Brill’s Digital Library of World War I

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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…

Who Provided Care for Wounded and Disabled Soldiers? Conceptualizing State-Civil Society Relationship in First World War Austria

(11,870 words)

Author(s): Hsia, Ke-chin
Hsia, Ke-chin - Who Provided Care for Wounded and Disabled Soldiers? Conceptualizing State-Civil Society Relationship in First World War Austria ISFWWS-Keywords: Austria-Hungary | Home fronts | Society | Science, Technology, and Medicine | Economy | Politics 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_015 © 2014 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Hsia, Ke-chin

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 …

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 …

The Forgotten Campaign: Alsace-Lorraine August 1914

(9,488 words)

Author(s): Herwig, Holger H.
Herwig, Holger H., - The Forgotten Campaign: Alsace-Lorraine August 1914 Keywords: French Army and its combattants | Western Front | France | Germany | Published memoirs and biographies | Experience of combat | Science, Technology, and Medicine Abstract: The conclusions drawn from the campaign in Alsace-Lorraine are as follows. First, the German army's prewar neglect of electronic communications and the need to assign royal heirs to command field armies combined against efficient coordination between Koblenz and Hell…

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…

“German Women Help to Win!” Women and the German Military in the Age of World Wars

(11,862 words)

Author(s): Hagemann, Karen
Hagemann, Karen - “German Women Help to Win!” Women and the German Military in the Age of World Wars Keywords: Germany | Home fronts | Women and War | Economy | Legacy | Science, Technology, and Medicine | Military organisation of combat A Companion to Women’s Military History Barton C. Hacker and Margaret Vining , (2012) Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, 2012 e-ISBN: 9789004206823 DOI: 10.1163/9789004206823_017 © 2012 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Hagemann, Karen

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…

Ambiguities of the Modern: The Great War in the Memoirs and Poetry of the Iraqis

(12,053 words)

Author(s): Khoury, Dina Rizk
Khoury, Dina Rizk - Ambiguities of the Modern: The Great War in the Memoirs and Poetry of the Iraqis Keywords: The Ottoman Empire and the Middle East | Society | Politics | Literature | Legacy | Violence against civilians | Pre-war period | Religion | Published memoirs and biographies | Science, Technology, and Medicine | Experience of combat The World in World Wars Heike Liebau, Katrin Bromber , Katharina Lange , Dyala Hamzah and Ravi Ahuja , (2010) Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, 2010 e-ISBN: 9789004188471 DOI:10.1163/ej.9789004185456.i-618.78 © 2010 Koninklijk…

‘Weary Waiting is Hard Indeed’: The Grand Fleet after Jutland

(9,716 words)

Author(s): Hewitt, Nick
Hewitt, Nick - ‘Weary Waiting is Hard Indeed’: The Grand Fleet after Jutland Keywords: Grand Fleet | Jutland | Western Front ISFWWS-Keywords: Naval Warfare | Britain | Germany | Home fronts | Science, Technology, and Medicine Abstract: The Grand Fleet is defined as the capital ships based at Scapa Flow and Rosyth and supporting elements based at harbours along the British East Coast. This chapter look at changes in strategic command and direction which were made during the period, plans to break the strategic d…

War on Stage. Home Front Entertainment in European Metropolises 1914–1918

(6,871 words)

Author(s): Krivanec, Eva
Krivanec, Eva - War on Stage. Home Front Entertainment in European Metropolises 1914–1918 ISFWWS-Keywords: Culture | Home fronts | French society during the war | Germany | Society | Portugal | Austria-Hungary | Science, Technology, and Medicine 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_018 © 2014 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Krivanec, Eva

Sovereignty and Imperial Hygiene: Japan and the 1919 Cholera Epidemic in East Asia

(9,031 words)

Author(s): Chung, Yuehtsen Juliette
Chung, Yuehtsen Juliette - Sovereignty and Imperial Hygiene: Japan and the 1919 Cholera Epidemic in East Asia ISFWWS-Keywords: Asia | Science, Technology, and Medicine | Legacy | Society | Home fronts | Politics The Decade of the Great War Tosh Minohara , Tze-ki Hon and Evan Dawley , (2014) Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, 2014 e-ISBN: 9789004274273 DOI: 10.1163/9789004274273_022 © 2014 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Chung, Yuehtsen Juliette

Western Front

(3,485 words)

