Brill’s Digital Library of World War I

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The Hun and the Home: Gender, Sexuality and Propaganda in First World War Europe

(7,466 words)

Author(s): Todd, Lisa M.
Todd, Lisa M. - The Hun and the Home: Gender, Sexuality and Propaganda in First World War Europe ISFWWS-Keywords: Gender | Home fronts | Violence against civilians | Germany | Visual Arts | Belgium | Britain | Prisoners of War World War I and Propaganda Troy R.E. Paddock , (2014) Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, 2014 e-ISBN: 9789004264571 DOI: 10.1163/9789004264571_008 © 2014 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Todd, Lisa M.

Two-Front War

(612 words)

Author(s): Afflerbach, Holger
Two-Front War The specific strategic situation of the Central Powers, surrounded by the “Iron Ring” (W. Groener) of the opposing coalition. This was mostly seen as a grave strategic disadvantage, and was instrumental in the emergence before 1914 of the hazardous Schlieffen Plan: the attempt to forestall a two-front war, and so avoid the dissipation of Germany’s strength. German policy during the Crisis of July 1914 has frequently been interpreted as having been motivated by the necessity to meet the threat of a two-front war, or “encirclement,” while i…

Zetkin, Clara

(470 words)

Author(s): Rouette, Susanne
Zetkin, Clara ( July 5, 1857, Wiederau [Saxony] – June 20, 1933, Arkhangelskoye, Russia), German politician and feminist. Zetkin was an active leading representative of both the international workers’ movement and the socialist women’s movement in Germany, and their leading theorist. She had led the editorial offices of the socialist women’s newspaper Die Gleichheit (Equality) since 1892. Zetkin belonged to the left, antimilitary wing of the Social-Democratic Party (SPD). Right up to August 1914, she agitated against rearmament and war. Unlike the…

Schlieffen Plan

(985 words)

Author(s): Cornelissen, Christoph
Schlieffen Plan Right up to the outbreak of the war in August 1914, the memorandum submitted by Count Alfred von Schlieffen in the winter of 1905/1906 outlined the basic strategic conception with which the German Reich entered the First World War – albeit in a version that had been modified several times by Helmuth von Moltke (the Younger). Although the significance of the Schlieffen Plan has been radically challenged in recent historical research (Zuber, 2002), the plan’s offensive strategy has r…

Lethal Journey between Four Fronts: First World War Experiences of the Reichstag’s Deputies

(8,581 words)

Author(s): Patin, Nicolas
Patin, Nicolas - Lethal Journey between Four Fronts: First World War Experiences of the Reichstag’s Deputies ISFWWS-Keywords: Germany | Experience of combat | Published memoirs and biographies | Russian Front | Legacy | Politics | Western Front 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_003 © 2014 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Patin, Nicolas

Censorship

(739 words)

Author(s): Albes, Jens
Censorship At every juncture during the First World War, each participating power did its utmost, by means of considerable measures of censorship, to create a united front of opinion that would identify as much as possible with the national political and military leadership. Such suppression of undesired information was the reverse aspect of the propaganda by which all the combatant states sought to influence in their favor both their own population and the populations of friendly and opposing countries. The Prussian State of Siege Law ( Gesetz über den Belagerungszustand) of June 4…

Scorched Earth Tactics

(1,283 words)

Author(s): Geyer, Michael
Scorched Earth Tactics Systematically laying waste to enemy territory as a battle tactic, rendering the area militarily useless for a time, sometimes lastingly. Scorched earth as a combat strategy was described by Carl von Clausewitz in his work Vom Kriege, as follows: First, all that the country has to offer will be taken for the benefit of the retreating army, and mostly consumed. Nothing will remain but wasted villages and towns; fields emptied of their crops and then trampled; wells run dry; and contaminated brooks. Thus right from …

German War Plans against Denmark 1916–1918

(6,394 words)

Author(s): Paulin, C.
Paulin, C. - German War Plans against Denmark 1916–1918 Keywords: bureaucratic quarrels | Denmark | German war plans ISFWWS-Keywords: Germany | Scandinavia | The Military and Naval War | Politics | Naval Warfare | Britain | International Relations during the War Abstract: This chapter firstly uncovers wie es eigentlich gewesen regarding the planning and the German-Danish foreign policy relations. Secondly, it explores why the plans did not materialize. Historical analysis often runs the risk of getting deterministic because it i…

Milner, Alfred

(400 words)

Author(s): Winter, Jay
Milner, Alfred (March 23, 1854, Giessen, Germany – May 13, 1925, Sturry Court, Kent; Viscount from 1902), British politician. Milner was educated at King’s College (London) and Balliol College (Oxford University). After a brief spell in journalism, and an unsuccessful bid for parliament as a Liberal candidate (1885), he finally sought a career in the colonial service. He found his true calling as a convinced imperialist, organizing the economic reconstruction of South Africa after the Boer War. It…

