Brill’s Digital Library of World War I

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Marne

(1,369 words)

Author(s): Becker, Jean-Jacques
Marne River in France. Two battles of far-reaching significance in the First World War occurred on the Marne. In September 1914, after a long period when the Allies were retreating, the French Army and the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) resumed the offensive and forced the German Army to retreat, bringing about the failure of the original German operational plan. France had not been defeated in six weeks, and a long war became a possibility. This was the First Battle of the Marne. In July 1918…

Paderewski, Ignacy Jan

(258 words)

Author(s): Hecker, Hans
Paderewski, Ignacy Jan (November 18, 1860, Kuryłówka [Podolien, the Ukraine] – June 29, 1941, New York), Polish musician and politician. The pianist, internationally celebrated for his interpretation of Chopin, had been living in the United States since 1913, where he used his artistic fame to promote the restoration of an independent Polish state. Through his friendship with Edward Mandell House and Robert Lansing, Paderewski was able to influence President Wilson’s stance on the Poland question. As a member of the Komitet Narodowy Polski (KNP, the Polish National Committee …

Entente

(1,077 words)

Author(s): Becker, Jean-Jaques
Entente Also referred to as the Triple Entente, this was one of the great alliances that had formed in Europe at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century. Although these alliances are ascribed a certain responsibility for the outbreak of the First World War, they were far less stable and less systematically structured than was later claimed. The system of alliances created by Reich Chancellor Bismarck after the war of 1870/1871 had as its goal the isolation of France in Europe, and to that end the maintenance of good relations with…

Beseler, Hans Hartwig von

(293 words)

Author(s): Hecker, Hans
Beseler, Hans Hartwig von (April 27, 1850, Greifswald – December 20, 1921, Neubabelsberg), German general. At the outbreak of World War I Beseler took command of IIIrd Reserve Corps, and was ordered on September 17, 1914, to besiege the city of Antwerp. The fall of this strategically important fortress on October 9, 1914, established Beseler’s reputation. In August of 1915 he was responsible for the successful siege of Modlin Fortress near Warsaw which helped push the Russian army out of Poland. On …

Galicia

(837 words)

Author(s): Jerabék, Rudolf
Galicia This province, for the most part ceded to Austria in 1772 upon the first partitioning of Poland, never lost its reputation as a slowly developing region. Accountable for this was its overwhelmingly agrarian character and its prevailing social and national structures. The gentry, almost exclusively Polish, owned vast tracts of land. They were somewhat close to the Polish inhabitants, while the Ukrainian inhabitants (called Ruthenians by the Austrians), who dominated considerable territory,…

Luxemburg, Rosa

(402 words)

Author(s): Mühlhausen, Walter
Luxemburg, Rosa (March 5, 1870, Zamość [Vistula Land, Russia; now Poland] – January 15, 1919, Berlin [assassinated]), German politician and journalist. Luxemburg originally came from Poland. She studied classical economics and gained her doctorate in Zurich. After becoming a German citizen in 1898, she joined the German Social Democratic Party and lectured at the Party’s central school. As a leading member of the Social Democratic left, after the outbreak of the First World War she vehemently oppo…

Deportations

(1,069 words)

Author(s): Kramer, Alan
Deportations Forcible expulsions were practised for various reasons, and by all sides, during the First World War. Initially, they were a means of securing zones of conflict and occupation. During the German invasion in the West alone, at least 10,000 French citizens were deported to Germany and interned in barracks that stood vacant. The number of Belgians deported in 1914 is unknown, but may have amounted to several thousands. These first deportations, which included women and children, were in…

Japan

(2,146 words)

Author(s): Schwentker, Wolfgang
Japan Japan rose to become a Great Power in East Asia during the two centuries preceding 1914. Although the Japanese Empire had become the object of Western imperialism during the late 19th century, they had resisted all attempts at colonization. After victories in both the Sino-Japanese War of 1894–1895 and the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–1905, Japan itself stepped into the imperialist arena in East Asia as the new colonial power. As Japan expanded its empire upon the Asian continent before 1914,…

Salonica (Thessalonika)

(669 words)

Author(s): Simkins, Peter
Salonica (Thessalonika) Port in northern Greece. From October 1915 the base of the Entente’s so-called Army of the Orient. The multinational Entente campaign against Bulgaria was fought from the end of 1915 in inhospitable territory, and remained bogged down for long periods. In this theater of war the soldiers suffered most casualties from disease. The Entente forces finally achieved a sudden and decisive breakthrough in September 1918. After Bulgaria had received guarantees in respect of territorial gains in the Macedonian part of Serbia, its government signe…

