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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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…


(2,056 words)

Author(s): Hecker, Hans
Poland At the beginning of the First World War, Poland existed only in the form of three territorial fragments: the largest and central portion belonged to the Russian Empire (Congress Poland/Russian Poland), the western and northwestern portion (Posen, West Prussia) to Prussia, and thus to the German Reich, and the southern (Galicia and Lodomeria) to Austria-Hungary. As the Central Powers and Russia bordered one another on Polish territory, the war in the East was predominantly fought there. Thr…

Polish Activism Abroad

(509 words)

Author(s): Hecker, Hans
Polish Activism Abroad The term here refers to the activities in particular of the Polish National Democrats under Roman Dmowski and cooperating Polish politicians in the West, who achieved a political breakthrough following the proclamation for an independent Polish state by the Provisional Government of Russia on March 30, 1917, and the ensuing declaration by the French President Raymond Poincaré on June 4, 1917, announcing the formation of Polish army units in France. Thanks to the initiative of…

Political and Public Aspects of the Activity of the Lithuanian Women’s Movement, 1918–1923

(7,896 words)

Author(s): Jurėnienė, Virginija
Jurėnienė, Virginija - Political and Public Aspects of the Activity of the Lithuanian Women’s Movement, 1918–1923 Keywords: Constituent Assembly | First World War | Lithuanian Women's Movement | political activity | Seimas | women parliamentarians | women struggle ISFWWS-Keywords: The Balkans and Eastern Europe | Women and War | Society | Religion | Poland | Russia | Germany | Literature | Politics Abstract: This chapter analyses the social and political activities of the Lithuanian women's organisations in the aftermath of the First World War, a…

Polivanov, Alexei Andreyevich

(212 words)

Author(s): Dahlmann, Dittmar
Polivanov, Alexei Andreyevich (March 16, 1855, [unknown] – September 25, 1920, Riga), Russian general (minister of war). Polivanov was a graduate of the Nikolaevsky Engineering Academy (1880) and the General Staff Academy (1888). Between 1899 and 1904 he was active on the General Staff, where he was editor in chief of the journal Voenny Sbornik (War Digest). Chief of the Army Headquarters Staff in 1905/1906, and deputy war minister between 1906 and 1912, Polivanov was close to the bourgeois parties in the Imperial Duma during these years. This even…


(327 words)

Author(s): Reimann, Aribert
Poppy The poppy is a wildflower that commonly bloomed on the battlefields of the Western Front. A perennial that grows in disturbed soil, the poppy would be one of the first plants to sprout in the barren stretches of no man’s land. Because of its red color, the poppy became a symbol of the copious soldiers’ deaths and bloodshed during the war, especially in the British war and remembrance culture. The poppy likewise developed into a symbol of new life on the blood-soaked battlefields, of hope an…


(649 words)

Author(s): Albes, Jens
Portugal When one of the first parliamentary republics in Europe was proclaimed in Portugal in 1910, the once rich colonial power sank to the level of an underdeveloped country, largely dependent on others. The First Republic proved unstable and by the end of 1926 the Portuguese had experienced seven parliamentary elections, 45 cabinet shuffles, eight state presidents, two dictatorships, 20 revolutions and 518 strikes. During the First World War (until 1917), power was mostly held by one-party De…

Positional Warfare

(1,219 words)

Author(s): Pöhlmann, Markus
Positional Warfare A form of warfare conducted along permanent and fortified front lines. The war of positions came to characterize the First World War in contrast to other forms of combat. All major military powers had based their pre-1914 war strategies on a war of movement. This was the case despite the fact that positional warfare was not unfamiliar. Siege warfare had been ubiquitous in the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period. Even in recent conflicts such as the Russo-Japanese War of 1904…


(297 words)

Author(s): Brandt, Susanne
Postcards Nearly 28 billion items were conveyed to and from the front by the German Army Postal Service during the First World War. Postcards above all were a favorite medium used by soldiers to maintain contact with the people at home. Since 1873 the postage for postcards had been half that for letters, and, since that date too, postcards produced by private companies had been permitted alongside official versions. They enabled a brief and moreover rapid greeting, as, in many major cities, post was delivered up to eleven times per working day, or conveyed by pneumatic means. Furthermore, p…

Potiorek, Oskar

(317 words)

Author(s): Jerabék, Rudolf
Potiorek, Oskar (November 11, 1853, Bleiburg [Carinthia] – December 17, 1933, Klagenfurt), Austrian general. Potiorek had a brilliant career in the General Staff. From 1892 he was head of the Operations Bureau, and in 1902 he was officially appointed deputy head of the General Staff. It was the greatest disappointment for him when in 1906 not he, but Conrad von Hötzendorf, became the new chief of the Austrian Imperial General Staff. Despite this Potiorek was recognized as having great talent, and …

Practical Memory: Organized Veterans and the Politics of Commemoration

(8,659 words)

