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Frank, Ludwig

(289 words)

Author(s): Hirschfeld, Gerhard
Frank, Ludwig (May 23, 1874, Nonnenweier [today part of Schwanau in the district of Ortenau] – September 3, 1914 [killed in action], Nossoncourt, Département Vosges), German attorney, social democratic politician, and member of the Reichstag. Frank was first city councilor in Mannheim, then a member of the Landtag of Baden. In 1904, he founded the sozialistische Arbeiterjugendbewegung (Socialist Young Workers’ Movement), whose most prominent representative he remained for the rest of his life. Pol…

Lyautey, Louis Hubert Gonzalve

(283 words)

Author(s): Krumeich, Gerd
Lyautey, Louis Hubert Gonzalve (November 17, 1854, Nancy – July 21, 1934, Thorey [Département Meurthe-et-Moselle]), French general and politician (minister of war). A cavalry officer serving at the Saint-Cyr military academy from 1873, Lyautey was politically to the right, but always remained alive to social questions. In the 1890s he produced proposals for reforming the social role of army officers. He was frequently employed in the French colonies in the 1890s, as well as in Algeria. From 1912 he …

Committee of Inquiry of the German Parliament

(787 words)

Author(s): Pöhlmann, Markus
Committee of Inquiry of the German Parliament On August 21, 1919, the newly formed 15th Committee of the German Constitutional Assembly met as a fact-finding parliamentary committee to consider the central political and military issues stemming from the World War. The legal basis for the committee was Article 34 of the Weimar Constitution. Under Article 34, officeholders and officials were obligated to work together with a fact-finding commission. Furthermore, the committee would have the right to secure expert tes…

French, Sir John

(383 words)

Author(s): Bourne, J.M.
French, Sir John (September 28, 1852, Ripple Vale, Kent – May 21, 1925, Deal), British field marshal and British Army Commander in Chief on the Western Front 1914/1915. French’s early career included the usual colonial postings in Egypt and India. He first gained a reputation as a courageous and energetic officer as commander of a cavalry division in the Boer War (1899–1902). The war led to further key posts, not least owing to the fact that French mixed easily with politicians, especially liberal …

Carpathians

(916 words)

Author(s): Jerabék, Rudolf
Carpathians A mountain range between Hungary and Galicia, the site of several battles from January to April 1915. The Austro-Hungarian general staff was quite aware of the Carpathians’ strategic importance. The Austro-Hungarian troops in Galicia, which were enclosed on all sides, were left with little possibility of evading attack due to the mountain range, while the enemy was at all cost to be prevented from overcoming it. Large parts of the Carpathians also placed mountain-trained or specially …

Mobilization

(664 words)

Author(s): Thoss, Bruno
Mobilization The conversion of a nation’s military forces to a state of war, callled specifically “military mobilization,” and the adaptation of its government and industry to the demands of the war, known as “military mobilization.” Military mobilization for the World War had been planned in detail during peacetime. The preplanned procedures were intended to outfit military units with personnel, uniforms and equipment so as to bring them swiftly up to war strength. When the war began, frontier p…

Romania

(1,553 words)

Author(s): Höpken, Wolfgang
Romania Having come into being in 1859 in the union of the two Danube principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia, Romania endeavored to remain aloof from the great diplomatic crises and military upheavals that gripped the Balkans from the end of the 19th century. The country accordingly did not participate in the Balkan League comprising Serbia, Greece, Bulgaria, and Montenegro, which declared war on the Ottoman Empire in 1912. However, when Bulgaria’s success in the Balkan War of 1912 appeared to …

Ferry, Abel

(249 words)

Author(s): Mollenhauer, Daniel
Ferry, Abel (May 26, 1881, Paris – September 15, 1918, Jaulzy [Aisne]), French politician. As nephew of Jules Ferry, the dominant French statesman of the 1880s, and as the son of the parliamentarian Charles Ferry, Abel Ferry came from a highly respected political family. After studying law in Paris, in 1909 he was elected to parliament as the deputy for Épinal (department of the Vosges), identifying himself with the moderate left. In the cabinet formed by René Viviani in 1914, Ferry was named unde…

Loos

(547 words)

Author(s): Werth, German
Loos A small French town northwest of Lens, in the region of Artois. During the fighting in autumn 1915 (the dual British and French offensive in Artois and in the Champagne) between Arras and the La Bassée Canal (September 22 to October 11, 1915), Loos found itself in the middle of the combat zone. For the offensive in Artois, Joffre assigned the front sector between Lens and La Bassée to the British Army (General Haig) and the southern front sector between Lens and Arras to the French Tenth Arm…

Soixante-Quinze

(621 words)

Author(s): Storz, Dieter
Soixante-Quinze French for 75. Nickname given to the M 1897 75 mm cannon, introduced in 1897 as the standard gun used by the French field artillery. The weapon combined several technical innovations, the most significant of which was the long barrel-recoil system. The energy of the recoil was no longer transmitted directly to the gun’s carriage; instead, the barrel slid on a cradle, which checked its backward motion by means of an integral braking device. At the end of the recoil stage the barrel…

