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Masuria

(1,257 words)

Author(s): Stone, Norman
Masuria Masuria comprised the southeastern portion of the German province of East Prussia, the part of the Reich that was most exposed to a threat from Russia. Two great battles took place here and immediately across the border in Russian Poland in 1914/15. The Russian Army occupied Masuria at the beginning of the war, and remained there until it was defeated at Tannenberg at the end of August 1914. After this battle the remnants of the Russian Second Army, which had entered Masuria from the south, withdrew across the border into Poland.…

South Africa

(1,166 words)

Author(s): Nasson, Bill
South Africa The Union of South Africa came into being on May 31, 1910, with the coming into force of the South Africa Act, a common constitution for the British Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Natal, and Transvaal. Ruled by white settlers, the Union was granted the status of a self-governing dominion within Britain’s African Empire. South Africa was thus constitutionally bound to adhere to British foreign policy, including the event of a war. Although the question of the country’s joining the Fir…

Colonial War

(1,529 words)

Author(s): Zimmerer, Jürgen
Colonial War The war against the German colonies of Africa, Asia, and the Pacific, led by the forces of Japan, Great Britain, France, Belgium, and their respective colonies. The spread of the war to the colonies was undertaken by Great Britain and France, primarily for strategic reasons. By occupying the German colonies, their respective ports would be closed to the German navy. Also, the German worldwide communications network, which depended upon the wireless stations erected there, would be dis…

Colored Troops

(587 words)

Author(s): Koller, Christian
Colored Troops German war propaganda described the nonwhite colonial troops employed by the Entente Powers in the First World War in general terms as “colored auxiliaries.” The very use of such units in Europe caused a considerable sensation. All in all, some 485,000 nonwhite soldiers from the French colonies and 160,000 from the British colonies fought in the ranks of the Entente Powers in the European theater. Important contingents came from Algeria (173,000), India (153,000), French West Africa…

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 …

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

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

Birdwood, Lord William Riddell

(457 words)

Author(s): Simkins, Peter
Birdwood, Lord William Riddell (September 13, 1865, Khadki, India – May 17, 1951, London; from 1919 First Baron Birdwood of Anzac and Totnes), British field marshal. After his training with the Scots Fusiliers, in 1885 Birdwood served as an officer with the 12th Lancers before being transferred to the 11th Bengal Lancers at the end of 1886. He served on Kitchener’s staff during the Boer War and established a personal connection that would be an advantage to him in his career. He went to India as Kit…

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…

The Army in India in Mesopotamia from 1916 to 1918: Tactics, Technology and Logistics Reconsidered

(11,755 words)

Author(s): Roy, Kaushik
Roy, Kaushik - The Army in India in Mesopotamia from 1916 to 1918: Tactics, Technology and Logistics Reconsidered Keywords: Great War | Indian Army | Mesopotamia | tactics ISFWWS-Keywords: India | Military organisation of combat | Middle East | Experience of combat | The Ottoman Empire and the Middle East | Medicine | Britain | Published memoirs and biographies | Soldiers and Combat Abstract: The Great War or the First World War was the worldís first ëTotal Warí. The main focus of academic military history since the last decade has been on war and…

Australia

(2,831 words)

Author(s): Grey, Jeffrey
Australia Australia entered the First World War as a federal dominion of the British Empire (Commonwealth of Australia), having achieved that status in 1901. Although the Australian colonies had sent troops to the Boer War between 1899 and 1902, there was no military tradition in the sense of a high-echelon military leadership and administration and a defense policy, and precious little national experience of war. Yet, by the end of the First World War, almost seven Australian cavalry and infantr…

Suez Canal

(398 words)

Author(s): Mönch, Winfried
Suez Canal A ship canal in Egypt, running between Port Said in the north and Suez in the south. The Suez Canal links the Mediterranean Sea with the Indian Ocean, via the Gulf of Suez and the Red Sea. The canal was the target of Ottoman/German offensives launched from the Sinai Peninsula in 1915 and 1916, and from the beginning of 1917 the starting point for British operations against Palestine. It was of great strategic importance to the British Empire, as it was the shortest route between Britain and its colonies in East Africa, India, and Southeast Asia. After the Ottoman Empire’s entry in…

Troop Strength

(1,120 words)

Author(s): Thoss, Bruno
Troop Strength The initial numbers of soldiers mobilized for immediate wartime service. The peacetime strength of the individual armies before 1914 provided the foundation for troop strength in the war. A cadre of commanders for reserve units and an attachment of reservists for these troop units were included in their mobilization plans. This would make it possible to raise units to wartime strength once the mobilization was begun. The troop strengths planned in the event of war, and the troop str…

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…

Ardour and Anxiety: Politics and Literature in the Indian Homefront

(10,932 words)

Author(s): Das, Santanu
Das, Santanu - Ardour and Anxiety: Politics and Literature in the Indian Homefront Keywords: India | Home fronts | Literature | Society | Religion | Women and War | The French and British Empires | Visual Arts | Masculinity 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-618.82 © 2010 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Das, Santanu

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 …

Introduction

(10,019 words)

Contributor(s): Liebau, Heike | Lange, Katharina | Bromber, Katrin | Ahuja, Ravi | Hamzah, Dyala
Liebau, Heike; Bromber, Katrin; Lange, Katharina; Hamzah, Dyala; Ahuja, Ravi - The World in World Wars Keywords: Politics | India | Africa | Culture | Middle East | East Africa | Western Front | Society | Experience of combat | The French and British Empires 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-618.5 © 2010 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands

Introduction: Warfare, Society and the Indian Army during the Two World Wars

(10,925 words)

Author(s): Roy, Kaushik
Roy, Kaushik - Introduction: Warfare, Society and the Indian Army during the Two World Wars Keywords: colonial India | Indian Army | World Wars ISFWWS-Keywords: India | Soldiers and Combat | Legacy | Military organisation of combat | Middle East | Western Front Abstract: The Indian Army was the largest government employer in colonial India. During the two World Wars, the Indian Army numbered more than a million. The Indian Army played an important role as an imperial reserve. This chapter introduces the essays in this book…

Armed Forces (Great Britain)

(4,680 words)

Author(s): Bourne, J.M.
Armed Forces (Great Britain) The First World War was a highly unpleasant experience for the British. The perception of this war in public opinion was once summed up by the historian A.J.P. Taylor in the disparaging words “brave, helpless soldiers; blundering, obstinate generals; nothing achieved.” This negative view was primarily the consequence of the losses of human life, as the number of casualties among the soldiers was without precedent in the history of Great Britain. The majority of these los…

Command in the Indian Expeditionary Force D: Mesopotamia, 1915–16

(16,682 words)

Author(s): Syk, Andrew
Syk, Andrew - Command in the Indian Expeditionary Force D: Mesopotamia, 1915–16 Keywords: Baghdad | First World War | Indian Army commanders | Indian Expeditionary Force | Mesopotamia ISFWWS-Keywords: India | Middle East | Military organisation of combat | The Ottoman Empire and the Middle East | The French and British Empires | Experience of combat Abstract: The growth of German influence within the Ottoman Empire, after the turn of the century and manifested in construction of the Baghdad Railway, threatened British influence and trade in…
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