Brill’s Digital Library of World War I

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Subject: History

Brill’s Digital Library of World War I is an online resource that contains over 700 encyclopedia entries plus 250 peer-reviewed articles of transnational and global historical perspectives on significant topics of World War I. This collection includes Brill’s Encyclopedia of the First World War, an unrivalled reference work that showcases the knowledge of experts from 15 countries and offers 26 additional essays on the major belligerents, wartime society and culture, diplomatic and military events, and the historiography of the Great War.

The 250 articles address not only the key issues from political, historical and cultural perspectives, but also engages with aspects of the war which have remained underexplored such as the neutrals, the role of women before, during and after the war, and memory. The chapters have been drawn from a select number of Brill publications that have been published in the last 15 years. Brill’s Digital Library of World War I is a unique digital library that will allow researchers to discover new perspectives and connections with the enhanced navigational tools provided.

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Galicia

(837 words)

Author(s): Jerabék, Rudolf
Galicia This province, for the most part ceded to Austria in 1772 upon the first partitioning of Poland, never lost its reputation as a slowly developing region. Accountable for this was its overwhelmingly agrarian character and its prevailing social and national structures. The gentry, almost exclusively Polish, owned vast tracts of land. They were somewhat close to the Polish inhabitants, while the Ukrainian inhabitants (called Ruthenians by the Austrians), who dominated considerable territory,…

Gallieni, Joseph-Simon

(365 words)

Author(s): Krumeich, Gerd
Gallieni, Joseph-Simon (April 24, 1849, Saint-Béat [Haute-Garonne] – May 27, 1916, Versailles), French general and politician. Gallieni already had a long and impressive military career behind him when the First World War began. After taking part in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–1871, he soon became probably France’s most celebrated colonial soldier. He was appointed commander in chief in French Sudan in 1886. In 1896 he was employed in the pacification of Madagascar. Back in France, Brigadier G…

Gallipoli

(1,150 words)

Author(s): Prior, Robin | Wilson, Trevor
Gallipoli A peninsula bordering on the Dardanelles. The military conflict at Gallipoli was a direct consequence of the failed naval operation in the Dardanelles. The British leadership wished to make up for this reverse by conducting a landing operation on the northern Turkish coast. This was remarkable inasmuch as it had always argued in front of the War Council that the great advantage of the Dardanelles operation lay in the fact that it could easily be called off in the event of a failure. It …

Gallwitz, Max von

(481 words)

Author(s): Afflerbach, Holger
Gallwitz, Max von (May 2, 1852, Breslau [modern Wrocław] – April 18, 1937, Naples), German general. The son of a sergeant, Gallwitz served as a volunteer in the Franco-Prussian War. He later made his career in the General Staff and in the Prussian War Ministry. He was appointed divisional commander in 1905, inspector of the field artillery in 1911, and raised to the nobility in 1913. Gallwitz was commander of the Guard Reserve Corps when the war broke out; one of his first tasks was the capture of the fortress of Namur. As early as August 1914, the corps was t…

Gas Mask

(546 words)

Author(s): Mülle, Rolf-Dieter
Gas Mask With the first use of chemical weapons in 1915, the newly developed gas mask became a vital piece of equipment for every soldier. Success or failure in the military employment of poison gas depended on whether the attacking troops were themselves protected against any possible poisoning and whether the defenders had sufficient warning, sufficient training, and were sufficiently equipped to don their masks in time. Each individual soldier required personal protective gear that offered the …

Gas Warfare

(1,909 words)

Author(s): Müller, Rolf-Dieter
Gas Warfare With the large-scale use of poisonous chlorine gas at Ypres on April 22, 1915, the Germans opened a new chapter in the history of modern warfare. It marked the birth of a new “weapon of mass destruction,” which has had a profound impact on war and peace in the twentieth century and beyond. The use of poison gas became one of the hallmark phenomena of the First World War because it changed the image of the soldier and his “chivalrous struggle” much more radically than any other contemporary weapons development. The question of guilt – which side violated the Hague Convention…

Gaulle, Charles de

(360 words)

Author(s): Waechter, Matthias
Gaulle, Charles de (November 22, 1890, Lille – November 9, 1970, Colombey-les-Deux-Églises, Département Haute-Marne), French officer and politician. As a young officer, De Gaulle was decorated among other things, for Verdun. He fell prisoner to the Germans, and undertook several spectacular escape attempts. The World War came to have a special meaning for him, especially for his awareness of politics and history, and for his ideological formation. For De Gaulle, the Union sacrée achieved during the war became his lifelong ideal for a successful, domestic political or…

Gaza

(662 words)

