Brill’s Digital Library of World War I

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Naval Warfare

(2,850 words)

Author(s): Salewski, Michael
Naval Warfare In all theoretical discussions of a future war the war at sea was expected to play a major, if not the decisive role. For this reason all leading industrial nations had from the early 1890s onward been building massive, homogenous battle fleets. The “naval race” played a central role in souring Anglo-German relations during Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz’ tenure as the German Naval Secretary. The fledgling détente in the maritime sector, which was noticeable two years prior to the outbreak of the war, came …

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…

German Revolution

(1,770 words)

Author(s): Schwabe, Klaus
German Revolution With the German Revolution of 1918/1919, the German Empire became a German Republic. The deep roots of this upheaval lay in the war-weariness of the exhausted and malnourished civilian population and the overburdened soldiery. The German Revolution was more a collapse of the traditional order than a militant mass rebellion. In this, it resembled the Russian February Revolution of 1917 rather than the revolutions of 1848. The Russian October Revolution, with Lenin’s proclamation o…

Eichhorn, Hermann von

(315 words)

Author(s): Kleine Vennekate, Erik
Eichhorn, Hermann von (February 13, 1848, Breslau [current Wrocław] – July 30, 1918, Kiev), German field marshal. Eichhorn attended military academy after participating in the wars of 1866 and 1870/1871, and joined the general staff in 1883. In 1904 he became commanding general of the XVIIIth Army Corps in Frankfurt am Main, and in 1912 moved to Saarbrücken as inspector-general of the Seventh Army inspectorate; here in 1913 he was promoted to colonel general ( Generaloberst). Eichhorn was to take over command of the Fifth Army in Metz in the event of mobilization, but,…

After the Vote was Won. The Fate of the Women’s Suffrage Movement in Russia After the October Revolution: Individuals, Ideas and Deeds

(7,787 words)

Author(s): Shnyrova, Olga
Shnyrova, Olga - After the Vote was Won. The Fate of the Women’s Suffrage Movement in Russia After the October Revolution: Individuals, Ideas and Deeds Keywords: October Revolution | Russia | women's suffrage ISFWWS-Keywords: Russia | Politics | Gender | Intellectuals and the War | Women and War | Society | Pre-war period Abstract: As the women's movement in Russia has its own specific history which is connected with the peculiarities of the political and economic development of the country, this chapter starts with a short preamble …

Kitchener, Horatio Herbert

(622 words)

Author(s): Simkins, Peter
Kitchener, Horatio Herbert (June 24, 1850, Crotter House near Listowel [County Kerry, Ireland] – June 5, 1916, off the Orkney Islands; from 1914 the First Earl Kitchener of Khartoum and of Broome), British field marshal (minister of war). Kitchener’s early military career took him predominantly to the Middle East, where in 1892 he became Sirdar (commander in chief ) of the Egyptian Army. In this function he conquered the Sudan, and in 1898 led the successful military expedition to Khartoum (Battle of Omdurman). This brought Kitchener the status of …

Military Losses (Casualties)

(1,331 words)

Author(s): Overmans, Rüdiger
Military Losses (Casualties) There is little agreement in the literature as to the casualties sustained by the states that took part in the First World War. Figures vary between about 6 and about 13 million. A principle reason for the different estimates lies in the fact that definitions of the term “casualties” differ greatly. In the narrow military terminology of the time and in the specialized military literature, “casualties” frequently included all those soldiers who were no longer available t…

Millerand, Alexandre Etienne

(352 words)

Author(s): Mollenhauer, Daniel
Millerand, Alexandre Etienne (February 10, 1859, Paris – April 6, 1943, Versailles), French politician. For more than 40 years, Millerand had an undisputed place among the leading figures of the French Third Republic. He came to national attention at the beginning of the 1890s as leader of the reform wing of the Socialist Party. In 1899, at the peak of the Dreyfus Affair, he entered the gouvernement de défense républicaine (Government for the Defense of the Republic) of Pierre Waldeck-Rousseau. As minister of commerce, Millerand then quickly became alienated from…

Romania

(1,553 words)

Author(s): Höpken, Wolfgang
Romania Having come into being in 1859 in the union of the two Danube principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia, Romania endeavored to remain aloof from the great diplomatic crises and military upheavals that gripped the Balkans from the end of the 19th century. The country accordingly did not participate in the Balkan League comprising Serbia, Greece, Bulgaria, and Montenegro, which declared war on the Ottoman Empire in 1912. However, when Bulgaria’s success in the Balkan War of 1912 appeared to …

Below, Otto von

(480 words)

Author(s): Kleine Vennekate, Erik
Below, Otto von (January 18, 1857, Danzig, modern Gdańsk – March 9, 1944, Besenhausen near Göttingen), German general. After attending secondary school, Below joined the Prussian army as a cadet in 1871. From 1884 to 1887 he attended the Prussian Military Academy and was subsequently appointed to the General Staff. He was given command of a battalion in 1897, a regiment in 1905, and a brigade in 1909. In 1912 he was promoted to lieutenant-general, with command of the 2nd Division at Insterburg (Chernyakhovsk) in East Prussia. At the start of the war Below commanded the Ist Reserve…

