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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 …

Barrage Fire

(300 words)

Author(s): Storz, Dieter
Barrage Fire A “curtain of fire” created by the artillery, that is the intense, concentrated shelling of a section of terrain to prevent attacking infantry from approaching a defensive position, or to isolate an enemy position from its rear area. The barrage was not aimed at identified, visible targets, but instead sought to deny the enemy movement through a specific area by employing a maximum amount of firepower. Fire distribution and adjustment of the firing batteries had to be completed on schedule as part of the artillery prepara…

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 …

Army Corps District

(482 words)

Author(s): Pöhlmann, Markus
Army Corps District Official German military command. Each of the 25 active army corps of the German Reich was placed under the command of an army corps districts. As a rule a commanding general of infantry, cavalry, or artillery was placed in charge of an army corps district. German army corps districts controlled the largest combined-arms units of the peacetime army, and the generals in charge of them had the right to report directly to the Kaiser. After the 1914 German mobilization, the army cor…

Bulgaria

(1,164 words)

Author(s): Höpken, Wolfgang
Bulgaria In the Balkan Wars of 1912–1913 Bulgaria had not been able to fulfill its hopes of creating an “ethnographic” Bulgaria that would include Macedonia, parts of Thrace and the Dobrudja. In the 1913 Treaty of Bucharest it was moreover forced to concede to its neighbors practically all the territory it had captured in the First Balkan War of 1912. The outbreak of the First World War seemed to offer a new opportunity for the military realization of a “Greater Bulgaria,” a dream pursued since t…

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…

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 but they do not tell the whole truth. In reality there was no near-ecst…

New Jerusalems: Sacrifice and Redemption in the War Experiences of English and German Military Chaplains

(12,828 words)

Author(s): Porter, Patrick
Porter, Patrick - New Jerusalems: Sacrifice and Redemption in the War Experiences of English and German Military Chaplains Keywords: Religion | Culture | Legacy | Politics | Germany | Britain | Society | Home fronts ‛Warfare and Belligerence’ Pierre Purseigle, Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, 2005 e-ISBN: 9789047407362 DOI: 10.1163/9789047407362.005 © 2005 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Porter, Patrick

Red Cross

(1,371 words)

Author(s): Mönch, Winfried
Red Cross The red cross on a white ground signifies neutrality in war, and thus protection. The Ottoman Empire introduced the alternative symbol of the red crescent on a white ground during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877/1878, and also used it during the First World War. The red crescent continues to be used by Muslim states in place of the red cross, in order to avoid using the Christian symbol. The associations that had assumed the voluntary, and most importantly unpaid, task of caring for the wounded in war, as well as preparing for that activity in peacetime, w…

Delbrück, Hans

(333 words)

Author(s): Cornelissen, Christoph
Delbrück, Hans (November 11, 1848, Bergen [Rügen] – July 14, 1929, Berlin), German historian and political commentator. Delbrück had become known before 1914 as an advocate both of Germany’s world role, and of internal and socio-political reform. Politically, the historian was identified with the Free Conservative Party. Appointed to Berlin University as successor to Heinrich von Treitschke in 1896, he achieved particular distinction with his four-volume History of Warfare in the Context of Political History 1900–1920 ( Geschichte der Kriegskunst im Rahmen der politische…

Neutral States

(688 words)

Author(s): Hoff, Henning
Neutral States States that do not participate in a war. The legal status “neutral” implies the right and the duty to pursue corresponding policies. The consequence thereof is a foreign policy that avoids any more or less explicit alignment in the international conflicts that occur in times of peace. Six European states adhered to various forms of neutrality for the entire duration of the war. The monarchs of the Scandinavian states Denmark (Christian X), the sovereign territory of which also inclu…

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 Notgeld in various states. The main reasons for this were the hoarding of coins and banknotes, the collapse of the system of payment, and the widening circulation of currencies of belligeren…

Saint-Mihiel Salient

(390 words)

Author(s): Pöhlmann, Markus
Saint-Mihiel Salient Located southeast of Verdun, this salient was the theater of the first independent World War offensive of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF), September 12–15, 1918. Created at the very beginning of positional warfare in 1914, the Saint-Mihiel Salient extended from Combres to St. Mihiel, then from there to Pont-à-Mousson. It interrupted the French communication lines running from the south toward Verdun and posed the constant threat of a flanking attack on the fortresses. …

German Asia Corps

(568 words)

Author(s): Neulen, Hans Werner
German Asia Corps German Expeditionary Corps established for the purpose of recovering Baghdad. – After the capture of Baghdad by the British on March 11, 1917, the German and Turkish High Commands decided to set up the Army Group F (Yilderim) in order to recapture the capital city of the ancient caliphate. The German core unit was to be the Asia Corps (Pasha II), raised in Neuhammer/Silesia (modern Świętoszów). Initially commanded by Colonel Werner von Frankenberg und Proschlitz, the well-equipped…

Heroic Sacrifice, Myth of

(791 words)

Author(s): Hüppauf, Bernd
Heroic Sacrifice, Myth of The word Opfer (‘victim’) has two different connotations in the German language. One can make an Opfer, a ‘sacrificial offering,’ by sacrificing a victim to the gods, and in extreme cases a human being can offer himself in sacrifice. In its other connotation, a person can become the passive victim or ‘target’ of fate, whether from decisions made by others or from unknown circumstances. In both connotations the word has been extensively used in the literature and public debates on the World War. This suggests that the word…

Reichsbund Jüdischer Frontsoldaten

(289 words)

Author(s): Sieg, Ulrich
Reichsbund Jüdischer Frontsoldaten Reich Federation of Jewish Front Soldiers. Founded in early 1919 by Captain Leo Löwenstein, this veterans’ organization worked primarily to counter the disparagement of Jewish World War patriotism. The organization’s local chapters quickly gained a following, especially among Jewish liberals. During the Kapp Putsch of 1920 and the Berlin Scheunenviertel ( Jewish Quarter) Riot of 1923, members defended the Jewish residents against Antisemitic attacks. In 1925 the Reichsbund jüdischer Frontsoldaten counted as the …

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 German Reich before 1914 the Catholic Church, with just 40% of all Christian believers, constituted a political minority within the society of the Reich and was especially influential in the Center Party. The World War threw Catholicism in the warring European states into an insoluble dilemma. On the one hand, the Catholic Church maintained its claim to universalism. It was long …

Modern Soldier In A Busby: August Von Mackensen, 1914–1916

(16,652 words)

Author(s): DiNardo, Richard L.
DiNardo, Richard L., - Modern Soldier In A Busby: August Von Mackensen, 1914–1916 Keywords: Soldiers and Combat | Russian Front | Germany | Balkans | The Balkans and Eastern Europe | Romania Abstract: Theo Schwarzmüller's biography was far more concerned with Mackensen's social attitudes than with his military exploits. This article tries to fill that gap and deals with August von Mackensen's career as a military commander, which essentially covered the years 1914-16. First, Mackensen was not simply the fro…

Baltic States

(1,258 words)

Author(s): Dahlmann, Dittmar
Baltic States The countries of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia are collectively known as the Baltic States. In 1914 they were part of the Russian Empire. In power-political terms, the Baltic States were repeatedly exposed to the expansionist pressure put on them by their larger neighbors: Germany, Russia, Poland, and Scandinavia. At the beginning of the First World War, the Latvian delegate to the Duma J. Goldmanis delivered a declaration of loyalty to the Russian government. Even though opposition movements existed, especially movements of the …
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