Foch, Ferdinand

(633 words)

Author(s): Becker, Jean-Jacques
Foch, Ferdinand (October 2, 1851, Tarbes – March 20, 1929, Paris) French field marshal. In the course of the large-scale German offensive in March of 1918 the Allies realized that the lack of a central military command on the Western Front might result in a defeat. Up to that point, British generals (with some exceptions) had categorically refused to serve under French command. Now, however, General Foch was given the task of coordinating the operations of the French and British armies; later he r…

Wartime Enterprises

(818 words)

Author(s): Zilch, Reinhold
Wartime Enterprises The concept of wartime enterprises refers to mostly quasi-governmental societies or companies that operated in the warring countries and assumed regulatory functions in the context of the war economy. In Germany, wartime enterprises in the narrow sense refer particularly to those organizations created to control the procurement and distribution of raw materials; established as non-profit organizations and vested with governmental powers, they intervened in the economic cycle an…

Francs-Tireurs

(355 words)

Author(s): Kramer, Alan
Francs-Tireurs Abbreviation for the French “francais-tireurs,” meaning French snipers. First coined in 1792 during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–1871, francs-tireurs was used to indicate members of the volunteer French units, formed in October 1870, which officially constituted the foundation of the new Republican Army in the revolutionary tradition of the leveé en masse. From the point of view of the Germans, the francs-tireurs were illegal because they failed to wear complete uniforms. Accordingly, when captured they were normally executed, a…

Cambrai

(605 words)

Author(s): Werth, German
Cambrai City in the north of France on the canalized River Scheldt (L’Escaut). The “Tank Battle of Cambrai” in November of 1917 saw the first operational massed deployment of British tank forces – a veritable revolution on the battlefield. On November 20, after only a brief burst of fire and without the normal artillery preparation lasting several days, the newly-created British Tank Corps breached the German Hindenburg Line near Havrincourt. The 400 tracked vehicles were supported by six infantry and three …

Albert I, King of the Belgians

(707 words)

Author(s): van Ypersele, Laurence
Albert I, King of the Belgians (April 8, 1875, Brussels – February 17, 1934, accident near Namur), King of the Belgians. Albert was the youngest son of Philippe Count of Flanders and Maria of Hohenzollern. In 1900 he married Elisabeth of Bavaria. They had three children: Leopold, Charles, and Marie-José. In 1909 he inherited the Belgian throne from his uncle Leopold II, and in stark contrast to the latter, immediately enjoyed enormous popularity. Instilled with a sense of duty, Albert also turned out to be a man of sober and level-headed conduct. In political terms Albert strove to end…

Looted Art

(1,176 words)

Author(s): Kott, Christina
Looted Art Originally a term for cultural assets taken away by the enemy in times of war, the looting of art today denotes an illegal act under international law that is perpetrated by belligerent powers and involves the theft of artistic and cultural items in the course of military operations or during occupation. The protection of cultural property had since the end of the 19th century, if not earlier, been one of the fundamental tenets of international law: in particular Article 56 of the Hague Convention Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land (1907) banned “[a]ll seizure of, …

Fortresses

(737 words)

Author(s): Storz, Dieter
Fortresses Sites provided with permanent, artificial reinforcement, so as to protect them from capture by the methods of field warfare. For this reason, the battle for fortresses was always given a particular designation as “fortress warfare,” to distinguish it from “field warfare,” or war as waged by mobile field forces. The technical design of fortresses closely paralleled developments in artillery, which made tremendous advances during the 19th century (introduction of guns made from drawn steel, long-range howitzers, armor-piercing shells).…

Cinematic Representations of the Enemy in Belgian Silent Fiction Films

(6,787 words)

Author(s): Engelen, Leen
Engelen, Leen - Cinematic Representations of the Enemy in Belgian Silent Fiction Films Keywords: Fictional | Belgium | Germany | Culture | Society | Legacy | Politics | Violence against civilians ‛Warfare and Belligerence’ Pierre Purseigle, Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, 2005 e-ISBN: 9789047407362 DOI: 10.1163/9789047407362.015 © 2005 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Engelen, Leen

Polish Activism Abroad

(509 words)

Author(s): Hecker, Hans
Polish Activism Abroad The term here refers to the activities in particular of the Polish National Democrats under Roman Dmowski and cooperating Polish politicians in the West, who achieved a political breakthrough following the proclamation for an independent Polish state by the Provisional Government of Russia on March 30, 1917, and the ensuing declaration by the French President Raymond Poincaré on June 4, 1917, announcing the formation of Polish army units in France. Thanks to the initiative of…

Medals and Military Decorations

(510 words)

Author(s): Thoss, Bruno
Medals and Military Decorations Externally visible decorations recognizing particular achievements and merits. Starting with absolutist France, in the 18th and 19th centuries orders were created in all states as signs of particular attachment to the ruling house, or to reward military achievements. Their design and distribution, and the manner of wearing them, were precisely laid down in laws, statues and regulations. As a rule, decorations were given in a number of classes, the highest of which were linked…
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