Author(s): Bourne, John M.
Western Front The most important battlefield of the First World War in Western and Central Europe was the Western Front. The largest and bloodiest battles took place in the north of France and in Belgium, where most German, French, British, Belgian, American, and Portuguese soldiers lost their lives. The front was Western from the German perspective, an indication of the German army’s crucial importance for the progress of the war. It began with the German invasion of Belgium and France in August 1914. The frontier battles fulfilled the expectat…

Between Veiling and Unveiling: Modern Camouflage and the City as a Theater of War

(110 words)

Author(s): Deriu, Davide
Deriu, Davide - Between Veiling and Unveiling: Modern Camouflage and the City as a Theater of War Keywords: Aviation | Science, Technology, and Medicine | Intellectuals and the War | Home fronts | Visual Arts | Violence against civilians | General ‛Endangered Cities’ Marcus Funck and Roger Chickering, Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, 2004 e-ISBN: 9789047409812 DOI: 10.1163/9789047409812.002 © 2004 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Deriu, Davide

Finland

(2,352 words)

Author(s): Wegner, Bernd
Finland This small country (1910: 2.94 million inhabitants) located at the northeastern periphery of Europe entered the First World War as an autonomous grand duchy within the Russian Empire, and emerged from it an independent republic and parliamentary democracy. The process was not foreseeable, and by no means straightforward. Apart from the final months of the civil war, the sea change in the country’s status was primarily the result of external events – October Revolution, Peace of Brest-Lito…

Sexuality

(1,427 words)

Author(s): Sauerteig, Lutz
Sexuality The crisis-related effects of the World War also had consequences for the sexual life of human beings. The separation of (married and non-married) couples became a mass phenomenon of hitherto unknown extent. Extramarital sexuality and prostitution reached new dimensions. Even though the frequency with which soldiers sought extramarital contacts during the war cannot be assessed with precision, a number of indications suggest that soldiers no longer felt bound to middle-class sexual morals as a result of their direct experiencing of war and death. The debate over issue…

Haber, Fritz

(330 words)

Author(s): Storz, Dieter
Haber, Fritz (December 9, 1868, Breslau – January 29, 1934, Basel), German chemist. Prior to the World War, Haber developed the scientific principles for the fixation of atmospheric nitrogen in the form of ammonia (NH3), which was then technically realized by Carl Bosch (Haber-Bosch process). However, ammonia was not only used as a base substance for the manufacturing of artificial nitrogenous fertilizers, but also for the production of explosives and was thus of crucial importance for the war economy. In 1911, Haber was appointed director of the newly founded Kaiser Wilhe…

Conscientious Objection

(630 words)

Author(s): Jahr, Christoph
Conscientious Objection The rejection of the legal obligation to fulfill one’s military duty in times of war. A distinction must be drawn between conscientious objection in the narrow sense and other ways of evading wartime military service. Conscientious objection, which was also an important motive for emigrating from Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries, was traditionally practiced by a number of religious communities, for instance by the Quakers and Mennonites. In 1914, however, no country with a conscript army had made provis…

Looted Art

(1,176 words)

Author(s): Kott, Christina
Looted Art Originally a term for cultural assets taken away by the enemy in times of war, the looting of art today denotes an illegal act under international law that is perpetrated by belligerent powers and involves the theft of artistic and cultural items in the course of military operations or during occupation. The protection of cultural property had since the end of the 19th century, if not earlier, been one of the fundamental tenets of international law: in particular Article 56 of the Hague Convention Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land (1907) banned “[a]ll seizure of, …

Freud, Sigmund

(626 words)

Author(s): Ulrich, Bernd
Freud, Sigmund (May 6, 1856, Freiberg [now Přibor, Czech Republic] – September 9, 1939, London), Austrian neurologist, founder of psychoanalysis. Freud’s attitude to the World War was at first little different from that of most intellectuals at that time. Freud is recorded as having said in the first phase of the war that his “whole libido” belonged to Austria-Hungary (1915). When this position changed, turning into one critical of the war, is disputed. In relation to fear of war and “infringement…

Infantry Weaponry/Weapons

(3,025 words)

Author(s): Thoss, Bruno
Infantry Weaponry/Weapons Weapons technology during the First World War was geared mainly to the ground war, drawn from traditional types of infantry and artillery weapons. At the beginning of the war, cavalry was still relatively important, though they no longer had a decisive function in battle. For equipment early in the war, troops relied upon firearms such as rifles, carbines, machine guns and pistols; cutting and thrusting blades including bayonets, sabers, and lances; and explosive devices …

