Brill’s Digital Library of World War I

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Triple Alliance (Dreibund)

(421 words)

Author(s): Afflerbach, Holger
Triple Alliance ( Dreibund) Alliance of May 20, 1882, between the German Reich, Italy, and Austria-Hungary…

Denikin, Anton Ivanovich

(351 words)

Author(s): Brand, Bettina
Denikin, Anton Ivanovich (December 16, 1872, near Warsaw – August 8, 1947, Ann Arbor), Russian general. Denikin trained as an officer from 1895 at the General Staff Academy in St. Petersburg, and was appointed to the general staff in 1902. After the outbreak of the World War, he served on the southwest front. For two years he was commander of the 4th Brigade of Fusiliers (called the “Iron Brigade,” from 1915 on a division). From September 1916 he was commanding general of the VIIIth Army Corps. The…

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 …

Samsonov, Aleksandr Vassilievich

(254 words)

Author(s): Dahlmann, Dittmar
Samsonov, Aleksandr Vassilievich (November 14, 1859 – August 30, 1914, near Neidenburg), Russian general. Samsonov was a graduate of the Nikolaev Cavalry School (1877) and the General Staff Academy (1884). He became commander of a brigade in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904/1905, and later commander…

Russian Revolution

(1,052 words)

Author(s): Kochanek, Hildegard
Russian Revolution Neither the Russian army, nor their economy, nor their political system was equal to the demands of the World War, contributing to the end of the Russian Tsarist Empire. Another major reason was the rapid loss of trust, at all levels of society, which the regime had endured during the war years. As the situation at the military front continued to worsen, an even deeper conflict developed between Tsar Nicholas II and the State Duma. The subsistence crisis engendered by the wartim…

Gorlice-Tarnów, Battle of

(1,005 words)

Author(s): Stone, Norman
Gorlice-Tarnów, Battle of Two towns in Galicia (now situated in modern Poland). Even though the German Supreme Army Command was determined to decide the war in the West, developments in early 1915 brought the focus of attention to the East. The weaker the Austro-Hungarian army became, the more the German allies felt compelled to provide direct support. The situation deteriorated when Italy, hoping for territorial gains, threatened the Dual Monarchy with war. Now the German Eleventh Army (August von…

South Tyrol

(754 words)

Author(s): Afflerbach, Holger
South Tyrol The part of the Tyrol situated south of the Brenner. Between August 1914 and May 1915, South Tyrol was disputed territory between the Italians and Italy’s Triple Alliance partners Austria-Hungary and the German Reich. At issue initially was Trentino (according to the census of 1910: 393,111 inhabitants, of whom 366,844 were speakers of Italian and Ladin, 13,893 German-speakers, 2,666 speakers of other languages, and 9,708 foreigners, the greater …

Dukhonin, Nicolay Nicolayevich

(216 words)

Author(s): Dahlmann, Dittmar
Dukhonin, Nicolay Nicolayevich (December 13, 1876, Smolensk Governorate – December 3, 1917, Mogilev), Russian general. Dukhonin came from a noble family in the Smolensk Governorate. He graduated from the Alexander Military School in 1896 and from the Academy of the General Staff in 1902. At the outset of the World War he initially commanded a regiment, and in June of 1916 was appointed quartermaster general of the Southwestern F…

Ivanov, Nikolai Iudovich

(204 words)

Author(s): Dahlmann, Dittmar
Ivanov, Nikolai Iudovich (July 22, 1851–February 27, 1919, Kiev [murdered]), Russian general. Ivanov graduated from the Mikhailovksy Artillery School in 1869. In the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–1905 he commanded the IIIrd Siberian Corps; between 1906 and 1908 he served as governor-general of the Kronstadt military fortress. In that capacity he put down the 1906 rebellion by sailors of the Kronstadt naval base. Promoted to adjutant general in 1907 and general of the artillery in 1908, Ivanov headed t…

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 …

Prisoners of War

(3,043 words)