Author(s): Neulen, Hans Werner
Gaza A town in southwest Palestine. After the failure of their assaults against the Suez Canal during 1916, Turkish forces withdrew to the Gaza – Tel el Sheria – Beersheba line, which barred access to Palestine and Jerusalem. In the spring of 1917, British troops under General Sir Archibald Murray launched a surprise attack on the line from the Sinai. The British were quickly repulsed in this First Battle of Gaza of March 26–27. The renewed attack on April 17 (Second Battle of Gaza), confronted a…

Gender and the Great War: Tsuda Umeko’s Role in Institutionalizing Women’s Education in Japan

(9,556 words)

Author(s): Shinohara, Chika
Shinohara, Chika - Gender and the Great War: Tsuda Umeko’s Role in Institutionalizing Women’s Education in Japan ISFWWS-Keywords: Asia | Gender | Society | The United States of America | Economy | Legacy 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_017 © 2014 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Shinohara, Chika

General Government/Occupation Government

(1,029 words)

Author(s): Zilch, Reinhold
General Government/Occupation Government In World War I, a general government was a conquered territory under the supreme command of a governor general. This territory would have its own administrative unit attached, and was divided into the front, and the administrative zones. The governor general possessed the highest legislative, judicial, and executive power in the general government, and the troops stationed in the area were also placed under his command. He had the task of organizing public l…

Generalship and Mass Surrender during the Italian Defeat at Caporetto

(9,337 words)

Author(s): Wilcox, Vanda
Wilcox, Vanda - Generalship and Mass Surrender during the Italian Defeat at Caporetto Keywords: Caporetto | Italian Defeat | mass surrender ISFWWS-Keywords: Italian-Austrian Front | Italy | Military organisation of combat | Austria-Hungary | Germany | Experience of combat Abstract: The Italian defeat at Caporetto in October 1917 has been the subject of fierce historiographical debate. An examination of the conduct of the opening stage of the battle offers some answers as to the nature and causes of mass surrender at Ca…

Geneva Convention

(612 words)

Author(s): Dülffer, Jost
Geneva Convention The Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field of August 22, 1864, is one of the most important human rights agreements still in force. In place of the regulations once agreed upon as necessary for each new war, there was now a permanent treaty. Its inspiration can be traced back to the great number of wounded soldiers who died after battles owing to poor medical care during both the Crimean War of 1854–1856 and the Second Italian War…

Genevoix, Maurice

(432 words)

Author(s): Becker, Jean-Jacques
Genevoix, Maurice (November 29, 1890, Decize [Département Nièvre] – September 8, 1980, Alicante), French author. A member of the Académie Française from 1946 onward and its secretary from 1958 to 1974, Genevoix was one of the most renowned French authors of the 20th century. Throughout his life, he considered himself a “survivor” of the World War. When the war broke out in 1914, Genevoix was a student at the École normale supérieure, to which he had been admitted as the top school graduate of his class. In the following year, he obtained the Agrégati…

Geographical Index

(1,796 words)

Contributor(s): Amersfoort, Herman | Klinkert, Wim
Amersfoort, Herman; Klinkert, Wim - Geographical Index Keywords: Denmark | Netherland | Total War Abstract: This index section presents the list of geographical terms that occur in this book titled Small Powers in the Age of Total War, 1900-1940. In the period 1900-1940 the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Norway and Switzerland reacted in divergent ways to the same foreign military threats. The authors of the book argue that their internal politics and politico-military strategic culture are vital keys to understanding those differences. Small Powers in the Age of Tota…

George V, King of Great Britain and Ireland

(357 words)

Author(s): Reimann, Aribert
George V, King of Great Britain and Ireland (June 3, 1865, London – January 20, 1936, Sandringham), king of Great Britain and Ireland (from 1910; from 1921 “of Northern Ireland”; from 1911 also “Emperor of India”). Grandson of Queen Victoria; originally third in succession to the throne. He received military training in the Royal Navy before succeeding his father Edward VII on the throne in 1910. After the outbreak of the First World War, George won great popularity with several visits to the front (on …

Gerlach, Hellmut von

(485 words)

Author(s): Holl, Karl
Gerlach, Hellmut von (February 2, 1866, Mönchmotzelnitz [near Wohlau, Silesia] – August 1, 1935, Paris), German journalist, jurist, and politician. As a member of the German Reichstag from 1903 to 1907 (in informal affiliation with the Freisinnige Vereinigung [Free-minded Union]), and since the turn of the century a collaborator and later editor in chief of the Sunday newspaper Welt am Sonntag, Gerlach went from being a follower of Adolf Stöcker to an advocate of a social-liberal and democratically oriented power state – a transformation that took place …

