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…

Masuria

(1,257 words)

Author(s): Stone, Norman
Masuria Masuria comprised the southeastern portion of the German province of East Prussia, the part of the Reich that was most exposed to a threat from Russia. Two great battles took place here and immediately across the border in Russian Poland in 1914/15. The Russian Army occupied Masuria at the beginning of the war, and remained there until it was defeated at Tannenberg at the end of August 1914. After this battle the remnants of the Russian Second Army, which had entered Masuria from the south, withdrew across the border into Poland.…

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 association of the German Empire, the Deutsche Flottenv…

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 scarce, so t…

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 …

Nivelle, Georges Robert

(529 words)

Author(s): Becker, Jean-Jacques
Nivelle, Georges Robert (October 15, 1856, Tulle – March 23, 1924, Paris), French general and chief of the General Staff. A graduate of the École Polytechnique, Nivelle was an artilleryman. When war broke out in 1914, he was a 58-year-old colonel. Nivelle proved his military skill in the first weeks of the war, for the artillery tactics he had employed in the Battles of the Marne were new and successful. His career took a sharp upturn when he was made a brigadier general in October 1914 and in Febr…

Apollinaire, Guillaume

(280 words)

Author(s): Beaupré, Nicolas
Apollinaire, Guillaume (August 26, 1880, Rome – November 9, 1918, Paris), French poet and art critic whose real name was Wilhelm Apollinaris de Kostrowitzky. Not least because of the scandal surrounding his volume of poetry, Alcools, published in 1913, Apollinaire was thought to be one of the most important modern French poets alongside Blaise Cendrars at the outbreak of the war. As a Russian national (his mother was Polish) he was not drafted into the army at the beginning of the war, but he became a volunteer and enlisted with the artillery. At his own …

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, …

Reconnaissance

(522 words)

Author(s): Schmidt, Wolfgang
Reconnaissance Military procedure by which information is gathered about the enemy situation as well as terrain and weather conditions; it is a vital prerequisite for the decision-making processes on all levels of command. In addition to peace-time intelligence gathering, war-time reconnaissance operations were broken down according to the type of theater or battlefield into long-range, short-range and battlefield, or combat, reconnaissance. While the purpose of long-range reconnaissance was to c…

Graves, Robert (von Ranke)

(414 words)

Author(s): Winter, Jay
Graves, Robert (von Ranke) (July 26, 1895, Wimbledon [now part of London] – December 7, 1985, Deyá [Majorca]), British writer and literary scholar. Graves’ prewar work is customarily assigned to the so-called Georgian school, a group of poets that cultivated a Late Romantic style. Both he and his friend the writer Siegfried Sassoon, who, like him, served as an officer in the Royal Welch Fusiliers, were profoundly influenced by the war. Graves was wounded in 1916 at the Battle of the Somme, his many …

Djemal Pasha, Ahmed

(387 words)

Author(s): Cem Oguz, C.
Djemal Pasha, Ahmed (May 6, 1872, Constantinople – July 21, 1922, Tiflis [assassinated]), Ottoman general and politician. Djemal Pasha was educated in military schools. He concluded his training at the general staff academy in 1895. He was a member of the Committee for Unity and Progress, and used his position as inspector of railways to expand the railway network. After the Constitutional Revolution of 1908, as a member of the Central Committee Djemal Pasha was seen as one of the most influential …

July Crisis

(720 words)

Author(s): Krumeich, Gerd
July Crisis Few topics from the history of the First World War have been discussed more intensively by historians and in the public arena than the July Crisis of 1914. Into the 1930s in Germany, the foremost question was that of the justice of the accusation of “war guilt” as expressed in Article 231 of the Versailles Treaty. In this case the predominant opinion initially, and even after the Second World War, was that all the powers “stumbled” into war. In the 1960s, Fritz Fischer brought to the c…

Liège

(444 words)

Author(s): Gerhards, Thomas
Liège Industrial and commercial center in eastern Belgium (Wallonia), with more than 150,000 inhabitants at the time of the First World War. With its twelve forts, the city was the scene of the first major engagement of the war. The capture of Fortress Liège was highly important to the advance of the German First and Second Armies. The German plan was for a surprise attack led by General Emmich. However, Emmich underestimated the size of the fortress garrison and the Germans found themselves opposed by 30,000 men instead of the expec…

Kiggell, Sir Launcelot

(246 words)

Author(s): Tiefel, Marcus A.
Kiggell, Sir Launcelot (October 2, 1862, Ballingarry [Limerick] – February 23, 1954, Felixstowe [Suffolk]), British general. A general of traditional views and a confidant of Sir Douglas Haig, Kiggell was promoted to the rank of major-general in 1914 and served in the War Office until November 1915. Summoned to France by Haig in December of the same year, he was appointed chief of staff of the British Expeditionary Force. However, the Sandhurst-educated Kiggell had until then never had an opportuni…

Hentsch, Richard

(567 words)

Author(s): Pöhlmann, Markus
Hentsch, Richard (December 18, 1869, Cologne – February 13, 1918, Bucharest), German officer. After a private education in Berlin, Hentsch joined the 103rd Infantry Regiment (4th Saxon) in Bautzen in 1888. In 1899 he was posted to the Imperial General Staff, initially for two years, and then transferred there in 1902. He was promoted lieutenant colonel on April 20, 1914, and at the outbreak of war took up the post of head of the intelligence department to the chief of the General Staff of Field Fo…

Jaurès, Jean

(450 words)

