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(2,831 words)

Author(s): Grey, Jeffrey
Australia Australia entered the First World War as a federal dominion of the British Empire (Commonwealth of Australia), having achieved that status in 1901. Although the Australian colonies had sent troops to the Boer War between 1899 and 1902, there was no military tradition in the sense of a high-echelon military leadership and administration and a defense policy, and precious little national experience of war. Yet, by the end of the First World War, almost seven Australian cavalry and infantr…


(1,067 words)

Author(s): Hüppauf, Bernd
Iconography The contents of the pictorial representation of wars only underwent minimal changes over the centuries. Individual wars could only be distinguished by way of figurative details: uniforms, weapons, and the characteristic features of well-known military leaders or landscapes made it possible to date the depicted event. The representation of the war itself, however, remained identical over a long period of time. Stated simply, two pictorial traditions can be distinguished: the painting o…

Grosz, George (Georg Ehrenfried Grosz)

(447 words)

Author(s): Jürgens-Kirchhoff, Annegret
Grosz, George (Georg Ehrenfried Grosz) (July 26, 1893, Berlin – July 6, 1959, Berlin [West]), German graphic artist and painter. Like so many others, young Grosz applied in November 1914 for military service as a volunteer. As he later wrote that he was moved not by enthusiasm, but probably by the opportunity of choosing a regiment. As early as May 1915 he was discharged on health grounds as unfit for service. Fear of another call-up, which finally took place in January 1917, crippled Grosz’s artistic work. He remained however productive. In 1917 there appeared the First Georg Grosz Portf…

Military Courts

(861 words)

Author(s): Jahr, Christoph
Military Courts This special law jurisdiction is limited to milit…

Chantilly Conference

(554 words)

Author(s): Becker, Jean-Jacques
Chantilly Conference The second Interallied Conference in 1915, held in the French headquarters north of Paris. Ever since the beginning of the war, the Allies had fought without really attempting to coordinate their operations. This approach benefited the interests of the Central Powers, whose geographical position allowed them to reinforce their troops in precisely those sectors where it was needed. During the first two years of the war the general situation seemed rather favorable for the Central Powers, even though they were unable to achieve a decisive victory. The Allies were…

The Old Front Line: Returning to the Battlefields in the Writings of Ex-Servicemen

(8,979 words)

Author(s): Pegum, John
Pegum, John - The Old Front Line: Returning to the Battlefields in the Writings of Ex-Servicemen Keywords:


(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 …

Nicholas Nikolaevich, Grand Duke of Russia

(369 words)

Author(s): Dahlmann, Dittmar
Nicholas Nikolaevich, Grand Duke of Russia (November 18, 1856, Saint Petersburg – January 5, 1929, Antibes), Grand duke of Russia and supreme commander in chief. Nicholas was the son of Grand Duke Nicholas the Elder. In 1873 he completed the Nikolaevsky Military Engineering Academy, and then the General Staff Academy in 1876. He took part in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878 under his father, the commander in chief. After 1901, …

Hitler, Adolf

(814 words)

Author(s): Hirschfeld, Gerhard
Hitler, Adolf (April 20, 1889, Braunau am Inn, Austria – April 30, 1945, Berlin [suicide]), soldier, private first class, subsequently German politician (1933–1945 Reich chancellor). By Hitler’s own account, the First World War was for him “the most unforgettable and greatest period of my life on this earth” ( Mein Kampf, 1925). Even during the Second World War, he repeatedly reminded those around him of his time as a soldier from 19…

Battisti, Cesare

(467 words)

Author(s): Pöhlmann, Markus
Battisti, Cesare (February 4, 1875, Trento – July 12, 1916, Trento), Italian politician and officer. The son of Italian-speaking parents, Battisti grew up in Trento, which belonged to Austria at the time. Between 1893 and 1897 Battisti studied in Graz, Florence, Turin, and Vienna. He became a supporter of irredentism, a movement calling for the separation of all Italian-speaking territories from the Habsburg Empire and their annexation by Italy. Upon earning his degree in geography Battisti began …

Hindenburg Line

(426 words)

