Brill’s Digital Library of World War I

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Soixante-Quinze

(621 words)

Author(s): Storz, Dieter
Soixante-Quinze French for 75. Nickname given to the M 1897 75 mm cannon, introduced in 1897 as the standard gun used by the French field artillery. The weapon combined several technical innovations, the most significant of which was the long barrel-recoil system. The energy of the recoil was no longer transmitted directly to the gun’s carriage; instead, the barrel slid on a cradle, which checked its backward motion by means of an integral braking device. At the end of the recoil stage the barrel…

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…

Brücken, Beethoven und Baumkuchen: German and Austro-Hungarian Prisoners of War and the Japanese Home Front

(8,584 words)

Author(s): Murphy, Mahon
Murphy, Mahon - Brücken, Beethoven und Baumkuchen: German and Austro-Hungarian Prisoners of War and the Japanese Home Front ISFWWS-Keywords: Asia | Germany | Prisoners of War | Published memoirs and biographies | Home fronts | Politics Other Fronts, Other Wars? Joachim Bürgschwentner, Matthias Egger and Gunda Barth-Scalmani , (2014) Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, 2014 e-ISBN: 9789004279513 DOI: 10.1163/9789004279513_007 © 2014 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Murphy, Mahon

Foreign Representatives in the Netherlands 1914–1918

(201 words)

Author(s): Wolf, Susanne
Wolf, Susanne - Foreign Representatives in the Netherlands 1914–1918 Keywords: foreign representatives | Netherlands | Germany | Great Britain | Belgium | France Abstract: This chapter contains Appendix Two of this book on diplomacy and internment in the Netherlands during the First World War</i>. It presents a list of foreign representatives in the Netherlands 1914-1918. This list includes the names of representatives of Germany, Great Britain, Belgium and France. Guarded Neutrality Susanne Wolf, (2013) Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, 2013 e-ISBN: 9789004249066 D…

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…

Battlefield Tourism

(601 words)

Author(s): Brandt, Susanne
Battlefield Tourism This term covers visits both to former war locations and landscapes and to military cemeteries of the First World War. The majority of “battlefield tourists” during the 1920s and 1930s were relatives of the fallen. Every French citizen, for example, received a free railway pass every year to visit the military cemeteries. The English travel bureau Thomas Cook specialized in accompanying British visitors to the cemeteries and memorials in Belgium and France, which had begun to be constructed soon a…

Gallipoli

(1,150 words)

Author(s): Prior, Robin | Wilson, Trevor
Gallipoli A peninsula bordering on the Dardanelles. The military conflict at Gallipoli was a direct consequence of the failed naval operation in the Dardanelles. The British leadership wished to make up for this reverse by conducting a landing operation on the northern Turkish coast. This was remarkable inasmuch as it had always argued in front of the War Council that the great advantage of the Dardanelles operation lay in the fact that it could easily be called off in the event of a failure. It …

Armed Forces (France)

(2,071 words)

Author(s): Jauffret, Jean-Charles
Armed Forces (France) During the World War the French armed forces were faced with an extraordinary organizational challenge. Including foreign legionaries and the colonial troops, there were a total 8.7 million men assembled under arms. Until General Joffre was replaced as commander-in-chief in December 1916, Grand Quartier Général (General Staff, GQG) held the supreme command. According to the decree of December 2, 1913, in time of war its commander in chief would maintain supreme command of the zone des armées (militarized zone), while the minister of war would be respo…

Uniforms

(1,390 words)

Author(s): Kraus, Jürgen
Uniforms At the beginning of the war, the armies of most warring states were outfitted with a special field uniform, camouflaged to blend into the terrain, in addition to their colorful parade uniforms. Such a camouflage uniform was necessary because of modern weapons technology including smokeless powder. This was already well known from the Boer Wars and the Russo-Japanese War. Still, camouflage uniforms dated back to the colonial wars of the 19th century. Based on experience in India, Great Br…

Veterans’ and Reservists’ Associations

(619 words)

Author(s): Rohrkrämer, Thomas
Veterans’ and Reservists’ Associations With the introduction of general conscription, associations of former soldiers, which had previously existed only as professional organizations, became socially influential bodies. The first soldiers’ or war veterans’ associations appeared soon after the beginning of the 19th century, but it was not until after the wars of unification and the founding of the German Reich in 1871 that such organizations became widespread in Germany. First there arose in all part…

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,…

Vivat Ribbons

(248 words)

