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Nicholas Nikolaevich, Grand Duke of Russia

(369 words)

Author(s): Dahlmann, Dittmar
Nicholas Nikolaevich, Grand Duke of Russia (November 18, 1856, Saint Petersburg – January 5, 1929, Antibes), Grand duke of Russia and supreme commander in chief. Nicholas was the son of Grand Duke Nicholas the Elder. In 1873 he completed the Nikolaevsky Military Engineering Academy, and then the General Staff Academy in…

Battisti, Cesare

(467 words)

Author(s): Pöhlmann, Markus
Battisti, Cesare (February 4, 1875, Trento – July 12, 1916, Trento), Italian politician and officer. The son of Italian-speaking parents, Battisti grew up in Trento, which belonged to Austria at the time. Between 1893 and 1897 Battisti studied in Graz, Florence, Turin, and Vienna. He became a supporter of irredentism, a movement calling for the separation of all Italian-speaking territories from the Habsburg Empire and their annexation by Italy. Upon earning his degree in geography Battisti began …

Benedict XV

(414 words)

Author(s): Becker, Annette
Benedict XV (November 21, 1854, Genoa – January 22, 1922, Rome; formerly Giacomo della Chiesa), Pope. Giacomo della Chiesa was elected Pope following the death of Pius X in September of 1914. He took the name of Benedict in memory of the great legislator Benedict XIV. Even though the promulgation of the Codex Iuris Canonici in May 1917 was of considerable theological significance, Benedict made history as the “Pope of the Great War,” especially since he died only a few years after the war. His entire tenure was characterized by a keen awareness of …

Futurism

(582 words)

Author(s): Jürgens-Kirchhoff, Annegret
Futurism An avant-garde movement in Italian art with close affinities to cubism and constructivism as well as to the pre-1914 expressionist currents, combining a glorification of modern life with a radical rejection of tradition. The Italian futurists celebrated the outbreak of the World War in a similarly emphatic manner as the Germa…

Sonnino, Georgio Sidney

(475 words)

Author(s): Afflerbach, Holger
Sonnino, Georgio Sidney (March 11, 1847, Pisa – November 24, 1922, Rome), Italian politician (foreign minister). After a brief diplomatic career, Sonnino made his name with studies of the situation of the Italian rural population in Sicily. A member of parliament from 1880, he favored an alliance with the Central Powers, and was of the opinion that it was more important for Italy to maintain friendship with Austria than to acquire the Italian-speaking province of Trentino. He subsequently retained …

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 pacifist message, may be regarded as the first example of this new tendency. But films about the war just ended did not begin to appear in greater numbers until the mid twenties. Even then, they only rarely gave any appreciable space to a negative portrayal of the enemy (only marginally, e.g. in Wings: William Wellman, United States, 1927, or Morgenrot (Dawn): Gustav Ucicky, Germany, 1933). Instead, the dominant emphasis was on a small group of characters whose experience of the war leaves…

Fayolle, Marie Émile

(202 words)

Author(s): Krumeich, Gerd
Fayolle, Marie Émile (May 14, 1852, Le Puy – August 27, 1928, Paris), French general. Fayolle became commander of the French Sixth Army during the battle of the Somme in 1916, an engagement in which his new command particularly distinguished itself. At the end of 1917 he took command of five British and six French divisions earmarked to stabilize the Italian Front after the Italian defeat at Caporetto (Karfreit). His final great test during the war was as commander of the French military reserve br…

Louvain

(769 words)

Author(s): Kramer, Alan
Louvain (Flemish: Leuven) Belgian university town west of Brussels, celebrated for its university and magnificent Gothic buildings. Here between August 25 and 28, 1914, German troops killed 248 civilians and destroyed a sixth of the buildings. The university library, with its valuable collection of manuscripts from the Middle Ages, was burned to the ground. One of the best known single events of the war, Louvain became known worldwide as a symbol of German war atrocities.…

Gorlice-Tarnów, Battle of

(1,005 words)

Author(s): Stone, Norman
Gorlice-Tarnów, Battle of Two towns in Galicia (now situated in modern Poland). Even though the German Supreme Army Command was determined to decide the war in the West, developments in early 1915 brought the focus of attention to the East. The weaker the Austro-Hungarian army became, the more the German allies felt compelled to provide direct support. The situation deteriorated when Italy, hoping for territorial gains, threatened the Dual Monarchy with war. Now the German Eleventh Army (August von Mackensen) was transfe…

Aerial Warfare

(2,055 words)

Author(s): Schmidt, Wolfgang
Aerial Warfare A form of waging war in and from the air with airborne or ground-based weapons against war-critical targets and the air power of the enemy, and in direct or indirect support of land or naval forces. These forms and features of a war being fought in and from the air had been contemplated and partially put into practice in the years leading up to World War I, but the key concepts were laid down by the major powers based on their aerial operations between 1914 and 1918. In the highly-developed industrial nations, with th…

Declarations of War

(276 words)

