Brill’s Digital Library of World War I

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Balkan Wars

(957 words)

Author(s): Kröger, Martin
Balkan Wars Two wars in the Balkans region (1912–1913) that caused the Ottoman Empire to lose most of its European territories. During this period of conflict there were differences between the Great Powers concerning the consequences of the Balkan Wars. Against the backdrop of the Italo-Turkish war (1911–1912), the ethnically diverse and unstable Southeastern European States led by Serbia attempted to secure for themselves a share of the disintegrating Ottoman Empire. A direct consequence of the Turkish weakness wa…

Scorched Earth Tactics

(1,283 words)

Author(s): Geyer, Michael
Scorched Earth Tactics Systematically laying waste to enemy territory as a battle tactic, rendering the area militarily useless for a time, sometimes lastingly. Scorched earth as a combat strategy was described by Carl von Clausewitz in his work Vom Kriege, as follows: First, all that the country has to offer will be taken for the benefit of the retreating army, and mostly consumed. Nothing will remain but wasted villages and towns; fields emptied of their crops and then trampled; wells run dry; and contaminated brooks. Thus right from …

Luxembourg

(1,322 words)

Author(s): Majerus, Benoît
Luxembourg The First World War scarcely has a presence in the collective memory of Luxembourgers, and the country’s historians have until now shown little interest in the period. Luxembourg’s entry into the Zollverein (German Customs Union, 1842) engendered very close economic links between the Grand Duchy and the neighboring German territories. Luxembourg’s railways passed into German Reich ownership in 1872, and the rise of the iron industry was facilitated by both German capital (e.g. Gelsenkirchener Bergwerk AG) and German workers (more than half the foreigners livi…

Malvy, Louis-Jean

(370 words)

Author(s): Horne, John
Malvy, Louis-Jean (December 1, 1875, Figeac [Département Lot] – June 9, 1949, Paris), French politician. A radical socialist (and member of the French National Assembly from 1906), and a friend of Joseph Caillaux, Malvy was interior minister from the outbreak of the First World War until August 31, 1917, having already held that office in René Viviani’s prewar administration. He frequently demonstrated his trust in the patriotism of the labor movement, for example when, in August 1914, he refused …

Raw Materials, Rationing, and Procurement

(2,348 words)

Author(s): Zilch, Reinhold
Raw Materials, Rationing, and Procurement The war had scarcely begun before the mass armies ran short of vital raw materials and replacement supplies. State intervention in the procurement and distribution of raw materials followed in the warring nations’ economies with the goal of making maximum use of the raw materials available for the war effort. This effort was linked with intense efforts to depress private consumption. To this end, the state intervened in the economy to requisition and distribu…

Western Front

(3,485 words)

Author(s): Bourne, John M.
Western Front The most important battlefield of the First World War in Western and Central Europe was the Western Front. The largest and bloodiest battles took place in the north of France and in Belgium, where most German, French, British, Belgian, American, and Portuguese soldiers lost their lives. The front was Western from the German perspective, an indication of the German army’s crucial importance for the progress of the war. It began with the German invasion of Belgium and France in August 1914. The frontier battles fulfilled the expectat…

Djemal Pasha, Ahmed

(387 words)

Author(s): Cem Oguz, C.
Djemal Pasha, Ahmed (May 6, 1872, Constantinople – July 21, 1922, Tiflis [assassinated]), Ottoman general and politician. Djemal Pasha was educated in military schools. He concluded his training at the general staff academy in 1895. He was a member of the Committee for Unity and Progress, and used his position as inspector of railways to expand the railway network. After the Constitutional Revolution of 1908, as a member of the Central Committee Djemal Pasha was seen as one of the most influential …

Moroccan Crises, First and Second

(692 words)

Author(s): Kröger, Martin | Allain, Jean-Claude
Moroccan Crises, First and Second Two situations of international tension (1905, 1911) that were provoked by the rivalry between the German Reich and France over influence in Morocco. France’s interest in Morocco resulted from the latter’s proximity to Algeria. The aim was to extend French rule to the entire Maghreb. By concluding bilateral agreements with Italy (1902), England (Entente Cordiale), and Spain (1904), as well as by weakening Moroccan rule in the areas bordering on Algeria, France strove to establish itself as the dominant political power in the region. The German Reich…

Kessler, Harry Graf

(817 words)

Author(s): Riederer, Günter
Kessler, Harry Graf (May 5, 1868, Paris – November 30, 1937, Lyon), German author, journalist, politician and diplomat. Kessler spent his childhood and youth in France, Germany and England. After studying law in Bonn and Leipzig, he fulfilled his one-year military obligation serving with the 3rd Guard Uhlan Regiment in Potsdam. Kessler did not enter the diplomatic service as originally planned, owing to his developing talents and interests. He served instead as a patron of the arts, supporting arti…

Conscientious Objection

(630 words)

