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Kerensky, Alexander Fyodorvich

(522 words)

Author(s): Kochanek, Hildegard
Kerensky, Alexander Fyodorvich (May 4, 1881, Simbirsk [Ulyanovsk] – June 11, 1970, New York), Russian politician (prime minister of the Provisional Government). The son of a headmaster, Kerensky studied law in St. Petersburg, and initially worked as a legal counsel before becoming politically active. Elected to the Fourth State Duma in 1912 as a representative of the socialist Trudoviki party, he was later to emerge as one of the Russian government’s severest critics. Kerensky was one of the central figures of the February Revolution. He belonged to the Executive Com…

East Prussia

(793 words)

Author(s): Liulevicius, Vejas Gabriel
East Prussia In a single year of the war, 1914–1915, Russian troops overran two-thirds of East Prussia, the most eastern province of the German Reich. It would remain the only meaningful occupation of German territory. In August the Reich’s eastern border had remained only weakly defended in keeping with German operational plans so that the troops could first conduct a decisive attack in the West against France. Yet the Russian army mobilized more quickly than the German plans had envisioned. The …

Yudenich, Nikolai Nikolaevich

(287 words)

Author(s): Dahlmann, Dittmar
Yudenich, Nikolai Nikolaevich ( July 30, 1862, Moscow – October 5, 1933, Saint-Laurent-du-Var near Nice, France), Russian General. Having entered the Imperial Russian Army in 1879, Yudenich was educated at the Alexandrovsky Military School and at the General Staff Academy. He went on to serve in a variety of staff assignments until 1902. Having participated in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–1905, he was promoted to general in 1905. In 1913 he became chief of staff in the Ca…

Scheler, Max Ferdinand

(332 words)

Author(s): Hübinger, Gangolf
Scheler, Max Ferdinand (August 22, 1874, Munich – May 19, 1928, Frankfurt am Main), German philosopher, a pupil of Rudolf Eucken. After losing his unsalaried post at the University of Munich, Scheler lived in Göttingen and Berlin as a private scholar and freelance author. His book The Genius of War and the German War (1915) made him one of the protagonists of the “Ideas of 1914.” At the same time, as a convert to Catholicism, he undertook lecture tours on behalf of the Foreign Office in Switzerland, the Netherlands and Austria, with the aim of for…

Stürmer, Boris Vladimirovich

(315 words)

Author(s): Lindemann, Mechthild
Stürmer, Boris Vladimirovich ( July 27, 1848, Bezhetsk – September 2, 1917, Petrograd), Russian politician (prime minister). Stürmer entered state service in 1872; he served in the Tsarist Council of Ministers, in the Ministry of the Interior, and as governor of Novgorod and then Yaroslavl. He became a member of the Imperial Council in 1904. On February 2, 1916, on the recommendation of the Tsarina and probably also Rasputin, the Tsar appointed him president of the Ministerial Council. Stürmer saw …

Bosnian Crisis

(445 words)

Author(s): Kröger, Martin
Bosnian Crisis International crisis following the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina by Austria-Hungary (1908). At the Congress of Berlin (under the terms of the Treaty of Berlin, 1878) the Dual Monarchy was granted the right to occupy and administer both provinces. In formal terms they remained within the Ottoman union of states, but de facto they became absorbed into the Austro-Hungarian sphere of control. Neither of the two multi-ethnic states was able to achieve a successful integration of the ethnically diverse population. Fully aware of its…

Deportations

(1,069 words)

Author(s): Kramer, Alan
Deportations Forcible expulsions were practised for various reasons, and by all sides, during the First World War. Initially, they were a means of securing zones of conflict and occupation. During the German invasion in the West alone, at least 10,000 French citizens were deported to Germany and interned in barracks that stood vacant. The number of Belgians deported in 1914 is unknown, but may have amounted to several thousands. These first deportations, which included women and children, were in…

Encirclement Concept

(477 words)

Author(s): Krumeich, Gerd
Encirclement Concept The concept of encirclement was coined, or rather applied to the situation in international relations, by Reich Chancellor Bülow in a speech in the Reichstag on November 14, 1906. Reacting to the entente that had just been concluded between England and France, Bülow warned that the German Reich was being encircled “like the beast in the forest.” It is probable that no political conception received such wide currency in prewar Germany as that of encirclement. The mantra circulated not only among nationalists, but also in that portion…

