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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Champagne

(1,284 words)

Author(s): Werth, German
Champagne With the onset of positional warfare the front between Reims and the Forest of Argonne became the theater for two major French offensives in 1915. The battles in Champagne saw the emergence of what came to be known in Germany as Materialschlachten (battles of matériel). These were characterized by artillery bombardments which would last for several days and would rise in intensity to the level of a continuous barrage ( Trommelfeuer). The intention was to bring about the utter demoralization and material attrition of the enemy, which would then be followed…

Changing Mutual Perceptions of China-Japan Relations in the 1910s in Chinese and Japanese Textbooks

(9,536 words)

Author(s): Rose, Caroline
Rose, Caroline - Changing Mutual Perceptions of China-Japan Relations in the 1910s in Chinese and Japanese Textbooks ISFWWS-Keywords: Asia | International Relations during the War | Society | Politics | Literature The Decade of the Great War Tosh Minohara , Tze-ki Hon and Evan Dawley , (2014) Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, 2014 e-ISBN: 9789004274273 DOI: 10.1163/9789004274273_024 © 2014 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Rose, Caroline

Chantilly Conference

(554 words)

Author(s): Becker, Jean-Jacques
Chantilly Conference The second Interallied Conference in 1915, held in the French headquarters north of Paris. Ever since the beginning of the war, the Allies had fought without really attempting to coordinate their operations. This approach benefited the interests of the Central Powers, whose geographical position allowed them to reinforce their troops in precisely those sectors where it was needed. During the first two years of the war the general situation seemed rather favorable for the Central Powers, even though they were unable to achieve a decisive victory. The Allies were…

Chemin des Dames

(350 words)

Author(s): Pöhlmann, Markus
Chemin des Dames A prominent ridge running north of the River Aisne between Vailly and Craonne (département Aisne) with a paved promenade dating from the 18th century. German troops held the Chemin des Dames since the start of trench warfare and had taken up defensive positions along the steep slopes and in the numerous caves underlying the ridge. It was not until the Nivelle Offensive was launched in 1917 that the Chemin des Dames became a military focal point. From the middle of April the French Sixth Army commanded by …

Children and Adolescents

(3,854 words)

Author(s): Audoin-Rouzeau, Stéphane
Children and Adolescents “War has a young face,” wrote Gabriele D’annunzio in 1915, when Italy entered the war. Indeed, the First World War, and in all belligerent societies, there developed a “youth phenomenon.” Yet there is little historical research devoted to the interface between war and youth. The specifically youth aspect of the First World War has seldom been examined; when it has, it has been in connection with problems of conscription rather than from the viewpoin…

China

(2,662 words)

Author(s): Mühlhahn, Klaus
China The largest state by population and area in eastern Asia; a republic from 1911 to 1949. Although China was scarcely involved militarily in the First World War, the war nevertheless represented an important turning point for the country. The consequences of the war fundamentally changed both China’s status in international politics and its internal political and social circumstances. China’s involvement in the First World War was a long-term result of the expansion of European imperialism. Increased rivalry between the Great Powers, in their strugg…

Christmas Memorandum of 1915

(490 words)

Author(s): Afflerbach, Holger
Christmas Memorandum of 1915 Supposedly, a situation report Falkenhayn gave in a memorandum conveyed to the Kaiser some time around Christmas. The document in question comes down to us only through Falkenhayn’s own memoirs, Die Oberste Heeresleitung 1914–1916 in ihren wichtigsten Entschließungen (The Supreme Army Command 1914–1916 in Its Most Critical Decisions, 1920). For this reason its authenticity is doubtful. The Christmas Memorandum, concerning strategic plans for 1916, includes several fundamental declarations: Britain was the primary enemy. Britain…

Christmas Truce (1914)

(555 words)

Author(s): Jahr, Christoph
Christmas Truce (1914) Also known as the “Wartime Christmas,” this title recalls a time of widespread fraternization on all fronts, especially between German and British soldiers on the Western Front, the so-called “Christmas Truce.” When the fronts solidified in late fall 1914, all hopes were dashed for that victorious campaign, initially promised by governments and armed forces, which was to have brought the troops “home for Christmas.” Now the soldiers would have to manage Christmas Eve in the trenches. “Love tokens” were sen…

Churchill, Winston Leonard Spencer

(631 words)

Author(s): Cornelissen, Christoph
Churchill, Winston Leonard Spencer (November 30, 1874, Blenheim Palace – January 24, 1965, London), British politician. Churchill’s political development in the years leading up to World War I was significantly shaped by the events of the Second Moroccan Crisis of 1911, in the wake of which he was named first lord of the Admiralty. Churchill held several ministerial posts after switching from the Conservatives to the Liberal Party in 1904: from 1905 to 1908 he served as under-secretary of state for …

Cinematic Representations of the Enemy in Belgian Silent Fiction Films

(6,787 words)

Author(s): Engelen, Leen
Engelen, Leen - Cinematic Representations of the Enemy in Belgian Silent Fiction Films Keywords: Fictional | Belgium | Germany | Culture | Society | Legacy | Politics | Violence against civilians ‛Warfare and Belligerence’ Pierre Purseigle, Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, 2005 e-ISBN: 9789047407362 DOI: 10.1163/9789047407362.015 © 2005 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Engelen, Leen

Class, Heinrich

(580 words)

Author(s): Hagenlücke, Heinz
Class, Heinrich (February 29, 1868, Alzey – April 16, 1953, Jena), German author and politician. After studying jurisprudence Class settled in Mainz in 1895 to practice law. Influenced by the historian Heinrich von Treitschke and his own family tradition he soon turned toward the völkisch (“racial-nationalistic”) camp within the German Empire. In 1894 he became a founding member of the völkisch and Antisemitic Deutschbund (German Union), and in 1897 he joined the Pan-German League. Having served as deputy chairman under Ernst Hasse since 1904, he rose to…

Clemenceau, Georges Benjamin

(982 words)

Author(s): Becker, Jean-Jacques
Clemenceau, Georges Benjamin (September 28, 1841, Mouilleron-en-Pareds, département Vendée – November 24, 1929, Paris), French politician (prime minister). If French contemporary history remembers two exceptional personalities with particular fondness, it is Charles de Gaulle and Clemenceau, nicknamed “le tigre” partly on account of his facial features. Also known as “Père-la-Victoire,” Father (of ) Victory, Clemenceau still enjoys an enormous popularity in France today thanks to the feat he accomp…

Climax in the Baltic: The German Maritime Offensive in the Gulf of Riga in October 1917

(6,634 words)

Author(s): Grove, Eric
Grove, Eric - Climax in the Baltic: The German Maritime Offensive in the Gulf of Riga in October 1917 Keywords: German Maritime | Gulf of Riga | Russia ISFWWS-Keywords: Russian Front | Naval Warfare | Germany | Russia | Military organisation of combat Abstract: On 17 October 1917, only three weeks before the Bolsheviks seized power in Petrograd on 7 November, an engagement occurred in the Gulf of Riga between the German dreadnought battleships Konig and Kronprinz and three Russian capital ships of the previous generation, the pre-dreadnought battleships Slava and Grazhdanin and the ar…