Brill’s Digital Library of World War I

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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’…

A War Unimagined: Food and the Rank and File Soldier of the First World War

(10,797 words)

Author(s): Duffett, Rachel
Duffett, Rachel - A War Unimagined: Food and the Rank and File Soldier of the First World War Keywords: army rations | emotion | file soldiers | First World War | food | rankers' writing ISFWWS-Keywords: Western Front | Soldiers and Combat | Britain | Published memoirs and biographies | Military organisation of combat | Economy Abstract: The literary legacy of the First World War has tended to ignore the mass of writing produced by its rank and file soldiers, whose perceptions, lack of writing skills and limited reflexivity did not, in …

Troeltsch, Ernst

(500 words)

Author(s): Hübinger, Gangolf
Troeltsch, Ernst (February 17, 1865, Haunstetten near Augsburg – February 1, 1923, Berlin), German theologian, philosopher of culture and historian. In the first two years of the war, Troeltsch, with the authority of a German professor of theology, used his great influence to define public debate about the World War as a “culture war,” providing it with memorable slogans. As early as August 2, 1914, he gave a notable speech to the city and University of Heidelberg announcing his commitment to the …

Canada

(1,457 words)

Author(s): Kitchen, Martin
Canada Canada was ill prepared for war in August 1914. The affluent were enjoying the August 1–3 civic holiday at their country houses. The less affluent were suffering from the effects of the worst economic depression since the early 1890s. Only the energetic but unpredictable Minister of Militia and Defence Sam Hughes was enthused by the prospect of war. His only concern was that the British might miss the opportunity. Under his command, some 55,000 militiamen and 44,000 cadets were trained in 1913. These men would comprise the bulk of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF). At first re…

Of World History and Great Men: A Japanese Village and Its Worlds

(9,532 words)

Author(s): Dusinberre, Martin
Dusinberre, Martin - Of World History and Great Men: A Japanese Village and Its Worlds ISFWWS-Keywords: Asia | Society | Economy | The United States of America | Politics | International Relations during the War 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_019 © 2014 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Dusinberre, Martin

War Food Office

(392 words)

Author(s): Zilch, Reinhold
War Food Office The central authority under the Imperial Chancellor in the German Reich for managing supplies of food and animal feed in order to keep the population fed. The office was created, by an announcement dated May 22, 1916, to correct the previously divided and confused administration in the light of the dramatically worsening supply problem. To this end the War Food Office, as an organ of the Reich (against the opposition of the federal states and the Prussian Agriculture Minister), was …

Groener, Wilhelm

(732 words)

Author(s): Kitchen, Martin
Groener, Wilhelm (November 22, 1867, Ludwigsburg – May 3, 1939, Bornstedt [today part of Potsdam]), German general and first quartermaster general in the general staff of the field army. The son of a warrant officer from Württemberg, Groener owed his career in the Prussian-German Army solely to his exceptional skills and was one of the leading “technicians” whose opinions gained increasing weight in the general staff. Groener was a cultivated and liberal man, although he was also receptive to the …

Bauer, Max

(582 words)

Author(s): Afflerbach, Holger
Bauer, Max (January 31, 1869, Quedlinburg – May 6, 1929, Shanghai), Prussian officer. Bauer joined the Prussian Foot Artillery Regiment No. 2 in 1888. In 1908, as a captain, Bauer became an artillery expert with the Deployment Section of the General Staff, where he worked with Erich Ludendorff. In 1918 he was prooted to colonel. He remained a close member of Ludendorff ’s staff throughout the war and was considered to be an exceptionally gifted officer with a touch of genius. During the war he was…

Zweig, Arnold

(588 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Thomas F.
Zweig, Arnold (November 10, 1887, Glogau – November 26, 1968, East Berlin), German writer. The son of a Jewish saddle maker, Zweig studied German literature, art history, and modern languages, with a view to becoming a teacher, but then decided to live from his writing. After being drafted in 1915, he took part in the battles in Belgium and Serbia, and at Verdun, as an Armierungssoldat (non-combatant equipment service soldier). In 1917 Zweig became a clerk at the headquarters of the army press office at Ober-Ost Headquarters in Kovno, Lithuania. Contact with Eastern European Jew…

