Brill’s Digital Library of World War I

Get access Subject: History
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.

Subscriptions: see Brill.

‘Too Good to be True?’ European Hopes for Neutrality before 1914

(13,370 words)

Author(s): Abbenhuis, M. M.
Abbenhuis, M. M. - ‘Too Good to be True?’ European Hopes for Neutrality before 1914 Keywords: Congress of Vienna | European | neutrality | state behaviour ISFWWS-Keywords: Neutral States | Origins and Pre-war | Politics | Scandinavia Abstract: This chapter argues that judging neutrality as a naïve and fl awed foreign policy option in the context of the two world wars misses the point about the relevance of neutrality in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Europe. Within the international system created and sustai…

Total War

(813 words)

Author(s): Förster, Stig
Total War This expression first appeared in the French press in 1917 as la guerre totale, meant to stir the French to their ultimate war effort. “Total war” and related expressions played a major role in international discussions concerning military policy in the 1920s and 1930s. The Italian General Giulio Douhet and German General Erich Ludendorff in particular promoted total war as the warfare of the future. In the Second World War the call for total war became a thoroughly universal phenomenon. Joseph Goebb…

“Total War, Total Nonsense” or “The Military Historian’s Fetish”

(12,505 words)

Author(s): Kiesling, Eugenia C.
Kiesling, Eugenia C. - “Total War, Total Nonsense” or “The Military Historian’s Fetish” Keywords: General | Military organisation of combat | Germany | Legacy | General Abstract: The two world wars of the twentieth century left in their wake not only crumbled empires and shattered lives, memories of the death camps and the prospect of future nuclear annihilation, but an addition to the military lexicon. "Total war" seemed not only an appropriate label for the recent cataclysms but a useful description…

Toys, Games and Juvenile Literature in Germany and Britain During the First World War. A Comparison

(10,962 words)

Author(s): Müller, Sonja
Müller, Sonja - Toys, Games and Juvenile Literature in Germany and Britain During the First World War. A Comparison Keywords: Britain | First World War | games | Germany | juvenile literature | toys ISFWWS-Keywords: Children and War | Germany | Britain | Economy | Masculinity | Literature | Culture | Home fronts | Society | Violence against civilians Abstract: This chapter focuses on German and British children's daily lives during the First World War, particularly emphasizing their wartime experiences. It also focuses on individual toys and …

Trade Unions

(1,014 words)

Author(s): Mai, Günther
Trade Unions In the German Empire in 1914 there were trade unions with social democratic (also called “free”), Christian Catholic, and liberal tendencies, divided according to occupations, and having respectively 2.53, 0.35 and 0.11 million members. These numbers sank rapidly in mid-August 1914 because wage strikes were forbidden, many workers were called up for military service, and unemployment dropped. By 1916 the number of members in the free trade unions had fallen to under a million, and tho…

Transcending the Nation: Domestic Propaganda and Supranational Patriotism in Britain, 1917–18

(9,381 words)

Author(s): Monger, David
Monger, David - Transcending the Nation: Domestic Propaganda and Supranational Patriotism in Britain, 1917–18 ISFWWS-Keywords: Britain | Home fronts | Politics | Society | The French and British Empires | The United States of America | Legacy World War I and Propaganda Troy R.E. Paddock , (2014) Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, 2014 e-ISBN: 9789004264571 DOI: 10.1163/9789004264571_003 © 2014 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Monger, David

Trench Art

(650 words)

Author(s): Korff, Gottfried
Trench Art The generally accepted cultural-historical term for what, during the First World War and afterwards, was called in Germany Schützengrabenkunst or Kriegsvolkskunst, in France l’art des tranchées or l’artisanat des tranchées, and in Britain also soldiers’ art. Most objects categorized as trench art were produced in military hospitals or prisoner of war camps, using materials found at the front. Examples include flower vases from shell cases, letter openers from shell splinters, small sculptures fashioned in the chalk of the…

Trenches

(1,284 words)

