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Lamszus, Wilhelm

(315 words)

Author(s): Brandt, Suzanne
Lamszus, Wilhelm (July 13, 1881, Altona [now part of Hamburg] – January 18, 1965, Hamburg), German primary school teacher and writer. In 1912 he published a novel entitled Das Menschenschlachthaus ( The Human Slaughter-House), originally intended for young people. It is still considered one of the few pre-1914 treatments of a future war. It describes in an unheroic and disillusioning manner the scale and brutality of the forthcoming conflict. Lamszus completely dismantled all the hero clichés accepted at that time, creating an …

National Socialism

(2,472 words)

Author(s): Krumeich, Gerd
National Socialism The first industrialized mass war had considerable effects on political and social relationships, and on the mentality of people. Italian Fascism and German National Socialism owe their particular characteristics and their legitimization to the First World War, described by Eric J. Hobsbawm as a “machine for brutalizing the world.” By his own testimony, Hitler himself was a “son of the war.” In repeated references to the war in Mein Kampf and in numerous statements and documented conversations ( Hitler’s Table Talks), Hitler returned time and again to his p…

Internment

(1,392 words)

Author(s): Hinz, Uta
Internment During the World War, the notion of internment referred both to the sheltering of sick or invalid war prisoners in neutral states and to coercive measures against so-called enemy aliens. This conceptual ambiguity resulted from the fact that the large-scale repressive measures carried out against the civilian citizens of enemy countries were a relatively recent phenomenon. The reason for this was a fundamental redefinition of the “enemy” that went far beyond any military conception. As …

Grey, Sir Edward

(405 words)

Author(s): Winter, Jay
Grey, Sir Edward (April 25, 1862, Fallodon, County of Northumberland – September 7, 1933, Fallodon; from 1916 First Viscount Grey of Fallodon), British politician. Grey was foreign secretary from 1905 to 1916, and chief architect of Britain’s foreign policy before the war. After studying at Balliol College, Oxford, he was elected to the House of Commons in 1885 as Liberal member of parliament for the constituency of Berwick-upon-Tweed. Grey retained this seat for his entire political career. As par…

Mobile Warfare

(1,059 words)

Author(s): Pöhlmann, Markus
Mobile Warfare A form of warfare which seeks to bring about a military decision through the tactical movement of forces for the purpose of achieving advantageous territorial concentrations without having to rely on fortified positions at all times. At the beginning of the war in 1914 the military doctrines and operational plans of all belligerent powers were based on mobile warfare. In the first instance these offensive operations were motivated by the strategic and economic objective of ensuring …

August Experience

(1,226 words)

Author(s): Verhey, Jeffrey
August Experience Augusterlebnis (August Experience) was the contemporary German term for the patriotic enthusiasm among the German population at the outbreak of the war. The well-known images from the last weeks of July and from August of 1914 depict masses of people in the streets. The contemporary captions under the pictures suggest that these people were unanimously filled with “war enthusiasm.” The pictures are impressive …

Cavalry

(738 words)

Author(s): Gross, Gerhard P.
Cavalry The combat arm of the land forces that fought primarily on horseback. The increased firepower of the infantry had since the middle of the 19th century forced the cavalry into playing a diminished supporting role in military campaigns. Paradoxically, the size of the cavalry forces maintained by the European Powers rose continually throughout the period. At the beginning of the 20th century, nearly all states uniformly modified the tactics and weapons of their mounted troops, creating a largely standar…

Emergency Money (Notgeld)

(483 words)

Author(s): Zilch, Reinhold
Emergency Money ( Notgeld) Money put temporarily into circulation, to replace either in whole or in part, the coinage that before its issue represented the currency, and that for a time could function as currency. Notgeld was mostly issued by other authorities than those issuing regular currency. During the war, a severe shortage of means of payment led to the issue of

Catholicism

(584 words)

Author(s): Haidl, Roland
Catholicism A view and attitude influenced by the Catholic Church and oriented to it, but not to be unconditionally equated with the Catholic Church as an institution. Within the G…

Beyond and Below the Nations: Towards a Comparative History of Local Communities at War

(98 words)

Author(s): Purseigle, Pierre
Purseigle, Pierre - Beyond and Below the Nations: Towards a Comparative History of Local Communities at War Keywords: Home fronts | Britain | France …

