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Sitwell, Sir Francis Osbert Sacheverell

(339 words)

Author(s): Winter, Jay
Sitwell, Sir Francis Osbert Sacheverell (December 6, 1892, London – May 4, 1969, Florence), British writer. Sitwell enlisted with the First Battalion of the Grenadier Guards in December 1914. His experience of trench warfare between 1914 and 1917 awakened in him a profound awareness of the pointlessness of the slaughter, an awareness he sought to articulate in his early poems. Sitwell and his sister Edith, who was also active as a poet and writer, influenced the younger generation of writers in the 1…

Forced Labor

(1,842 words)

Author(s): Hinz, Uta
Forced Labor It is entirely possible to see the development of state-organized forced labor in Germany between 1914 and 1918 as a kind of “trial run” for the Second World War (Ulrich Herbert). It is necessary first of all to distinguish between legitimate military forms of forced labor (in accordance with the laws of war as they stood at the time, for prisoners of war) and forced labor for civilians. The latter affected many civilians forced to work in Germany, and transported to Germany in breach of international law for that purpose. The use of the labor of captured ordinary soldiers…

Bild- und Filmamt (Photo and Film Office)

(575 words)

Author(s): Brandt, Susanne
Bild- und Filmamt (Photo and Film Office) The Bild- und Filmamt (BUFA, “Photo and Film Office”) was created in January of 1917 by order of the Prussian War Ministry to facilitate and coordinate the use of film and photography for the German propaganda effort. As it formed part of the Supreme Army Command (OHL) and was also attached to the Military Department of the Foreign Office (Militärische Stelle des Auswärtigen Amtes, MAA), it reported to both institutions. Among other responsibilities the BUFA pr…

North Africa

(2,498 words)

Author(s): Cornelissen, Christoph
North Africa Geographical area stretching from the Atlantic coast of present-day Morocco in the west to the Suez Canal and the Red Sea in the east. The territories in question experienced various phases of political and military subjugation by the European colonial powers before the outbreak of the First World War. The North African territories were subject to differing external and internal political arrangements, and were then administered under direct and indirect forms of rule. France claimed formal sovereignty in Al…

Franz Joseph I of Austria

(380 words)

Author(s): Jerabék, Rudolf
Franz Joseph I of Austria (August 18, 1830, Schönbrunn [now part of Vienna] – November 21, 1916, Vienna), Emperor of Austria after 1848 and King of Hungary after 1867. Franz Joseph mounted the throne in 1848, during a war that threatened the very existence of the monarchy. In 1916 he died during just such a war, which surpassed every earlier conception of a modern war in both its extent, and its form. Regarding the possibility of waging war as a political tool, Franz Joseph was heavily influenced by …

War Enthusiasm

(799 words)

Author(s): Ullrich, Volker
War Enthusiasm In August 1914, the Germans went to war in a wave of general enthusiasm – or so it was claimed until recently in schoolbooks and in a number of representative works written by German historians. This stereotyped conception has, in the meantime, been increasingly challenged and corrected in a number of crucial points. Accordingly, it can now stated with certainty that an “August Experience” in the sense of an enthusiastic, nationwide approval of the war that would have mobilized all social classes did not take place. …

Veterans’ and Reservists’ Associations

(619 words)

Author(s): Rohrkrämer, Thomas
Veterans’ and Reservists’ Associations With the introduction of general conscription, associations of former soldiers, which had previously existed only as professional organizations, became socially influential bodies. The first soldiers’ or war veterans’ associations appeared soon after the beginning of the 19th century, but it was not until after the wars of unification and the founding of the German Reich in 1871 that such organizations became widespread in Germany. First there arose in all part…

Requisition

(249 words)

Author(s): Thoss, Bruno
Requisition The coercive demand for, and taking of, foodstuffs and other troop needs in enemy territory – that is, confiscated items. This action was allowed under the Hague Convention of 1907 IV, The Laws and Customs of War on Land. According to Article 52, in wartime on the authority of the local commander in chief, requisitions and services for the troops could be demanded from the inhabitants of an occupied territory, and also collected against resistance. There was to be no disproportionate use of force. Also, the extent of the …

Famine

(1,380 words)

Author(s): Corni, Gustavo
Famine The long duration of the war, reciprocal blockades of food imports, and the exploitation of regions occupied by the Central Powers all caused occasional dramatic occurrences of famine in the World War. In the German Reich and Austria especially, the food situation during the second half of the war was appalling. In Germany, the lack of planning to maintain the food supply in case of war was partly the blame for the quantitative and qualitative decline in the diet of a majority of the German civilian population. The weekly flour ration fell…

Animals

(1,008 words)

Author(s): Werth, German
Animals The use of animals for war service is known from antiquity. Elephants, bears, or packs of bloodhounds were used to break open enemy lines. Clay balls containing poisonous snakes were used as projectiles. Most often used as “war equipment” was the horse, in a team to pull combat vehicles and naturally, as a mount for a rider. Surprisingly, it was not during the First World War – in which mechanization was at first of less significance – but during the Second World War that the use of horses was comparatively greater. Despite being engaged in pos…

Falkenhausen, Ludwig Alexander Baron von

(303 words)