Film (1914–1918)

(1,029 words)

Author(s): Brandt, Susanne
Film (1914–1918) The triumphal progress of film began with the first cinema shows in Paris and Berlin in 1895. In Berlin alone, in 1914 there were already more than 200 cinemas, with a total capacity of 120,000. And the audience constantly grew in number: according to contemporary estimates, between 1 million and 1.5 million people visited the cinema each day in Germany before the First World War. Many attended regularly, with a third of the total seeing a performance every week. Most of the regul…

Armed Forces (Great Britain)

(4,680 words)

Author(s): Bourne, J.M.
Armed Forces (Great Britain) The First World War was a highly unpleasant experience for the British. The perception of this war in public opinion was once summed up by the historian A.J.P. Taylor in the disparaging words “brave, helpless soldiers; blundering, obstinate generals; nothing achieved.” This negative view was primarily the consequence of the losses of human life, as the number of casualties among the soldiers was without precedent in the history of Great Britain. The majority of these los…

Krobatin, Baron Alexander von

(475 words)

Author(s): Jerabék, Rudolf
Krobatin, Baron Alexander von (September 12, 1849, Olmütz [modern Olomouc, Czech Republic] – December 27, 1933, Vienna), Austrian general and minister of war. As an artillery staff officer with a university education in chemical engineering, Krobatin was predestined from an early stage for a higher calling. Appointed to the Imperial War Ministry in 1896 as an expert in artillery technology, he was a section chief at the Ministry in 1904. In addition to weapons and munitions, his responsibilities now…

Manifesto of the 93

(963 words)

Author(s): vom Bruch, Rüdiger
Manifesto of the 93 Published on October 4, 1914, an appeal addressed “to the civilized world” ( An die Kulturwelt! Ein Aufruf ) and endorsed by 93 German men of letters, scientists, scholars and artists, rejected as “untrue” allegations made by the Entente against the German “militarism” and atrocities verifiably committed by the German Army in neutral Belgium. The Manifesto followed numerous other, similar declarations made especially by well-known cultural figures on both sides in the “war of the minds” ( Krieg der Geister, the title of a 1915 collection of international es…

Armed Forces (Dominions)

(3,147 words)

Author(s): Grey, Jeffrey
Armed Forces (Dominions) The settler colonies of the British Empire (Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and South Africa) had already acquired the status of dominions prior to 1914, as part of a constitutional development towards full independence. Self-determination in domestic matters had already been granted to Canada in 1867, to Australia in 1901, to New Zealand in 1907, and to South Africa in 1910. The British declaration of war on Germany in 1914 was binding for all dominions, since London still…

Fighting on Two Fronts: Japan’s Involvement in the Siberian Intervention and the Spanish Influenza Pandemic of 1918

(8,776 words)

Author(s): Otsubo, Sumiko
Otsubo, Sumiko - Fighting on Two Fronts: Japan’s Involvement in the Siberian Intervention and the Spanish Influenza Pandemic of 1918 ISFWWS-Keywords: Asia | Science, Technology, and Medicine | Russian Front | Soldiers and Combat | Russia The Decade of the Great War Tosh Minohara , Tze-ki Hon and Evan Dawley , (2014) Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, 2014 e-ISBN: 9789004274273 DOI: 10.1163/9789004274273_023 © 2014 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Otsubo, Sumiko

Mobile Warfare

(1,059 words)

Author(s): Pöhlmann, Markus
Mobile Warfare A form of warfare which seeks to bring about a military decision through the tactical movement of forces for the purpose of achieving advantageous territorial concentrations without having to rely on fortified positions at all times. At the beginning of the war in 1914 the military doctrines and operational plans of all belligerent powers were based on mobile warfare. In the first instance these offensive operations were motivated by the strategic and economic objective of ensuring …

“The Spirit of Woman-Power”: Representation of Women in World War I Posters

(14,021 words)

Author(s): Prelinger, Elizabeth | Hacker, Barton C.
Prelinger, Elizabeth; Hacker, Barton C. - “The Spirit of Woman-Power”: Representation of Women in World War I Posters Keywords: Visual Arts | Gender | Home fronts | Politics | Science, Technology, and Medicine | Economy | Society | Women and War | Masculinity | Children and War A Companion to Women’s Military History Barton C. Hacker and Margaret Vining , (2012) Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, 2012 e-ISBN: 9789004206823 DOI: 10.1163/9789004206823_016 © 2012 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Prelinger, Elizabeth and Hacker, Barton C.

