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Film, The First World War in

(1,429 words)

Author(s): Chambers II, John W. | Rother, Rainer
Film, The First World War in ISFWWS-Keywords: Australia | Britain | Canada | Culture | France | Germany | Italy | Russia | The United States of America First published in: Brill's Encyclopedia of the First World War, Gerhard Hirschfeld, Gerd Krumeich, Irina Renz, Markus Pöhlmann and James S. Corum, Leiden (2012) Documentaries and feature films, 1914–1943 (a selection) 1914–1918 England Expects (G.L. Tucker, Great Britain, 1914) The German Spy Peril (W. Barker, Great Britain, 1914) The Great European War (G. Pearson & G.B. Samuelson, Great Britain, 1914) It’s a Long Way to Tipperary…

Epidemics

(1,367 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang U.
Epidemics None of the classic war plagues struck with their former severity during the First World War. With the exception of the great influenza epidemic of the final year of the war, the series of significant epidemic diseases that arose occurred in the form of concentrated outbreaks of infectious diseases in the various theaters of war, limited in terms of place and time. The following absolute figures convey at least an impression of the rates of infection in the German field armies and occup…

Jagow, Gottlieb von

(361 words)

Author(s): Kröger, Martin
Jagow, Gottlieb von (June 22, 1863, Berlin – January 11, 1935, Potsdam), German diplomat. Jagow was from a noble Brandenburg family. He studied law and served in the Prussian administration, until, in 1895, he succeeded in entering upon a diplomatic career under the protection of the later Reich Chancellor Bernhard von Bülow. He worked in various overseas legations and his career reached an initial high point with his appointment as ambassador to Rome on 28 March 1909. There, he achieved a diplomat…

Britain in the Balkans: The Response of the Scottish Women’s Hospital Units

(8,315 words)

Author(s): Liddington, Jill
Liddington, Jill - Britain in the Balkans: The Response of the Scottish Women’s Hospital Units Keywords: Balkans | Scottish Women's Hospitals (SWH) | Serbia ISFWWS-Keywords: Britain | Women and War | Medicine | The Balkans and Eastern Europe | Russia | The United States of America | Legacy | Politics Abstract: This chapter assesses the significance of the contribution of one selected Scottish Women's Hospitals (SWH) relief initiative during aftermath of war, that of the American Unit. It has been selected because of its close rel…

Talat Pasha, Mehmed (Talât Pasha or Mehmed Talat)

(292 words)

Author(s): Zürcher, Erik Jan
Talat Pasha, Mehmed (Talât Pasha or Mehmed Talat) (September 1, 1874, Adrianople [modern Edirne] – March 15, 1921, Berlin [assassinated]), Ottoman statesman. Born into a poor family, Talat Pasha joined the underground movement of the Young Turks in 1890. He was one of the founding members of the Ottoman Freedom Society, which later joined forces with the Committee of Union and Progress in order to unleash the Constitutional Revolution in July 1908. After the revolution, Talat Pasha became the committee’…

Peace Initiatives

(1,049 words)

Author(s): Hoff, Henning
Peace Initiatives In the course of the World War there were repeated attempts to end hostile activities. However, right until the end the war aims of the two sides were irreconcilable so that the chances for the success of peace initiatives remained small. The first serious attempts to bring the European belligerents to the negotiating table were made by American President Woodrow Wilson, who in the spring of 1915 sent his trusted “Colonel” Edward M. House to London, Berlin and Paris to hold exploratory talks. The trip foundered on the G…

Railways

(539 words)

Author(s): Thoss, Bruno
Railways A means of mass transportation of persons and goods, developed in the 19th century, and adapted for military purposes in the second half of the century. The first extensive and operationally effective implementation of plans for the transportation of major bodies of troops by rail occurred in the wars of 1866 and 1870/1871. From that point on, all general staffs included the railways in their operational plans, and created specialized military units for the construction, safeguarding, an…

From Cooperation to Conflict: Japanese-Russian Relations from the Formation of the Russo-Japanese Entente to the Siberian Intervention

(8,180 words)

Author(s): Chiba, Isao
Chiba, Isao - From Cooperation to Conflict: Japanese-Russian Relations from the Formation of the Russo-Japanese Entente to the Siberian Intervention ISFWWS-Keywords: Asia | Russia | Politics | Russian Front | 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_008 © 2014 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Chiba, Isao

Czechoslovakia

(939 words)