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 …

German Asia Corps

(568 words)

Author(s): Neulen, Hans Werner
German Asia Corps German Expeditionary Corps established for the purpose of recovering Baghdad. – After the capture of Baghdad by the British on March 11, 1917, the German and Turkish High Commands decided to set up the Army Group F (Yilderim) in order to recapture the capital city of the ancient caliphate. The German core unit was to be the Asia Corps (Pasha II), raised in Neuhammer/Silesia (modern Świętoszów). Initially commanded by Colonel Werner von Frankenberg und Proschlitz, the well-equipped…

German East Africa

(848 words)

Author(s): Zimmerer, Jürgen
German East Africa Situated on the coast of the Indian Ocean, between Portuguese Mozambique to the south, British East Africa to the north, and the Belgian Congo to the west, German East Africa comprised the modern states of Tanzania, Rwanda, and Burundi. Declared a territory of the German Reich in 1885, with 7.5 million inhabitants the country was the most populous German colony, and at 995,000 km2 also the largest. Some 5,300 Europeans lived in the colony in 1914. The British government decided to capture German East Africa as early as August 1914. As with t…

German Fatherland Party(Deutsche Vaterlandspartei – DVLP)

(518 words)

Author(s): Hagenlücke, Heinz
German Fatherland Party( Deutsche Vaterlandspartei – DVLP) An annexationist collective movement of nationalist-conservative circles in Germany. The DVLP was officially founded on September 2, 1917, (“Sedan Day”) in Königsberg. Honorary president was Duke Johann Albrecht von Mecklenburg-Schwerin, first chairman Grand Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz. The party’s guiding and driving spirit was the former Generallandschaftsdirektor (president of a regional land-owners’ council) Wolfgang Kapp, who, in reaction to the Reichstag peace resolution of July 19, 1…

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…

German Propaganda and Prisoners-of-War during World War I

(10,248 words)

Author(s): Steuer, Kenneth
Steuer, Kenneth - German Propaganda and Prisoners-of-War during World War I ISFWWS-Keywords: Prisoners of War | Germany | International Relations during the War | Economy | Home fronts | Naval Warfare | Ireland | Religion | The Ottoman Empire and the Middle East World War I and Propaganda Troy R.E. Paddock , (2014) Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, 2014 e-ISBN: 9789004264571 DOI: 10.1163/9789004264571_009 © 2014 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Steuer, Kenneth

German Revolution

(1,770 words)

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

German Southwest Africa

(920 words)

Author(s): Zimmerer, Jürgen
German Southwest Africa German colony on the Atlantic coast in southern Africa between Angola to the north, South Africa to the south, and Botswana to the east; the modern Namibia. Placed under the protection of the German Reich by Bismarck in 1884, German Southwest Africa was the only German African colony suited for substantial European settlement. Accordingly, the influx of German emigrants was actively encouraged. The arbitrary attitude of the German administration towards the African population was marked by a high degree of cruelty. Thus in the war agai…

German War Graves Commission

(615 words)

Author(s): Brandt, Susanne
German War Graves Commission Founded in 1919 this commission, entitled the Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge (VDK), was the most important private organization of the interwar period concerned with the creation and maintenance of German war graves. After 1923 the Zentralnachweiseamt für Kriegerverluste und Kriegergräber (‘Central Office for War Victims and War Graves,’ or ZAK) in Berlin was officially charged by the Interior Ministry with the many tasks involved in the care of war graves, and of fallen soldiers’ next-of-kin, as wa…

German War Plans against Denmark 1916–1918

(6,394 words)

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

“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

Germany

(9,828 words)

Author(s): Mommsen, Wolfgang J.
Essays StatesSocial Aspects of the WarThe Course of the WarHistoriography States Germany The First World War was the apotheosis of the bourgeois era and the beginning of the end of European world hegemony. It ended with the disintegration of the conservative monarchies of the German Empire, Austria-Hungary, and of the Tsarist Empire. During the Bismarck era and the subsequent period of Wilhelminism, the German Empire had risen to the status of a hegemonic power on the European continent. The World War broke out because the Germans, or at least their leading classes, refused to accept that the ambitious world politics of the German Empire were only being afforded limited expansion opportunities by the other major powers. Primarily championed by the upward-striving bourgeois classes and intellectuals, the new nationalism urged the (not entirely) willing conservative elite that had assumed the legacy of Bismarck – but no longer felt certain about its own position within the semi-constitutional governmental system – to pursue an aggressive foreign policy consisting more of rhetoric than of deeds. Public awareness within the German Empire was characterized by a general lack of understanding for the given limitations of German power politics. The pompous “global poli…
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