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Censorship

(739 words)

Author(s): Albes, Jens
Censorship At every juncture during the First World War, each participating power did its utmost, by means of considerable measures of censorship, to create a united front of opinion that would identify as much as possible with the national political and military leadership. Such suppression of undesired information was the reverse aspect of the propaganda by which all the combatant states sought to influence in their favor both their own population and the populations of friendly and opposing countries. The Prussian State of Siege Law ( Gesetz über den Belagerungszustand) of June 4…

German and French Regiments on the Western Front, 1914–1918

(18,055 words)

Author(s): Meteling, Wencke
Meteling, Wencke - German and French Regiments on the Western Front, 1914–1918 Keywords: First World War | French armies | German army | Western Front ISFWWS-Keywords: Western Front | French Army and its combattants | Germany | Military organisation of combat | Experience of combat | Published memoirs and biographies | Science, Technology, and Medicine | Society | Legacy Abstract: This chapter talks about how the fundamental changes in the German and French armies developed at regimental level during the First World War. It explores a central …

Nerves

(695 words)

Author(s): Ulrich, Bernd
Nerves The mental history of the Wilhelminian epoch is marked by the phenomenon of “nervousness.” The over-exertion of mind and body, the worries and fears, the sexual excesses and aberrations, the rapid pace, the noise; the over-indulgence in coffee, alcohol, tobacco, and morphine; as well as the “violent shocks to the body, for example from rail accidents” – those were causes that, taken with the suspected inheritability of “nervousness,” were ascribed to the “cultural progress” of the 19th cen…

Supreme Army Command (OHL)

(996 words)

Author(s): Pöhlmann, Markus
Supreme Army Command (OHL) When Germany mobilized for the war, the chief of the Prussian Army General Staff was named chief of the General Staff of the entire Armed Forces. According to law, of course, the Kaiser was commander in chief of the military. However, the chief of the General Staff actually led military operations. The department established for this purpose was the Supreme Army Command, which was placed under the control of the Supreme Headquarters. Early in the war the Supreme Army Comma…

Friedrich, Ernst

(362 words)

Author(s): Brandt, Susanne
Friedrich, Ernst (February 25, 1894, Breslau [modern Wrocław] – May 2, 1967, Le Perreux sur Marne), German pacifist. In 1924 Friedrich, a member of the SPD, published the still well-known volume of photographs titled Krieg dem Kriege! ( War against War!). With his multilingual captions he addressed an international audience. In 1925 he established the first International Antiwar Museum in Berlin. His life-long struggle against militarism and war was based on the conviction that an education for peace must start on the playground and, …

Naval Blockade

(1,483 words)

Author(s): Neitzel, Sönke
Naval Blockade During the World War, the Allied naval blockade brought German foreign trade practically to a standstill, especially after 1916. It contributed significantly to the serious subsistence problems in Germany. On the eve of the World War Germany was one of the most important economic powers in the world. Obviously, accomplishing this required extensive trade relationships. This left the German economy highly vulnerable during such a long-lasting war. Indeed, Germany had to import 30% of all processed iron ore. The …

Soldiers’ Suffering and Military Justice in the German Army of the Great War

(102 words)

Author(s): Duménil, Anne
Duménil, Anne - Soldiers’ Suffering and Military Justice in the German Army of the Great War Keywords: Germany | Experience of combat | Soldiers and Combat | Western Front | Published memoirs and biographies ‛Uncovered Fields’ Jenny Macleod and Pierre Purseigle, Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, 2004 e-ISBN: 9789047402596 DOI: 10.1163/9789047402596.004 © 2004 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Duménil, Anne

Lamszus, Wilhelm

(315 words)

Author(s): Brandt, Suzanne
Lamszus, Wilhelm (July 13, 1881, Altona [now part of Hamburg] – January 18, 1965, Hamburg), German primary school teacher and writer. In 1912 he published a novel entitled Das Menschenschlachthaus ( The Human Slaughter-House), originally intended for young people. It is still considered one of the few pre-1914 treatments of a future war. It describes in an unheroic and disillusioning manner the scale and brutality of the forthcoming conflict. Lamszus completely dismantled all the hero clichés accepted at that time, creating an …

Barrage Fire

(300 words)

Author(s): Storz, Dieter
Barrage Fire A “curtain of fire” created by the artillery, that is the intense, concentrated shelling of a section of terrain to prevent attacking infantry from approaching a defensive position, or to isolate an enemy position from its rear area. The barrage was not aimed at identified, visible targets, but instead sought to deny the enemy movement through a specific area by employing a maximum amount of firepower. Fire distribution and adjustment of the firing batteries had to be completed on schedule as part of the artillery prepara…

National Socialism

(2,472 words)

Author(s): Krumeich, Gerd
National Socialism The first industrialized mass war had considerable effects on political and social relationships, and on the mentality of people. Italian Fascism and German National Socialism owe their particular characteristics and their legitimization to the First World War, described by Eric J. Hobsbawm as a “machine for brutalizing the world.” By his own testimony, Hitler himself was a “son of the war.” In repeated references to the war in Mein Kampf and in numerous statements and documented conversations ( Hitler’s Table Talks), Hitler returned time and again to his p…