Author(s): Pöhlmann, Markus
Declarations of War 1914 July 28 Austria-Hungary on Serbia August 1 Germany on Russia August 2 German invasion of Luxembourg1 August 3 Germany on France August 4 German invasion of Belgium* August 4 Great Britain enters the war* August 6 Serbia on Germany August 6 Austria-Hungary on Russia August 7 Montenegro on Austria-Hungary August 11 France on Austria-Hungary August 12 Great Britain on Austria-Hungary August 12 Montenegro on Germany August 23 Japan on Germany August 23 Austria-Hungary on Japan August 28 Austria-Hungary on Belgium October 15 Montenegro on Bulgaria October 29 the …

Arz von Straussenburg, Baron Artur

(338 words)

Author(s): Pöhlmann, Markus
Arz von Straussenburg, Baron Artur (June 16, 1857, Hermannstadt, modern Sibiu in Transylvania – July 1, 1935, Budapest), Austro-Hungarian army general and chief of the General Staff. A member of the Transylvanian Saxon ethnic community, Arz joined the 23rd Feldjäger (Rifle) Battalion in 1877 for one year of voluntary military service. After attending the Kriegsschule (General Staff College) from 1885 to 1887, he was assigned to the General Staff and advanced his career mainly by serving with field units. Within months of attaining th…

Tunnel Warfare

(587 words)

Author(s): Pöhlmann, Markus
Tunnel Warfare Warfare by means of planting subterranean destructive charges. Following the onset of positional warfare, the belligerents soon turned to tunneling and mining along the stationary front lines, especially on the Western Front and in the Alps. A distinction must be made between offensive and defensive mining: offensive mining was conducted for the purpose of destroying key positions or entire sections of the enemy’s trenches immediately before a planned infantry attack. This was accom…

Burián von Rajecz, Stephan

(383 words)

Author(s): Afflerbach, Holger
Burián von Rajecz, Stephan (January 16, 1851, Stampfen near Pressburg, modern Stupuva near Bratislava – October 20, 1922, Vienna), Hungarian politician (foreign minister). Baron (from 1918 Count) Burián belonged to an ancient Hungarian noble family. After an initial period in the diplomatic service with postings to Alexandria, Bucharest, Belgrade, Sofia, Moscow, Stuttgart, and Athens, he became finance minister of Austria-Hungary in 1903. In that capacity he was also responsible for the administrati…

Versailles, Treaty of

(1,736 words)

Author(s): Schwabe, Klaus
Versailles, Treaty of The Versailles Treaty was negotiated and signed by the victors and the defeated Germany in the Parisian suburb of Versailles in May/June 1919. On May 7 at the Trianon Palace, the victorious powers, represented by Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States, and Georges Clemenceau, David Lloyd George, and Vittorio Emanuele Orlando, the prime ministers of Great Britain, France, and Italy, together with representatives of Germany’s other opponents in the war, presented a draft…

Diaz, Armando

(321 words)

Author(s): Afflerbach, Holger
Diaz, Armando (December 5, 1861, Naples – February 29, 1928, Rome), Italian chief of general staff, and Marshal of Italy. Diaz took part in the Italo-Turkish war, 1911/1912, as a regimental commander. At the outbreak of the First World War, he was head of the Operations Department of the Italian general staff, thus one of the closest collaborators of Cadorna, the chief of the general staff. He received command of a division at the end of 1915, and distinguished himself in August 1916 in the assaul…

Greece

(1,698 words)

Author(s): Loulos, Konstantin
Greece While the real tragedy of the World War played out on Europe’s theaters of war, Greece remained neutral until 1917. This neutrality was above all benevolent toward the Central Powers – at least, as far as the head of state, King Constantine, was concerned. Since the monarch admired his brother-in-law Kaiser Wilhelm II as the personification of the German martial spirit, he refused to march off to war against the Central Powers. Thereupon, Greek Premier Eleftherios Venizelos advocated stron…

Peace Movements

(1,734 words)

Author(s): Holl, Karl
Peace Movements Social and political movements, at first based in the middle class, appearing from the early 19th century. “Pacifism” was organized in the form of peace societies and unions on national and local levels. In Germany the Deutsche Friedensgesellschaft, DFG (German Peace Society), was founded in 1892. Their aim was cooperation with peace organizations in other countries, at first by means of international peace congresses, and from the end of the 19th century through the International Peace Office in Bern. The expectation of so-called organized pacifism, accordin…

D’Annunzio, Gabriele

(367 words)

Author(s): Isnenghi, Mario
D’Annunzio, Gabriele (March 12, 1863, Pescara – March 1, 1938, Cargnacco [Lake Garda]; from 1924 Prince of Montenevoso), Italian writer. The chief correspondent of the newspaper Corriere della Sera was a significant figure in public life in Italy. He was celebrated by his supporters in May 1915 as the most important exponent of interventionist “spectacle politics” when, on several occasions, he delivered exhortations for war at sites of Italian “national memory,” among them the Capitol in Rome. His speeches at these events…

Conrad von Hötzendorf, Franz

(940 words)

Author(s): Jerabék, Rudolf
Conrad von Hötzendorf, Franz (November 11, 1852, Penzing near Vienna – August 25, 1925, Bad Mergentheim), Austro-Hungarian Field Marshal. Conrad, who was made a baron in 1910 and a count in 1918, not only had a typical career in the General Staff which predestined him for a higher office in the future, his participation in the 1878–1879 campaigns in Bosnia and Herzegovina and 1882 in Dalmatia also provided him with direct battlefield experience. Service with various bureaus of the General Staff enha…
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