Author(s): Pöhlmann, Markus
Hindenburg Line The name in British and French literature for the German defensive line on the Western Front in 1917/18, known in German as Siegfried-Stellung. After the close of the costly battles of 1916, the OHL (German Supreme Army Command) and the Army Group Kronprinz Rupprecht had decided to pull the front back to the Arras – Saint-Quentin – Vailly line. Their reasons had been strategic and operational: building on successes on the Eastern Front and in the unrestricted submarine war, the war in the West was to be waged defensively in…


(1,831 words)

Author(s): Mollenhauer, Daniel
Alsace-Lorraine As a Reichsland, part of the German Reich from 1871. The desire on the part of France to exact revenge for defeat in the Franco-Prussian war of 1870/1871, and reverse the annexation of Alsace-Lorraine by the newly founded German Reich under the terms of the Frankfurt Peace Treaty, has often been regarded, particularly by the Germans, as an important causal factor in respect of the origins of the First World War. In the light of recent research, however, this conce…

Hero Cult

(1,197 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Gerhard
Hero Cult The First World War was the last war to have an explicit hero cult; it continued almost to the end of the war. Every day, and increasingly as the war situation intensified, the public was presented with war heroes, whether alive or killed in action, both collectively and individually. Their cult grew out of the national tradition; they were to be followed as examples of willpower and readiness for battle, staying power, and readiness for sacrifice. The World War, with its new weapon systems c…


(471 words)

Author(s): Storz, Dieter
Balloons The early 19th century saw the first balloons employed for military purposes. The use of free balloons in the Franco-Prussian War attracted much attention. The balloons helped the beleaguered capital maintain communicat…

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 …


(582 words)

Author(s): Jürgens-Kirchhoff, Annegret
Futurism An avant-garde movement in Italian art with close affinities to cubism and constructivism as well as to the pre-1914 expressionist currents, combining a glorification of modern life with a radical rejection of tradition. The Italian futurists celebrated the outbreak of the World War in a similarly emphatic manner as the German expressionists. Where art strove to “make a tabula rasa of the past” (Giovanni Papini), where the traditional forms and achievements of civilization came to be challenged, where the muses and libraries were to be burned, the works of previous generations destroyed, and “savages to thrive,” the war – as stated in the founding manifesto of futurism from 1909 – appeared…

Venizelos, Eleftherios Kyriakos

(447 words)

Author(s): Loulos, Konstantin
Venizelos, Eleftherios Kyriakos (August 23, 1864, Mournies [Crete] – March 18, 1936, Paris), Greek politician. Regarded by many Greeks as the most significant national politician of the 20th century, Venizelos was a visionary and at the same time a practical politician. Moreover, he has the reputation of having created and fashioned modern Greece. As founder and leader of the Liberal Party, he played a vital role in the country’s development. Venizelos’ political career began when he eme…

“How Much of an ‘Experience’ Do We Want the Public to Receive?”: Trench Reconstructions and Popular Images of the Great War

(8,939 words)

Author(s): Espley, Richard
Espley, Richard - “How Much of an ‘Experience’ Do We Want the Public to Receive?”: Trench Reconstructions and Popular Images of the Great War Keywords: 1990s memory culture | Britain | Distant Bridges | First World War | The Unknown Soldier ISFWWS-Keywords: Britain | Great Britain | Women and War | Literature | Legacy | Western Front | Soldiers and Combat | Culture | Society Abstract: An approach to addressing the shifts and changes in 1990s memory culture with regard to the First World War becomes manifest in the construction of a narrative framewo…

Sonnino, Georgio Sidney

(475 words)

Author(s): Afflerbach, Holger
Sonnino, Georgio Sidney (March 11, 1847, Pisa – November 24, 1922, Rome), Italian politician (foreign minister). After a brief diplomatic career, Sonnino made his name with studies of the situation of the Italian rural population in Sicily. A member of parliament from 1880, he favored an alliance with the Central Powers, and was of the opinion that it was more important for Italy to maintain friendship with Austria than to acquire the Italian-speaking province of Trentino. He subsequently retained …
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