Author(s): Hadler, Frank
Czechoslovakia One of the successor states to the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It was assembled from the Bohemian Crown lands located in the Austrian part of the Empire, namely Bohemia, Moravia, and Austrian Silesia, as well as the former Hungarian territories of Slovakia and the Carpathian Ukraine (Ruthenia). The state was founded on October 28, 1918, with the official title of the Republic of Czechoslovakia. In Czechoslovakia as of 1921, a total of 13,613,172 people inhabited an area of 140,484 km2. Under law the 8.7 million Czechs and Slovaks, representing 66% of the total…

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…

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,…

Liman von Sanders, Otto Karl Viktor

(347 words)

Author(s): Gerhards, Thomas
Liman von Sanders, Otto Karl Viktor (February 17, 1855, Schwessin bei Stolp, Pomerania – August 22, 1929, Munich), German general and Ottoman marshal. Liman von Sanders, the son of a merchant and titled landowner, embarked on a military career early in life. He reached prominence when, on December 8, 1913, he was sent to Constantinople as chief of the German military mission, charged with reorganizing the Turkish Army. Owing to strong protests, from Russia in particular, the German Reich eventually dr…

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…

Leopold, Prince of Bavaria

(337 words)

Author(s): Haidl, Roland
Leopold, Prince of Bavaria (February 9, 1846, Munich – September 28, 1930, Munich), German and Bavarian field marshal. Leopold, the second son of the future prince regent Luitpold, joined the Bavarian Army in 1861 and took part in the 1866 and 1870–1871 campaigns. A lieutenant colonel in 1871, he was appointed commanding general of the Ist Bavarian Army Corps in 1887. From 1891 to 1913, Leopold served as inspector general of the Fourth Army District. During this period he attained the ranks of colon…

Paderewski, Ignacy Jan

(258 words)

Author(s): Hecker, Hans
Paderewski, Ignacy Jan (November 18, 1860, Kuryłówka [Podolien, the Ukraine] – June 29, 1941, New York), Polish musician and politician. The pianist, internationally celebrated for his interpretation of Chopin, had been living in the United States since 1913, where he used his artistic fame to promote the restoration of an independent Polish state. Through his friendship with Edward Mandell House and Robert Lansing, Paderewski was able to influence President Wilson’s stance on the Poland question. As a member of the Komitet Narodowy Polski (KNP, the Polish National Committee …

Field Grey

(251 words)

Author(s): Hettling, Manfred
Field Grey Color of the German field uniform. Field grey was gradually introduced from 1907 in all regiments of the army of the German Reich, beginning with the infantry and artillery. The cavalry and officers followed between 1908 and 1910. Rifle units wore grey-green. The decision was in reaction to experiences in the Boer War and the Russo-Japanese War, where colored uniforms had always offered a good target to enemies equipped with modern weapons. Functional aspects now superseded consideratio…

Second International

(537 words)

Author(s): Mühlhausen, Walter
Second International International federation of national Socialist parties; founded in 1889 in succession to the First International (1864–1876), collapsed during the First World War. The attitude of the Second International to war was constantly debated at its congresses before the First World War. Although a resolution passed at the Stuttgart Congress in 1907 had called on the sections in the various countries to take countermeasures if war threatened, it had left the choice of means to the aff…

Viviani, René

(302 words)

Author(s): Mollenhauer, Daniel
Viviani, René (August 11, 1863, Sidi-bel-Abbès, Algeria – September 7, 1925, Le Plessis-Robinson [Département Hauts-de-Seine]), French politician who became prime minister. A lawyer and journalist of Italian heritage, Viviani began his political career as an “independent socialist.” He was elected to Parliament for the first time in 1893. Viviani was a confirmed reformist. He distanced himself from the socialist parties because they had refused to work together with the “bourgeois” governments sin…

War Credits

(773 words)

Author(s): Zilch, Reinhold
War Credits War credits were one of the crucial means of financing the war. They were raised in various forms, by various methods, and in various amounts, by all belligerent nations at home and sometimes abroad. War credits were necessary because some elements of normal state receipts fell drastically upon the outbreak of war, while the financial burden abruptly multiplied. War credits were raised at home in the form of short- or long-term government bonds, or by increasing the amount of paper cur…

Bavarian Soviet Republic

(891 words)

Author(s): Hagenlücke, Heinz
Bavarian Soviet Republic A soviet republic is a state in which all executive, legislate, and jurisdictional power is in the hands of elected spokesmen for workers and soldiers, excluding parliament. For a short time in early 1919 there existed in Germany Soviet republics in Cuxhaven, Mannheim, Braunschweig, Bremen, and Munich. Of these, the ones which lasted longest were those in Bremen (25 days) and Munich (24 days). In the first months after the revolution, Bremen was a stronghold of the Spartakus movement. Together with t…

