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Arz von Straussenburg, Baron Artur

(338 words)

Author(s): Pöhlmann, Markus
Arz von Straussenburg, Baron Artur (June 16, 1857, Hermannstadt, modern Sibiu in Transylvania – July 1, 1935, Budapest), Austro-Hungarian army general and chief of the General Staff. A member of the Transylvanian Saxon ethnic community, Arz joined the 23rd Feldjäger (Rifle) Battalion in 1877 for one year of voluntary military service. After attending the Kriegsschule (General Staff College) from 1885 to 1887, he was assigned to the General Staff and advanced his career mainly by serving with field units. Within months of attaining th…

Rennenkampf, Paul Karlovich Edler von

(302 words)

Author(s): Dahlmann, Dittmar
Rennenkampf, Paul Karlovich Edler von (April 17, 1854, Konuvere, Estonia – April 1, 1918, Taganrog, Russia), Russian general. Born into a Baltic German noble family, Rennenkampf graduated from the Helsinki Junker School in 1873, and from the General Staff Academy in 1882. He commanded a division in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904/1905. During the Russian Revolution of 1905, he was given the task of suppressing uprisings in eastern Siberia. In 1910 he was promoted general of cavalry, and in 1913/1914 commanded the Vilna (Vilnius) military district. At the beginning of the First Wor…

Hoffmann, Max

(436 words)

Author(s): Afflerbach, Holger
Hoffmann, Max (January 25, 1869, Homberg near Kassel – July 8, 1927, Bad Reichenhall), German general. The son of a judge, Hoffmann was first posted to the Russian section of the general staff in 1899 and permanently assigned in 1901. In 1904/1905 he was assigned as an observer to the Russo-Japanese War where he was with the Japanese army in Manchuria. He was promoted lieutenant colonel in 1914 and assigned to the staff of the Eighth Army under General von Prittwitz with the task of defending the …

Driant, Emile

(293 words)

Author(s): Audoin-Rouzeau, Stéphane
Driant, Emile (September 11, 1855, Neufchâtel-sur-Aisne – February 22, 1916, Verdun), French author and officer. As the brother-in-law of General Boulanger, and a friend of both Paul Déroulède and Maurice Barrès, Driant stood at the very center of all the battles of French nationalism, although without becoming particularly actively engaged. He did not begin his political career until after leaving the army by his own desire in 1906. At the same time, under the pseudonym Danrit, he continued work …

Tunnel Warfare

(587 words)

Author(s): Pöhlmann, Markus
Tunnel Warfare Warfare by means of planting subterranean destructive charges. Following the onset of positional warfare, the belligerents soon turned to tunneling and mining along the stationary front lines, especially on the Western Front and in the Alps. A distinction must be made between offensive and defensive mining: offensive mining was conducted for the purpose of destroying key positions or entire sections of the enemy’s trenches immediately before a planned infantry attack. This was accom…

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…

Millerand, Alexandre Etienne

(352 words)

Author(s): Mollenhauer, Daniel
Millerand, Alexandre Etienne (February 10, 1859, Paris – April 6, 1943, Versailles), French politician. For more than 40 years, Millerand had an undisputed place among the leading figures of the French Third Republic. He came to national attention at the beginning of the 1890s as leader of the reform wing of the Socialist Party. In 1899, at the peak of the Dreyfus Affair, he entered the gouvernement de défense républicaine (Government for the Defense of the Republic) of Pierre Waldeck-Rousseau. As minister of commerce, Millerand then quickly became alienated from…

Boelcke, Oswald

(281 words)

Author(s): Schmidt, Wolfgang
Boelcke, Oswald (May 19, 1891, Giebichenstein, now part of Halle [Saale] – October 28, 1916, near Bapaume, Somme region), German fighter pilot. Initially an officer with a Prussian telegraph battalion, Boelcke became a military pilot in 1914 and was posted to a field flying unit set up for reconnaissance work on the Western Front. Beginning in 1915 he flew a single-seat fighter plane specifically designed to engage enemy aircraft, scoring a total of 40 victories. He developed standard offensive an…

Somme

(2,475 words)

Author(s): Simkins, Peter
Somme River in northern France. The battle that took place between July 1 and November 25, 1916, in the French region of Picardy was the largest Franco-British offensive of that year. It was also the first major offensive of the British volunteer army (Kitchener’s Army) and the first battle in which tanks were used. In early December 1915, at a conference held in Chantilly, the representatives of the Allied Powers agreed to launch a general offensive in the following year. This coordinated action was meant to deprive the Central Powers of the abili…

Raps across the Knuckles: The Extension of War Culture by Radical Nationalist Women Journalists in Post-1918 Germany

(8,310 words)

Author(s): Streubel, Christiane
Streubel, Christiane - Raps across the Knuckles: The Extension of War Culture by Radical Nationalist Women Journalists in Post-1918 Germany Keywords: culture of war | Der Tag | Deutsche Zeitung | German Right | Radical Nationalist Women Journalists ISFWWS-Keywords: Germany | Politics | Legacy | Society | Literature | Masculinity | Gender | Culture Abstract: This chapter explores the role of radical nationalist women journalists in rebuilding the nation after defeat and in contesting Germany's redrawn national boundaries by analysing two i…

Brittain, Vera

(232 words)

