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Lusitania

(653 words)

Author(s): Kramer, Alan
Lusitania A British luxury liner that was torpedoed on May 7, 1915, off the south coast of Ireland by the German U-boat U-20 while on its way from New York to Liverpool. A total of 1,198 passengers (according to another estimate: 1,201) lost their lives, including 127 Americans. The incident occurred during the phase of unrestricted U-boat warfare, during which the German naval command intensified its efforts to sink British merchant ships in order to cripple the British economy. Whether or not the Lusitania had munitions on board was controversially debated for many years…

Rationing

(634 words)

Author(s): Berghoff, Hartmut
Rationing The systematic registration and distribution of goods in short supply, in order to meet priority needs. The aim of rationing is to achieve distribution which is as fair as possible, and adequate to the war economy. All belligerent nations, and even the neutral countries, realized that the destruction of established structures of the international division of labor, together with enemy blockades and the enormous needs of the defense economy, created shortages of raw materials and foodstu…

Total War

(813 words)

Author(s): Förster, Stig
Total War This expression first appeared in the French press in 1917 as la guerre totale, meant to stir the French to their ultimate war effort. “Total war” and related expressions played a major role in international discussions concerning military policy in the 1920s and 1930s. The Italian General Giulio Douhet and German General Erich Ludendorff in particular promoted total war as the warfare of the future. In the Second World War the call for total war became a thoroughly universal phenomenon. Joseph Goebb…

Michaelis, Georg

(639 words)

Author(s): Pöhlmann, Markus
Michaelis, Georg (September 8, 1857, Haynau [Silesia] – July 24, 1936, Bad Saarow [district Fürstenwalde]), German politician (chancellor of the Reich and Prussian prime minister). As a doctor of law, the young Michaelis rapidly ascended the steps of the Prussian administrative bureaucracy. Having officiated as deputy district administrator in the Lower Silesian city of Liegnitz (current Legnica) from 1902 to 1909, he was then appointed undersecretary of state in the Prussian Treasury Department. Following the outbreak of the war, he became chairman of the board of d…

National Women’s Service

(977 words)

Author(s): Süchting-Hänger, Andrea
National Women’s Service Organization of the German women’s movement. During the war, the National Women’s Service (NWS) regulated the various social welfare activities both by and for women which were important for the political and economic promotion of the war effort on the home front. On August 1, 1914, the Prussian Ministry of the Interior established the Bund deutscher Frauenvereine (Union of German Women’s Organizations). In case of war, these organizations had already drawn up a provisional plan in July, outlining the responsibilities of the NWS …

Japan

(2,146 words)

Author(s): Schwentker, Wolfgang
Japan Japan rose to become a Great Power in East Asia during the two centuries preceding 1914. Although the Japanese Empire had become the object of Western imperialism during the late 19th century, they had resisted all attempts at colonization. After victories in both the Sino-Japanese War of 1894–1895 and the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–1905, Japan itself stepped into the imperialist arena in East Asia as the new colonial power. As Japan expanded its empire upon the Asian continent before 1914,…

A Different Kind of Home Front: War, Gender and Propaganda in Warsaw, 1914–1918

(10,415 words)

Author(s): Blobaum, Robert | Blobaum, Donata
Blobaum, Robert; Blobaum, Donata - A Different Kind of Home Front: War, Gender and Propaganda in Warsaw, 1914–1918 ISFWWS-Keywords: Poland | Women and War | Economy | Society | Germany | Russia | Politics | Home fronts World War I and Propaganda Troy R.E. Paddock , (2014) Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, 2014 e-ISBN: 9789004264571 DOI: 10.1163/9789004264571_013 © 2014 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Blobaum, Robert and Blobaum, Donata

Japan and the Wider World in the Decade of the Great War: Introduction

(7,943 words)

Contributor(s): Minohara, Tosh | Hon, Tze-ki | Dawley, Evan
Minohara, Tosh; Hon, Tze-ki; Dawley, Evan - Japan and the Wider World in the Decade of the Great War: Introduction ISFWWS-Keywords: Asia | Naval Warfare | Politics | Economy | The French and British Empires | International Relations during the War | Pre-war period | The United States of America | Legacy | Russia | Gender | Society | Scandinavia | Science, Technology, and Medicine | Australia | New Zealand | The Ottoman Empire and the Middle East | Poland The Decade of the Great War Tosh Minohara , Tze-ki Hon and Evan Dawley , (2014) Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, 2014 e-ISBN: 978900…

Instruction in Patriotic Values (German)

(340 words)

Author(s): Pöhlmann, Markus
Instruction in Patriotic Values (German) The need for a methodical, propagandistic strengthening of the army’s and population’s will to hold out had thrust itself upon the German government since the aggravation of the military and economic situation in the year 1916. Under the impression of the Reichstag’s Peace Resolution, the military leadership decided to take the initiative. On July 29, 1917, the chief of the General Staff issued the Leitsätze für die Aufklärungsarbeit unter den Truppen ( Guidelines for dispensing instruction among the troops), which henceforth regulated …

Reparations

(2,115 words)

Author(s): Geyer, Martin H.
Reparations Since the First World War the normal term for war compensation, by which a state is obliged to remedy damage illicitly caused by it on the sovereign territory of an enemy. In contrast to the traditional practice whereby financial obligations were imposed by the victors in a war in the form of tribute, the concept of reparations introduced the new idea that a state must pay for the damage it has caused another state by an illegal act. The first use in a treaty of the concept réparation des dommages (compensation for damages), drawn from French civil law, was in the cease-f…

