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German Fatherland Party(Deutsche Vaterlandspartei – DVLP)

(518 words)

Author(s): Hagenlücke, Heinz
German Fatherland Party( Deutsche Vaterlandspartei – DVLP) An annexationist collective movement of nationalist-conservative circles in Germany. The DVLP was officially founded on September 2, 1917, (“Sedan Day”) in Königsberg. Honorary president was Duke Johann Albrecht von Mecklenburg-Schwerin, first chairman Grand Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz. The party’s guiding and driving spirit was the former Generallandschaftsdirektor (president of a regional land-owners’ council) Wolfgang Kapp, who, in reacti…

Mortar

(587 words)

Author(s): Storz, Dieter
Mortar A mortar (German Minenwerfer or “mine thrower”) describes a short-range, indirect fire weapon. The shell that was fired was usually a thin-walled, particularly powerful explosive shell. Germany had developed this type of artillery shortly before the war as special ordnance for the pioneer branch of the army, to be used in siege warfare. They were…

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…

War Experience

(654 words)

Author(s): Hettling, Manfred
War Experience Experience as such had been discovered around the turn of the 19th to the 20th century. Authors such as Wilhelm Dilthey and Georg Simmel popularized the concept, which expressed a longing for wholeness and a need for totality. Within the process of experiencing, distinctions such as those between reflection and sensory perception or thought and action were believed to disappear. Simmel gave this notion a more emphatic note by comparing experience with adventure. Experience th…

Falkenhayn, Erich von

(1,204 words)

Author(s): Afflerbach, Holger
Falkenhayn, Erich von (September 11, 1861, Burg Belchau [Kreis Graudenz] – April 8, 1922, Schloss Lindstedt [near Potsdam]), German general and chief of the General Staff. Falkenhayn came from a West-Prussian “Junker” family with a strong military tradition. He entered the cadet corps at the early age of ten. He had a successful career as a young officer, and attended military academy. His life took an unusual turn when, in 1896, he took leave from the army and, for professional and financial reaso…

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…

War Atrocities

(955 words)

Author(s): Kramer, Alan
War Atrocities War atrocities may either be in direct violation of international law or contravene the generally accepted conventions of war, or else be conform to international law but nevertheless condemnable. The basic premise lies in the particular atrocity of the type of warfare or in the choice of victims. When defenseless people deliberately become the target of acts of war (civilians, shipwrecked persons, captured or wounded soldiers), the afflicted side perceives such acts as war atrociti…

Disability

(1,876 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang U.
Disability In 1934, the Medical Report of the German Army estimated the number of German soldiers who had died of wounds, accident, suicide, or disease between August 2, 1914, and July 31, 1918, at 1,202,042. This number, which rose considerably in the period between the cessation of military casualty reports in July 1918 and the end of the war, must be viewed alongside the 702,778 dismissed from the armed forces in the same period as being unfit for service (503,713 with medical support, 199,065 without…

Poincaré, Raymond

(994 words)

Author(s): Krumeich, Gerd
Poincaré, Raymond (August 20, 1860, Bar-le-Duc [Département Meuse] – October 15, 1934, Paris), French politician, state president. Poincaré came from a prosperous French provincial bourgeois family. Despite a political career that took place predominantly in Paris, his home town of Bar-le-Duc (capital of the Meuse Department) remained for him a haven of social and political retreat. Poincaré became one of the defining personalities of moderate republicanism in France. A lawyer by profession, he wa…

German War Graves Commission

(615 words)

Author(s): Brandt, Susanne
German War Graves Commission Founded in 1919 this commission, entitled the Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge (VDK), was the most important private organization of the interwar period concerned with the creation and maintenance of German war graves. After 1923 the Zentralnachweiseamt für Kriegerverluste und Kriegergräber (‘Central Office for War Victims and War Graves,’ or ZAK) in Berlin was officially charged by the Interior Ministry with the many tasks involved in the care of war graves, and of fallen soldiers’ next-of-kin, as wa…

Paris Peace Conferences

(739 words)

Author(s): Schwabe, Klaus
Paris Peace Conferences In Paris between January 18 and June 28, 1919, peace conferences were held by the victorious powers of the First World War in order to make final decisions on a host of questions, and then to write them as regulations to which the signatories would be contractually obligated. Additionally the victorious powers would conclude so-called minority treaties with the allies of the German Empire after the signing of the Versailles Treaty. The Paris Peace Conferences were held in se…

Compiègne

(335 words)

Author(s): Werth, German
Compiègne French town and railway junction on the River Oise, some 60 km northeast of Paris; in 1917 it became the seat of the French Headquarters (GQG) and later the site of the 1918 Armistice. On November 11, 1918, at around 5:20 am, the Armistice between the Entente represented by chief negotiator Marshal Ferdinand Foch, and the German Empire was signed in a wooded area near Compiègne. The act itself took place in a railway carriage parked in a siding that belonged to a disused railway gun emp…

Liebknecht, Karl

(460 words)

Author(s): Mühlhausen, Walter
Liebknecht, Karl (August 13, 1871, Leipzig – January 15, 1919, Berlin [assassinated]), German politician. The son of Wilhelm Liebknecht, founder of the German Social Democratic Party ( Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands – SPD), Karl Liebknecht was a lawyer and a member of the SPD group in the Prussian lower house of Parliament, as well as later in the Reichstag. He also made a name as a writer of sociological and subversive literature. In 1907 Liebknecht was sentenced to 18 months in prison for antimilitary propaganda.…

Headquarters

(1,417 words)

Author(s): Pöhlmann, Markus
Headquarters Command centers for the supreme military, sometimes also political, leadership set up in the field for the duration of the war. Composition, location, and function of such a headquarters depended on the constitutional position of the supreme military command of each belligerent and the demands of modern mass and coalition warfare. – By far the most comprehensive headquarters at the outbreak of the war was the German “Great Headquarters.” Aside from the German Emperor as the nominal c…

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,…

“Total War, Total Nonsense” or “The Military Historian’s Fetish”

(12,505 words)

Author(s): Kiesling, Eugenia C.
Kiesling, Eugenia C. - “Total War, Total Nonsense” or “The Military Historian’s Fetish” Keywords: General | Military organisation of combat | Germany | Legacy | General Abstract: The two world wars of the twentieth century left in their wake not only crumbled empires and shattered lives, memories of the death camps and the prospect of future nuclear annihilation, but an addition to the military lexicon. "Total war" seemed not only an appropriate label for the recent cataclysms but a useful description…

Gas Warfare

(1,909 words)

Author(s): Müller, Rolf-Dieter
Gas Warfare With the large-scale use of poisonous chlorine gas at Ypres on April 22, 1915, the Germans opened a new chapter in the history of modern warfare. It marked the birth of a new “weapon of mass destruction,” which has had a profound impact on war and peace in the twentieth century and beyond. The use of poison gas became one of the hallmark phenomena of the First World War because it changed the image of the soldier and his “chivalrous struggle” much more radically than any other contemporary weapons development. The question of guilt – which side violated the Hague Convention…

Meuse-Argonne Offensive

(571 words)

Author(s): Pöhlmann, Markus
Meuse-Argonne Offensive As part of the final Allied offensive on the Western Front the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) had been charged in September of 1918 with launching an assault against the sector of the front held by the German Fifth Army (Georg von der Marwitz) between the Argonne Forest and the River Meuse, and to advance in the general direction of Mézières. Heading the AEF was General John Pershing, who also took command of the newly formed United States First Army. After completing t…

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
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