Author(s): Hinz, Uta
Prisoners of War Persons with the status of combatants who fell into enemy hands during the war. Only rough estimates of the total number of prisoners of war can be given for the World War. It is assumed that some 6.6 to 8 million soldiers were taken captive, which represents at least 10% of the approximately 60 million soldiers who were mobilized during the war. By late 1918, according to statistics from the interwar period, 328,000 soldiers had been captured by the British, 350,000 by the French, and 916,000 b…

Kemal Pasha, Mustafa

(630 words)

Author(s): Hebestreit, Oliver
Kemal Pasha, Mustafa (March 12, 1881, Salonica [Thessalonika] – November 10, 1938, Istanbul; from 1934 Atatürk), Ottoman general and Turkish politician (state president). After completing training at the Military Academy ( Harbiye Harp Okulu) in 1902, Kemal Pasha was active as a young officer in the resistance against the regime of Sultan Abdul Hamid II. In 1905 he founded a secret military society that later amalgamated with the self-styled patriotic movement of the Young Turks under Enver Pasha. In 1908/1909, he took part in …

Occupation (West)

(1,527 words)

Author(s): Kramer, Alan
Occupation (West) Occupation is the temporary authority over foreign territory during war. According to international law, a territory is considered occupied when “it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army” ( Hague Convention Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, Article 42). Not to be viewed as occupation are the systems of government in Ireland, Alsace-Lorraine, the non-Russian part of the Tsarist Empire etc., even though their administrations developed techniques of asser…

Reparations

(2,115 words)

Author(s): Geyer, Martin H.
Reparations Since the First World War the normal term for war compensation, by which a state is obliged to remedy damage illicitly caused by it on the sovereign territory of an enemy. In contrast to the traditional practice whereby financial obligations were imposed by the victors in a war in the form of tribute, the concept of reparations introduced the new idea that a state must pay for the damage it has caused another state by an illegal act. The first use in a treaty of the concept réparation des dommages (compensation for damages), drawn from French civil law, was in the cease-f…

Caucasian Front

(1,438 words)

Author(s): Cem Oguz, C.
Caucasian Front Between 1914 and 1918 the Ottoman Empire fought on more than half a dozen fronts that were spread out over a vast geographical area, but the Caucasian Front was given high priority in the plans of the Minister of War Enver Pasha – as indicated by the fact that he increased the number of troops in the region at the beginning of the war and placed himself in command of the Ottoman Third Army in eastern Anatolia. Contrary to the original plan, the Third Army received reinforcements fr…

Naval Arms Race

(1,316 words)

Author(s): Krüger, Friederike
Naval Arms Race When he ascended the throne in 1888, Kaiser Wilhelm II was determined to practice Weltpolitik. His instrument of choice to achieve this aim would be a strong battle fleet. With the appointment of Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz as secretary of state for the German Imperial Naval Office in 1897, the Kaiser found an officer who was willing to implement the Kaiser’s ambitious plans, and to manipulate public opinion to that purpose. Already in the years prior to his appo…

Hutier, Oskar von

(357 words)

Author(s): Pöhlmann, Markus
Hutier, Oskar von (August 27, 1857, Erfurt – December 5, 1934, Berlin), German general. Hutier was educated in a cadet school. He joined the Infantry Regiment No. 88 as a lieutenant in 1875. After a successful career in headquarters and field units, Hutier was appointed major-general in 1910 and chief quartermaster of the Great General Staff one year later. In 1912, having risen to the rank of lieutenant-general he assumed command of the 1st Guards Division, with which he went to war…

Liman von Sanders, Otto Karl Viktor

(347 words)

Author(s): Gerhards, Thomas
Liman von Sanders, Otto Karl Viktor (February 17, 1855, Schwessin bei Stolp, Pomerania – August 22, 1929, Munich), German general and Ottoman marshal. Liman von Sanders, the son of a merchant and titled landowner, embarked on a military career early in life. He reached prominence when, on December 8, 1913, he was …
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