Brill’s Digital Library of World War I

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Brill’s Digital Library of World War I is an online resource that contains over 700 encyclopedia entries plus 250 peer-reviewed articles of transnational and global historical perspectives on significant topics of World War I. This collection includes Brill’s Encyclopedia of the First World War, an unrivalled reference work that showcases the knowledge of experts from 15 countries and offers 26 additional essays on the major belligerents, wartime society and culture, diplomatic and military events, and the historiography of the Great War.

The 250 articles address not only the key issues from political, historical and cultural perspectives, but also engages with aspects of the war which have remained underexplored such as the neutrals, the role of women before, during and after the war, and memory. The chapters have been drawn from a select number of Brill publications that have been published in the last 15 years. Brill’s Digital Library of World War I is a unique digital library that will allow researchers to discover new perspectives and connections with the enhanced navigational tools provided.

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Benedict XV

(414 words)

Author(s): Becker, Annette
Benedict XV (November 21, 1854, Genoa – January 22, 1922, Rome; formerly Giacomo della Chiesa), Pope. Giacomo della Chiesa was elected Pope following the death of Pius X in September of 1914. He took the name of Benedict in memory of the great legislator Benedict XIV. Even though the promulgation of the Codex Iuris Canonici in May 1917 was of considerable theological significance, Benedict made history as the “Pope of the Great War,” especially since he died only a few years after the war. His entire tenure was characterized by a keen awareness of …

Beneš, Edvard

(414 words)

Author(s): Hadler, Frank
Beneš, Edvard (May 28, 1884, Kožlany, Bohemia – September 3, 1948, Sezimovo Ústí, South Bohemian Region), Czechoslovak politician. Beneš was his country’s first minister of foreign affairs (1918–1935). In 1921–1922 he simultaneously held the office of prime minister before succeeding Tomáš Masaryk as president (1935–1938). From 1940 he headed the Czechoslovak government-in-exile in London and finally became president of Czechoslovakia following the renewal of the country in the wake of World War I…

Benson, William Shepherd

(331 words)

Author(s): Herwig, Holger H.
Benson, William Shepherd (September 25, 1855, Bibb County GA – May 20, 1932, Washington DC), American admiral. Benson graduated from the Naval Academy 1877 and in 1888–1889 sailed around the world on the warship Dolphin. From 1890 to 1893 and 1896 to 1898 he taught at the Naval Academy, from 1910 to 1913 he commanded the battle ship Utah, and from 1913 to 1915 he was in command of the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. On May 10, 1915, he was called to Washington as the new Chief of Naval Operations. In early 1917 Benson conducted a reorganization of the fle…

Berchtold, Leopold Count

(508 words)

Author(s): Kronenbitter, Günther
Berchtold, Leopold Count (April 18, 1863, Vienna – November 21, 1942, Pereznye Castle near Ödenburg, modern Sopron, Hungary), Austro-Hungarian politician. Berchtold joined the Austro-Hungarian diplomatic service in 1893 and served as the Dual Monarchy’s ambassador in Saint Petersburg from 1906 until 1911. In February of 1912 he took office as Foreign Minister, and in the autumn the First Balkan War presented him with a sudden, massive threat to Austria-Hungary’s position of power in the region. Ber…

Bernhardi, Friedrich Adam Julius von

(494 words)

Author(s): Gerhards, Thomas
Bernhardi, Friedrich Adam Julius von (November 22, 1849, Saint Petersburg – July 10, 1930, Kunnersdorf, Silesia), German general and military writer. After serving in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–1871 Bernhardi was posted to Greece and then Switzerland as military attaché. This was followed in 1898 by his appointment as chief of the War Historical Section I at the Great General Staff, where he laid the foundations for his career as a military writer. From 1909, Bernhardi dedicated his entire time in retirement to that activity. Central to his writings was the propagation of t…

Berthelot, Henri-Mathias

(385 words)

Author(s): Krumeich, Gerd
Berthelot, Henri-Mathias (December 7, 1861, Feurs, Département Loire – January 28, 1931, Paris), French general. After a career in the colonial army Berthelot attained the rank of brigadier general when he joined the army’s administrative service at the ministry of war as an adjutant to General Noël Édouard de Castelnau in December of 1913. With mobilization in 1914 Berthelot was named aide-major général (assistant chief of staff ) to General Joseph Joffre, with whom he developed a close working r…

Beseler, Hans Hartwig von

(293 words)

Author(s): Hecker, Hans
Beseler, Hans Hartwig von (April 27, 1850, Greifswald – December 20, 1921, Neubabelsberg), German general. At the outbreak of World War I Beseler took command of IIIrd Reserve Corps, and was ordered on September 17, 1914, to besiege the city of Antwerp. The fall of this strategically important fortress on October 9, 1914, established Beseler’s reputation. In August of 1915 he was responsible for the successful siege of Modlin Fortress near Warsaw which helped push the Russian army out of Poland. On …

Best Boys and Aching Hearts: The Rhetoric of Romance as Social Control in Wartime Magazines for Young Women

(9,082 words)

Author(s): Acton, Carol
Acton, Carol - Best Boys and Aching Hearts: The Rhetoric of Romance as Social Control in Wartime Magazines for Young Women Keywords: aching heart | best boy | Our Girls | romance | The Girl's Friend | wartime magazines | young women ISFWWS-Keywords: Britain | Women and War | Literature | Society | Politics | Masculinity | Gender | Home fronts | Culture Abstract: Two very similar weekly one-penny magazines, The Girl’s Friend and Our Girls, targeting working- and lower middle-class girls in the fifteen-to-twenty age group with their combination of advice columns, fa…

Bethmann Hollweg, Theobald von

(1,133 words)

Author(s): Tiefel, Marcus A.
Bethmann Hollweg, Theobald von (November 29, 1856, Hohenfinow near Eberswalde – January 2, 1921, Hohenfinow), German politician (chancellor). After studying law in Strasbourg, Leipzig and Berlin, Bethmann passed his Referendarexamen (first state examination required to enter the Prussian civil and administrative services) in 1879. For ten years, from 1886 to 1896, he held the office of Landrat (chief administrator) in his home district of Oberbarnim. Promoted to the position of Oberpräsidialrat (dep…

Between Passéisme and Modernisation? The Case of the Belgian Fortification System 1926–1940

(13,496 words)

Author(s): Vaesen, J.
Vaesen, J. - Between Passéisme and Modernisation? The Case of the Belgian Fortification System 1926–1940 Keywords: Belgian armed forces | decision-making process | fortification system | modernisation Abstract: The fortification system provides a fine example of the preparation of the Belgian armed forces in the inter-war period on the one hand, and of the relationship with the broader political debates, on the other. This chapter analyses the modernisation of the defensive system not by describing the…

Between Veiling and Unveiling: Modern Camouflage and the City as a Theater of War

(110 words)

Author(s): Deriu, Davide
Deriu, Davide - Between Veiling and Unveiling: Modern Camouflage and the City as a Theater of War Keywords: Aviation | Science, Technology, and Medicine | Intellectuals and the War | Home fronts | Visual Arts | Violence against civilians | General ‛Endangered Cities’ Marcus Funck and Roger Chickering, Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, 2004 e-ISBN: 9789047409812 DOI: 10.1163/9789047409812.002 © 2004 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Deriu, Davide

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 | Society | Visual Arts ‛Uncovered Fields’ Jenny Macleod and Pierre Purseigle, Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, 2004 e-ISBN: 9789047402596 DOI: 10.1163/9789047402596.007 © 2004 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Purseigle, Pierre
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