Christmas Memorandum of 1915

(490 words)

Author(s): Afflerbach, Holger
Christmas Memorandum of 1915 Supposedly, a situation report Falkenhayn gave in a memorandum conveyed to the Kaiser some time around Christmas. The document in question comes down to us only through Falkenhayn’s own memoirs, Die Oberste Heeresleitung 1914–1916 in ihren wichtigsten Entschließungen (The Supreme Army Command 1914–1916 in Its Most Critical Decisions, 1920). For this reason its authenticity is doubtful. The Christmas Memorandum, concerning strategic plans for 1916, includes several fundamental declarations: Britain was the primary enemy. Britain…

Yanushkevich, Nicolai Nikolaevich

(191 words)

Author(s): Dahlmann, Dittmar
Yanushkevich, Nicolai Nikolaevich (May 13, 1868 – October 18, 1918, Tiflis [Tbilisi]), Russian general. Yanushkevich graduated from Mikhailovskaya Artillery Academy in 1888, and from the (Imperial Russian) General Staff Academy in 1896. In 1913–1914 he was the commander of the Imperial Nicholas Military Academy. After 1914 he was a general of infantry. Between March and July 1914, Yanushkevich was chief of the general staff. Then, after the outbreak of the First World War, he became chief of staff …

Trade Unions

(1,014 words)

Author(s): Mai, Günther
Trade Unions In the German Empire in 1914 there were trade unions with social democratic (also called “free”), Christian Catholic, and liberal tendencies, divided according to occupations, and having respectively 2.53, 0.35 and 0.11 million members. These numbers sank rapidly in mid-August 1914 because wage strikes were forbidden, many workers were called up for military service, and unemployment dropped. By 1916 the number of members in the free trade unions had fallen to under a million, and tho…

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…

Sisters and Comrades Women’s Movements and the “Austrian Revolution”: Gender in Insurrection, the (Räte) Movement, Parties and Parliament

(9,176 words)

Author(s): Hauch, Gabriella
Hauch, Gabriella - Sisters and Comrades Women’s Movements and the “Austrian Revolution”: Gender in Insurrection, the ( Räte) Movement, Parties and Parliament Keywords: Austrian Revolution | First World War | political equality | Räte organisations | women ISFWWS-Keywords: Austria-Hungary | Politics | Society | Economy | Legacy | Russia | Women and War Abstract: Margarete Susman's critique of First World War politics seems to imply that only "new" ideas and agents can change the political field for the better. Taking this as a starting p…

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 …

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…

Lenin, Vladimir Ilyich

(600 words)

Author(s): Brand, Bettina
Lenin, Vladimir Ilyich (Real name V.I. Ulyanov; April 22, 1870, Simbirsk [from 1924 Ulyanovsk] – January 21, 1924, Gorki [near Moscow]), Russian revolutionary and politician. Lenin was born into an upper class family. A critical youthful influence was the conviction and execution in 1887 of his older brother Alexander, who had taken part in an assassination attempt against the Tsar. Lenin qualified to practice as a lawyer after studying law at the University of Kazan. In 1893 he moved to Saint Pete…

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 …

Ivanov, Nikolai Iudovich

(204 words)

Author(s): Dahlmann, Dittmar
Ivanov, Nikolai Iudovich (July 22, 1851–February 27, 1919, Kiev [murdered]), Russian general. Ivanov graduated from the Mikhailovksy Artillery School in 1869. In the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–1905 he commanded the IIIrd Siberian Corps; between 1906 and 1908 he served as governor-general of the Kronstadt military fortress. In that capacity he put down the 1906 rebellion by sailors of the Kronstadt naval base. Promoted to adjutant general in 1907 and general of the artillery in 1908, Ivanov headed t…

Komarów

(674 words)

Author(s): Stone, Norman
Komarów A town in Russian Poland. The war on the Austrian-Russian Front began with a Russian offensive. Four Russian armies were to advance concentrically on Galicia. Facing them were initially three, then four, Austro-Hungarian armies. The Austrians would, at every opportunity, go on the tactical offense as the basis of their defensive strategy. The Austro-Hungarian First and Fourth Armies (Dankl and Auffenberg) met the Russian Fourth (Evert) and Fifth (Plehve) in late summer 1914 east of Kraków (Cracow). The opposing armies were of roughly equal…

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…
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