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Dardanelles

(1,004 words)

Author(s): Prior, Robin | Wilson, Trevor
Dardanelles Straits between the Aegean Sea and the Sea of Marmara. After the outbreak of war in Europe, the Young Turk government of the Ottoman Empire had envisioned joining the war on the side of the Central Powers. The arrival of two German warships, the Goeben and the Breslau, at Constantinople on August 10, 1914, reinforced this decision. For Turkey joining the war meant territorial gains at Russia’s expense; in the Caucasus, at British expense; as well as in Egypt. On October 27, the Turkish fleet put to sea against the Russian Black Sea base, thereby triggering war with the Entente. Mean…

Macedonia

(926 words)

Author(s): Loulos, Konstantin
Macedonia With the outbreak of the First World War, the multinational region of Macedonia became a battlefield of the Great Powers. Germany’s strategic goal of advancing eastwards and maintaining an open route to Turkey led to the establishment of the Balkan Front. For the various peoples living in the Balkans, this simultaneously represented a continuation of the struggle for Macedonia. This struggle resulted from a number of factors: the emergence of nationalisms in the 19th century, the founding of national states, and the all too be…

Sykes-Picot Agreement

(371 words)

Author(s): Zürcher, Erik Jan
Sykes-Picot Agreement An agreement between Great Britain and France concerning the postwar partitioning of the Arabian provinces of the Ottoman Empire. In 1915 both allies agreed to formulate their war aims in the Middle East. The intention was to seek compensation for the territorial gains in the region that had been conceded to the Russian allies in the Treaty of Constantinople. The British government negotiated with the Sherif of Mecca concerning the creation of an Arab kingdom, trying to find …

India

(1,806 words)

Author(s): Cornelissen, Christoph
India In August 1914, the Indian subcontinent was the most important pillar of the British Empire. After the start of the First World War India’s importance to the war effort was apparent in the considerable numbers of Indian soldiers employed on the Allied fronts in Europe, Africa, and Asia. By the end of 1918, some 1.5 million Indians had been mobilized for the war. Of these, almost 900,000 belonged to fighting units. More than 60,000 Indian soldiers died in the war and about the same number suffered wounds. It was originally envisaged that only restricted use should be made of I…

Kitchener, Horatio Herbert

(622 words)

Author(s): Simkins, Peter
Kitchener, Horatio Herbert (June 24, 1850, Crotter House near Listowel [County Kerry, Ireland] – June 5, 1916, off the Orkney Islands; from 1914 the First Earl Kitchener of Khartoum and of Broome), British field marshal (minister of war). Kitchener’s early military career took him predominantly to the Middle East, where in 1892 he became Sirdar (commander in chief ) of the Egyptian Army. In this function he conquered the Sudan, and in 1898 led the successful military expedition to Khartoum (Battle of Omdurman). This brought Kitchener the status of …

Red Cross

(1,371 words)

Author(s): Mönch, Winfried
Red Cross The red cross on a white ground signifies neutrality in war, and thus protection. The Ottoman Empire introduced the alternative symbol of the red crescent on a white ground during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877/1878, and also used it during the First World War. The red crescent continues to be used by Muslim states in place of the red cross, in order to avoid using the Christian symbol. The associations that had assumed the voluntary, and most importantly unpaid, task of caring for the wounded in war, as well as preparing for that activity in peacetime, w…

German Asia Corps

(568 words)

Author(s): Neulen, Hans Werner
German Asia Corps German Expeditionary Corps established for the purpose of recovering Baghdad. – After the capture of Baghdad by the British on March 11, 1917, the German and Turkish High Commands decided to set up the Army Group F (Yilderim) in order to recapture the capital city of the ancient caliphate. The German core unit was to be the Asia Corps (Pasha II), raised in Neuhammer/Silesia (modern Świętoszów). Initially commanded by Colonel Werner von Frankenberg und Proschlitz, the well-equipped…

Nationalities Question

(1,312 words)

Author(s): Hecker, Hans
Nationalities Question The nationalities question in Eastern and Southeastern Europe developed in the course of the 19th century from the greatly mixed population that inhabited Russia, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, and Prussia in the German Reich, plus the newly independent states of Romania, Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, Bulgaria, and Greece – a great variety of nationalities, with their different languages, religions, cultures, and interests. Although the murder of the Austro-Hungarian he…

Armistice

(996 words)