Rathenau, Walther

(882 words)

Author(s): Sabrow, Martin
Rathenau, Walther (September 29, 1867, Berlin – June 24, 1922, Berlin [assassinated]), German industrialist and politician. He was the son of Emil Rathenau, later the founder of AEG. Under the Empire he followed a career as an industrial employer which took him to the board of AEG (1899) as proprietor of the Berlin Handels-Gesellschaft (1902), and then to the supervisory board of AEG, of which in 1912 he became chairman. By 1914 Rathenau was one of the most influential German and European major in…

Monuments

(2,302 words)

Author(s): Behrenbeck, Sabine
Monuments War memorials do not function solely as monuments to the war-dead, but also to “affirm the identity of the survivors” (Reinhart Koselleck). They construct the past in order to cope with the present. War-memorials thus say more about their architects than about the fallen, and the wars they are supposed to commemorate. In the age of mercenary armies, there were no monuments commemorating the common soldier; this honor was reserved for officers and commanders. In Prussia at the beginning of the 19th century, with the introduction of genera…

Eichhorn, Hermann von

(315 words)

Author(s): Kleine Vennekate, Erik
Eichhorn, Hermann von (February 13, 1848, Breslau [current Wrocław] – July 30, 1918, Kiev), German field marshal. Eichhorn attended military academy after participating in the wars of 1866 and 1870/1871, and joined the general staff in 1883. In 1904 he became commanding general of the XVIIIth Army Corps in Frankfurt am Main, and in 1912 moved to Saarbrücken as inspector-general of the Seventh Army inspectorate; here in 1913 he was promoted to colonel general ( Generaloberst). Eichhorn was to take over command of the Fifth Army in Metz in the event of mobilization, but,…

Stinnes, Hugo

(421 words)

Author(s): Hirschfeld, Gerhard
Stinnes, Hugo (February 12, 1870, Mülheim an der Ruhr – April 10, 1924, Berlin), German industrial magnate. Stinnes was of the most influential industrialists of the Wilhelminian Empire and the Weimar Republic. The heir to a Ruhr family enterprise engaged in coal mining, trading, and shipping, the entrepreneur founded the Rhine Westphalia Electric Power Corporation in Essen in 1898, serving as chairman of the board after 1902, as well as the Deutsch-Luxemburgische Bergwerks- und Hütten-AG (German-Luxembourg Mining Inc.) in 1901. Stinnes advocated vociferously for the extens…

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…

Demobilization

(1,503 words)

Author(s): Bessel, Richard
Demobilization The task of bringing a society out of a state of war into one of peace is incomparably more difficult than that of releasing soldiers from war service. The term “demobilization” is used for both processes. When the Armistice came into force on November 11, 1918, some six million German soldiers stood under arms. The German economy was almost entirely geared to the requirements of the war; demobilization now had to be implemented in the middle of a political revolution that had shaken a defeated Germany. The German Army returns to Germany after the Ar…

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…

Wilson, Woodrow

(808 words)

Author(s): Krumeich, Gerd
Wilson, Woodrow (August 1856, Staunton – February 3, 1924, Washington DC), President of the United States. Nothing in Wilson’s career prepared him for leading the United States into an international political conflict. Born the son of a Presbyterian minister in Virginia, Wilson internalized the Protestant Ethic early. He felt called to commit himself to politics. Wilson was a professor of Political Science at Princeton University when nominated to become the university’s president in 1902. This sm…

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…

Forging The Industrial Home Front: Iron-Nail Memorials in the Ruhr

(92 words)

Author(s): Goebel, Stefan
Goebel, Stefan - Forging The Industrial Home Front: Iron-Nail Memorials in the Ruhr Keywords: Home fronts | Germany | Visual Arts | Economy | Society | Culture ‛Uncovered Fields’ Jenny Macleod and Pierre Purseigle, Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, 2004 e-ISBN: 9789047402596 DOI: 10.1163/9789047402596.010 © 2004 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Goebel, Stefan
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