Author(s): Gross, Gerhard P.
Vivat Ribbons Dedicatory and commemorative ribbons, imprinted with verses, that were distributed on special informal, court, business, or military occasions. Vivat Ribbons were usually narrow cloth ribbons from 30 cm to as much as 3 m long, and about 3–12 cm wide. First appearing in 18th century Prussia, they eventually spread to the rest of Germany as well as Austria-Hungary. Vivat Ribbons commemorating the First World War tended to measure about 40 cm × 6.5 cm. They were typically printed on the shiny side with Vivat followed by the date, and then the occasion. To this would be…

Occupation (West)

(1,527 words)

Author(s): Kramer, Alan
Occupation (West) Occupation is the temporary authority over foreign territory during war. According to international law, a territory is considered occupied when “it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army” ( Hague Convention Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, Article 42). Not to be viewed as occupation are the systems of government in Ireland, Alsace-Lorraine, the non-Russian part of the Tsarist Empire etc., even though their administrations developed techniques of asserting their authority which resemble…

Reparations

(2,115 words)

Author(s): Geyer, Martin H.
Reparations Since the First World War the normal term for war compensation, by which a state is obliged to remedy damage illicitly caused by it on the sovereign territory of an enemy. In contrast to the traditional practice whereby financial obligations were imposed by the victors in a war in the form of tribute, the concept of reparations introduced the new idea that a state must pay for the damage it has caused another state by an illegal act. The first use in a treaty of the concept réparation des dommages (compensation for damages), drawn from French civil law, was in the cease-f…

Sub-Saharan Africa

(719 words)

Author(s): Zimmerer, Jürgen
Sub-Saharan Africa Africa without the Arab North, and without the settler colonies in the South. Sub-Saharan Africa was both a theater of war and a source for the recruitment of soldiers and laborers during the First World War. The main areas fought over were the German colonies of Togo, Cameroon, and German East Africa, as their capture would enable the wireless stations located there to be destroyed, and their harbors neutralized as bases for the German Navy. When British and French forces occup…

Caucasian Front

(1,438 words)

Author(s): Cem Oguz, C.
Caucasian Front Between 1914 and 1918 the Ottoman Empire fought on more than half a dozen fronts that were spread out over a vast geographical area, but the Caucasian Front was given high priority in the plans of the Minister of War Enver Pasha – as indicated by the fact that he increased the number of troops in the region at the beginning of the war and placed himself in command of the Ottoman Third Army in eastern Anatolia. Contrary to the original plan, the Third Army received reinforcements fr…

Naval Arms Race

(1,316 words)

Author(s): Krüger, Friederike
Naval Arms Race When he ascended the throne in 1888, Kaiser Wilhelm II was determined to practice Weltpolitik. His instrument of choice to achieve this aim would be a strong battle fleet. With the appointment of Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz as secretary of state for the German Imperial Naval Office in 1897, the Kaiser found an officer who was willing to implement the Kaiser’s ambitious plans, and to manipulate public opinion to that purpose. Already in the years prior to his appointment, Tirpitz had in several mem…

Hutier, Oskar von

(357 words)

Author(s): Pöhlmann, Markus
Hutier, Oskar von (August 27, 1857, Erfurt – December 5, 1934, Berlin), German general. Hutier was educated in a cadet school. He joined the Infantry Regiment No. 88 as a lieutenant in 1875. After a successful career in headquarters and field units, Hutier was appointed major-general in 1910 and chief quartermaster of the Great General Staff one year later. In 1912, having risen to the rank of lieutenant-general he assumed command of the 1st Guards Division, with which he went to war in 1914. As pa…

Sweden

(696 words)

Author(s): Bohn, Robert
Sweden Constitutional monarchy, King Gustav V (r. 1907–1950). The foreign and security policy of Swedish governments and the political elites developed between 1914 and 1918 from initially strong support for the German Reich to a gradual turn towards the Entente Powers, particularly Great Britain. Throughout those four years, however, political life was constantly under the shadow of Russia, felt in Sweden to be the traditional enemy. Many Swedes still failed to come to terms with the loss of Fin…

Oncken, Hermann

(271 words)

Author(s): Cornelissen, Christoph
Oncken, Hermann (November 16, 1869, Oldenburg – December 28, 1945, Göttingen), German historian. A lecturer in history at Heidelberg University before the war, in the years before 1914 Oncken was also well known to the public as an advocate of the foreign- and domestic-policy directions taken by Bethmann Hollweg’s government. This manifested itself in his publications promoting German-English conciliatory efforts. It also explains why Oncken was so extremely disappointed over the British declarati…
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