Author(s): Schwabe, Klaus
Armistice This term refers to the cessation of hostilities between the Entente Powers and the Central Powers in 1918. In fact, the Armistice agreements concluded by the victors with Bulgaria (on September 30 at Salonica, now Thessalonika), with Turkey (on October 31 at the port of Moudros on the island of Lemnos), with the Habsburg Empire (on November 3 in the Villa Giusti near Padua), and with the German Reich (on November 11 at Compiègne-Rethondes) made it impossible for the Central Powers to resume hostilities. In reality, therefore, armistice amounted to capitulation. It was Genera…

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 …

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…

Command, Strategy and the Battle for Palestine, 1917

(7,696 words)

Author(s): Hughes, Matthew
Hughes, Matthew - Command, Strategy and the Battle for Palestine, 1917 Keywords: British command | Chief of the Imperial General Staff | David Lloyd George | grand strategy | Palestine campaign ISFWWS-Keywords: Middle East | Britain | Politics | The Ottoman Empire and the Middle East Abstract: This chapter examines the interchange between and within British command and grand strategy during the Palestine campaign of 1917, a significant military operation that drew off hundreds of thousands of Entente and Central alliance sold…

Proud Fighters, Blind Men: World War Experiences of Combatants from the Arab East

(11,533 words)

Author(s): Lange, Katharina
Lange, Katharina - Proud Fighters, Blind Men: World War Experiences of Combatants from the Arab East Keywords: Middle East | Experience of combat | Legacy | The Ottoman Empire and the Middle East | Religion | Military organisation of combat | The French and British Empires | Masculinity | Published memoirs and biographies Translocality Ulrike Freitag and Achim Von Oppen , (2010) Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, 2010 e-ISBN: 9789004186057 DOI:10.1163/ej.9789004181168.i-452.24 © 2010 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Lange, Katharina

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 …

Carol I, King of Romania

(296 words)

Author(s): Höpken, Wolfgang
Carol I, King of Romania (April 20, 1839, Sigmaringen – October 10, 1914, Peleş Castle near Sinaia), born Karl Eitel Friedrich Zephyrin of Hohenzollern, Prince of Romania (1866–1881), from 1881 King of Romania. After Alexandru Cuza, the first ruler of the Romanian state created from the united principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia, was deposed in April 1866, the Romanian Parliament elected Carol, a member of the House of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, as the new head of state. Despite the initial skepticism of Austria in particul…

Goltz, Baron Colmar von der

(454 words)

Author(s): Pöhlmann, Markus
Goltz, Baron Colmar von der (August 12, 1843, Bielkenfeld near Labiau [modern Polessk in the Kaliningrad Oblast] – April 19, 1916, Baghdad), Prussian and Ottoman field marshal. After graduating from cadet school, Goltz joined the Fifth East Prussian Infantry Regiment as a lieutenant in 1861. Following active service in the wars of 1866 and 1870–1871, his subsequent career was characterized by extended teaching assignments both at the War School in Potsdam and at the Prussian Military Academy in Berli…

Making Friends and Foes: Occupiers and Occupied in First World War Romania, 1916–1918

(14,194 words)

Author(s): Mayerhofer, Lisa
Mayerhofer, Lisa - Making Friends and Foes: Occupiers and Occupied in First World War Romania, 1916–1918 Keywords: Austria-Hungary | civilian population | Germany | Military Administration | occupier | Romania | war experience ISFWWS-Keywords: Romania | Home fronts | Germany | Austria-Hungary | Politics | Russia | Economy | Prisoners of War | Bulgaria | The Ottoman Empire and the Middle East Abstract: The phenomenon of 'occupation' was thus an integral part of the war experience for numerous contemporaries. This chapter outlines how several Roman…

Central Powers

(325 words)

Author(s): Afflerbach, Holger
Central Powers Title indicating the German-Austro-Hungarian alliance that expanded to include the Ottoman Empire in 1914 and Bulgaria in 1915. Before the outbreak of war in 1914, this title was seldom used. Reference was made instead to the Triple Alliance among Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy. To be sure, Bismarck’s Dual Alliance of 1879 between Germany and Austria-Hungary still existed alongside the Triple Alliance of 1882. Furthermore, it was clear to contemporaries that the earlier Dual Alliance was closer …

Gallipoli

(1,150 words)

Author(s): Prior, Robin | Wilson, Trevor
Gallipoli A peninsula bordering on the Dardanelles. The military conflict at Gallipoli was a direct consequence of the failed naval operation in the Dardanelles. The British leadership wished to make up for this reverse by conducting a landing operation on the northern Turkish coast. This was remarkable inasmuch as it had always argued in front of the War Council that the great advantage of the Dardanelles operation lay in the fact that it could easily be called off in the event of a failure. It …