Author(s): Mollenhauer, Daniel
Jaurès, Jean (September 3, 1859, Castres – July 31, 1914, Paris [assassinated]), French politician and political commentator. He came from a middle-class family in southwest France, and was probably the most important French Socialist of the prewar period. Originally Professor of Philosophy at Toulouse, he was not only active as parliamentarian, party leader and political commentator. As no one else, he also successfully programmatically left his mark on the French Socialist movement as a theorist and historian. Jaurès’s thinking and action revolved around the two poles …

Caillaux, Joseph

(565 words)

Author(s): Allain, Jean-Claude
Caillaux, Joseph (March 30, 1863, Le Mans – November 22, 1944, Mamers, département Sarthe), French politician. The eldest son of a former minister of the Conservative Republic, originally destined for the École Polytechnique, began his professional career as inspector of finances, a career he followed until 1898 when he was elected to serve as deputy for Marmers. Here Caillaux continued to be re-elected on a regular basis with an absolute majority until 1914. Without ever having held a position on…

Harbord, James Guthrie

(391 words)

Author(s): Showalter, Dennis E.
Harbord, James Guthrie (1866, Bloomington – August 20, 1947, Rye NY), United States general. Before the war, Harbord had served in the same regiment as General Pershing. This was the truly deciding factor in his appointment to chief of staff of the American Expeditionary Forces on May 15, 1917. Pershing needed a man whom he could trust, and loyalty was Harbord’s outstanding character trait. Thus, he functioned more as an echo of Pershing’s ideas regarding mobile warfare, than their analyst. At the …

How a Pro-German Minority Influenced Dutch Intellectual Debate During the Great War

(97 words)

Author(s): Tames, Ismee M.
Tames, Ismee M. - How a Pro-German Minority Influenced Dutch Intellectual Debate During the Great War Keywords: Netherlands | Politics | Intellectuals and the War | Germany | Culture ‛Uncovered Fields’ Jenny Macleod and Pierre Purseigle, Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, 2004 e-ISBN: 9789047402596 DOI: 10.1163/9789047402596.016 © 2004 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Tames, Ismee M.

Drina

(966 words)

Author(s): Jerabék, Rudolf
Drina Border river between Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia. The battle of the Drina (August 12–21, 1914) was, for Austria-Hungary, the most unfortunate conceivable prelude to the war against Serbia. The prime cause was the incomplete deployment of the Austro-Hungarian forces. The forces ranged against Serbia comprised not only the Fourth and Fifth Armies, but also the Second Army, which had been earmarked for use against the Russians in the event of the opening of a second front in Galicia. However…

Race to the Sea

(479 words)

Author(s): Pöhlmann, Markus
Race to the Sea Popular metaphor for the military operations on the northern flank of the Western Front between September 15 and late October 1914, in the course of which both sides hoped to outflank the opponent, and which eventually came to an end with the onset of positional warfare in November of 1914. Following the German withdrawal to the Marne, the new chief of the Supreme Army Command (Oberste Heeresleitung, OHL), General Erich von Falkenhayn, planned to renew the offensive on the German rig…

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…

Christmas Truce (1914)

(555 words)

Author(s): Jahr, Christoph
Christmas Truce (1914) Also known as the “Wartime Christmas,” this title recalls a time of widespread fraternization on all fronts, especially between German and British soldiers on the Western Front, the so-called “Christmas Truce.” When the fronts solidified in late fall 1914, all hopes were dashed for that victorious campaign, initially promised by governments and armed forces, which was to have brought the troops “home for Christmas.” Now the soldiers would have to manage Christmas Eve in the trenches. “Love tokens” were sen…

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…

Interparty Committee of the Reichstag

(518 words)

Author(s): Mai, Gunther
Interparty Committee of the Reichstag A coalition committee formed by the political fractions of the Reichstag’s majority and uniting the German Central Party, the Progressive People’s Party, and the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), and temporally also the National Liberal Party. The Interparty Committee of the Reichstag became an informal yet politically influential power factor that was acknowledged as such by the government. It was constituted on July 6, 1917, in the midst of the controve…

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 …

Haus, Anton Freiherr von

(355 words)

Author(s): Herwig, Holger H.
Haus, Anton Freiherr von (June 13, 1851, Tolmin – February 8, 1917, Pola [Pula]), Austro-Hungarian grand admiral. Haus entered the Austro-Hungarian Navy in 1869, and in 1901, as commander of the cruiser Maria Theresia, took part in the suppression of the Boxer Rebellion. Between 1902 and 1905 he served as chairman of the presiding council in the Naval Section of the War Ministry. He became rear admiral in 1905, commander of the Second Division in 1906, and in 1907 was a delegate at the second peace conference in The Hague. He b…

War Interpretations

(2,359 words)

Author(s): Hüppauf, Bernd
War Interpretations During the first days of the World War people already began to suspect that this was not an ordinary conflict that might be seen as a continuation of 19th-century European wars. This perception of the war called for an interpretation, which the writers, intellectuals, philosophers, and scholars of all warring nations were only too willing to provide. The prominent public persons (though seldom women) of all major powers and of their former colonies …

Cadorna, Count Luigi

(286 words)

Author(s): Pöhlmann, Markus
Cadorna, Count Luigi (September 4, 1850, Pallanza, now part of Verbania – December 23, 1928, Bordighera), Italian general and chief of staff. The son of a prominent general, Cadorna joined the cadet corps at the age of ten. A lieutenant in 1870, he rose to major-general in 1898, lieutenant-general in 1905. In 1909 he was given command of the army corps at Genoa, and in 1914 Cadorna received the appointment to serve as chief of staff, succeeding the late Alberto Pollio. Cadorna used the ten-month pe…

