Brill’s Digital Library of World War I

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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…

Peace Initiatives

(1,049 words)

Author(s): Hoff, Henning
Peace Initiatives In the course of the World War there were repeated attempts to end hostile activities. However, right until the end the war aims of the two sides were irreconcilable so that the chances for the success of peace initiatives remained small. The first serious attempts to bring the European belligerents to the negotiating table were made by American President Woodrow Wilson, who in the spring of 1915 sent his trusted “Colonel” Edward M. House to London, Berlin and Paris to hold exploratory talks. The trip foundered on the G…

Music Theater

(1,707 words)

Author(s): Hebestreit, Oliver
Music Theater There were only a very few voices calling for the cessation of public music-making after the outbreak of the First World War. So music continued to be performed for the duration of the conflict. However, musical institutions and music makers did not remain untouched by the effects of the war, which included the drafting of artists, financial restrictions, the changed character of concert programs and repertoires, and state censorship. In all belligerent states musicians were drafted or went to the front as volunteers. But conscription also affected te…

Czechoslovakia

(939 words)

Author(s): Hadler, Frank
Czechoslovakia One of the successor states to the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It was assembled from the Bohemian Crown lands located in the Austrian part of the Empire, namely Bohemia, Moravia, and Austrian Silesia, as well as the former Hungarian territories of Slovakia and the Carpathian Ukraine (Ruthenia). The state was founded on October 28, 1918, with the official title of the Republic of Czechoslovakia. In Czechoslovakia as of 1921, a total of 13,613,172 people inhabited an area of 140,484 km2. Under law the 8.7 million Czechs and Slovaks, representing 66% of the total…

Doberdó

(1,268 words)

Author(s): Massignani, Alessandro
Doberdó A location in the Carso/Kras region, now in Italy near the border with the modern Slovenia. The Doberdó Plateau has an average height of 100 m, and rises to 275 m at Monte San Michele, which, to its west, dominates the Friuli plain. The plateau is bounded to the north by the town of Gorizia/Görz, and to the west by the Isonzo valley. The plateau of Doberdó constituted the first important obstacle in the plan of the Italian chief of the general staff Cadorna, whose strategic aim was to capture the towns of Laibach/Ljubljana and Trieste. To achieve thi…

Fascism in Italy

(2,936 words)

Author(s): Gibelli, Antonio
Fascism in Italy There is now broad agreement among historians as to the extremely close connection between Italy’s participation in the Great War and the rise of Fascism. The significance of this realization extends far beyond Italy’s own national historiography, as, with Fascism, there arose for the first time a political movement that was to leave a profound and lasting impression on the history of all Europe. The brevity of the interval between the Fascist assumption of power in Italy (Mussolin…

Bülow, Bernhard Heinrich Martin von

(648 words)

Author(s): Canis, Konrad
Bülow, Bernhard Heinrich Martin von (May 3, 1849, Klein Flottbek, now part of Hamburg – October 28, 1929, Rome), German politician (chancellor). Prince (from 1905) von Bülow, whose father was a high-ranking diplomat and whose mother came from a Hamburg bourgeois family, entered the diplomatic service at the age of 25 after completing his law studies. Rising quickly through the ranks, he became secretary of state for foreign affairs in 1897. In that capacity he directed the foreign policy of the Germa…

Piave

(667 words)

Author(s): Isnenghi, Mario
Piave After the surprising breakthrough of the Central Powers during the Battle of Caporetto in the Julian Alps in late October 1917, the beaten Italian troops found themselves retreating across Friuli to Venice. The first line of defense at the Tagliamento had fallen after just a few days. Within the Italian High Command under Cadorna, pessimism and anxiety were widespread. Initial plans for relocating the front back to the Po River were drawn up. Soon, however, the situation changed. The Italia…

Triple Alliance (Dreibund)

(421 words)

Author(s): Afflerbach, Holger
Triple Alliance ( Dreibund) Alliance of May 20, 1882, between the German Reich, Italy, and Austria-Hungary. On the basis of the treaty’s content, the Triple Alliance may be seen as having been essentially a defensive alliance against France. The existence of this secret alliance became known in the spring of 1883, but the terms of the treaty were not fully published until after the First World War. The Triple Alliance was renegotiated in 1886/1887, 1892, 1902, and 1911/1912, and the text of the trea…

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 …

Pacelli, Eugenio

(249 words)

Author(s): Becker, Annette
Pacelli, Eugenio (March 2, 1876, Rome – October 9, 1958, Castel Gandolfo), Italian clergyman and papal diplomat, later Pope Pius XII. Pacelli was born into a lower-class, Roman Catholic family that was closely connected to the Vatican. As a priest and jurist, Pacelli rose quickly to the higher offices within the Vatican administration. Ultimately in 1939, he was elected pope. In 1901 Pacelli joined the Papal State Secretariat of Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs, becoming its secretary in 1912. Pacelli climbed every rung of the career ladder. During t…