Australian Prisoners of the Turks: Negotiating Culture Clash in Captivity

(8,635 words)

Author(s): Ariotti, Kate
Ariotti, Kate - Australian Prisoners of the Turks: Negotiating Culture Clash in Captivity ISFWWS-Keywords: Australia | Prisoners of War | The Ottoman Empire and the Middle East | Published memoirs and biographies | Masculinity | Medicine Other Fronts, Other Wars? Joachim Bürgschwentner, Matthias Egger and Gunda Barth-Scalmani , (2014) Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, 2014 e-ISBN: 9789004279513 DOI: 10.1163/9789004279513_008 © 2014 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Ariotti, Kate

The First World War According to the Memories of ‘Commoners’ in the Bilād al-Shām

(5,116 words)

Author(s): Hanna, Abdallah
Hanna, Abdallah - The First World War According to the Memories of ‘Commoners’ in the Bilād al-Shām Keywords: The Ottoman Empire and the Middle East | Home fronts | Economy | Religion | Pre-war period | Legacy | Violence against civilians | Women and War | Published memoirs and biographies 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-618.71 © 2010 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Hanna, Abdallah

Strange Fronts, Strange Wars: Germany’s Battle for “Islam” in the Middle East during the First World War, and British Reactions

(12,391 words)

Author(s): Lüdke, Tilman
Lüdke, Tilman - Strange Fronts, Strange Wars: Germany’s Battle for “Islam” in the Middle East during the First World War, and British Reactions ISFWWS-Keywords: Religion | Politics | Middle East | The Ottoman Empire and the Middle East | Germany | Britain Other Fronts, Other Wars? Joachim Bürgschwentner, Matthias Egger and Gunda Barth-Scalmani , (2014) Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, 2014 e-ISBN: 9789004279513 DOI: 10.1163/9789004279513_019 © 2014 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Lüdke, Tilman

Ferdinand I, Tsar of Bulgaria

(451 words)

Author(s): Höpken, Wolfgang
Ferdinand I, Tsar of Bulgaria (February 26, 1861, Vienna – September 10, 1948, Coburg) Ferdinand, from the house of Sachsen-Coburg-Koháry, was elected Prince of Bulgaria against the bitter resistance of Russia, and to the discontent of Bismarck, in 1887. He became the tsar in the context of a national and constitutional crisis triggered by the abdication of Prince Alexander of Battenberg that was compelled by Russia in 1886. However, his influence, both internally and externally, was initially slight…

Women Activists in Albania following Independence and World War I

(7,370 words)

Author(s): Musaj, Fatmira | Nicholson, Beryl
Musaj, Fatmira; Nicholson, Beryl - Women Activists in Albania following Independence and World War I Keywords: Albania | women's organisations | World War I ISFWWS-Keywords: The Balkans and Eastern Europe | Women and War | Society | Politics | Pre-war period | The Ottoman Empire and the Middle East | Greece | General | The United States of America Abstract: Albania declared its independence on 28 November 1912, and a provisional government was formed. Independence was seen by the Qiriazi sisters as creating the opportunity for educated women to con…

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

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…

Palestine Front

(637 words)

Author(s): Neulen, Hans Werner
Palestine Front After the failure of the two Turkish/German expeditions against the Suez Canal (in January/February 1915 with 18,000 men and 5,000 camels, and in July/August 1916 with 16,000 men, including Austro-Hungarian contingents, and, again, 5,000 camels), by the beginning of 1917 the Ottoman Empire had been forced to evacuate the Sinai Peninsula. The Turks chose the Gaza – Tel el Sheria – Beersheba line, a front of 50 km, for their defense of Palestine. The mixed units on the ground were co…

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…

Headquarters

(1,417 words)

Author(s): Pöhlmann, Markus
Headquarters Command centers for the supreme military, sometimes also political, leadership set up in the field for the duration of the war. Composition, location, and function of such a headquarters depended on the constitutional position of the supreme military command of each belligerent and the demands of modern mass and coalition warfare. – By far the most comprehensive headquarters at the outbreak of the war was the German “Great Headquarters.” Aside from the German Emperor as the nominal c…

Japan and the Wider World in the Decade of the Great War: Introduction

(7,943 words)

