Brill’s Digital Library of World War I

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Haus, Anton Freiherr von

(355 words)

Author(s): Herwig, Holger H.
Haus, Anton Freiherr von (June 13, 1851, Tolmin – February 8, 1917, Pola [Pula]), Austro-Hungarian grand admiral. Haus entered the Austro-Hungarian Navy in 1869, and in 1901, as commander of the cruiser Maria Theresia, took part in the suppression of the Boxer Rebellion. Between 1902 and 1905 he served as chairman of the presiding council in the Naval Section of the War Ministry. He became rear admiral in 1905, commander of the Second Division in 1906, and in 1907 was a delegate at the second peace conference in The Hague. He b…

Erzberger, Matthias

(506 words)

Author(s): Haidl, Roland
Erzberger, Matthias (September 20, 1875, Buttenhausen [now part of Münsingen] – August 26, 1921 [assassinated], near Bad Griesbach [now Bad Peterstal-Griesbach]), German politician. Erzberger was a Center Party member of the Reichstag from 1903. Influenced by South German Catholicism, before the First World War he favored fundamental reform of the state; he decidedly rejected cooperation with the Social Democrats. After the outbreak of war, Erzberger used his connections (to include the Roman Curi…

Naval Arms Race

(1,316 words)

Author(s): Krüger, Friederike
Naval Arms Race When he ascended the throne in 1888, Kaiser Wilhelm II was determined to practice Weltpolitik. His instrument of choice to achieve this aim would be a strong battle fleet. With the appointment of Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz as secretary of state for the German Imperial Naval Office in 1897, the Kaiser found an officer who was willing to implement the Kaiser’s ambitious plans, and to manipulate public opinion to that purpose. Already in the years prior to his appointment, Tirpitz had in several mem…

Heinrich (Henry), Prince of Prussia

(395 words)

Author(s): Schranz, Daniel
Heinrich (Henry), Prince of Prussia (August 14, 1862, Potsdam – April 20, 1929, Hemmelmark [now belonging to Barkelsby]), German grand admiral. Heinrich was born in 1862 the second son of the future Kaiser Friedrich III. At the age of 15 he became the only Prussian prince to embark upon a military career in the Imperial Navy. After completing naval college Heinrich was promoted lieutenant commander in 1882. He was given his first command, a torpedo boat, in 1886. This was followed by a series sea-goi…

Geneva Convention

(612 words)

Author(s): Dülffer, Jost
Geneva Convention The Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field of August 22, 1864, is one of the most important human rights agreements still in force. In place of the regulations once agreed upon as necessary for each new war, there was now a permanent treaty. Its inspiration can be traced back to the great number of wounded soldiers who died after battles owing to poor medical care during both the Crimean War of 1854–1856 and the Second Italian War…

Holtzendorff, Henning von

(337 words)

Author(s): Herwig, Holger H.
Holtzendorff, Henning von (January 9, 1853, Prenzlau – June 7, 1919, Jagow [Uckermark]), German grand admiral. Holtzendorff entered the navy in 1869, took part in the war of 1870/1871, and in 1900 served as commander of a capital ship during the Boxer Rebellion. After various commands on land (commander in chief of the navy, chief of staff of the Baltic Division, commander of the dockyard at Danzig [Gdańsk]), from 1906 to 1909 he was commander of the First Squadron, and in 1910 took command of the …

Jutland, Battle of/Skagerrak

(760 words)

Author(s): Krüger, Friederike | Rahn, Werner
Jutland, Battle of/Skagerrak Sea battle fought in 1916 between British and German naval forces off the mouth of the Skagerrak, an arm of the North Sea between Jutland and Norway.…

Armed Forces (Italy)

(3,527 words)

Author(s): Massignani, Alessandro
Armed Forces (Italy) The defense of the Italian Kingdom proclaimed on February 18, 1861, was the duty of the Royal Army and the Royal Navy. The King was nominally the supreme commander of the military in peacetime, but the chiefs of the General Staff and the Admiralty functioned as the de facto Supreme Command in time of war. Italy’s new …

Adriatic

(463 words)

Author(s): Massignani, Alessandro
Encyclopedia Adriatic For most of the belligerents the Adriatic was of secondary importance, but for Italy and Austria-Hungary it was a major theater of naval warfare. Unlike the Italian coastline,…

The Development of the Air Defence of Copenhagen

(7,638 words)

Author(s): Clemmesen, M. H.
Clemmesen, M. H. - The Development of the Air Defence of Copenhagen Keywords: army development | Copenhagen air defence ISFWWS-Keywords: Scandinavia | Aviation | The Military and Naval War | Science | Technology | Medicine | Germany Abstract: Military history and experience was considered highly relevant both by politicians and the professional military in Europe at the beginning of the last century. The natural place to be developed into a fortress was Copenhagen. The artillery defence should be supplemented with a …

Armed Forces (United States)

(3,756 words)

Author(s): Showalter, Dennis E.
Armed Forces (United States) During the First World War the armed forces of the United States were crafted by national politics. The Russian Provisional Government of 1917 had promised resolutely to continue the war in the East. On the Western Front, the Germans were unequivocally on the defensive. In no way was America itself directly threatened. Nevertheless, the pattern developed in the World War would guide the United States in 20th century warfare. Politics would determine the strategy, the organizational leadership, a…