Hausen, Max Klemens Lothar Freiherr von

(289 words)

Author(s): Pöhlmann, Markus
Hausen, Max Klemens Lothar Freiherr von (December 17, 1846, Dresden – March 19, 1922, Dresden), Saxon general. After cadet school, von Hausen joined the Saxon Army’s Third Jägerbataillon (Rifle Battalion) in Dresden in 1863. He took part in wars in Bohemia in 1866 and in France in 1870/1871, and was promoted captain in 1871. He was first appointed to the imperial general staff four years later. A major in 1881, in 1893 he was promoted to major general. Between 1895 and 1897 he was back on the general staff as deputy chief ( Oberquartiermeister). Between 1900 and 1902, he served as comma…

Desertion

(1,634 words)

Author(s): Jahr, Christoph
Desertion Denotes a soldier’s unauthorized absence from his unit, without the permission of his superior officers. Related offences are “unauthorized absence” and “defection to the enemy.” In common with all other legal offenses, desertion does not necessarily reflect objective circumstances, but depends on national legal provisions and their interpretation on a particular occasion, that is to say their practical application. In particular, the distinction between desertion, unauthorized absen…

Naval Arms Race

(1,316 words)

Author(s): Krüger, Friederike
Naval Arms Race When he ascended the throne in 1888, Kaiser Wilhelm II was determined to practice

Birdwood, Lord William Riddell

(457 words)

Author(s): Simkins, Peter
Birdwood, Lord William Riddell (September 13, 1865, Khadki, India – May 17, 1951, London; from 1919 First Baron Birdwood of Anzac and Totnes), British field marshal. After his training with the Scots Fusiliers, in 1885 Birdwood served as an officer with the 12th Lancers before being transferred to the 11th Bengal Lancers at the end of 1886. He served on Kitchener’s staff during the Boer War and established a personal connection that would be an advantage to him in his career. He went to India as Kit…

Briand, Aristide

(480 words)

Author(s): Mollenhauer, Daniel
Briand, Aristide (March 28, 1862, Nantes – March 7, 1932, Paris), French politician (prime minister). For a period of more than 30 years Briand remained one of the most influential politicians in France; serving as a deputy in the National Assembly without interruption from 1902 to his death. He was a member of 25 governments, in various posts, and held the office of prime minister several times (e.g. between October of 1915 and March of 1917 in two separate cabinets of the “union sacrée”). Briand…

Nationalities Question

(1,312 words)

Author(s): Hecker, Hans
Nationalities Question The n…

Tannenberg

(881 words)

Author(s): Werth, German
Tannenberg Location of a battle in East Prussia on August 26–30, 1914, which ended when the German Eighth Army enveloped and then destroyed the Russian Second Army. Since the Russian leadership had begun their offensive against East Prussia earlier than anticipated, at France’s insistence, the German war plan for the Eastern Front proved illusory. The Russian Northwest Forces under their Commander General Zhilinski planned a two-pronged advance: the first from north of Lötzen Fortress by the Njemen Army un…

Armistice

(996 words)

Author(s): Schwabe, Klaus
Armistice This term refers to the cessation of hostilities between the Entente Powers and the Central Powers in 1918. In fact, the Armistice agreements concluded by the victors with Bulgaria (on September 30 at Salonica, now Thessalonika), with Turkey (on October 31 at the port of Moudros on the island of Lemnos), with the Habsburg Empire (on November 3 in the Villa Giusti near Padua), and with the German Reich (on November 11 at Compiègne-Rethondes) made it impossible for the Central Powers to resume hostilities. In reality, therefore, armistice amounted to capitulation.…

Stereotypes

(627 words)

Author(s): Reimann, Aribert
Stereotypes Combatants developed their images of “us” and “them” along the lines of national stereotypes that echoed, to some degree, cultural impressions coined before the war. Frequently this involved the clearly pejorative, somewhat racist disparagement of the enemy. Occ…

Switzerland

(960 words)

Author(s): Pöhlmann, Markus
Switzerland Switzerland experienced the First World War as a small state in an exposed, central geographical position. The Swiss government responded to the tense European situation by proclaiming general mobilization on August 1, 1914, and three days later the neutrality of the Swiss Confederation. The traditional pillars of the state’s self-conception and territorial defenses alike were perpetual neutrality and the readiness to defend that neutrality militarily by means of a militia army. Corps…
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