Brill’s Digital Library of World War I

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Internment

(1,392 words)

Author(s): Hinz, Uta
Internment During the World War, the notion of internment referred both to the sheltering of sick or invalid war prisoners in neutral states and to coercive measures against so-called enemy aliens. This conceptual ambiguity resulted from the fact that the large-scale repressive measures carried out against the civilian citizens of enemy countries were a relatively recent phenomenon. The reason for this was a fundamental redefinition of the “enemy” that went far beyond any military conception. As …

Raw Materials, Rationing, and Procurement

(2,348 words)

Author(s): Zilch, Reinhold
Raw Materials, Rationing, and Procurement The war had scarcely begun before the mass armies ran short of vital raw materials and replacement supplies. State intervention in the procurement and distribution of raw materials followed in the warring nations’ economies with the goal of making maximum use of the raw materials available for the war effort. This effort was linked with intense efforts to depress private consumption. To this end, the state intervened in the economy to requisition and distribu…

Counting Unrest: Physical Manifestations of Unrest and Their Relationship to Admiralty Perception

(9,455 words)

Author(s): Rowe, Laura
Rowe, Laura - Counting Unrest: Physical Manifestations of Unrest and Their Relationship to Admiralty Perception Keywords: Board of Admiralty | Naval Discipline Act (NDA) ISFWWS-Keywords: Naval Warfare | Britain | Home fronts | Society Abstract: By mid-1917 the Board of Admiralty had received a number of worrying reports about unrest amongst the men, as a result of which they launched a number of enquiries to investigate the extent of the problem. The conclusions Their Lordships drew were ambiguous in a number of respects. This chapter examines whether the Board of Admiralty's fears were borne out by the offences being committed against the Naval Discipline Act (NDA) or King's Regulations and Admiralty Ins…

German Patriotic Associations

(931 words)

Author(s): Hagenlücke, Heinz
German Patriotic Associations Designation for the nationalist clubs of the German Empire. Beneath the banners of imperialism and nationalism, numerous nationalist organizations arose in Germany after the 1880s. These associations mostly occupied themselves with foreign policy issues. There was for example the Verband für das Deutschtum im Ausland (‘Association for German Culture Abroad’), founded in 1881; the Deutsche Kolonialgesellschaft (‘German Colonial Society’), founded in 1887; as well as the greatest national assoc…

Advertising

(660 words)

Author(s): Berghoff, Hartmut
Advertising As an instrument of company trade policies, advertising underwent a lasting change during the World War. In August 1914 sales collapsed. Despite a partial recovery, sales figures were not to return to prewar levels before 1918. There were five reasons for advertising’s loss of importance. First, armament production came ever more strongly to the foreground, supplanting many heavily advertised consumer goods. Second, advertising was superfluous for many products. Some were…

Introduction: Popular Culture and the First World War

(7,463 words)

Author(s): Meyer, Jessica
Meyer, Jessica - Introduction: Popular Culture and the First World War Keywords: Britain | cultural histories | First World War | popular culture ISFWWS-Keywords: Culture | Britain | Legacy | Home fronts | Literature Abstract: Histories of the First World War have uncovered an ever increasing diversity of sites of cultural expression, familial, communal and national, which may be defined as forms of popular culture. Memory itself has been an important theoretical feature of cultural histories of the war. The …

Fourteen Points

(899 words)

Author(s): Waechter, Matthias
Fourteen Points Fourteen Points stands for the peace aims of American President Woodrow Wilson, who made them public in a speech before the United States Congress on January 8, 1918. The basic reasons for American participation in the war were already clear. To justify America’s joining the war in April 1917, Wilson stressed that the United States was not interested in realizing any narrowly defined national demands. Rather, he meant to for liberal political principles to be implemented globally, …

South Africa

(1,166 words)

Author(s): Nasson, Bill
South Africa The Union of South Africa came into being on May 31, 1910, with the coming into force of the South Africa Act, a common constitution for the British Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Natal, and Transvaal. Ruled by white settlers, the Union was granted the status of a self-governing dominion within Britain’s African Empire. South Africa was thus constitutionally bound to adhere to British foreign policy, including the event of a war. Although the question of the country’s joining the Fir…

Peace Initiatives

(1,049 words)

Author(s): Hoff, Henning
Peace Initiatives In the course of the World War there were repeated attempts to end hostile activities. However, right until the end the war aims of the two sides were irreconcilable so that the chances for the success of peace initiatives remained small. The first serious attempts to bring the European belligerents to the negotiating table were made by American President Woodrow Wilson, who in the spring of 1915 sent his trusted “Colonel” Edward M. House to London, Berlin and Paris to hold exploratory talks. The trip foundered on the G…

War Letters

(596 words)