Yanushkevich, Nicolai Nikolaevich

(191 words)

Author(s): Dahlmann, Dittmar
Yanushkevich, Nicolai Nikolaevich (May 13, 1868 – October 18, 1918, Tiflis [Tbilisi]), Russian general. Yanushkevich graduated from Mikhailovskaya Artillery Academy in 1888, and from the (Imperial Russian) General Staff Academy in 1896. In 1913–1914 he was the commander of the Imperial Nicholas Military Academy. After 1914 he was a general of infantry. Between March and July 1914, Yanushkevich was chief of the general staff. Then, after the outbreak of the First World War, he became chief of staff …

Japan and the Wider World in the Decade of the Great War: Introduction

(7,943 words)

Contributor(s): Minohara, Tosh | Hon, Tze-ki | Dawley, Evan
Minohara, Tosh; Hon, Tze-ki; Dawley, Evan - Japan and the Wider World in the Decade of the Great War: Introduction ISFWWS-Keywords: Asia | Naval Warfare | Politics | Economy | The French and British Empires | International Relations during the War | Pre-war period | The United States of America | Legacy | Russia | Gender | Society | Scandinavia | Science, Technology, and Medicine | Australia | New Zealand | The Ottoman Empire and the Middle East | Poland The Decade of the Great War Tosh Minohara , Tze-ki Hon and Evan Dawley , (2014) Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, 2014 e-ISBN: 978900…

War Bonds

(647 words)

Author(s): Zilch, Reinhold
War Bonds A form of government borrowing for the financing of war expenditures. War bonds were issued by the belligerent states during the World War, thus allowing for the mobilization of significant parts of the social wealth. Both their attractive conditions – interest rates frequently better than in peacetime – as well as a massive propaganda drive, ensured that the first war bonds were able to raise a considerable amount of capital. The bondholders typically reflected a broad spectrum of the p…

Merrheim, Alphonse

(302 words)

Author(s): Mollenhauer, Daniel
Merrheim, Alphonse (May 7, 1871, La Madeleine [Département Nord] – October 22, 1925 [unknown]), French trade union leader. Merrheim was born into a working class family in the industrial region of Northern France. In the 1890s he joined the Syndicalist movement aimed at the takeover of the means of production by autonomous trade unions, as advocated by the Confédération Générale du Travail (CGT), in which he himself took on a leading role after the turn of the century. At the outbreak of the First World War, Merrheim differed from the leadership of the CGT under Léon Jouhaux in rejecting the U…

Poland

(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…

Balkan Wars

(957 words)

Author(s): Kröger, Martin
Balkan Wars Two wars in the Balkans region (1912–1913) that caused the Ottoman Empire to lose most of its European territories. During this period of conflict there were differences between the Great Powers concerning the consequences of the Balkan Wars. Against the backdrop of the Italo-Turkish war (1911–1912), the ethnically diverse and unstable Southeastern European States led by Serbia attempted to secure for themselves a share of the disintegrating Ottoman Empire. A direct consequence of the Turkish weakness wa…

Parliamentarization

(630 words)

Author(s): Mai, Günther
Parliamentarization From 1871 the German Reich was a constitutional monarchy. The Kaiser appointed and dismissed the chancellor, who was the only member of the imperial government responsible to the Reichstag (the lower house of parliament), and without whose agreement the Kaiser could not take political action. The chancellor could not rule for long against a majority of the Reichstag, since the Reichstag had the right to adopt the budget. Even before 1914, constitutional reality had changed in …

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…

Leopold, Prince of Bavaria

(337 words)

Author(s): Haidl, Roland
Leopold, Prince of Bavaria (February 9, 1846, Munich – September 28, 1930, Munich), German and Bavarian field marshal. Leopold, the second son of the future prince regent Luitpold, joined the Bavarian Army in 1861 and took part in the 1866 and 1870–1871 campaigns. A lieutenant colonel in 1871, he was appointed commanding general of the Ist Bavarian Army Corps in 1887. From 1891 to 1913, Leopold served as inspector general of the Fourth Army District. During this period he attained the ranks of colon…

Zimmerwald Movement

(467 words)

Author(s): Mühlhausen, Walter
Zimmerwald Movement An alliance of antiwar Socialists from the belligerent states, named after the town where it first met (September 5–8, 1915, at Zimmerwald near Bern). The aim of the movement, which came to symbolize socialist pacifism, was to revive international cooperation, which had been disrupted by the First World War. The first conference was initiated by the Swiss social democrat Robert Grimm, and those attending included Lenin and Zinoviev for the Russian Social Democratic Workers’ Party, and Adolph Hoffmann …
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