Wilhelm, German Crown Prince

(367 words)

Author(s): Schranz, Daniel
Wilhelm, German Crown Prince (May 6, 1882, Potsdam – July 20, 1951, Hechingen), crown prince of the German Reich and of Prussia. Wilhelm was born in 1882 as the first son of the later Kaiser Wilhelm II. He began his military career at the age of 14, interrupting it for a time to study political science in Bonn. In fall 1911 he was named commander of the First Life Guards Hussars Regiment in Danzig (Gdańsk). Though hardly qualified, he assumed command of the Fifth Army when war broke out in August 19…

Painlevé, Paul

(466 words)

Author(s): Krumeich, Gerd
Painlevé, Paul (December 5, 1863, Paris – October 29, 1933, Paris), French politician (minister for war, prime minister). Painlevé was not only a politically prominent personality, twice a prime minister and later the minister for war, but also a renowned mathematician. A professor of mathematics in Lille since 1887, Painlevé first came to the attention of the public when in 1890, he received the Grand Prix des Sciences Mathématiques (‘Grand Prize in Mathematical Sciences’) of the Académie Française. His primary research area was related to friction energy. He w…

Uniforms

(1,390 words)

Author(s): Kraus, Jürgen
Uniforms At the beginning of the war, the armies of most warring states were outfitted with a special field uniform, camouflaged to blend into the terrain, in addition to their colorful parade uniforms. Such a camouflage uniform was necessary because of modern weapons technology including smokeless powder. This was already well known from the Boer Wars and the Russo-Japanese War. Still, camouflage uniforms dated back to the colonial wars of the 19th century. Based on experience in India, Great Br…

Railroad Workers and World War I: Labor Hygiene and the Policies of Japanese National Railways

(8,593 words)

Author(s): Lim, Chaisung
Lim, Chaisung - Railroad Workers and World War I: Labor Hygiene and the Policies of Japanese National Railways ISFWWS-Keywords: Asia | Science, Technology, and Medicine | Economy | Society | Home fronts The Decade of the Great War Tosh Minohara , Tze-ki Hon and Evan Dawley , (2014) Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, 2014 e-ISBN: 9789004274273 DOI: 10.1163/9789004274273_021 © 2014 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Lim, Chaisung

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…

Nicolai, Georg Friedrich

(446 words)

Author(s): Dülffer, Jost
Nicolai, Georg Friedrich (February 6, 1874, Berlin – October 8, 1964, Santiago de Chile; Georg Lewinstein until 1897), German physician. Nicolai studied medicine, specializing in electrocardiology. Before the war, he was already a respected physician in his private practice, and as the assistant medical director of Charité Hospital. As a war volunteer, in 1914 he became the medical superintendent of the military infirmary at Tempelhof. Nonetheless, from the beginning he spoke out very sharply against the war. He and other intellectuals signed Aufruf an die Europäer (Appeal to th…

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. …

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…

Nerves

(695 words)

Author(s): Ulrich, Bernd
Nerves The mental history of the Wilhelminian epoch is marked by the phenomenon of “nervousness.” The over-exertion of mind and body, the worries and fears, the sexual excesses and aberrations, the rapid pace, the noise; the over-indulgence in coffee, alcohol, tobacco, and morphine; as well as the “violent shocks to the body, for example from rail accidents” – those were causes that, taken with the suspected inheritability of “nervousness,” were ascribed to the “cultural progress” of the 19th cen…

Weber, Max

(849 words)

Author(s): Tiefel, Marcus A.
Weber, Max (April 21, 1864, Erfurt – June 14, 1920, Munich), German political economist and sociologist. Important milestones in Weber’s academic formation included his law dissertation in 1889 and habilitation in 1892, and then posts as professor extraordinarius of commercial law in Berlin in 1893, and professor ordinarius of political economics at Freiburg im Breisgau (1894–97) and at Heidelberg (1897–1903). The years after 1898 saw frequent interruptions due to ill health. He ceased teaching activities in 1900, and resumed them only in 19…

Ideas of 1914

(1,265 words)