Two-Front War

(612 words)

Author(s): Afflerbach, Holger
Two-Front War The specific strategic situation of the Central Powers, surrounded by the “Iron Ring” (W. Groener) of the opposing coalition. This was mostly seen as a grave strategic disadvantage, and was instrumental in the emergence before 1914 of the hazardous Schlieffen Plan: the attempt to forestall a two-front war, and so avoid the dissipation of Germany’s strength. German policy during the Crisis of July 1914 has frequently been interpreted as having been motivated by the necessity to meet the threat of a two-front war, or “encirclement,” while i…

Infantry Weaponry/Weapons

(3,025 words)

Author(s): Thoss, Bruno
Infantry Weaponry/Weapons Weapons technology during the First World War was geared mainly to the ground war, drawn from traditional types of infantry and artillery weapons. At the beginning of the war, cavalry was still relatively important, though they no longer had a decisive function in battle. For equipment early in the war, troops relied upon firearms such as rifles, carbines, machine guns and pistols; cutting and thrusting blades including bayonets, sabers, and lances; and explosive devices …

Infantry

(964 words)

Author(s): Gross, Gerhard P.
Infantry A branch of the armed forces; infantry is the term for foot soldiers. The infantry served as the main branch of the armed forces in the World War. Despite the increased firepower of the infantry, the concept of war held by the European armies originated in the dogma of the superiority of the offensive over the defensive. Tight formations of battle-hardened riflemen swarming over open terrain was the basis for the attack methods of the German infantry Once the infantry had attained fire s…

Discipline in the Italian Army 1915–1918

(10,970 words)

Author(s): Wilcox, Vanda
Wilcox, Vanda - Discipline in the Italian Army 1915–1918 Keywords: Italy | Military organisation of combat | Experience of combat | Italian-Austrian Front | Politics ‛Warfare and Belligerence’ Pierre Purseigle, Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, 2005 e-ISBN: 9789047407362 DOI: 10.1163/9789047407362.004 © 2005 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Wilcox, Vanda

Remarque, Erich Maria

(831 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Thomas F.
Remarque, Erich Maria ( June 22, 1898, Osnabrück – September 25, 1970, Locarno; born Erich Paul Remark), German writer. Remarque was born into a working-class family, and trained in Osnabrück as an elementary-school teacher; conscripted into the army in 1916, he underwent initial military training at Osnabrück and Celle. He served as a sapper on the Arras and Ypres fronts from June 1917. On July 31 at Houthulst in Flanders he was seriously wounded and spent the rest of the war in a military hospita…

Viviani, René

(302 words)

Author(s): Mollenhauer, Daniel
Viviani, René (August 11, 1863, Sidi-bel-Abbès, Algeria – September 7, 1925, Le Plessis-Robinson [Département Hauts-de-Seine]), French politician who became prime minister. A lawyer and journalist of Italian heritage, Viviani began his political career as an “independent socialist.” He was elected to Parliament for the first time in 1893. Viviani was a confirmed reformist. He distanced himself from the socialist parties because they had refused to work together with the “bourgeois” governments sin…

Škoda 30.5-cm Siege Howitzer

(528 words)

Author(s): Storz, Dieter
Škoda 30.5-cm Siege Howitzer 30.5-cm M 11 mortar of the Austro-Hungarian army, a weapon specifically designed to destroy the most modern fortress complexes. At the beginning of the war, the Austro-Hungarian army possessed 24 howitzers of this type, designed and manufactured by the Škoda company. The gun could be dismantled into three parts, and was transported by a motorized tractor, which gave this “marvelous gun” (in the words of the Austrian general-staff manual) a degree of mobility not achieved…

Jackson, Sir Henry Bradwardine

(357 words)

Author(s): Herwig, Holger H.
Jackson, Sir Henry Bradwardine (January 21, 1855, Barnsley – December 14, 1929, Hayling Island), British admiral. Jackson entered the Royal Navy in 1868, and in 1878/1879 took part in the Zulu War on board the HMS Active. From 1890 he took an interest in wireless technology, and six years later met his idol, the Italian physicist Guglielmo Marconi. Jackson served as naval attaché in Washington in 1897 and became Third Sea Lord in 1905. In this position he experienced the revolution in naval armaments that led to the development of…

South Tyrol

(754 words)

Author(s): Afflerbach, Holger
South Tyrol The part of the Tyrol situated south of the Brenner. Between August 1914 and May 1915, South Tyrol was disputed territory between the Italians and Italy’s Triple Alliance partners Austria-Hungary and the German Reich. At issue initially was Trentino (according to the census of 1910: 393,111 inhabitants, of whom 366,844 were speakers of Italian and Ladin, 13,893 German-speakers, 2,666 speakers of other languages, and 9,708 foreigners, the greater portion of them North Italians), then th…
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