Auffenberg von Komarów, Baron Moritz

(292 words)

Author(s): Kronenbitter, Günther
Auffenberg von Komarów, Baron Moritz (May 22, 1852, Troppau, modern Opava in the Czech Republic – May 18, 1928, Vienna), Austro-Hungarian minister of war and army general. Auffenberg graduated from the Theresian Military Academy and chose to pursue a career with the General Staff. Commanding a brigade in Győr and later a division in Zagreb, he experienced the conflict-laden internal structure of the Habsburg Monarchy. As a corps commander in Sarajevo from 1909 to 1911 he distinguished himself with hi…

Brusilov Offensive

(1,136 words)

Author(s): Stone, Norman
Brusilov Offensive The designation “Brusilov Offensive” refers to the Russian army’s last major military operation in the summer of 1916. It was named after the commander of the Russian Southwest Front (Army Group Brusilov), General A.A. Brusilov, whose offensive in the first days of June 1916 annihilated two Austro-Hungarian armies and badly crippled two others. It was one of the greatest Russian victories of the war, but nevertheless exhausted itself in frontal attacks. Born into an aristocratic family, Brusilov earned a reputation as a competent senior commander a…

Pan-German League

(886 words)

Author(s): Hagenlücke, Heinz
Pan-German League Radical nationalistic organization in Germany. The Pan-German League (Alldeutscher Verband, ADV) was founded in Berlin in April 1891 and (until 1894) operated under the name Allgemeiner Deutscher Verband (“General German Association”). It was formed as a non-party organization on the initiative of a small circle of activists that included representatives from the community of “ethnic Germans” living outside of the German Empire ( Volksdeutsche), several colonial propagandists with ties to Carl Peters, and Alfred Hugenberg, who was still a yo…

Szögyény-Marich, László (Ladislaus) de

(262 words)

Author(s): Kronenbitter, Günther
Szögyény-Marich, László (Ladislaus) de (November 12, 1841, Vienna – June 11, 1916, Csór), Austro-Hungarian diplomat. At first Szögyény-Marich participated in Hungarian politics as a nobleman. After 1883, he worked in the Foreign Ministry of the Habsburg Monarchy. Later as minister, he represented the Hungarian government at the Royal Court in Vienna. In 1892 he was named Austria-Hungary’s ambassador to Berlin, an office which he held until 1914. Szögyény-Marich was actually scheduled to retire in sp…

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…

Haase, Hugo

(360 words)

Author(s): Mühlhausen, Walter
Haase, Hugo (September 29, 1863, Allenstein – November 7, 1919, Berlin [murdered]), German politician. One of the two chairmen of the Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands (SPD; Social Democratic Party of Germany) from 1911 onward, Haase opposed the Burgfrieden (Fortress Truce) policy that had been adopted by the majority of his party. He nonetheless bowed to party discipline. Speaking before the Reichstag on August 4, 1914, he read out the declaration in which the SPD approved the war credits – against his own conviction. Until…

Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria-Este

(274 words)

Author(s): Kronenbitter, Günther
Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria-Este (December 18, 1863, Graz – June 28, 1914, Sarajevo [murdered]), Archduke of Austria-Este. Obligatory for archdukes, Franz Ferdinand underwent military service, soon advancing in royal succession after the suicide of Crown Prince Rudolf in 1889. Convinced that the struggle for independence of the Magyar political elites would very soon destroy the Habsburg Empire, Franz Ferdinand opposed, without compromising, every concession to Hungary. Instead, he planned a…

Caporetto

(993 words)

Author(s): Massignani, Alessandro
Caporetto Town on the Isonzo River (modern Kobarid, Slovenia). During the battle fought in the Julian Alps from October 24 to November 9, 1917, Austro-Hungarian and German forces brought about the collapse of the Italian Front on the upper Isonzo and forced the Italians to retreat behind the Piave River. The Battle of Caporetto is also known as the Twelfth Battle of the Isonzo. In August/September of 1917 the Eleventh Battle of the Isonzo and the capture of the Bainsizza Plateau by the Italian Second Army plunged the Austro-Hungarian forces into a profound c…

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…

Grey, Sir Edward

(405 words)

Author(s): Winter, Jay
Grey, Sir Edward (April 25, 1862, Fallodon, County of Northumberland – September 7, 1933, Fallodon; from 1916 First Viscount Grey of Fallodon), British politician. Grey was foreign secretary from 1905 to 1916, and chief architect of Britain’s foreign policy before the war. After studying at Balliol College, Oxford, he was elected to the House of Commons in 1885 as Liberal member of parliament for the constituency of Berwick-upon-Tweed. Grey retained this seat for his entire political career. As par…

Salandra, Antonio

(328 words)

Author(s): Isnenghi, Mario
Salandra, Antonio (August 13, 1853, Troia [Foggia Province] – December 9, 1931, Rome), Italian politician, prime minister. A lawyer from Apulia, later Professor of Constitutional Studies and Constitutional Law, was from 1886 a liberal right-wing member of parliament under Sidney Sonnino. He held office several times as secretary of state and minister, always playing a mediating role between the leaders of the Liberal Party, Sonnino and Giolitti. He became prime minister in March 1914. His period i…

Colored Troops

(587 words)