Author(s): Higbee, Douglas
Higbee, Douglas - Practical Memory: Organized Veterans and the Politics of Commemoration Keywords: British veterans' movement | civilian life | commemoration | non-veterans | organized veterans | political programs | public memory ISFWWS-Keywords: Britain | Legacy | Politics | Society | Soldiers and Combat | Economy | Masculinity | Home fronts | Culture Abstract: This chapter pursues two inter-related points in its discussion of the often conflicted relations between veterans, non-veterans, and the state over the modes of commemoration: …

Preliminary Material

(675 words)

Author(s): Wolf, Susanne
Wolf, Susanne - Preliminary Material Keywords: guarded neutrality | Diplomacy | Netherlands | First World War Abstract: This first chapter presents a table of contents that present in the book, Guarded Neutrality. The book is about diplomacy and internment in the Netherlands during the First World War. Guarded Neutrality Susanne Wolf, (2013) Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, 2013 e-ISBN: 9789004249066 DOI: 10.1163/9789004249066_001 © 2013 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Wolf, Susanne

Preliminary Material

(4,954 words)

Contributor(s): Beckett, Ian F.W.
Beckett, Ian F.W., - Preliminary Material Keywords: Warfare | Western Front Abstract: This front matter section of the book 1917: Beyond the Western Front contains table of contents, list of contributors and introduction about the book. When it comes to 1916, popular general histories of the Great War tend to dwell largely upon Verdun and the Somme as the yearís defining conflicts. The Western Front, therefore, dominates the popular historiography though Jutland occasionally makes a token appe…

Preliminary Material

(2,908 words)

Contributor(s): Amersfoort, Herman | Klinkert, Wim
Amersfoort, Herman; Klinkert, Wim - Preliminary Material Keywords: international conference | Total War Abstract: This front matter section of this book titled Small Powers in the Age of Total War, 1900-1940 contains the table of contents, a list of contributors and the preface. 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. The First World War, as the fi…

Preliminary Material

(2,754 words)

Contributor(s): Meyer, Jessica
Meyer, Jessica - Preliminary Material Keywords: British popular culture | clothing | film | first world war | food | literature Abstract: This front matter section of this book British Popular Culture and the First World War contains the table of contents, acknowledgements, list of figures, and contributors. Showcasing the work of both established academics and emerging scholars of the field, the book discusses aspects of British popular culture from the material cultures of food and clothing to the representational cultures of literature and film. British Popular Culture and th…

Preliminary Material

(3,804 words)

Contributor(s): Stibbe, Matthew | Sharp, Ingrid
Sharp, Ingrid; Stibbe, Matthew - Preliminary Material Keywords: political rights | remobilisation | womens suffrage Abstract: This front matter section on this book on Aftermaths of War contains the Table of Contents, Acknowledgements, and a short list of Abbreviations that occur in the book. It also presents list of Illustrations and Contributors. The book talks about commemoration, remembering and remobilisation, womens suffrage and political rights. Aftermaths of War Ingrid Sharp and Matthew Stibbe, (2011) Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, 2011 e-ISBN: 97890041…

Preliminary Material

(3,997 words)

Contributor(s): Jones, Heather | Schmidt-Supprian, Christoph | O’Brien, Jennifer
Jones, Heather; O’Brien, Jennifer; Schmidt-Supprian, Christoph - Preliminary Material Keywords: cultural history | First World War | military history | wartime experience Abstract: This front matter section of the book Untold War: New Perspectives in First World War Studies contains the table of contents, list of tables, list of illustrations, acknowledgements, contributors, and foreword. Drawing on the latest research, the book presents new essays on the First World War that explore the global, military and civi…

Presenting the War in Ireland, 1914–1918

(9,751 words)

Author(s): Pennell, Catriona
Pennell, Catriona - Presenting the War in Ireland, 1914–1918 ISFWWS-Keywords: Ireland | Politics | Visual Arts | Society | International Relations during the War | Belgium | Religion | Violence against civilians | Pre-war period World War I and Propaganda Troy R.E. Paddock , (2014) Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, 2014 e-ISBN: 9789004264571 DOI: 10.1163/9789004264571_004 © 2014 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Pennell, Catriona

Princip, Gavrilo

(382 words)

Author(s): Höpken, Wolfgang
Princip, Gavrilo ( July 13, 1894, Grahovo, Bosnia – April 28, 1918, Theresienstadt), Bosnian Serbian student and assassin. As a high school student in Sarajevo, Princip first came in into contact with the Mlada Bosna (Young Bosnia) movement in 1911. The Young Bosnia movement fought against Austro-Hungarian rule in Bosnia. In 1912 Princip was expelled from school for taking part in anti-Austrian demonstrations, and was obliged to continue his schooling in Belgrade. The assassin Bogdan Žerajíc, who …

Prisoners of War

(3,043 words)

Author(s): Hinz, Uta
Prisoners of War Persons with the status of combatants who fell into enemy hands during the war. Only rough estimates of the total number of prisoners of war can be given for the World War. It is assumed that some 6.6 to 8 million soldiers were taken captive, which represents at least 10% of the approximately 60 million soldiers who were mobilized during the war. By late 1918, according to statistics from the interwar period, 328,000 soldiers had been captured by the British, 350,000 by the French,…
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