Author(s): Verhey, Jeffrey
Ideas of 1914 The concept “Ideas of 1914” alludes to two different, yet related phenomena. The first meaning refers to all discursive reflections that were formulated and published by intellectuals in 1914, to all attempts to interpret the significance of the war. The second has to do with a particular category of “ideas” which the contemporaries subsumed under the notion “Ideas of 1914.” At the beginning of the war, the vast majority of German intellectuals were united in their almost unconditional support of the German war effort, which they attempted to …

Trenches

(1,284 words)

Author(s): Ulrich, Bernd
Trenches Part of the infantry field fortifications. Before the First World War trenches existed only as a provisional, temporary fortification used to defend areas of land. Trenches developed after the early hardening of the fronts into a socially dominant symbol of military technology in the war. Especially on the Western Front, trenches, and the way of fighting that derived from them, marked the character of the war from October/November 1914 to 1918. After the strategic defeat on the Marne, and the building of the first trenches, between mid-September and early N…

National Socialism

(2,472 words)

Author(s): Krumeich, Gerd
National Socialism The first industrialized mass war had considerable effects on political and social relationships, and on the mentality of people. Italian Fascism and German National Socialism owe their particular characteristics and their legitimization to the First World War, described by Eric J. Hobsbawm as a “machine for brutalizing the world.” By his own testimony, Hitler himself was a “son of the war.” In repeated references to the war in Mein Kampf and in numerous statements and documented conversations ( Hitler’s Table Talks), Hitler returned time and again to his p…

War Neurosis and Viennese Psychiatry in World War One

(93 words)

Author(s): Hofer, Hans-Georg
Hofer, Hans-Georg - War Neurosis and Viennese Psychiatry in World War One Keywords: Science, Technology, and Medicine | Intellectuals and the War | Home fronts | Austria-Hungary | Society ‛Uncovered Fields’ Jenny Macleod and Pierre Purseigle, Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, 2004 e-ISBN: 9789047402596 DOI: 10.1163/9789047402596.015 © 2004 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Hofer, Hans-Georg

Witkop, Philipp

(378 words)

Author(s): Jakob, Neil
Witkop, Philipp (April 17, 1880, Kleinenberg [now Büren] – December 18, 1942, Freiburg im Breisgau), German literary scholar. A professor of modern German literature, Witkop is the editor of the well known collection of war correspondence, Kriegsbriefe gefallener Studenten which has appeared in many different editions since its initial publication as Kriegsbriefe deutscher Studenten in 1916 (still published in English as German Students’ War Letters). After his promotion to Doctor of Political Science at Freiburg in 1903, then to Doctor of Philosophy at Heid…

War Poetry

(1,081 words)

Author(s): Hüppauf, Bernd
War Poetry Prophecies of a coming war had been a theme in German poetry since the beginning of the century. Expressionist poets conjured up the war in apocalyptic images that alternated between the fear of its violence and a yearning for its purifying and regenerative power. Feelings of restlessness and dissatisfaction over a long and “foul” peace gave rise to fantasies of war in the sense of a longed-for renewal, often expressed through theological formulations such as J…

Christmas Memorandum of 1915

(490 words)

Author(s): Afflerbach, Holger
Christmas Memorandum of 1915 Supposedly, a situation report Falkenhayn gave in a memorandum conveyed to the Kaiser some time around Christmas. The document in question comes down to us only through Falkenhayn’s own memoirs, Die Oberste Heeresleitung 1914–1916 in ihren wichtigsten Entschließungen (The Supreme Army Command 1914–1916 in Its Most Critical Decisions, 1920). For this reason its authenticity is doubtful. The Christmas Memorandum, concerning strategic plans for 1916, includes several fundamental declarations: Britain was the primary enemy. Britain…

Fuller, John Frederick Charles

(373 words)

Author(s): Bourne, J.M.
Fuller, John Frederick Charles (September 1, 1878, Chichester – February 10, 1966, Falmouth), British general. Fuller was full of ideas and energy, but he was always controversial and inclined to contradiction. The army bored him, causing him to take comfort in books – primarily on military history – and he also developed an intense preoccupation with Eastern mysticism and the occult. Only gradually did he begin to take his profession seriously. After a failed attempt, he finally gained admittance t…

German and French Regiments on the Western Front, 1914–1918

(18,055 words)

Author(s): Meteling, Wencke
Meteling, Wencke - German and French Regiments on the Western Front, 1914–1918 Keywords: First World War | French armies | German army | Western Front ISFWWS-Keywords: Western Front | French Army and its combattants | Germany | Military organisation of combat | Experience of combat | Published memoirs and biographies | Science, Technology, and Medicine | Society | Legacy Abstract: This chapter talks about how the fundamental changes in the German and French armies developed at regimental level during the First World War. It explores a central …