Internment

(1,392 words)

Author(s): Hinz, Uta
Internment During the World War, the notion of internment referred both to the sheltering of sick or invalid war prisoners in neutral states and to coercive measures against so-called enemy aliens. This conceptual ambiguity resulted from the fact that the large-scale repressive measures carried out against the civilian citizens of enemy countries were a relatively recent phenomenon. The reason for this was a fundamental redefinition of the “enemy” that went far beyond any military conception. As …

Army Corps District

(482 words)

Author(s): Pöhlmann, Markus
Army Corps District Official German military command. Each of the 25 active army corps of the German Reich was placed under the command of an army corps districts. As a rule a commanding general of infantry, cavalry, or artillery was placed in charge of an army corps district. German army corps districts controlled the largest combined-arms units of the peacetime army, and the generals in charge of them had the right to report directly to the Kaiser. After the 1914 German mobilization, the army cor…

Bulgaria

(1,164 words)

Author(s): Höpken, Wolfgang
Bulgaria In the Balkan Wars of 1912–1913 Bulgaria had not been able to fulfill its hopes of creating an “ethnographic” Bulgaria that would include Macedonia, parts of Thrace and the Dobrudja. In the 1913 Treaty of Bucharest it was moreover forced to concede to its neighbors practically all the territory it had captured in the First Balkan War of 1912. The outbreak of the First World War seemed to offer a new opportunity for the military realization of a “Greater Bulgaria,” a dream pursued since t…

Grey, Sir Edward

(405 words)

Author(s): Winter, Jay
Grey, Sir Edward (April 25, 1862, Fallodon, County of Northumberland – September 7, 1933, Fallodon; from 1916 First Viscount Grey of Fallodon), British politician. Grey was foreign secretary from 1905 to 1916, and chief architect of Britain’s foreign policy before the war. After studying at Balliol College, Oxford, he was elected to the House of Commons in 1885 as Liberal member of parliament for the constituency of Berwick-upon-Tweed. Grey retained this seat for his entire political career. As par…

August Experience

(1,226 words)

Author(s): Verhey, Jeffrey
August Experience Augusterlebnis (August Experience) was the contemporary German term for the patriotic enthusiasm among the German population at the outbreak of the war. The well-known images from the last weeks of July and from August of 1914 depict masses of people in the streets. The contemporary captions under the pictures suggest that these people were unanimously filled with “war enthusiasm.” The pictures are impressive but they do not tell the whole truth. In reality there was no near-ecst…

New Jerusalems: Sacrifice and Redemption in the War Experiences of English and German Military Chaplains

(12,828 words)

Author(s): Porter, Patrick
Porter, Patrick - New Jerusalems: Sacrifice and Redemption in the War Experiences of English and German Military Chaplains Keywords: Religion | Culture | Legacy | Politics | Germany | Britain | Society | Home fronts ‛Warfare and Belligerence’ Pierre Purseigle, Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, 2005 e-ISBN: 9789047407362 DOI: 10.1163/9789047407362.005 © 2005 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Porter, Patrick

Red Cross

(1,371 words)

Author(s): Mönch, Winfried
Red Cross The red cross on a white ground signifies neutrality in war, and thus protection. The Ottoman Empire introduced the alternative symbol of the red crescent on a white ground during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877/1878, and also used it during the First World War. The red crescent continues to be used by Muslim states in place of the red cross, in order to avoid using the Christian symbol. The associations that had assumed the voluntary, and most importantly unpaid, task of caring for the wounded in war, as well as preparing for that activity in peacetime, w…

Delbrück, Hans

(333 words)

Author(s): Cornelissen, Christoph
Delbrück, Hans (November 11, 1848, Bergen [Rügen] – July 14, 1929, Berlin), German historian and political commentator. Delbrück had become known before 1914 as an advocate both of Germany’s world role, and of internal and socio-political reform. Politically, the historian was identified with the Free Conservative Party. Appointed to Berlin University as successor to Heinrich von Treitschke in 1896, he achieved particular distinction with his four-volume History of Warfare in the Context of Political History 1900–1920 ( Geschichte der Kriegskunst im Rahmen der politische…

Neutral States

(688 words)

Author(s): Hoff, Henning
Neutral States States that do not participate in a war. The legal status “neutral” implies the right and the duty to pursue corresponding policies. The consequence thereof is a foreign policy that avoids any more or less explicit alignment in the international conflicts that occur in times of peace. Six European states adhered to various forms of neutrality for the entire duration of the war. The monarchs of the Scandinavian states Denmark (Christian X), the sovereign territory of which also inclu…

Emergency Money (Notgeld)

(483 words)

Author(s): Zilch, Reinhold
Emergency Money ( Notgeld) Money put temporarily into circulation, to replace either in whole or in part, the coinage that before its issue represented the currency, and that for a time could function as currency. Notgeld was mostly issued by other authorities than those issuing regular currency. During the war, a severe shortage of means of payment led to the issue of Notgeld in various states. The main reasons for this were the hoarding of coins and banknotes, the collapse of the system of payment, and the widening circulation of currencies of belligeren…
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