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Committee of Inquiry of the German Parliament

(787 words)

Author(s): Pöhlmann, Markus
Committee of Inquiry of the German Parliament On August 21, 1919, the newly formed 15th Committee of the German Constitutional Assembly met as a fact-finding parliamentary committee to consider the central political and military issues stemming from the World War. The legal basis for the committee was Article 34 of the Weimar Constitution. Under Article 34, officeholders and officials were obligated to work together with a fact-finding commission. Furthermore, the committee would have the right to secure expert tes…

Mobilization

(664 words)

Author(s): Thoss, Bruno
Mobilization The conversion of a nation’s military forces to a state of war, callled specifically “military mobilization,” and the adaptation of its government and industry to the demands of the war, known as “military mobilization.” Military mobilization for the World War had been planned in detail during peacetime. The preplanned procedures were intended to outfit military units with personnel, uniforms and equipment so as to bring them swiftly up to war strength. When the war began, frontier p…

Romania

(1,553 words)

Author(s): Höpken, Wolfgang
Romania Having come into being in 1859 in the union of the two Danube principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia, Romania endeavored to remain aloof from the great diplomatic crises and military upheavals that gripped the Balkans from the end of the 19th century. The country accordingly did not participate in the Balkan League comprising Serbia, Greece, Bulgaria, and Montenegro, which declared war on the Ottoman Empire in 1912. However, when Bulgaria’s success in the Balkan War of 1912 appeared to …

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

Soixante-Quinze

(621 words)

Author(s): Storz, Dieter
Soixante-Quinze French for 75. Nickname given to the M 1897 75 mm cannon, introduced in 1897 as the standard gun used by the French field artillery. The weapon combined several technical innovations, the most significant of which was the long barrel-recoil system. The energy of the recoil was no longer transmitted directly to the gun’s carriage; instead, the barrel slid on a cradle, which checked its backward motion by means of an integral braking device. At the end of the recoil stage the barrel…

Wartime Enterprises

(818 words)

Author(s): Zilch, Reinhold
Wartime Enterprises The concept of wartime enterprises refers to mostly quasi-governmental societies or companies that operated in the warring countries and assumed regulatory functions in the context of the war economy. In Germany, wartime enterprises in the narrow sense refer particularly to those organizations created to control the procurement and distribution of raw materials; established as non-profit organizations and vested with governmental powers, they intervened in the economic cycle an…

Francs-Tireurs

(355 words)

Author(s): Kramer, Alan
Francs-Tireurs Abbreviation for the French “francais-tireurs,” meaning French snipers. First coined in 1792 during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–1871, francs-tireurs was used to indicate members of the volunteer French units, formed in October 1870, which officially constituted the foundation of the new Republican Army in the revolutionary tradition of the leveé en masse. From the point of view of the Germans, the francs-tireurs were illegal because they failed to wear complete uniforms. Accordingly, when captured they were normally executed, a…

Cambrai

(605 words)

Author(s): Werth, German
Cambrai City in the north of France on the canalized River Scheldt (L’Escaut). The “Tank Battle of Cambrai” in November of 1917 saw the first operational massed deployment of British tank forces – a veritable revolution on the battlefield. On November 20, after only a brief burst of fire and without the normal artillery preparation lasting several days, the newly-created British Tank Corps breached the German Hindenburg Line near Havrincourt. The 400 tracked vehicles were supported by six infantry and three …

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, …

Cinematic Representations of the Enemy in Belgian Silent Fiction Films

(6,787 words)

Author(s): Engelen, Leen
Engelen, Leen - Cinematic Representations of the Enemy in Belgian Silent Fiction Films Keywords: Fictional | Belgium | Germany | Culture | Society | Legacy | Politics | Violence against civilians ‛Warfare and Belligerence’ Pierre Purseigle, Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, 2005 e-ISBN: 9789047407362 DOI: 10.1163/9789047407362.015 © 2005 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Engelen, Leen

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…

Intelligence Services

(574 words)

Author(s): Bavendamm, Gundula
Intelligence Services Also called the secret service, these government organizations were employed to collect and interpret intelligence information of military, political, economic, and scientific importance about other states. Intelligence services were also assigned sabotage missions and diversion operations, as well as the safeguarding of their own state secrets against enemy espionage. During the age of nationalism between 1860 and 1914, most states established intelligence services. The Worl…

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…

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 …

Wartime Coalitions

(2,117 words)

Author(s): Dülffer, Jost
Wartime Coalitions Before the World War, the European system of states had become strongly polarized. On the one side stood the Central Powers, namely the Dual Alliance of German Reich and Austria-Hungary that had been formed in 1879 as well as the (independently concluded) Triple Alliance of German Reich, Austria-Hungary, and Italy; however, the latter country declared itself neutral at the beginning of the war. On the other side stood the Entente Powers, among which France and Russia had been bound by a military alliance since 1893/1894, while France and Great Bri…

Volunteers

(916 words)

Author(s): Ziemann, Benjamin
Volunteers In the strict sense volunteers were men who enlisted in the wake of mobilization without having been liable for military duty or without having been previously called up as draftees. In Germany these could include men who were either too young or too old to be drafted (under 18 or over 45), but also those men who were of an age to be drafted but had not yet received a draft notice. Volunteers were also all those who voluntarily enlisted in the further course of the war. After the beginning of the war, reports of an enormously high number of volunteers (between one and tw…

Soldiers’ Newspapers

(1,076 words)

Author(s): Nelson, Robert L.
Soldiers’ Newspapers Collective term for publications that were produced in the immediate vicinity of the front (front and trench newspapers) or in the rear areas by the official military authorities (army and corps newspapers). The editorial staffs of the soldiers’ newspapers consisted mostly of officers, but also of lower-ranking soldiers. Many soldiers’ newspapers printed official war bulletins and “eyewitness accounts” of recent events that had been written down by the war participants themsel…

Nicolai, Walter

(321 words)

Author(s): Pöhlmann, Markus
Nicolai, Walter (August 1, 1873, Braunschweig [Brunswick] – May 4, 1947, Moscow), German officer and leader of the Military Intelligence Service of the German Supreme Army Command. Nicolai joined the 2nd Hessian Infantry Regiment, No. 82 in 1893; in 1907, he was promoted to captain. As a major in 1912, he was entrusted with the directorship of Department IIIb, the Military Intelligence Bureau of the General Staff. In early August 1914, he was named chief of the section. The work of Department IIIb…

Naumann, Friedrich

(545 words)

Author(s): Theiner, Peter
Naumann, Friedrich (March 25, 1860, Störmthal [Leipzig] – August 24, 1919, Travemünde), German politician and publicist. After completing his theological studies, Naumann had many experiences at the Rauh Haus, a Protestant aid foundation for children and youth that influenced him regarding the social problems of his heavily industrialized era. He became a spokesman for the young Christian socialists at the Evangelical Social Congress of 1890, speaking out for a renewal of the institution of German Protestantism. Under the …

Postcards

(297 words)

Author(s): Brandt, Susanne
Postcards Nearly 28 billion items were conveyed to and from the front by the German Army Postal Service during the First World War. Postcards above all were a favorite medium used by soldiers to maintain contact with the people at home. Since 1873 the postage for postcards had been half that for letters, and, since that date too, postcards produced by private companies had been permitted alongside official versions. They enabled a brief and moreover rapid greeting, as, in many major cities, post was delivered up to eleven times per working day, or conveyed by pneumatic means. Furthermore, p…
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