Zimmermann Telegram

(358 words)

Author(s): Pöhlmann, Markus
Zimmermann Telegram On January 16, 1917, after the German government’s decision to resume unrestricted submarine warfare (from February 1, 1917), Arthur Zimmermann, secretary of state at the German foreign ministry, sent a coded telegram to the German ambassador in Washington, Johann Heinrich Graf von Bernstorff, to be forwarded to the German ambassador in Mexico, Heinrich von Eckardt. The telegram instructed Eckardt to propose to the Mexican government an alliance against the United States. In re…

Fisher, John Arbuthnot

(493 words)

Author(s): Herwig, Holger H.
Fisher, John Arbuthnot (January 25, 1841, Ramboda [Ceylon] – July 10, 1920, London; from 1908 Baron Fisher of Kilberstone), British admiral. Fisher joined the Royal Navy in 1854, and, after a variety of seagoing posts, began a 14-year period of service on land in 1882. In 1899 he represented England at the First Hague Peace Conference. He was subsequently entrusted with the command of the Mediterranean Fleet. As Second Sea Lord (1901), Fisher undertook an intensive remodeling of the personnel struc…

Disability

(1,876 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang U.
Disability In 1934, the Medical Report of the German Army estimated the number of German soldiers who had died of wounds, accident, suicide, or disease between August 2, 1914, and July 31, 1918, at 1,202,042. This number, which rose considerably in the period between the cessation of military casualty reports in July 1918 and the end of the war, must be viewed alongside the 702,778 dismissed from the armed forces in the same period as being unfit for service (503,713 with medical support, 199,065 without…

Japan

(2,146 words)

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

Total War

(813 words)

Author(s): Förster, Stig
Total War This expression first appeared in the French press in 1917 as la guerre totale, meant to stir the French to their ultimate war effort. “Total war” and related expressions played a major role in international discussions concerning military policy in the 1920s and 1930s. The Italian General Giulio Douhet and German General Erich Ludendorff in particular promoted total war as the warfare of the future. In the Second World War the call for total war became a thoroughly universal phenomenon. Joseph Goebb…

Introduction: Approaching the Centenary 1914–2014

(6,877 words)

Author(s): Bürgschwentner, Joachim | Egger, Matthias | Barth-Scalmani, Gunda
Bürgschwentner, Joachim; Egger, Matthias; Barth-Scalmani, Gunda - Introduction: Approaching the Centenary 1914–2014 ISFWWS-Keywords: Legacy | General | Society | Science, Technology, and Medicine 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_002 © 2014 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Bürgschwentner, Joachim, Egger, Matthias and Barth-Scalmani, Gunda

‘It All Goes Wrong!’: German, French, and British Approaches to Mastering the Western Front

(13,762 words)

Author(s): Showalter, Dennis
Showalter, Dennis - ‘It All Goes Wrong!’: German, French, and British Approaches to Mastering the Western Front Keywords: Western Front | Military organisation of combat | Science, Technology, and Medicine | Experience of combat | French Army and its combattants | Britain | Germany | The French and British Empires | Politics | Canada ‛Warfare and Belligerence’ Pierre Purseigle, Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, 2005 e-ISBN: 9789047407362 DOI: 10.1163/9789047407362.003 © 2005 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Showalter, Dennis

Haig, Sir Douglas

(689 words)

Author(s): Bourne, J.M.
Haig, Sir Douglas (June 19, 1861, Edinburgh – January 29, 1928, London; from 1917 the First Earl Haig), British field marshal (commander in chief on the Western Front, 1915–1918). In the course of a brilliant prewar career, spent mainly in staff posts, Haig made himself a reputation as one of the most capable officers in the British Army. He was promoted to major general at the early age of 44. One of his most important posts was as head of the training department at the ministry of war between 190…

Jackson, Sir Henry Bradwardine

(357 words)

Author(s): Herwig, Holger H.
Jackson, Sir Henry Bradwardine (January 21, 1855, Barnsley – December 14, 1929, Hayling Island), British admiral. Jackson entered the Royal Navy in 1868, and in 1878/1879 took part in the Zulu War on board the HMS Active. From 1890 he took an interest in wireless technology, and six years later met his idol, the Italian physicist Guglielmo Marconi. Jackson served as naval attaché in Washington in 1897 and became Third Sea Lord in 1905. In this position he experienced the revolution in naval armaments that led to the development of…