Contributor(s): Minohara, Tosh | Hon, Tze-ki | Dawley, Evan
Minohara, Tosh; Hon, Tze-ki; Dawley, Evan - Japan and the Wider World in the Decade of the Great War: Introduction ISFWWS-Keywords: Asia | Naval Warfare | Politics | Economy | The French and British Empires | International Relations during the War | Pre-war period | The United States of America | Legacy | Russia | Gender | Society | Scandinavia | Science, Technology, and Medicine | Australia | New Zealand | The Ottoman Empire and the Middle East | Poland The Decade of the Great War Tosh Minohara , Tze-ki Hon and Evan Dawley , (2014) Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, 2014 e-ISBN: 978900…

Hussein bin Ali

(373 words)

Author(s): Neulen, Hans Werner
Hussein bin Ali (1853, Constantinople – June 4, 1931, Amman), king of the Hejaz. As the “Guardian of the Holy Places of Islam” and as the presumed contender for the title of Caliph, Hussein was held captive in Constantinople from 1891 to 1908 as a state prisoner of Sultan Abdul Hamid II. After the latter’s downfall, the Young Turks appointed Hussein Emir of Mecca in 1908. However, the Arab efforts to gain independence – which were also fuelled by fears that the Hejaz Railway might threaten Hussein’…

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’…

Logistics of the Indian Expeditionary Force D in Mesopotamia: 1914–18

(16,691 words)

Author(s): Anderson, Ross
Anderson, Ross - Logistics of the Indian Expeditionary Force D in Mesopotamia: 1914–18 Keywords: British officers | IEFD | Indian Army | 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: On 6 November 1914, the landing of the Indian Army's 16th Infantry Brigade at Fao, in the Vilayet of Basra in Mesopotamia initiated land hostilities between the British and the Ottoman empires. Part of the IEFD, these 4,700 soldiers…

Railways

(539 words)

Author(s): Thoss, Bruno
Railways A means of mass transportation of persons and goods, developed in the 19th century, and adapted for military purposes in the second half of the century. The first extensive and operationally effective implementation of plans for the transportation of major bodies of troops by rail occurred in the wars of 1866 and 1870/1871. From that point on, all general staffs included the railways in their operational plans, and created specialized military units for the construction, safeguarding, an…

“Having Seen Enough”: Eleanor Franklin Egan and the Journalism of Great War Displacement

(8,259 words)

Author(s): Hudson, David
Hudson, David - “Having Seen Enough”: Eleanor Franklin Egan and the Journalism of Great War Displacement Keywords: American journalist | Eleanor Franklin Egan | Great War | journalism ISFWWS-Keywords: The United States of America | Legacy | Literature | Women and War | Politics | The Balkans and Eastern Europe | The Ottoman Empire and the Middle East Abstract: The Great War presented American journalist Eleanor Franklin Egan with an unmatched tableau, and by the time of the armistice she had cemented her reputation as one of the foremost inte…

The Indianization of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force, 1917–18: An Imperial Turning Point

(8,186 words)

Author(s): Showalter, Dennis
Showalter, Dennis - The Indianization of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force, 1917–18: An Imperial Turning Point Keywords: British Army | Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF) | Great War | Indian Army | Sir Edmund Allenby ISFWWS-Keywords: India | Middle East | Military organisation of combat | The Ottoman Empire and the Middle East | The French and British Empires | Experience of combat | Aviation | Religion | Science | Technology | Medicine Abstract: When Sir Edmund Allenby ceremonially walked into Jerusalem on 11 December 1917, he symbolized the end of the Britis…

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 sent to Constantinople as chief of the German military mission, charged with reorganizing the Turkish Army. Owing to strong protests, from Russia in particular, the German Reich eventually dr…

Indian Cavalry from the First World War till the Third Afghan War

(13,430 words)

Author(s): Roy, Kaushik
Roy, Kaushik - Indian Cavalry from the First World War till the Third Afghan War Keywords: First World War | France | Indian cavalry | Mesopotamia | Palestine | Third Afghan War ISFWWS-Keywords: India | Military organisation of combat | Experience of combat | Legacy | Soldiers and Combat | The French and British Empires | Middle East | The Ottoman Empire and the Middle East | Published memoirs and biographies Abstract: This chapter argues that it is ahistorical to analyze the evolution of armies and warfare by using universal concepts like modern warfare.…

Morale of the Indian Army in the Mesopotamia Campaign: 1914–17

(10,604 words)

