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 …

Capelle, Eduard von

(329 words)

Author(s): Krüger, Friederike
Capelle, Eduard von (October 10, 1855, Celle – February 23, 1931, Wiesbaden), German admiral. Capelle joined the navy as an officer cadet at the age of 16. He subsequently served on several vessels before transferring to the military department of the Reichsmarineamt (Imperial Naval Office), where from 1897 he was engaged in drafting involved in drafting the various so-called Naval Laws and their amendments. Before long he advanced to become one of the closest collaborators of the secretary of stat…

Ireland

(1,952 words)

Author(s): Horne, John
Ireland The great theme of British internal politics in the summer of 1914 was the Irish Crisis. Since 1910, the Asquith Liberal government had been supported in the British Parliament by the votes of Irish nationalists who sought home rule for Ireland. The prospect that the Third Home Rule Bill would be passed in 1914 was welcomed by Catholic and nationalist circles in the south of Ireland. The Protestant majority in the north, however, refused to countenance the extension of Irish autonomy to t…

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…

The Impact of the East Africa Campaign, 1914–1918 On South Africa and Beyond

(6,645 words)

Author(s): Samson, Anne
Samson, Anne - The Impact of the East Africa Campaign, 1914–1918 On South Africa and Beyond Keywords: Africa | East Africa | The French and British Empires | Politics | Literature | Portugal | Legacy | India 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-618.118 © 2010 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Samson, Anne

Albrecht, Duke of Württemberg

(291 words)

Author(s): Kress, Wolfgang
Albrecht, Duke of Württemberg (December 23, 1865, Vienna – October 29, 1939, Altshausen Castle in the district of Ravensburg), Prussian and Wuerttemberg field marshal. Albrecht had joined the army in 1883; at the start of the war the then colonel general and Wuerttembergian heir to the throne was given command of the German Fourth Army, which he led through the Ardennes into France. In October the Fourth Army was transferred to Flanders where it participated in the fighting at the Ypres salient (Fir…

Princip, Gavrilo

(382 words)

Author(s): Höpken, Wolfgang
Princip, Gavrilo ( July 13, 1894, Grahovo, Bosnia – April 28, 1918, Theresienstadt), Bosnian Serbian student and assassin. As a high school student in Sarajevo, Princip first came in into contact with the Mlada Bosna (Young Bosnia) movement in 1911. The Young Bosnia movement fought against Austro-Hungarian rule in Bosnia. In 1912 Princip was expelled from school for taking part in anti-Austrian demonstrations, and was obliged to continue his schooling in Belgrade. The assassin Bogdan Žerajíc, who …

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 …

The Corrosiveness of Comparison: Reverberations of Indian Wartime Experiences in German Prison Camps (1915–1919)

(16,260 words)

Author(s): Ahuja, Ravi
Ahuja, Ravi - The Corrosiveness of Comparison: Reverberations of Indian Wartime Experiences in German Prison Camps (1915–1919) Keywords: India | Politics | Home fronts | Prisoners of War | Literature | The French and British Empires | 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-618.33 © 2010 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Ahuja, Ravi

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 …

War Comes to the Fields: Sacrifice, Localism and Ploughing Up the English Countryside in 1917

(7,308 words)

Author(s): Grieves, Keith
Grieves, Keith - War Comes to the Fields: Sacrifice, Localism and Ploughing Up the English Countryside in 1917 Keywords: English countryside | food production | localism | ploughing ISFWWS-Keywords: Britain | Home fronts | Economy | Politics | The French and British Empires | Women and War | Children and War Abstract: In 1917 the British home front faced a test of endurance and its most obvious expression throughout the year was the food question. The strategic importance of food production in 1917 was accompanied by the clamour o…

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…

Canada

(1,457 words)

Author(s): Kitchen, Martin
Canada Canada was ill prepared for war in August 1914. The affluent were enjoying the August 1–3 civic holiday at their country houses. The less affluent were suffering from the effects of the worst economic depression since the early 1890s. Only the energetic but unpredictable Minister of Militia and Defence Sam Hughes was enthused by the prospect of war. His only concern was that the British might miss the opportunity. Under his command, some 55,000 militiamen and 44,000 cadets were trained in 1913. These men would comprise the bulk of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF). At first re…

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’…

Ribot, Alexandre

(268 words)

Author(s): Mollenhauer, Daniel
Ribot, Alexandre (February 7, 1842, Saint-Omer – January 14, 1923, Paris), French politician (prime minister). A lawyer by profession, Ribot belonged to France’s innermost parliamentary leadership from the beginning of the 1880s as an expert on financial matters and foreign affairs, representing the liberal right wing of the Republican Party (1878–1909 deputy, 1909–1923 senator). As foreign minister between 1890 and 1892 he played a decisive role in bringing about the Franco-Russian alliance and c…

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 …

Wild von Hohenborn, Adolf

(296 words)

Author(s): Pöhlmann, Markus
Wild von Hohenborn, Adolf ( July 8, 1860, Kassel – October 25, 1925, Malsburg-Hohenborn [near Kassel]), German general and politician (minister of war). A schoolfellow and close friend of Kaiser Wilhelm II, von Hohenborn joined Infantry Regiment No. 83 in 1877, and became a lieutenant in 1880. His further career took him into the Guards and onto the General Staff. He was elevated to the nobility in 1900. He was chief of staff of the XIIIth Army Corps from 1906 to 1909, then colonel and commander of …

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…
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