Author(s): Koller, Christian
Colored Troops German war propaganda described the nonwhite colonial troops employed by the Entente Powers in the First World War in general terms as “colored auxiliaries.” The very use of such units in Europe caused a considerable sensation. All in all, some 485,000 nonwhite soldiers from the French colonies and 160,000 from the British colonies fought in the ranks of the Entente Powers in the European theater. Important contingents came from Algeria (173,000), India (153,000), French West Africa…

Reichsbund Jüdischer Frontsoldaten

(289 words)

Author(s): Sieg, Ulrich
Reichsbund Jüdischer Frontsoldaten Reich Federation of Jewish Front Soldiers. Founded in early 1919 by Captain Leo Löwenstein, this veterans’ organization worked primarily to counter the disparagement of Jewish World War patriotism. The organization’s local chapters quickly gained a following, especially among Jewish liberals. During the Kapp Putsch of 1920 and the Berlin Scheunenviertel ( Jewish Quarter) Riot of 1923, members defended the Jewish residents against Antisemitic attacks. In 1925 the Reichsbund jüdischer Frontsoldaten counted as the …

Carson, Sir Edward Henry

(338 words)

Author(s): Horne, John
Carson, Sir Edward Henry (February 9, 1854, Dublin – October 22, 1935; from 1921 Baron Carson of Duncairn), Minster (Kent), Anglo-Irish politician (British First Lord of the Admiralty). As a Protestant, Carson was a lifelong committed advocate of the union of Ireland with Great Britain. He began his career as a barrister, and eventually became a leading English Conservative politician. Carson led the Unionists in the north of Ireland during the Ireland Crisis of 1912, supporting their threat to oppo…

Scapa Flow

(665 words)

Author(s): Krüger, Friederike
Scapa Flow A body of water in the Scottish Orkney Islands. On June 21, 1919, at 11 in the morning, the German Rear Admiral Ludwig von Reuter issued the order to scuttle the 16 battleships, eight cruisers, and 50 destroyers and torpedo boats lying in Scapa Flow. Within a few hours 64 ships, totaling about 400,000 tons, were destroyed, eight further vessels having been beached in time by the British. Nine Germans were shot and killed and nine wounded by Royal Navy guards in connection with the scutt…

Sitwell, Sir Francis Osbert Sacheverell

(339 words)

Author(s): Winter, Jay
Sitwell, Sir Francis Osbert Sacheverell (December 6, 1892, London – May 4, 1969, Florence), British writer. Sitwell enlisted with the First Battalion of the Grenadier Guards in December 1914. His experience of trench warfare between 1914 and 1917 awakened in him a profound awareness of the pointlessness of the slaughter, an awareness he sought to articulate in his early poems. Sitwell and his sister Edith, who was also active as a poet and writer, influenced the younger generation of writers in the 1…

Peace Movements

(1,734 words)

Author(s): Holl, Karl
Peace Movements Social and political movements, at first based in the middle class, appearing from the early 19th century. “Pacifism” was organized in the form of peace societies and unions on national and local levels. In Germany the Deutsche Friedensgesellschaft, DFG (German Peace Society), was founded in 1892. Their aim was cooperation with peace organizations in other countries, at first by means of international peace congresses, and from the end of the 19th century through the International Peace Office in Bern. The expectation of so-called organized pacifism, accordin…

Langemarck Legend

(647 words)

Author(s): Hüppauf, Bernd
Langemarck Legend One of the peculiarities of the First World War was the mythologizing of towns and locations where strategically decisive or particularly costly battles had been fought. The resulting legends combined facts, interpretations, and fantasies to form collective memories that transcended military events and the topographical limits of the battlefields concerned. Of the three legendary battles that occupied a prominent place in Germany’s consciousness for decades – Langemarck, Tannenbe…

War Damage

(2,196 words)

Author(s): Thoss, Bruno
War Damage Damages and costs incurred during the war through the destruction of military equipment and weaponry, but also as a consequence of property damage in the regions directly affected by the war. War damage thus refers to the material costs of the war in the narrow sense. The calculation of war costs in the wider sense as well as of material losses in the narrow sense is so fraught with difficulties that all figures can only be seen as rough approximations. This already became evident during a first general assessment carried out for t…

Moltke, Helmuth Johannes Ludwig von (the Younger)

(578 words)

Author(s): Pöhlmann, Markus
Moltke, Helmuth Johannes Ludwig von (the Younger) (May 25, 1848, Gersdorff [Mecklenburg] – June 18, 1916, Berlin), German general; chief of the Army General Staff and nephew of Field Marshal von Moltke. In 1869 Moltke joined Fusilier Regiment the Queen’s No. 86 (Schleswig-Holstein), taking part in the Franco-Prussian War as a lieutenant. In 1872 he succeeded in transferring to the 1st Foot Guards Regiment. Moltke’s later military career was shaped by his closeness to his famous uncle – Moltke was his a…

Rommel, Erwin

(313 words)

Author(s): Thoss, Bruno
Rommel, Erwin (November 15, 1891, Heidenheim an der Brenz – October 14, 1944, Herrlingen [now Blaustein]; compelled suicide), German officer (after 1942, field marshal). The son of a gymnasium teacher, Rommel was commissioned a lieutenant and joined the 6th Württemberg Infantry Regiment. In 1914–1915 Rommel was decorated several times for personal valor. For his bravery in the storming of Monte Matajur on the Isonzo Front in 1917, Rommel received the highest German decoration for bravery, the order Pour la Mérite, and was promoted to captain. Accepted into the Reichswehr (regular ar…

Hood, Sir Horace

(385 words)

