Brill’s Digital Library of World War I

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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 …

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…

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…

Introduction: Untold War

(8,972 words)

Author(s): Jones, Heather | O’Brien, Jennifer | Schmidt-Supprian, Christoph
Jones, Heather; O’Brien, Jennifer; Schmidt-Supprian, Christoph -Introduction: Untold War Keywords: civic identity | Germany | wars ISFWWS-Keywords: General | Origins and Pre-war | Legacy | Society | Culture | Violence against civilians | Politics | Peacemaking and Continued Conflict Abstract: This introductory chapter of the book focuses on a series of 'wars' each with their own very different relationship to the traditional, historical paradigm of the Western Front fulcrum. The book explores combat in terms of how it …

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 | Rhineland Horror campaign ISFWWS-Keywords: Germany | French Army and its combattants | Africa | Violence against civilians | Gender | Politics | Culture | The United States of America Abstract: Beginning in April 1920, various German citizens' organisations, encouraged by their government, launched a campaign against France's stationing of colonial African soldiers in its zone of the German Rhineland. The goal of the drive - known as…

Talat Pasha, Mehmed (Talât Pasha or Mehmed Talat)

(292 words)

Author(s): Zürcher, Erik Jan
Talat Pasha, Mehmed (Talât Pasha or Mehmed Talat) (September 1, 1874, Adrianople [modern Edirne] – March 15, 1921, Berlin [assassinated]), Ottoman statesman. Born into a poor family, Talat Pasha joined the underground movement of the Young Turks in 1890. He was one of the founding members of the Ottoman Freedom Society, which later joined forces with the Committee of Union and Progress in order to unleash the Constitutional Revolution in July 1908. After the revolution, Talat Pasha became the committee’…

New Light on the East African Theater of the Great War: A Review Essay of English-Language Sources

(7,917 words)

Author(s): Vandervort, Bruce
Vandervort, Bruce - New Light on the East African Theater of the Great War: A Review Essay of English-Language Sources Keywords: East Africa | Military organisation of combat | Published memoirs and biographies | Literature | Africa | The French and British Empires | Germany | Legacy | India | Portugal | Belgium Abstract: The marine officers interest in the exploits of Colonel Lettow-Vorbeck reflects an earlier period, now superseded, at least as far as academic military history is concerned, in the historiography of the East Africa…

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 …

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…

Propaganda and Mobilizations in Greece during the First World War

(8,578 words)

Author(s): Lemonidou, Elli
Lemonidou, Elli - Propaganda and Mobilizations in Greece during the First World War ISFWWS-Keywords: Greece | Politics | Balkans | International Relations during the War | Bulgaria | Germany | Pre-war period | Legacy | Peacemaking and Continued Conflict World War I and Propaganda Troy R.E. Paddock , (2014) Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, 2014 e-ISBN: 9789004264571 DOI: 10.1163/9789004264571_014 © 2014 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Lemonidou, Elli

The Netherlands in World War One

(6,873 words)

Author(s): Wolf, Susanne
Wolf, Susanne - The Netherlands in World War One Keywords: belligerent powers | Germany | Great Britain | Netherlands | sports | World War One Abstract: Despite the declaration of neutrality issued at the start of the war there was never any serious prospect of the Netherlands remaining unaffected by the outbreak of World War One. The Dutch cabinet succeeded in maintaining the neutral position they had adopted and remained outside of the actual fighting then the geographical position of the Netherlan…

The Disappearing Surplus: The Spinster in the Post-War Debate in Weimar Germany, 1918–1920

(9,212 words)

Author(s): Sharp, Ingrid
Sharp, Ingrid - The Disappearing Surplus: The Spinster in the Post-War Debate in Weimar Germany, 1918–1920 Keywords: Hausfrau | post-war debate | surplus women | Weimar Germany ISFWWS-Keywords: Germany | Gender | Britain | Politics | Women and War | Society | Pre-war period | Culture | Literature | Masculinity | Economy Abstract: The concept of "surplus women" or Frauenuberschuss was absolutely central to the pre-war women's movement in Germany. This chapter examines the ways in which the single woman was represented in public discourse and in…

Film (Post-1918)

(1,028 words)

Author(s): Rother, Rainer
Film (Post-1918) Compared with the largely propagandistic style of films before 1918, postwar films reflected the immense destruction and cost of the war by making a different choice of material and narrative method. With the exception of a boom in explicitly anti-German films in the United States, which lasted a considerable time beyond the Armistice (the most significant of these is probably The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Rex Ingram, 1921), film transferred its main attention to experiences of loss, sorrow, and death. J’accuse (Abel Gance, France, 1919), with its pacifi…
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