Zimmermann Telegram

(358 words)

Author(s): Pöhlmann, Markus
Zimmermann Telegram On January 16, 1917, after the German government’s decision to resume unrestricted submarine warfare (from February 1, 1917), Arthur Zimmermann, secretary of state at the German foreign ministry, sent a coded telegram to the German ambassador in Washington, Johann Heinrich Graf von Bernstorff, to be forwarded to the German ambassador in Mexico, Heinrich von Eckardt. The telegram instructed Eckardt to propose to the Mexican government an alliance against the United States. In return, Mexico was offered the prospect of German support in regaining lost territories, that is to say the American states of Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico. In the event that Mexican President Carranza should agree to the German proposal, his good offices were also to be sought in obtaining Japan’s entry into the war on the side of the Central Powers. This message, together with another sent by Bernstorff to Mexico on January 19, was intercepted and decoded by British naval intelligence. The British government had a strong interest in obtaining America’s entry into the war, and, after due consideration, informed the American ambassador in London. Press publication of the text of the telegram caused something approaching a sensation, and finally weakened those political circles within the United States who had until then argued for an isolationist course. Also influenced by Germany’s resumption of submarine warfare, the United States finally declared war on the German Reich on April 6, 1917. Ever since, the decodin…

Maximilian, Prince of Baden

(1,091 words)

Author(s): Schwabe, Klaus
Maximilian, Prince of Baden ( July 10, 1867, Baden-Baden – November 6, 1925, Salem; real name: Maximilian Alexander Friedrich Wilhelm; also known as Max von Baden), German Reich Chancellor. The son of Prince Wilhelm of Baden, and last German Reich Chancellor before the collapse of the Wilhelmine Reich, Max von Baden became heir apparent to his childless cousin, Grand Duke Friedrich II of Baden, in 1907. After attending humanistisches Gymnasium (high school emphasizing classical studies) and studying law, the prince took up an officer’s career, which he dropped ag…

Armed Forces (German Empire)

(4,574 words)

Author(s): Deist, Wilhelm
Armed Forces (German Empire) In July 1914 the Army of the German Empire numbered 761,000 men, organized in 25 army corps. An additional 79,000 men served in the navy, and 9,000 in the colonial protection force. Those mobilized at the beginning of the war numbered 3.820 million in all, 2.086 million of whom made up the field army, divided into 40 army corps. Thus began a development that, during the years that followed, led to the general, extended mobilization of the German nation’s human resources for war. Some 13 million men served in the forces of the German Reich during the war. These figure…

Dreadnought

(456 words)

Author(s): Herwig, Holger H.
Dreadnought British capital ship, and the name used for an entire type of modern battleships. By what has been termed the “Dreadnought leap” – superiority in firepower, protection, and speed – the Royal Navy rendered obsolete all large battleships built before that time. This qualitative advance in British naval technology was the consequence of military necessity. After the sea-battle of Tsushima on May 27/28, 1905, in which the Japanese fleet destroyed three Russian warships from a distance of …

Hindenburg, Paul von Beneckendorff und von

(1,692 words)

Author(s): Chickering, Roger
Hindenburg, Paul von Beneckendorff und von (October 2, 1847, Posen – August 2, 1934, Neudeck [West Prussia]), German field marshal (chief of the field army). Hindenburg’s military career began with his entry into the military academy at Wahlstatt in Silesia at the age of 12. He was a product of the army of King Wilhelm I of Prussia and his socialization and intellectual development took place within the narrow confines of that institution. Hindenburg’s political loyalties were unconditionally linked t…

German War Plans against Denmark 1916–1918

(6,394 words)

Author(s): Paulin, C.
Paulin, C. - German War Plans against Denmark 1916–1918 Keywords: bureaucratic quarrels | Denmark | German war plans ISFWWS-Keywords: Germany | Scandinavia | The Military and Naval War | Politics | Naval Warfare | Britain | International Relations during the War Abstract: This chapter firstly uncovers wie es eigentlich gewesen regarding the planning and the German-Danish foreign policy relations. Secondly, it explores why the plans did not materialize. Historical analysis often runs the risk of getting deterministic because it i…

Brockdorff-Rantzau, Count Ulrich von

(740 words)

Author(s): Schwabe, Klaus
Brockdorff-Rantzau, Count Ulrich von (May 29, 1869, Schleswig – September, 8, 1928, Berlin), German diplomat. The first foreign minister of the Weimar Republic was descended from the ancient nobility of Holstein. After obtaining his doctorate in law Brockdorff-Rantzau chose to pursue a diplomatic career which took him from Brussels via Saint Petersburg to Vienna, where in 1901 he became embassy secretary, and the influential German ambassador Count Carl von Wedel was his mentor. It was also thanks t…

Falkenhayn, Erich von

(1,204 words)

Author(s): Afflerbach, Holger
Falkenhayn, Erich von (September 11, 1861, Burg Belchau [Kreis Graudenz] – April 8, 1922, Schloss Lindstedt [near Potsdam]), German general and chief of the General Staff. Falkenhayn came from a West-Prussian “Junker” family with a strong military tradition. He entered the cadet corps at the early age of ten. He had a successful career as a young officer, and attended military academy. His life took an unusual turn when, in 1896, he took leave from the army and, for professional and financial reaso…
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