Author(s): Herwig, Holger H.
Hood, Sir Horace (October 2, 1870, Tunbridge Wells – May 31, 1916, off the Skagerrak), British admiral. Hood entered the Royal Navy as a sea cadet in 1882. He took part in various imperial military operations: in 1897 on board a gunboat on the Nile, in the Boer War of 1898–1900, and in 1904 against the Dervishes in Somalia. Between 1910 and 1913 he commanded the Royal Naval College at Osborne. He then became captain of HMS Centurion, and in June 1914 Naval Secretary to the First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill. In October 1914 Hood took command of a flotilla of …

Sarajevo

(729 words)

Author(s): Pöhlmann, Markus
Sarajevo Capital of the Austro-Hungarian provinces of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Austria-Hungary’s annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1908 had aroused strong hostility against the dual monarchy among the Serbian population in Bosnia. Radicalization had led to the emergence of secret societies that were prepared to use violence. One of those societies, the “Black Hand,” enjoyed the protection of Serbian military circles, and planned to assassinate Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir apparent to the Austrian throne, on the occasion of his visit to Sarajevo on June 28, 1914. In the pro…

Delcassé, Théophile

(468 words)

Author(s): Becker, Jean-Jacques
Delcassé, Théophile (March 1, 1852, Pamiers [Ariège] – February 22, 1923, Nice), French politician (foreign minister). Delcassé was a journalist who entered politics as a disciple of Léon Gambetta. He remained deputy for his home department of Ariège from 1889 until 1919. His uninterrupted seven years’ service as foreign minister, from 1898 to 1905, was the most important period of his political career. Although his stance was for a long time anti-British rather than anti-German, it was during his…

Allenby, Edmund

(593 words)

Author(s): Simkins, Peter
Allenby, Edmund (April 23, 1861, Brackenhurst Hall, Nottinghamshire – May 14, 1936, London; from 1919, Viscount Allenby of Megiddo and Felixstowe), British field marshal. After completing his training at the Royal Military College in Sandhurst, Allenby initially served with the 6th Inniskilling Dragoons (1884–1888) in South Africa. He took part in the Boer War of 1899–1902 (5th Lancers). At the beginning of the World War, he was inspector general of the cavalry. Allenby was a man of powerful stature; both this and his violent temper earned him the nickname “The Bull…

Cult of the Dead

(642 words)

Author(s): Becker, Annette
Cult of the Dead Funeral ceremonies are an essential part of the grieving process for the dead. The obsequies of the 1920s and 1930s are to be understood as a way for the collective consciousness to understand the reality of death, and to deal with its constant reminders. Especially in the years right after the war, the war dead were remembered at national commemorations by their former comrades-in-arms, their families, their hometowns, their fellow worshippers, their workmates, and even by the stat…

Mussolini, Benito

(411 words)

Author(s): Hirschfeld, Gerhard
Mussolini, Benito ( July 29, 1883, Dovia di Predappio [Forli Province] – April 28, 1945, Giulino di Mezzegra [Como Province; executed]), Italian journalist and politician. At the outbreak of the war, this man who would later found Fascism still numbered among the advocates of a neutral, internationally orientated Italian politics. Mere weeks afterward, Mussolini, the former revolutionary socialist politician and journalist, had a falling-out with the party leadership of the Partito Socialista Italiano (PSI, Italian Socialist Party), calling for his country’s enterin…

Mortar

(587 words)

Author(s): Storz, Dieter
Mortar A mortar (German Minenwerfer or “mine thrower”) describes a short-range, indirect fire weapon. The shell that was fired was usually a thin-walled, particularly powerful explosive shell. Germany had developed this type of artillery shortly before the war as special ordnance for the pioneer branch of the army, to be used in siege warfare. They were to be deployed against obstacles and smaller, more resilient targets which could not be engaged effectively from the far-off emplacements of the sie…

Assault Battalions

(304 words)

Author(s): Gross, Gerhard P.
Assault Battalions Army formations that were raised specifically to be used in trench warfare and as training units. Beginning in 1916, the Germans deployed assault battalions primarily on the Western Front. France, Russia, and Austria-Hungary also fielded assault troops from 1917. The first German unit of this type, “Assault Battalion Rohr,” was organized in 1915 and initially comprised two pioneer companies. Its success led to the creation of 16 more assault battalions of this type, with infantry and pioneers p…

War Enthusiasm

(799 words)

Author(s): Ullrich, Volker
War Enthusiasm In August 1914, the Germans went to war in a wave of general enthusiasm – or so it was claimed until recently in schoolbooks and in a number of representative works written by German historians. This stereotyped conception has, in the meantime, been increasingly challenged and corrected in a number of crucial points. Accordingly, it can now stated with certainty that an “August Experience” in the sense of an enthusiastic, nationwide approval of the war that would have mobilized all social classes did not take place. …

Rainbow Books

(583 words)

Author(s): Zala, Sacha
Rainbow Books Official printed texts or collections of diplomatic documents, appearing on an ad hoc basis treating primarily questions of foreign policy. A government published “rainbow books,” frequently during or after an international crisis, in order to inform its parliament and/or public, to legitimize its own policy, and/or to criticize the policy of a foreign state. The books owe their name to the colors of their bindings, used on a consistent basis by the various governments: Great Britain blue; Germa…

Infantry

(964 words)

Author(s): Gross, Gerhard P.
Infantry A branch of the armed forces; infantry is the term for foot soldiers. The infantry served as the main branch of the armed forces in the World War. Despite the increased firepower of the infantry, the concept of war held by the European armies originated in the dogma of the superiority of the offensive over the defensive. Tight formations of battle-hardened riflemen swarming over open terrain was the basis for the attack methods of the German infantry Once the infantry had attained fire s…