Author(s): Jakob, Neil
War Letters War letters from soldiers were already published in large numbers during the war, but also in the postwar period. Just after the outbreak of hostilities, war letters were almost immediately published in all warring countries, at first in newspapers and later in book form. In the beginning, they were mostly intended to satisfy the population’s longing for eyewitness accounts, but also to support the public image of the war-enthusiastic nation and of the successful war in a propagandisti…

Sports

(883 words)

Author(s): Werth, German
Sports When the World War broke out, the Burgfrieden (Fortress Truce) between Turner (German workers’ sports movement) gymnasts and other athletes crumbled in the face of the possible awarding of the 1916 Olympic Games to Berlin. The Turner movement was critical of the ‘international Olympiad,’ rejecting its games as “English attempts to break records,” and not for Germans. Once it became clear that the war would last awhile, the idea grew of replacing the Olympiad with “German war games” as their “national Olympic games.” Accordingly in 1917, the Deutscher Reichsausschuss für die …

Encountering the ‘Enemy’: Prisoner of War Transport and the Development of War Cultures in 1914

(11,480 words)

Author(s): Jones, Heather
Jones, Heather - Encountering the ‘Enemy’: Prisoner of War Transport and the Development of War Cultures in 1914 Keywords: Prisoners of War | Home fronts | Society | Published memoirs and biographies | Politics | Germany | Britain | France ‛Warfare and Belligerence’ Pierre Purseigle, Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, 2005 e-ISBN: 9789047407362 DOI: 10.1163/9789047407362.006 © 2005 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Jones, Heather

Zeppelin (Airship)

(528 words)

Author(s): Schmidt, Wolfgang
Zeppelin (Airship) Aircraft of a streamlined shape that is kept aloft by the aerostatic buoyancy of the lifting gas (hydrogen or helium) in its body. Forward thrust is provided by propeller engines that are housed in nacelles mounted outside of the body. Derived from Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin, who in 1900 had produced the first practicable airship of a rigid design that was motorized and steerable, the name also became a synonym for other technical solutions. Against the backdrop of a possible war with Britain, the development of zep…

Motor Vehicles

(664 words)

Author(s): Storz, Dieter
Motor Vehicles The technology of motor vehicles had already been progressing at a tremendous pace before the outbreak of the war. Dissatisfied with their cumbersome, horse-drawn supply convoys, all the armies were greatly interested in trucks. However, the technological advances were so rapid that motor vehicles soon became obsolete, which spoke against their acquisition for the army. Instead, most nations decided to help the private economy purchase trucks in exchange for the obligation to place …

War Guilt

(797 words)

Author(s): Krumeich, Gerd
War Guilt The question of responsibility for the First World War was actually the subject of controversial discussion even before the outbreak of war, during the July Crisis of 1914, and was even answered propagandistically, to justify positions taken. Proclamations at the outset of the war, such as the “balcony speech” of Kaiser Wilhelm II on August 4 (“It is not the desire for conquest that drives us . . .”) or Poincaré’s “ Union sacrée” address on the same date (“In the war now breaking out, France has right on her side.”) always emphasize the defensive character of…

Foch, Ferdinand

(633 words)

Author(s): Becker, Jean-Jacques
Foch, Ferdinand (October 2, 1851, Tarbes – March 20, 1929, Paris) French field marshal. In the course of the large-scale German offensive in March of 1918 the Allies realized that the lack of a central military command on the Western Front might result in a defeat. Up to that point, British generals (with some exceptions) had categorically refused to serve under French command. Now, however, General Foch was given the task of coordinating the operations of the French and British armies; later he r…

Rumors

(703 words)

Author(s): Reimann, Aribert
Rumors In all societies involved in the World War, social culture was influenced by “informal communication” media. In addition to military letters, trench newspapers, and unofficial leaflets and pamphlets, a large number of rumors supplied the lack of social information once censorship had caused the public media to lose credibility. In many places these rumors contained could a mixture of propaganda, popular cultural mythology, visions driven by panic fear, and (though very rarely) genuine information. An initial surge in war rumors can be observed in connection with…

Colonial War

(1,529 words)

Author(s): Zimmerer, Jürgen
Colonial War The war against the German colonies of Africa, Asia, and the Pacific, led by the forces of Japan, Great Britain, France, Belgium, and their respective colonies. The spread of the war to the colonies was undertaken by Great Britain and France, primarily for strategic reasons. By occupying the German colonies, their respective ports would be closed to the German navy. Also, the German worldwide communications network, which depended upon the wireless stations erected there, would be dis…

La Dame Blanche: Gender and Espionage in Occupied Belgium

(93 words)

Author(s): Proctor, Tammy M.
Proctor, Tammy M. - La Dame Blanche: Gender and Espionage in Occupied Belgium Keywords: Belgium | Women and War | Home fronts | Britain | Legacy | Society ‛Uncovered Fields’ Jenny Macleod and Pierre Purseigle, Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, 2004 e-ISBN: 9789047402596 DOI: 10.1163/9789047402596.014 © 2004 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Proctor, Tammy M.
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