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…

Making Friends and Foes: Occupiers and Occupied in First World War Romania, 1916–1918

(14,194 words)

Author(s): Mayerhofer, Lisa
Mayerhofer, Lisa - Making Friends and Foes: Occupiers and Occupied in First World War Romania, 1916–1918 Keywords: Austria-Hungary | civilian population | Germany | Military Administration | occupier | Romania | war experience ISFWWS-Keywords: Romania | Home fronts | Germany | Austria-Hungary | Politics | Russia | Economy | Prisoners of War | Bulgaria | The Ottoman Empire and the Middle East Abstract: The phenomenon of 'occupation' was thus an integral part of the war experience for numerous contemporaries. This chapter outlines how several Roman…

Inflation

(1,440 words)

Author(s): Geyer, Martin H.
Inflation An increase in the money supply and a rise of the monetary demand that is not matched by a corresponding amount of goods. Until long after the end of the war, people were accustomed to speak of “rising prices” instead of inflation or devaluation. In current research, the “age of inflation” denotes the period extending from the war to the beginning of the currency stabilization in November 1923. It also alludes to the economic, political, social, and cultural changes that resulted from the currency devaluation as well as to the ways of coming to terms with inflation. The causes of w…

Encirclement Concept

(477 words)

Author(s): Krumeich, Gerd
Encirclement Concept The concept of encirclement was coined, or rather applied to the situation in international relations, by Reich Chancellor Bülow in a speech in the Reichstag on November 14, 1906. Reacting to the entente that had just been concluded between England and France, Bülow warned that the German Reich was being encircled “like the beast in the forest.” It is probable that no political conception received such wide currency in prewar Germany as that of encirclement. The mantra circulated not only among nationalists, but also in that portion…

Animals

(1,008 words)

Author(s): Werth, German
Animals The use of animals for war service is known from antiquity. Elephants, bears, or packs of bloodhounds were used to break open enemy lines. Clay balls containing poisonous snakes were used as projectiles. Most often used as “war equipment” was the horse, in a team to pull combat vehicles and naturally, as a mount for a rider.…

Sazonov, Sergei Dmitrievich

(338 words)

Author(s): Lindemann, Mechtild
Sazonov, Sergei Dmitrievich (August 10, 1860, Ryazan territory – December 25, 1927, Nice), Russian politician and diplomat. In the diplomatic service since 1883, Sazonov became deputy foreign minister in 1909. After being appointed foreign minister in 1910 he sought to improve relations with France, and especially with Britain, in order to secure the support of the British fleet in the event of war. In this, Sazonov pursued a policy of war avoidance, motivated in particular by Russia’s need for tim…

Armistice

(996 words)

Author(s): Schwabe, Klaus
Armistice This term refers to the cessation of hostilities between the Entente Powers and the Central Powers in 1918. In fact, the Armistice agreements concluded by the victors with Bulgaria (on September 30 at Salonica, now Thessalonika), with Turkey (on October 31 at the port of Moudros on the island of Lemnos), with the Habsburg Empire (on November 3 in the Villa Giusti near Padua), and with the German Reich (on November 11 at Compiègne-Rethondes) made it impossible for the Central Powers to resume hostilities. In reality, therefore, armistice amounted to capitulation. It was Genera…

Emergency Money (Notgeld)

(483 words)

Author(s): Zilch, Reinhold
Emergency Money ( Notgeld) Money put temporarily into circulation, to replace either in whole or in part, the coinage that before its issue represented the currency, and that for a time could function as currency. Notgeld was mostly issued by other authorities than those issuing regular currency. During the war, a severe shortage of means of payment led to the issue of Notgeld in various states. The main reasons for this were the hoarding of coins and banknotes, the collapse of the system of payment, and the widening circulation of currencies of belligeren…

Jagow, Gottlieb von

(361 words)

Author(s): Kröger, Martin
Jagow, Gottlieb von (June 22, 1863, Berlin – January 11, 1935, Potsdam), German diplomat. Jagow was from a noble Brandenburg family. He studied law and served in the Prussian administration, until, in 1895, he succeeded in entering upon a diplomatic career under the protection of the later Reich Chancellor Bernhard von Bülow. He worked in various overseas legations and his career reached an initial high point with his appointment as ambassador to Rome on…

Second International

(537 words)

Author(s): Mühlhausen, Walter
Second International International federation of national Socialist parties; founded in 1889 in succession to the First International (1864–1876), collapsed during the First World War. The attitude of the Second International to war was constantly debated at its congresses before the First World War. Although a resolution passed at the Stuttgart Congress in 1907 had called on the sections in the various countries to take countermeasures if war …
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