Bulgaria

(1,164 words)

Author(s): Höpken, Wolfgang
Bulgaria In the Balkan Wars of 1912–1913 Bulgaria had not been able to fulfill its hopes of creating an “ethnographic” Bulgaria that would include Macedonia, parts of Thrace and the Dobrudja. In the 1913 Treaty of Bucharest it was moreover forced to concede to its neighbors practically all the territory it had captured in the First Balkan War of 1912. The outbreak of the First World War seemed to offer a new opportunity for the military realization of a “Greater Bulgaria,” a dream pursued since t…

Tannenberg Myth

(602 words)

Author(s): Werth, German
Tannenberg Myth As a major German victory right at the start of the war, the Battle of Tannenberg soon became the stuff of legend. Its exploitation for propaganda purposes contributed to the creation and rise of the Hindenburg Cult. Famed as “one of the greatest encirclement battles in world history” after Leipzig, Metz, and Sedan, and styled as a “modern Cannae,” the Battle of Tannenberg was wrapped in legends and stories that reached beyond the actual military action. Supposedly the Russian General Rennenkampf had intentionally lef…

Alberich, Operation

(374 words)

Author(s): Pöhlmann, Markus
Alberich, Operation Code name for the planned German rearward movement to the Hindenburg Line in February and March of 1917. Preparations for the withdrawal from the salient between Arras and Soissons had begun in the autumn of 1916 with the aim of disrupting Allied plans for an offensive in the spring of 1917 and shortening the German front line. Prior to the actual retreat, during the so-called Alberich period (February 9–March 15), the scheme called for the systematic devastation of the withdra…

Military Historiography, Official German

(1,063 words)

Author(s): Pöhlmann, Markus
Military Historiography, Official German Immediately after the end of the war, nearly all the states that had participated in the war began elaborating an official military historiography. These early efforts to produce standard official publications were not only a consequence of historical interest or of the wish to honor the achievements of one’s respective army, but should also be viewed in the light of the international debate on war guilt, which began with the Treaty of Versailles. Hence, the …

Epidemics

(1,367 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang U.
Epidemics None of the classic war plagues struck with their former severity during the First World War. With the exception of the great influenza epidemic of the final year of the war, the series of significant epidemic diseases that arose occurred in the form of concentrated outbreaks of infectious diseases in the various theaters of war, limited in terms of place and time. The following absolute figures convey at least an impression of the rates of infection in the German field armies and occup…

Rolland, Romain

(602 words)

Author(s): Beaupré, Nicolas
Rolland, Romain ( January 29, 1866, Clamecy [département Nièvre] – December 30, 1944, Vézelay [Département Nièvre]), French writer. Rolland was born in Burgundy to a republican-minded solicitor’s family. In 1886 he passed the entrance examination for the École Normale Supérieure, where he graduated in history and geography. In 1889 he received a grant to attend the École Française in Rome. During his two-year stay in Rome, he made the acquaintance of Malwida von Meysenburg, who introduced him to G…

Adriatic

(463 words)

Author(s): Massignani, Alessandro
Encyclopedia Adriatic For most of the belligerents the Adriatic was of secondary importance, but for Italy and Austria-Hungary it was a major theater of naval warfare. Unlike the Italian coastline, that of Dalmatia is very rugged; the naval bases of the Austro-Hungarian navy located there were protected by numerous offshore islands. Their heavy units were stationed in Pola (modern Pula in Croatia); the lighter warships lay in Cattaro (modern Kotor in Montenegro). When the war opened the Habsburg n…

Positional Warfare

(1,219 words)

Author(s): Pöhlmann, Markus
Positional Warfare A form of warfare conducted along permanent and fortified front lines. The war of positions came to characterize the First World War in contrast to other forms of combat. All major military powers had based their pre-1914 war strategies on a war of movement. This was the case despite the fact that positional warfare was not unfamiliar. Siege warfare had been ubiquitous in the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period. Even in recent conflicts such as the Russo-Japanese War of 1904…

Students

(1,543 words)

Author(s): Weber, Thomas
Students Students were clearly overrepresented among the soldiers of the First World War. The mention of exclusively or predominantly student-recruited military units in wartime and postwar literature, however, belongs to the realm of fiction. Its origins must be sought in the frequently politically motivated idealizations that were characteristic of journalistic publications and commemorative events. The most famous German example is the myth that “student regiments” singing the German national …

Capelle, Eduard von

(329 words)

Author(s): Krüger, Friederike
Capelle, Eduard von (October 10, 1855, Celle – February 23, 1931, Wiesbaden), German admiral. Capelle joined the navy as an officer cadet at the age of 16. He subsequently served on several vessels before transferring to the military department of the Reichsmarineamt (Imperial Naval Office), where from 1897 he was engaged in drafting involved in drafting the various so-called Naval Laws and their amendments. Before long he advanced to become one of the closest collaborators of the secretary of stat…

The First World War in Contemporary British Popular Culture

(11,010 words)

Author(s): Todman, Dan
Todman, Dan - The First World War in Contemporary British Popular Culture Keywords: British popular culture | First World War | Second World War | Western Front ISFWWS-Keywords: Britain | Society | Culture | Literature | Great Britain | Culture | Experience of combat | Home fronts | Published memoirs and biographies | Experience of combat Abstract: Faced with the terrifying maelstrom of the Western Front, with apocalyptic artillery barrages and seemingly endless battles of attrition, it was natural enough for the soldiers of the First World…