Author(s): Gardner, Nikolas
Gardner, Nikolas - Morale of the Indian Army in the Mesopotamia Campaign: 1914–17 Keywords: Indian Army | Indian Morale | Kut-Al-Amara | Mesopotamia campaign ISFWWS-Keywords: India | Middle East | Experience of combat | The French and British Empires | Soldiers and Combat | Middle East | The Ottoman Empire and the Middle East | Published memoirs and biographies Abstract: This chapter use the contractual model to explain the morale of Indian soldiers during the Mesopotamia campaign, focusing in particular on the period prior to the surrender of…

Hejaz Railway

(565 words)

Author(s): Neulen, Hans Werner
Hejaz Railway Railway line between Damascus and Medina. In 1900 Sultan Abdul Hamid II commissioned the construction of a railway to link Damascus with Mecca. The railway was to help provide access to the remote Arab provinces, forge closer ties between Constantinople and the holy sites, and ease the pilgrimage of the Hajjis (pilgrims). In addition, it allowed for the rapid transport of troops to deal with renegade Bedouin tribes in Arabia. The German engineer Heinrich August Meissner was hired to …

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…

Sub-Saharan Africa

(719 words)

Author(s): Zimmerer, Jürgen
Sub-Saharan Africa Africa without the Arab North, and without the settler colonies in the South. Sub-Saharan Africa was both a theater of war and a source for the recruitment of soldiers and laborers during the First World War. The main areas fought over were the German colonies of Togo, Cameroon, and German East Africa, as their capture would enable the wireless stations located there to be destroyed, and their harbors neutralized as bases for the German Navy. When British and French forces occup…

Lawrence, Thomas Edward

(391 words)

Author(s): Haidl, Roland
Lawrence, Thomas Edward (August 15, 1888, Tremadoc, Wales – May 19, 1935, Moreton, Dorset), British officer, archaeologist, author and adventurer (“Lawrence of Arabia”). Lawrence had participated in excavations in Syria and Anatolia before the war, when he took up a post with the Arab Bureau in Cairo. Because he had since 1916 been in contact with the Emir of Mecca, Hussein bin Ali, the British government gave Lawrence the task of organizing the Arab Revolt against the Turks. He received support in…

Mesopotamia

(1,089 words)

Author(s): Neulen, Hans Werner
Mesopotamia The territory between the Euphrates and the Tigris, which now lies in Iraq, belonged to the Ottoman Empire from the 16th century onward. For the British, the occupation of this barren and remote territory, which was only weakly defended by the Turks, held interesting prospects for a variety of reasons: the exploitation of the region’s oilfields offered promising economic perspectives, while the geographical situation of Mesopotamia at the crossroads of a land route connecting India, s…

Friends in Opposite Camps or Enemies from Afar: Japanese and Ottoman Turkish Relations in the Great War

(9,569 words)

Author(s): Esenbel, Selçuk
Esenbel, Selçuk - Friends in Opposite Camps or Enemies from Afar: Japanese and Ottoman Turkish Relations in the Great War ISFWWS-Keywords: International Relations during the War | Asia | The Ottoman Empire and the Middle East | Legacy The Decade of the Great War Tosh Minohara , Tze-ki Hon and Evan Dawley , (2014) Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, 2014 e-ISBN: 9789004274273 DOI: 10.1163/9789004274273_014 © 2014 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Esenbel, Selçuk

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…

North Africa

(2,498 words)

Author(s): Cornelissen, Christoph
North Africa Geographical area stretching from the Atlantic coast of present-day Morocco in the west to the Suez Canal and the Red Sea in the east. The territories in question experienced various phases of political and military subjugation by the European colonial powers before the outbreak of the First World War. The North African territories were subject to differing external and internal political arrangements, and were then administered under direct and indirect forms of rule. France claimed formal sovereignty in Al…

Arab Revolt

(808 words)

Author(s): Neulen, Hans Werner
Arab Revolt Bedouin uprising against Turkish suzerainty. In July of 1915 the Emir of Mecca, Hussein bin Ali, began negotiations with the British High Commissioner in Egypt regarding the Arab desire for independence and British support for a rebellion against the Ottoman Empire. For Great Britain this presented an opportunity to increase its influence in the Middle East considerably. While making promises to Hussein, the British simultaneously divided the Middle East into a French and a British sph…

Military Losses (Casualties)

(1,331 words)

Author(s): Overmans, Rüdiger
Military Losses (Casualties) There is little agreement in the literature as to the casualties sustained by the states that took part in the First World War. Figures vary between about 6 and about 13 million. A principle reason for the different estimates lies in the fact that definitions of the term “casualties” differ greatly. In the narrow military terminology of the time and in the specialized military literature, “casualties” frequently included all those soldiers who were no longer available t…
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