Hindenburg Program

(1,030 words)

Author(s): Geyer, Martin H.
Hindenburg Program Economic and armaments program of the Supreme Army Command. Two days after taking over military leadership in Germany, on August 31, 1916, the Operations Branch of the Supreme Army Command (Hindenburg/Ludendorff ) presented the Prussian War Ministry with demands for the wholesale impressment of all economic resources for the war effort and a considerable expansion of armaments production. It was soon common parlance to speak of the “Hindenburg Program.” The armaments program was…

‘War Profiteers’ and ‘War Profiters’: Representing Economic Gain in France during the First World War

(13,308 words)

Author(s): Bouloc, François
Bouloc, François - ‘War Profiteers’ and ‘War Profiters’: Representing Economic Gain in France during the First World War Keywords: 'War | Economic Gain | France | Representing | war profiteer | war profiter | World War ISFWWS-Keywords: Society | French society during the war | Home fronts | Economy | Politics | Legacy Abstract: This chapter analyzes questions, how wartime practices were understood, both internally and externally and how moral judgement operated in wartime societies to include or exclude various behaviors or attitud…

Hussein bin Ali

(373 words)

Author(s): Neulen, Hans Werner
Hussein bin Ali (1853, Constantinople – June 4, 1931, Amman), king of the Hejaz. As the “Guardian of the Holy Places of Islam” and as the presumed contender for the title of Caliph, Hussein was held captive in Constantinople from 1891 to 1908 as a state prisoner of Sultan Abdul Hamid II. After the latter’s downfall, the Young Turks appointed Hussein Emir of Mecca in 1908. However, the Arab efforts to gain independence – which were also fuelled by fears that the Hejaz Railway might threaten Hussein’…

A War Unimagined: Food and the Rank and File Soldier of the First World War

(10,797 words)

Author(s): Duffett, Rachel
Duffett, Rachel - A War Unimagined: Food and the Rank and File Soldier of the First World War Keywords: army rations | emotion | file soldiers | First World War | food | rankers' writing ISFWWS-Keywords: Western Front | Soldiers and Combat | Britain | Published memoirs and biographies | Military organisation of combat | Economy Abstract: The literary legacy of the First World War has tended to ignore the mass of writing produced by its rank and file soldiers, whose perceptions, lack of writing skills and limited reflexivity did not, in …

Troeltsch, Ernst

(500 words)

Author(s): Hübinger, Gangolf
Troeltsch, Ernst (February 17, 1865, Haunstetten near Augsburg – February 1, 1923, Berlin), German theologian, philosopher of culture and historian. In the first two years of the war, Troeltsch, with the authority of a German professor of theology, used his great influence to define public debate about the World War as a “culture war,” providing it with memorable slogans. As early as August 2, 1914, he gave a notable speech to the city and University of Heidelberg announcing his commitment to the …

Canada

(1,457 words)

Author(s): Kitchen, Martin
Canada Canada was ill prepared for war in August 1914. The affluent were enjoying the August 1–3 civic holiday at their country houses. The less affluent were suffering from the effects of the worst economic depression since the early 1890s. Only the energetic but unpredictable Minister of Militia and Defence Sam Hughes was enthused by the prospect of war. His only concern was that the British might miss the opportunity. Under his command, some 55,000 militiamen and 44,000 cadets were trained in 1913. These men would comprise the bulk of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF). At first re…

Of World History and Great Men: A Japanese Village and Its Worlds

(9,532 words)

Author(s): Dusinberre, Martin
Dusinberre, Martin - Of World History and Great Men: A Japanese Village and Its Worlds ISFWWS-Keywords: Asia | Society | Economy | The United States of America | Politics | International Relations during the War 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_019 © 2014 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Dusinberre, Martin

War Food Office

(392 words)

Author(s): Zilch, Reinhold
War Food Office The central authority under the Imperial Chancellor in the German Reich for managing supplies of food and animal feed in order to keep the population fed. The office was created, by an announcement dated May 22, 1916, to correct the previously divided and confused administration in the light of the dramatically worsening supply problem. To this end the War Food Office, as an organ of the Reich (against the opposition of the federal states and the Prussian Agriculture Minister), was …

Groener, Wilhelm

(732 words)

Author(s): Kitchen, Martin
Groener, Wilhelm (November 22, 1867, Ludwigsburg – May 3, 1939, Bornstedt [today part of Potsdam]), German general and first quartermaster general in the general staff of the field army. The son of a warrant officer from Württemberg, Groener owed his career in the Prussian-German Army solely to his exceptional skills and was one of the leading “technicians” whose opinions gained increasing weight in the general staff. Groener was a cultivated and liberal man, although he was also receptive to the …

Bauer, Max

(582 words)

Author(s): Afflerbach, Holger
Bauer, Max (January 31, 1869, Quedlinburg – May 6, 1929, Shanghai), Prussian officer. Bauer joined the Prussian Foot Artillery Regiment No. 2 in 1888. In 1908, as a captain, Bauer became an artillery expert with the Deployment Section of the General Staff, where he worked with Erich Ludendorff. In 1918 he was prooted to colonel. He remained a close member of Ludendorff ’s staff throughout the war and was considered to be an exceptionally gifted officer with a touch of genius. During the war he was…
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