, John
Ireland The great theme of British internal politics in the summer of 1914 was the Irish Crisis. Since 1910, the Asquith Liberal government had been supported in the British Parliament by the votes of Irish nationalists who sought home rule for Ireland. The prospect that the Third Home Rule Bill would be passed in 1914 was welcomed by Catholic and nationalist circles in the south of Ireland. The Protestant majority in the north, however, refused to countenance the extension of Irish autonomy to t…
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