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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(5,468 words)

Contributor(s): Amersfoort, Herman | Klinkert, Wim
Amersfoort, Herman; Klinkert, Wim - Bibliography Keywords: Netherlands Defence Academy | Total War Abstract: This bibliography section contains the list of reference books and articles that occur in this book titled Small Powers in the Age of Total War, 1900-1940. The book is the fruit of an international conference on Small Powers in the Age of Total War, 1900-1940, held at the Netherlands Defence Academy in Breda, the Netherlands, on 26 and 27 November 2008. In the first place, the First World War, as the first moder…


(5,763 words)

Author(s): Wolf, Susanne
Wolf, Susanne - Bibliography Keywords: Guarded Neutrality | Netherlands | First World War Abstract: This bibliography of this book Guarded Neutrality contains a list of Archives from primary sources: books, articles, periodicals and newspapers sourced for this book on diplomacy and internment in the Netherlands during the First World War. The section on Printed Secondary Sources contains a list of books, articles, and periodicals. Finally the chapter presents the dissertations of the book. Guarded Neutrality Susanne Wolf, (2013) Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, …


(7,730 words)

Contributor(s): Keene, Jennifer D. | Neiberg, Michael S.
Keene, Jennifer D., Neiberg, Michael S., - Bibliography Keywords: First World War studies | inter-allied negotiations | military historians | sailors' war | trench culture Abstract: This bibliography presents a list of references that are cited in the book on finding common ground. The list is arranged in alphabetical order. Representing the best of cutting-edge scholarship in First World War studies, this anthology demonstrates the possibility of finding common ground in how cultural, social, and mi…

Big Bertha

(279 words)

Author(s): Gross, Gerhard P.
Big Bertha Name popularly given to the 42-cm mortar on a wheeled carriage developed by the Krupp Company, and named after the eldest daughter of Friedrich Alfred Krupp. Commissioned by the Prussian general staff as a howitzer with the aim of destroying the modern fortifications located in Belgium and France along the line of the planned Prussian advance. In 1909 Krupp proposed the 42-cm short naval cannon 12/16, with the cover-name Gamma Device, often also referred to as dicke Bertha (BB). This platform gun was transported by rail and fired 930-kg shells up to a distance o…

Bild- und Filmamt (Photo and Film Office)

(575 words)

Author(s): Brandt, Susanne
Bild- und Filmamt (Photo and Film Office) The Bild- und Filmamt (BUFA, “Photo and Film Office”) was created in January of 1917 by order of the Prussian War Ministry to facilitate and coordinate the use of film and photography for the German propaganda effort. As it formed part of the Supreme Army Command (OHL) and was also attached to the Military Department of the Foreign Office (Militärische Stelle des Auswärtigen Amtes, MAA), it reported to both institutions. Among other responsibilities the BUFA pr…

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…

Bissing, Baron Moritz Ferdinand von

(475 words)

Author(s): Gerhards, Thomas
Bissing, Baron Moritz Ferdinand von ( January 30, 1844, Bellmannsdorf, Silesia – April 18, 1917, Trois Fontaines, Belgium), German general. The son of a Prussian chamberlain and estate holder from a Saxon noble family Bissing chose a military career early, serving as an officer in the wars of 1866 and 1870–1871. In 1887 he became adjutant to Crown Prince Wilhelm, and after the latter’s accession to the Imperial throne in 1888, was named the emperor’s aide-de-camp. It was this appointment which laid t…

Black-Hearted Traitors, Crucified Martyrs, and the Leaning Virgin: The Role of Rumor and the Great War Canadian Soldier

(10,107 words)

Author(s): Cook, Tim
Cook, Tim - Black-Hearted Traitors, Crucified Martyrs, and the Leaning Virgin: The Role of Rumor and the Great War Canadian Soldier Keywords: crucified Canadians | guardian angels | leaning golden Virgin | leaning virgins | nefarious traitors | rumors ISFWWS-Keywords: Canada | Soldiers and Combat | Western Front | Published memoirs and biographies | Experience of combat Abstract: Rumors were important not just to the teller but also to the listeners, and by definition rumors are part of a group activity, a social phenomenon where stories are…

Black Market

(1,047 words)

Author(s): Geyer, Martin H.
Black Market (Contemporary German Schleichhandel) Term for illegal trading in rationed goods subject to a system of state control, by evading and infringing the statutes of wartime economies. The term black market, current in English since American Prohibition legislation of the 1920s, did not become established in German usage (as Schwarzmarkt) until the Second World War. Illegal markets in certain scarce goods arose in all the warring countries owing to national systems established at the beginning of the war to determine maximum prices ( Gesetze gegen Preistreiberei, Lois su…

Bliss, Tasker H.

(336 words)

Author(s): Showalter, Dennis E.
Bliss, Tasker H. (December 31, 1853, Lewisburg PA – November 9, 1930, Washington DC), American General Bliss was neither a fighting soldier, nor a theoretician. He owed his appointment to acting chief of staff of the United States Army in May 1917 to a successful career as a military civil servant. This conformed to the American model, which stressed the ground-laying and forward planning of military forces over their employment. Confirmed as chief of staff on September 22, 1917, Bliss proved his great understanding for the needs of a national mass army. Unexpecte…

Bloch, Ivan Stanislavovich

(468 words)

Author(s): Dülffer, Jost
Bloch, Ivan Stanislavovich (August 24, 1836, Radom – January 6, 1902, Warsaw), Polish economist. Born into a poor family, the Warsaw-based banker applied himself to financing the construction of the Russian railway network between the Baltic and the Black Sea. He became very wealthy as a result and published several volumes on the general aspects of this activity. As a Jewish convert to Calvinism Bloch was an outspoken supporter of the Jewish community in the Tsarist Empire and wrote a number of bo…

Bloy, Léon

(239 words)

Author(s): Becker, Annette
Bloy, Léon (July 11, 1846, Périgueux – November 3, 1917, Bourg-la-Reine near Paris), French writer. When the war broke out, Bloy was already nearing the end of his life. A passionate longing for the Absolute led the novelist to convert to Catholicism, and in his books and diaries (1892–1917) he battled against the “mediocre souls” who had betrayed Christ, the Virgin Mary, and humanity as a whole. For him, the war was a new source of inspiration. Indeed, with his apocalyptic mindset, Bloy was one o…