Author(s): Reimann, Aribert
Brittain, Vera (December 29, 1893, Newcastle-under-Lyme – March 29, 1970, London), English writer. Brittain became particularly well-known through her memoir Testament of Youth (1933), which was based on her correspondence with her younger brother Edward, her fiancé Roland Leighton and other friends, as well as her own diaries from the time of the First World War. Already a student at Somerville College (Oxford) at the beginning of the war, she decided to go to France, Malta, and London first to work as a Voluntary A…

War Poetry

(1,081 words)

Author(s): Hüppauf, Bernd
War Poetry Prophecies of a coming war had been a theme in German poetry since the beginning of the century. Expressionist poets conjured up the war in apocalyptic images that alternated between the fear of its violence and a yearning for its purifying and regenerative power. Feelings of restlessness and dissatisfaction over a long and “foul” peace gave rise to fantasies of war in the sense of a longed-for renewal, often expressed through theological formulations such as J…

Entente Cordiale

(491 words)

Author(s): Kröger, Martin
Entente Cordiale Cordial understanding. Agreement of April 8, 1904, between Great Britain and France, settling a number of colonial differences. The Entente cordiale represented the culmination of the policy of French Foreign Minister Delcassé. He saw an understanding with Great Britain as the best means to make France secure against the German Reich. For such an understanding to come about, the antagonism between France and Britain outside Europe had to be overcome. The confrontation at Fashoda in the Sudan in 1898 …

Toys, Games and Juvenile Literature in Germany and Britain During the First World War. A Comparison

(10,962 words)

Author(s): Müller, Sonja
Müller, Sonja - Toys, Games and Juvenile Literature in Germany and Britain During the First World War. A Comparison Keywords: Britain | First World War | games | Germany | juvenile literature | toys ISFWWS-Keywords: Children and War | Germany | Britain | Economy | Masculinity | Literature | Culture | Home fronts | Society | Violence against civilians Abstract: This chapter focuses on German and British children's daily lives during the First World War, particularly emphasizing their wartime experiences. It also focuses on individual toys and …

Michael Offensive

(1,595 words)

Author(s): Kitchen, Martin
Michael Offensive Official title for the German offensive conducted in March 1918, also called the Great Battle in France. Plans for the offensive had begun in October 1917, with the recommendations of Von Ludendorff ’s newly appointed operations chief Major Wetzell. The new chief called for a series of exploratory attacks in Flanders. These attacks were intended to discover any weaknesses in the British defenses, as suitable sites for a major offensive. Army Group Crown Prince was deployed in the terrain between…

Shrapnel

(344 words)

Author(s): Storz, Dieter
Shrapnel Artillery projectile for anti-personnel purposes, introduced in the 19th century. At the outbreak of the First World War shrapnel was the principal type of ammunition employed by the field artillery of all the combatant nations. Designed to scatter its contents in mid-air, a shrapnel shell can be imagined as a kind of “flying shotgun.” A time fuse caused the shell to burst at a certain distance from its intended target. The explosive charge was most often built into the bottom of the pro…

March, Peyton Conway

(449 words)

Author(s): Showalter, Dennis E.
March, Peyton Conway (December 27, 1864, Easton PA – April 13, 1955, Washington DC), United States Army chief of staff. March was a talented and ambitious artillery specialist. Owing to his many and varied battlefield and staff postings, he was preceded by an outstanding reputation. The commander in chief of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF), General Pershing, accordingly chose him in 1917 to command first a brigade of artillery, and then all the AEF’s artillery. March was seen as overbearing …

Weddigen, Otto

(337 words)

Author(s): Epkenhans, Michael
Weddigen, Otto (September 15, 1882, Herford – March 18, 1915, in the North Sea), German U-boat commander. If not a particularly successful U-boat captain, Weddigen was at least the best known. A naval officer since 1901, Weddigen returned from duty with the German East Asia Squadron in fall 1908 for assignment to the U-boat service. In 1911 he became commander of one of the first U-boats, U-9. On September 22, 1914, under Weddigen’s command, U-9 sank three aging armored cruisers, the Aboukir, the Cressy, and the Hogue, in an operation against British troop transports in the shipp…

Hood, Sir Horace

(385 words)

Author(s): Herwig, Holger H.
Hood, Sir Horace (October 2, 1870, Tunbridge Wells – May 31, 1916, off the Skagerrak), British admiral. Hood entered the Royal Navy as a sea cadet in 1882. He took part in various imperial military operations: in 1897 on board a gunboat on the Nile, in the Boer War of 1898–1900, and in 1904 against the Dervishes in Somalia. Between 1910 and 1913 he commanded the Royal Naval College at Osborne. He then became captain of HMS Centurion, and in June 1914 Naval Secretary to the First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill. In October 1914 Hood took command of a flotilla of …

Colored Troops

(587 words)

Author(s): Koller, Christian
Colored Troops German war propaganda described the nonwhite colonial troops employed by the Entente Powers in the First World War in general terms as “colored auxiliaries.” The very use of such units in Europe caused a considerable sensation. All in all, some 485,000 nonwhite soldiers from the French colonies and 160,000 from the British colonies fought in the ranks of the Entente Powers in the European theater. Important contingents came from Algeria (173,000), India (153,000), French West Africa…
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