Ireland

(1,952 words)

Author(s): Horne, John
Ireland The great theme of British internal politics in the summer of 1914 was the Irish Crisis. Since 1910, the Asquith Liberal government had been supported in the British Parliament by the votes of Irish nationalists who sought home rule for Ireland. The prospect that the Third Home Rule Bill would be passed in 1914 was welcomed by Catholic and nationalist circles in the south of Ireland. The Protestant majority in the north, however, refused to countenance the extension of Irish autonomy to t…

Rathenau, Walther

(882 words)

Author(s): Sabrow, Martin
Rathenau, Walther (September 29, 1867, Berlin – June 24, 1922, Berlin [assassinated]), German industrialist and politician. He was the son of Emil Rathenau, later the founder of AEG. Under the Empire he followed a career as an industrial employer which took him to the board of AEG (1899) as proprietor of the Berlin Handels-Gesellschaft (1902), and then to the supervisory board of AEG, of which in 1912 he became chairman. By 1914 Rathenau was one of the most influential German and European major in…

Social Democracy

(1,232 words)

Author(s): Mühlhausen, Walter
Social Democracy A political movement in the German Imperial Reich seeking social and political emancipation of the workers. In the First World War, it suffered its greatest crisis, culminating in 1917 in a permanent split. On the eve of the war, with about a million members, the German Social Democratic Party (SPD) was the largest party in Germany, and with 110 members the strongest group in Parliament, but it split on the question of the “fortress truce” ( Burgfrieden) policy. Although shortly before the outbreak of war the party leadership called its membership to demo…

Film, The First World War in

(1,429 words)

Author(s): Chambers II, John W. | Rother, Rainer
Film, The First World War in ISFWWS-Keywords: Australia | Britain | Canada | Culture | France | Germany | Italy | Russia | The United States of America First published in: Brill's Encyclopedia of the First World War, Gerhard Hirschfeld, Gerd Krumeich, Irina Renz, Markus Pöhlmann and James S. Corum, Leiden (2012) Documentaries and feature films, 1914–1943 (a selection) 1914–1918 England Expects (G.L. Tucker, Great Britain, 1914) The German Spy Peril (W. Barker, Great Britain, 1914) The Great European War (G. Pearson & G.B. Samuelson, Great Britain, 1914) It’s a Long Way to Tipperary…

Eastern Front

(1,205 words)

Author(s): Stone, Norman
Eastern Front The topography of the Eastern Front differed markedly from that of the Western Front. For one thing, it was twice as long as the Western Front, stretching in an irregular line from the southeast corner of the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea – including the Bulgarian Front and all the way to the Aegean Sea. Although the terrain was mainly gently rolling, or else flat and forested, the Carpathian Mountains along the Polish and Hungarian borders could pose a significant obstacle for militar…

Artillery

(3,394 words)

Author(s): Storz, Dieter
Artillery Next to infantry and cavalry, artillery was the third combat arm of the land forces in 1914. Its task was to support other branches of the service, in particular the infantry. Since modern warfare was thought of as a war of movement, artillery doctrine, equipment and training were designed for mobile combat. It had to be able to follow the infantry in the field. This requirement restricted the weight and thus the caliber and ballistic capability of the guns. The primary weapons of the a…

Albrecht, Duke of Württemberg

(291 words)

Author(s): Kress, Wolfgang
Albrecht, Duke of Württemberg (December 23, 1865, Vienna – October 29, 1939, Altshausen Castle in the district of Ravensburg), Prussian and Wuerttemberg field marshal. Albrecht had joined the army in 1883; at the start of the war the then colonel general and Wuerttembergian heir to the throne was given command of the German Fourth Army, which he led through the Ardennes into France. In October the Fourth Army was transferred to Flanders where it participated in the fighting at the Ypres salient (Fir…

Princip, Gavrilo

(382 words)

Author(s): Höpken, Wolfgang
Princip, Gavrilo ( July 13, 1894, Grahovo, Bosnia – April 28, 1918, Theresienstadt), Bosnian Serbian student and assassin. As a high school student in Sarajevo, Princip first came in into contact with the Mlada Bosna (Young Bosnia) movement in 1911. The Young Bosnia movement fought against Austro-Hungarian rule in Bosnia. In 1912 Princip was expelled from school for taking part in anti-Austrian demonstrations, and was obliged to continue his schooling in Belgrade. The assassin Bogdan Žerajíc, who …

Food Supplies

(2,616 words)

Author(s): Corni, Gustavo
Food Supplies The supply of food to the civilian population, as well as to the fighting forces, is one of the most important elements in the waging of any war. This applies especially to the First World War, in which food supplies to millions of people had to be assured in the face of mutual blockades that severely compromised trade routes. A deterioration in food supplies was experienced in all belligerent nations and occupied territories during the course of the war, causing governments repeatedly to revise and modify their supply strategies. All sides …

Zweig, Arnold

(588 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Thomas F.
Zweig, Arnold (November 10, 1887, Glogau – November 26, 1968, East Berlin), German writer. The son of a Jewish saddle maker, Zweig studied German literature, art history, and modern languages, with a view to becoming a teacher, but then decided to live from his writing. After being drafted in 1915, he took part in the battles in Belgium and Serbia, and at Verdun, as an Armierungssoldat (non-combatant equipment service soldier). In 1917 Zweig became a clerk at the headquarters of the army press office at Ober-Ost Headquarters in Kovno, Lithuania. Contact with Eastern European Jew…