Author(s): Jahr, Christoph
Conscientious Objection The rejection of the legal obligation to fulfill one’s military duty in times of war. A distinction must be drawn between conscientious objection in the narrow sense and other ways of evading wartime military service. Conscientious objection, which was also an important motive for emigrating from Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries, was traditionally practiced by a number of religious communities, for instance by the Quakers and Mennonites. In 1914, however, no country with a conscript army had made provis…

Trotsky, Leon

(372 words)

Author(s): Kochanek, Hildegard
Trotsky, Leon (October 28, 1879, Yanovka [Kherson Province] – August 21, 1940, Coyoacán [near Mexico City – assassinated]; born Lev Davidovich Bronshtein), Russian politician. Already toward the end of his school years in Kherson Province, Trotsky became involved in revolutionary Marxist circles. Banished for the first time in 1899, in 1902 he succeeded in fleeing to Western Europe. In 1903, at the second congress of the Russian Social Democratic Party, he led a fierce attack against Vladimir Ilyi…

Albania

(1,185 words)

Author(s): Höpken, Wolfgang
Albania Compared to other ethnic groups in the Balkan region the Albanians were relatively late to develop national aspirations of their own. Religious divisions within the population, the lack of a unified social stratum that would support a “modern” national movement, and the traditional, deeply fractured structure of Albanian society with its regional and clan affiliations delayed the creation of a politically organized movement of national rebirth ( Rilindja), which only emerged in the last quarter of the 19th century. When the peace negotiations after the R…

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 German expressionists. Where art strove to “make a tabula rasa of the past” (Giovanni Papini), where the traditional forms and achievements of civilization came to be challenged, where the muses and libraries were to be burned, t…

Hoyos, Alexander, Count

(277 words)

Author(s): Kronenbitter, Günther
Hoyos, Alexander, Count (May 13, 1876, Fiume – October 20, 1937, Schwertberg), Austro-Hungarian politician. Hoyos entered the Austro-Hungarian diplomatic service in 1900, and served on many missions overseas. In April 1912 he became chief assistant to the foreign minister Leopold Count Berchtold. After the assassination of heir to the throne Franz Ferdinand on June 28, 1914, the question arose of sounding out Germany’s attitude to a possible Austro-Hungarian war against Serbia, a war that might pro…

Marne

(1,369 words)

Author(s): Becker, Jean-Jacques
Marne River in France. Two battles of far-reaching significance in the First World War occurred on the Marne. In September 1914, after a long period when the Allies were retreating, the French Army and the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) resumed the offensive and forced the German Army to retreat, bringing about the failure of the original German operational plan. France had not been defeated in six weeks, and a long war became a possibility. This was the First Battle of the Marne. In July 1918…

Ottoman Empire

(2,352 words)

Author(s): Zürcher, Erik-Jan
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire entered the First World War on the side of the Central Powers in November 1914. The real decision to take this step was not made by the cabinet, but by an inner circle of Young Turk politicians on October 25. Two days later, on the orders of minister of war Enver Pasha, a Turkish naval force under the command of the German Admiral Souchon attacked the Russian Black Sea Fleet in its bases. The Turks later sought to justify this unprovoked attack by claiming that th…

Nicolai, Georg Friedrich

(446 words)

Author(s): Dülffer, Jost
Nicolai, Georg Friedrich (February 6, 1874, Berlin – October 8, 1964, Santiago de Chile; Georg Lewinstein until 1897), German physician. Nicolai studied medicine, specializing in electrocardiology. Before the war, he was already a respected physician in his private practice, and as the assistant medical director of Charité Hospital. As a war volunteer, in 1914 he became the medical superintendent of the military infirmary at Tempelhof. Nonetheless, from the beginning he spoke out very sharply against the war. He and other intellectuals signed Aufruf an die Europäer (Appeal to th…

Introduction

(7,610 words)

Author(s): Paddock, Troy R.E.
Paddock, Troy R.E. - Introduction ISFWWS-Keywords: Society | Science | Technology | Medicine | Soldiers and Combat | Politics | Home fronts | Literature | General | The French and British Empires | Neutral States | Germany World War I and Propaganda Troy R.E. Paddock , (2014) Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, 2014 e-ISBN: 9789004264571 DOI: 10.1163/9789004264571_002 © 2014 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Paddock, Troy R.E.

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. The German military leadership explained the destruction of Louvain as a justified punitive measur…

Psychiatry

(620 words)

Author(s): Ulrich, Bernd
Psychiatry The science that is concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of cerebral illnesses and functional brain disorders that primarily manifest themselves through psychological symptoms. Psychiatry constitutes a major aspect of the medico-military study and analysis of the effects of the World War on human beings. In 1916, the German psychiatrist Robert Gaupp (University of Tübingen) summarized the scientific-empirical value of the war for psychiatry in the following manner: “For psychiatr…
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