Moroccan Crises, First and Second

(692 words)

Author(s): Kröger, Martin | Allain, Jean-Claude
Moroccan Crises, First and Second Two situations of international tension (1905, 1911) that were provoked by the rivalry between the German Reich and France over influence in Morocco. France’s interest in Morocco resulted from the latter’s proximity to Algeria. The aim was to extend French rule to the entire Maghreb. By concluding bilateral agreements with Italy (1902), England (Entente Cordiale), and Spain (1904), as well as by weakening Moroccan rule in the areas bordering on Algeria, France strove to establish itself as the dominant political power in the region. The German Reich…

Armed Forces (United States)

(3,756 words)

Author(s): Showalter, Dennis E.
Armed Forces (United States) During the First World War the armed forces of the United States were crafted by national politics. The Russian Provisional Government of 1917 had promised resolutely to continue the war in the East. On the Western Front, the Germans were unequivocally on the defensive. In no way was America itself directly threatened. Nevertheless, the pattern developed in the World War would guide the United States in 20th century warfare. Politics would determine the strategy, the org…

Czechoslovakia

(939 words)

Author(s): Hadler, Frank
Czechoslovakia One of the successor states to the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It was assembled from the Bohemian Crown lands located in the Austrian part of the Empire, namely Bohemia, Moravia, and Austrian Silesia, as well as the former Hungarian territories of Slovakia and the Carpathian Ukraine (Ruthenia). The state was founded on October 28, 1918, with the official title of the Republic of Czechoslovakia. In Czechoslovakia as of 1921, a total of 13,613,172 people inhabited an area of 140,484 km2. Under law the 8.7 million Czechs and Slovaks, representing 66% of the total…

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 …

Communications Technology

(1,973 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Stefan
Communications Technology The purpose of communications technology is to convey information over distance. The Russo-Japanese War of 1904/1905 was to foreshadow developments during the First World War in communications technology, as in many other areas. In his conduct of the Battle of Mukden, the Japanese Marshal Oyama acquired the reputation of being the first modern commander in his use of communications technology as he directed his units from 20 km behind the front line with the aid of telephone lines installed across the entire battlefield, up to the most forward positions. …

Naval Blockade

(1,483 words)

Author(s): Neitzel, Sönke
Naval Blockade During the World War, the Allied naval blockade brought German foreign trade practically to a standstill, especially after 1916. It contributed significantly to the serious subsistence problems in Germany. On the eve of the World War Germany was one of the most important economic powers in the world. Obviously, accomplishing this required extensive trade relationships. This left the German economy highly vulnerable during such a long-lasting war. Indeed, Germany had to import 30% of all processed iron ore. The …

Hoyos, Alexander, Count

(277 words)

Author(s): Kronenbitter, Günther
Hoyos, Alexander, Count (May 13, 1876, Fiume – October 20, 1937, Schwertberg), Austro-Hungarian politician. Hoyos entered the Austro-Hungarian diplomatic service in 1900, and served on many missions overseas. In April 1912 he became chief assistant to the foreign minister Leopold Count Berchtold. After the assassination of heir to the throne Franz Ferdinand on June 28, 1914, the question arose of sounding out Germany’s attitude to a possible Austro-Hungarian war against Serbia, a war that might pro…

Workers’ and Soldiers’ Councils

(577 words)

Author(s): Hagenlücke, Heinz
Workers’ and Soldiers’ Councils Representative bodies of soldiers and workers on the basis of the council system, a form of political rule aimed at practicing direct democracy with the aid of elected councilors. The council idea had essentially been developed by Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin. In the Russian Revolution of 1905 self-governing bodies had for the first time been organized in the form of spontaneously elected councils (soviets). After the February Revolution of 1917 Lenin tried to enforce…

Michael Offensive

(1,595 words)

Author(s): Kitchen, Martin
Michael Offensive Official title for the German offensive conducted in March 1918, also called the Great Battle in France. Plans for the offensive had begun in October 1917, with the recommendations of Von Ludendorff ’s newly appointed operations chief Major Wetzell. The new chief called for a series of exploratory attacks in Flanders. These attacks were intended to discover any weaknesses in the British defenses, as suitable sites for a major offensive. Army Group Crown Prince was deployed in the terrain between…

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…

Scheer, Reinhard

(408 words)

Author(s): Herwig, Holger H.
Scheer, Reinhard (September 30, 1863, Obernkirchen [Kreis Schaumburg] – November 26, 1928, Marktredwitz [Bavaria]), German admiral. Scheer entered the German navy in 1879, and, after several overseas postings, was employed from 1890 in the torpedo service. Transferred to the Reichsmarineamt (Reich Naval Office) in 1903, in 1907 he became commander of the pre-dreadnought battleship Elsass and two years later became chief of staff of the High Seas Fleet. In 1911 he became the director of the general naval department within the Reich Naval office. Sch…
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