Author(s): Ulrich, Bernd
Trenches Part of the infantry field fortifications. Before the First World War trenches existed only as a provisional, temporary fortification used to defend areas of land. Trenches developed after the early hardening of the fronts into a socially dominant symbol of military technology in the war. Especially on the Western Front, trenches, and the way of fighting that derived from them, marked the character of the war from October/November 1914 to 1918. After the strategic defeat on the Marne, and the building of the first trenches, between mid-September and early N…

Triple Alliance (Dreibund)

(421 words)

Author(s): Afflerbach, Holger
Triple Alliance ( Dreibund) Alliance of May 20, 1882, between the German Reich, Italy, and Austria-Hungary. On the basis of the treaty’s content, the Triple Alliance may be seen as having been essentially a defensive alliance against France. The existence of this secret alliance became known in the spring of 1883, but the terms of the treaty were not fully published until after the First World War. The Triple Alliance was renegotiated in 1886/1887, 1892, 1902, and 1911/1912, and the text of the trea…

Troeltsch, Ernst

(500 words)

Author(s): Hübinger, Gangolf
Troeltsch, Ernst (February 17, 1865, Haunstetten near Augsburg – February 1, 1923, Berlin), German theologian, philosopher of culture and historian. In the first two years of the war, Troeltsch, with the authority of a German professor of theology, used his great influence to define public debate about the World War as a “culture war,” providing it with memorable slogans. As early as August 2, 1914, he gave a notable speech to the city and University of Heidelberg announcing his commitment to the …

Troop Strength

(1,120 words)

Author(s): Thoss, Bruno
Troop Strength The initial numbers of soldiers mobilized for immediate wartime service. The peacetime strength of the individual armies before 1914 provided the foundation for troop strength in the war. A cadre of commanders for reserve units and an attachment of reservists for these troop units were included in their mobilization plans. This would make it possible to raise units to wartime strength once the mobilization was begun. The troop strengths planned in the event of war, and the troop str…

Trotsky, Leon

(372 words)

Author(s): Kochanek, Hildegard
Trotsky, Leon (October 28, 1879, Yanovka [Kherson Province] – August 21, 1940, Coyoacán [near Mexico City – assassinated]; born Lev Davidovich Bronshtein), Russian politician. Already toward the end of his school years in Kherson Province, Trotsky became involved in revolutionary Marxist circles. Banished for the first time in 1899, in 1902 he succeeded in fleeing to Western Europe. In 1903, at the second congress of the Russian Social Democratic Party, he led a fierce attack against Vladimir Ilyi…

Tsingtao (Qingdao)

(510 words)

Author(s): Zimmerer, Jürgen
Tsingtao (Qingdao) Administrative center of Jiaozhou, a German colony established on the northeastern coast of China in 1897. It was militarily important as the base for their East-Asia Cruiser Squadron. Unlike the other German colonies, Tsingtao was controlled by the Reich Naval Office rather than the Reich Colonial Office. Tsingtao later lost its strategic significance when the Imperial Navy transitioned from war cruisers to a battleship-fleet based doctrine. Still, the 500 km2 protectorate of Jiaozhou (Kiautschou) remained important as the economic and political…

Tunnel Warfare

(587 words)

Author(s): Pöhlmann, Markus
Tunnel Warfare Warfare by means of planting subterranean destructive charges. Following the onset of positional warfare, the belligerents soon turned to tunneling and mining along the stationary front lines, especially on the Western Front and in the Alps. A distinction must be made between offensive and defensive mining: offensive mining was conducted for the purpose of destroying key positions or entire sections of the enemy’s trenches immediately before a planned infantry attack. This was accom…

Turnip Winter

(295 words)

Author(s): Corni, Gustavo
Turnip Winter The German expression Kohlrübenwinter or Steckrübenwinter (both mean “Turnip Winter”) refers to one of the worst food crises of the war in Germany. During the winter of 1916/1917 several developments came together, among others things a particularly poor harvest caused by bad weather. The entire price structure was configured in such a way that it was more profitable for the producers to use potatoes as fodder or to sell them to distilleries than to sell them to the consumers. The same wa…