Tank

(1,187 words)

Author(s): Gross, Gerhard P.
Tank Originally a code name that is still being used in some countries today for a heavily armored fighting vehicle. Already prior to World War I, plans had been drawn up in Europe to develop an all-terrain armored fighting vehicle. Although armored cars had been developed, and the tracked vehicle concept was well, no known, no true armored fighting vehicles had been developed before the war. However, with the onset of positional warfare the question arose of how to achieve an operational breakth…

Przemyśl

(618 words)

Author(s): Stone, Norman
Przemyśl The main Austro-Hungarian fortress in Galicia, was situated above the River San, which represented a relatively advantageous line of defense in central Galicia. The Fortress of Przemyśl also controlled the communication lines running through the Carpathian Foothills to Hungary, but had only been insufficiently modernized prior to the war. It first attracted attention in mid-September 1914 when the Austro-Hungarian Army took refuge in Przemyśl after having been defeated in the east and no…

The Rhineland Horror Campaign and the Aftermath of War

(8,822 words)

Author(s): Kuhlman, Erika
Kuhlman, Erika - The Rhineland Horror Campaign and the Aftermath of War Keywords: Germany | …

Canada

(1,457 words)

Author(s): Kitchen, Martin
Canada Canada was ill prepared for war in August 1914. The affluent were enjoying the August 1–3 civic holiday at their country houses. The less affluent were suffering from the effects of the worst economic depression since the early 1890s. Only the energetic but unpredictable Minister of Militia and Defence Sam Hughes was enthused by the prospect of war. His only concern was that the British might miss the opportunity. Under his command, some 55,000 militiamen and 44,000 cadets were trained in 1913. These men would comprise the bulk of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF). At first recruitm…

The Old Front Line: Returning to the Battlefields in the Writings of Ex-Servicemen

(8,979 words)

Author(s): Pegum, John
Pegum, John - The Old Front Line: Returning to the Battlefields in the Writings of Ex-Servicemen Keywords: battlefield | British women | ex-servicemen | old front lines | old Western Front | soldiers | The Daily Telegraph ISFWWS-Keywords: Britain | Western Front | Published memoirs and biographies | Experience of combat | Culture | Literature | Australia | Intellectuals and the War Abstract: The old battlefield is imagined as a mute witness to the horrors and traumas of the war which can nonetheless impart its profound and tragic lesson to those …

Regiment

(328 words)

Author(s): Storz, Dieter
Regiment Major administrative unit of a service branch, normally led by a colonel. The infantry of all European countries had been organized into regiments since the late 17th century. In order to ensure command efficiency, regiments were further divided into battalions and companies. Other branches of the army, notably the cavalry and artillery branches, were also organized into regiments. Administrative units corresponded with tactical units except for any existing regiments of special troops, …

Ribot, Alexandre

(268 words)

Author(s): Mollenhauer, Daniel
Ribot, Alexandre (February 7, 1842, Saint-Omer – January 14, 1923, Paris), French politician (prime minister). A lawyer by profession, Ribot belonged to France’s innermost parliamentary leadership from the beginning of the 1880s as an expert on financial matters and foreign affairs, representing the liberal right wing of the Republican Party (1878–1909 deputy, 1909–1923 senator). As foreign minister between 1890 and 1892 he played a decisive role in bringing about the Franco-Russian alliance and c…

Armenians

(1,863 words)

Author(s): Gust, Wolfgang
Armenians At the beginning of the First World War, Armenians populated a relatively clearly defined area that comprised the southern Caucasus, western Persia, and parts of the Ottoman Empire. However, in the Ottoman Empire Armenians constituted the majority of inhabitants in a handful of cities, such as Muş and Van. When the first Turkic peoples arrived in Asia Minor, the Armenians already had a thousand-year-long history in the region. In the ensuing period, many Armenians migrated westward and …

Wild von Hohenborn, Adolf

(296 words)

Author(s): Pöhlmann, Markus
Wild von Hohenborn, Adolf ( July 8, 1860, Kassel – October 25, 1925, Malsburg-Hohenborn [near Kassel]), German general and politician (minister of war). A schoolfellow and close friend of Kaiser Wilhelm II, von Hohenborn joined Infantry Regiment No. 83 in 1877, and became a lieutenant in 1880. His further career took him into the Guards and onto the General Staff. He was elevated to the nobility in 1900. He was chief of staff of the XIIIth Army Corps from 1906 to 1909, then colonel and commander of …

Einem, Karl von

(339 words)

Author(s): Pöhlmann, Markus
Einem, Karl von (January 1, 1853, Herzberg [Harz] – April 7, 1934, Mülheim an der Ruhr), German colonel general. Educated in the cadet corps, in 1870 Einem joined the 14th regiment of Uhlans, with whom he took part in the war against France. Never having attended military academy, Einem was ordered to the general staff while still a first lieutenant. In 1898 he was transferred as a colonel to the Prussian ministry of war (where he was director of the general war department from 1900). Lieutenant Ge…

Unruh, Fritz von

(528 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Thomas F.
Unruh, Fritz von (May 10, 1885, Koblenz – November 28, 1970, Diez), German writer and politician. The son of a general, Unruh was educated at the Cadet School at Plön. After graduation he set out on the typical officer’s career path. Then in 1911 he resigned from active military service so that his play Offiziere, a critique of the traditional military principles of obedience and responsibility, could be published. His next drama, Louis Ferdinand Prinz von Preußen, handled a very different subject. Although it was banned by the Kaiser initially in 1913, the next year in…
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