Psychiatry

(620 words)

Author(s): Ulrich, Bernd
Psychiatry The science that is concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of cerebral illnesses and functional brain disorders that primarily manifest themselves through psychological symptoms. Psychiatry constitutes a major aspect of the medico-military study and analysis of the effects of the World War on human beings. In 1916, the German psychiatrist Robert Gaupp (University of Tübingen) summarized the scientific-empirical value of the war for psychiatry in the following manner: “For psychiatr…

Barbarians

(892 words)

Author(s): Horne, John
Barbarians In all warring societies, the topic of the Barbarians played a central role. In this war, it seemed to hinge upon nothing less than the survival, and the critical importance of humankind. Thus, there developed a script that depicted the war as a conflict between one’s own, idealized nation and a demonized enemy. “Civilization” was thereby commonly juxtaposed against “Barbarity.” This dualism was a powerful concept for two reasons. First, the nation-states of the 19th century were defined through a cultural construct that defined one’s own natio…

Combat Engineers

(819 words)

Author(s): Gross, Gerhard P.
Combat Engineers A branch of the army providing technical assistance to the armed forces in combat. European armies had been equipped with combat engineer units – often called “Pioneers” – since the mid-19th century. Their primary mission was the construction of entrenchments, roads, and bridges. Like the other branches of the army, the combat engineers of the German Reich were trained for mobile warfare. The goal was to create a modern, technological, battle support force to provide direct reinforcement in combat. Following the lessons of…

Dreadnought

(456 words)

Author(s): Herwig, Holger H.
Dreadnought British capital ship, and the name used for an entire type of modern battleships. By what has been termed the “Dreadnought leap” – superiority in firepower, protection, and speed – the Royal Navy rendered obsolete all large battleships built before that time. This qualitative advance in British naval technology was the consequence of military necessity. After the sea-battle of Tsushima on May 27/28, 1905, in which the Japanese fleet destroyed three Russian warships from a distance of …

Wilson, Woodrow

(808 words)

Author(s): Krumeich, Gerd
Wilson, Woodrow (August 1856, Staunton – February 3, 1924, Washington DC), President of the United States. Nothing in Wilson’s career prepared him for leading the United States into an international political conflict. Born the son of a Presbyterian minister in Virginia, Wilson internalized the Protestant Ethic early. He felt called to commit himself to politics. Wilson was a professor of Political Science at Princeton University when nominated to become the university’s president in 1902. This sm…

Aerial Warfare

(2,055 words)

Author(s): Schmidt, Wolfgang
Aerial Warfare A form of waging war in and from the air with airborne or ground-based weapons against war-critical targets and the air power of the enemy, and in direct or indirect support of land or naval forces. These forms and features of a war being fought in and from the air had been contemplated and partially put into practice in the years leading up to World War I, but the key concepts were laid down by the major powers based on their aerial operations between 1914 and 1918. In the highly-developed industrial nations, with th…

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…

Winning And Losing: France On The Marne And On The Meuse

(11,023 words)

Author(s): Doughty, Robert A.
Doughty, Robert A. - Winning And Losing: France On The Marne And On The Meuse Keywords: French Army and its combattants | Western Front | France | Germany | Science, Technology, and Medicine | French society during the war Abstract: The 1914 battle of the Marne and the 1940 battle of the Meuse are two of the most famous battles of the twentieth century. In 1914 France lost the battle of the frontiers and won the "miracle of the Marne." The victory on the Marne brought elation and celebration; the French had parrie…

From The Great War To the Syrian Armed Resistance Movement (1919–1921): the Military and the Mujahidin in Action

(8,168 words)

Author(s): Méouchy, Nadine
Méouchy, Nadine - From The Great War To the Syrian Armed Resistance Movement (1919–1921): the Military and the Mujahidin in Action Keywords: The Ottoman Empire and the Middle East | Legacy | Politics | The French and British Empires | Military organisation of combat | Society | Religion | Science, Technology, and Medicine | Masculinity The World in World Wars Heike Liebau, Katrin Bromber , Katharina Lange , Dyala Hamzah and Ravi Ahuja , (2010) Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, 2010 e-ISBN: 9789004188471 DOI:10.1163/ej.9789004185456.i-618.121 © 2010 Koninklijke B…
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