Author(s): Afflerbach, Holger
Falkenhausen, Ludwig Alexander Baron von (September 13, 1844, Guben – May 4, 1936, Görlitz), German general. Falkenhausen had been a soldier since 1862, and had taken part in the wars of 1866 and 1870/1871. As commanding general of the XIIIth Army Corps, he had been placed on the inactive list in 1902. Recalled to active service at his own request in 1914, onSeptember 15 he took over command of the Falkenhausen Division (from April 1916 Army Division A) that, after the end of the border engagements b…

Fourteen Points

(899 words)

Author(s): Waechter, Matthias
Fourteen Points Fourteen Points stands for the peace aims of American President Woodrow Wilson, who made them public in a speech before the United States Congress on January 8, 1918. The basic reasons for American participation in the war were already clear. To justify America’s joining the war in April 1917, Wilson stressed that the United States was not interested in realizing any narrowly defined national demands. Rather, he meant to for liberal political principles to be implemented globally, …

Rainbow Books

(583 words)

Author(s): Zala, Sacha
Rainbow Books Official printed texts or collections of diplomatic documents, appearing on an ad hoc basis treating primarily questions of foreign policy. A government published “rainbow books,” frequently during or after an international crisis, in order to inform its parliament and/or public, to legitimize its own policy, and/or to criticize the policy of a foreign state. The books owe their name to the colors of their bindings, used on a consistent basis by the various governments: Great Britain blue; Germa…

Hipper, Franz Ritter von

(411 words)

Author(s): Herwig, Holger H.
Hipper, Franz Ritter von (September 13, 1863, Weilheim [Upper Bavaria] – May 25, 1932, Altona-Othmarschen [now part of Hamburg]), German admiral. Hipper entered the Imperial Navy in 1881, and initially served as commander and flotilla commander of torpedo boats. He held several cruiser commands after 1903. In 1912 Hipper was appointed commander of reconnaissance forces, and it was in this function that he led the unsuccessful cruiser actions of 1914, which, as early as August 28, led to the loss of the light cruisers Ariadne, Mainz, and Köln in the German Bight. Even worse was the …

Big Bertha

(279 words)

Author(s): Gross, Gerhard P.
Big Bertha Name popularly given to the 42-cm mortar on a wheeled carriage developed by the Krupp Company, and named after the eldest daughter of Friedrich Alfred Krupp. Commissioned by the Prussian general staff as a howitzer with the aim of destroying the modern fortifications located in Belgium and France along the line of the planned Prussian advance. In 1909 Krupp proposed the 42-cm short naval cannon 12/16, with the cover-name Gamma Device, often also referred to as dicke Bertha (BB). This platform gun was transported by rail and fired 930-kg shells up to a distance o…

Uniforms

(1,390 words)

Author(s): Kraus, Jürgen
Uniforms At the beginning of the war, the armies of most warring states were outfitted with a special field uniform, camouflaged to blend into the terrain, in addition to their colorful parade uniforms. Such a camouflage uniform was necessary because of modern weapons technology including smokeless powder. This was already well known from the Boer Wars and the Russo-Japanese War. Still, camouflage uniforms dated back to the colonial wars of the 19th century. Based on experience in India, Great Br…

Army Daily Report

(260 words)

Author(s): Thoss, Bruno
Army Daily Report This was the official, daily summary report given by the commanders-in-chief of the warring states to inform the public about developments in the World War. The events recorded in the German Army Daily Report were at first compiled by the quartermaster general; later, by Department IIIb of the Deputy General Staff in Berlin; and then, by the Operations Office of the Supreme Army Command. In addition to press censorship, an additional means for military control of news releases to the homeland was made available t…

The Women’s Suffrage Campaign in Italy in 1919 and Voce Nuova (“New Voice”): Corporatism, Nationalism and the Struggle for Political Rights

(8,310 words)

Author(s): Schiavon, Emma
Schiavon, Emma - The Women’s Suffrage Campaign in Italy in 1919 and Voce Nuova (“New Voice”): Corporatism, Nationalism and the Struggle for Political Rights Keywords: feminism | interventionism | Italian women movement | Milanese feminists | nationalism | Voce Nuova | World War I ISFWWS-Keywords: Italy | Society | Politics | Legacy | Masculinity | Gender | Culture Abstract: This chapter focuses on the Italian women's movement after World War I with particular reference to the experience of the Milanese feminists, who were the leading group in…

Eastern Front

(1,205 words)

Author(s): Stone, Norman
Eastern Front The topography of the Eastern Front differed markedly from that of the Western Front. For one thing, it was twice as long as the Western Front, stretching in an irregular line from the southeast corner of the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea – including the Bulgarian Front and all the way to the Aegean Sea. Although the terrain was mainly gently rolling, or else flat and forested, the Carpathian Mountains along the Polish and Hungarian borders could pose a significant obstacle for militar…

Public Opinion, Study of

(594 words)

Author(s): Ziemann, Benjamin
Public Opinion, Study of Opinion polls, often systematically organized, were taken periodically regarding the outlook of different population groups on politics, the war situation, the economic situation, and other topics, with the object of obtaining information for official use concerning public opinion The study of public opinion was based upon various kinds of reports officially collected as part of government reforms after 1812, including the Prussian Zeitungsberichte, and the weekly reports on the workers’ movement beginning in 1848 in Bavaria, the Wochenberichte. Thes…
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