Wilhelm II, German Kaiser

(1,402 words)

Author(s): C.G. Röhl, John
Wilhelm II, German Kaiser ( January 27, 1859, Berlin – June 4, 1941, Doorn, Netherlands), German Kaiser and King of Prussia. Kaiser Wilhelm was characterized by Germany’s enemies during the First World War as an aggressive warmonger, the personification of the German lust for conquest. Not only among the Allied populace, showered as it was with bloodthirsty caricatures and poisonous propaganda, but also in well-informed government circles (not least in the White House), the war was seen simply as “t…

Poland

(2,056 words)

Author(s): Hecker, Hans
Poland At the beginning of the First World War, Poland existed only in the form of three territorial fragments: the largest and central portion belonged to the Russian Empire (Congress Poland/Russian Poland), the western and northwestern portion (Posen, West Prussia) to Prussia, and thus to the German Reich, and the southern (Galicia and Lodomeria) to Austria-Hungary. As the Central Powers and Russia bordered one another on Polish territory, the war in the East was predominantly fought there. Thr…

South Tyrol

(754 words)

Author(s): Afflerbach, Holger
South Tyrol The part of the Tyrol situated south of the Brenner. Between August 1914 and May 1915, South Tyrol was disputed territory between the Italians and Italy’s Triple Alliance partners Austria-Hungary and the German Reich. At issue initially was Trentino (according to the census of 1910: 393,111 inhabitants, of whom 366,844 were speakers of Italian and Ladin, 13,893 German-speakers, 2,666 speakers of other languages, and 9,708 foreigners, the greater portion of them North Italians), then th…

Zetkin, Clara

(470 words)

Author(s): Rouette, Susanne
Zetkin, Clara ( July 5, 1857, Wiederau [Saxony] – June 20, 1933, Arkhangelskoye, Russia), German politician and feminist. Zetkin was an active leading representative of both the international workers’ movement and the socialist women’s movement in Germany, and their leading theorist. She had led the editorial offices of the socialist women’s newspaper Die Gleichheit (Equality) since 1892. Zetkin belonged to the left, antimilitary wing of the Social-Democratic Party (SPD). Right up to August 1914, she agitated against rearmament and war. Unlike the…

September Program (Septemberprogramm)

(581 words)

Author(s): Roolf, Christoph
September Program ( Septemberprogramm) A four-page document issued by the Reich Chancellery in its final version on September 9, 1914, with the innocuous title of Vorläufige Richtlinien über unsere Politik bei Friedensschluß (Provisional Political Guidelines for when Peace is Concluded). The September Program bears the signature of Reich Chancellor Bethmann Hollweg. It counts as the first, comprehensive war-objectives program of the German Reich leadership in the World War. It resulted from weeks of consultations by the Reich…

Conscription

(596 words)

Author(s): Storz, Dieter
Conscription A state’s compulsory enlistment of its citizens for military service. Conscription in the modern sense arose during the French Revolution. The new state, founded on the will of the people, demanded military service from its citizens. This enabled the state to expand its armed forces enormously, and to intensify its military activities accordingly. European monarchies too had to resort to this means of raising an army, if they wished to assert themselves militarily against France. Once Napoleon…

Students

(1,543 words)

Author(s): Weber, Thomas
Students Students were clearly overrepresented among the soldiers of the First World War. The mention of exclusively or predominantly student-recruited military units in wartime and postwar literature, however, belongs to the realm of fiction. Its origins must be sought in the frequently politically motivated idealizations that were characteristic of journalistic publications and commemorative events. The most famous German example is the myth that “student regiments” singing the German national …

Rasputin, Grigori Yefimovich

(375 words)

Author(s): Lindemann, Mechthild
Rasputin, Grigori Yefimovich (Probably 1872, Pokrovskoye [near Tyumen] – December 30, 1916, Saint Petersburg [murdered]; actually G.Y. Novykh), Russian monk. Rasputin was a close confidant of the Russian imperial family and especially of Tsarina Alexandra, who viewed the son of a Siberian peasant as the representative of “true Russia” and as the person who could heal Alexei, the hemophiliac heir to the throne. Stays in monasteries and pilgrimages, among other things to Mount Athos and to the Holy L…

Armed Forces (Great Britain)

(4,680 words)

Author(s): Bourne, J.M.
Armed Forces (Great Britain) The First World War was a highly unpleasant experience for the British. The perception of this war in public opinion was once summed up by the historian A.J.P. Taylor in the disparaging words “brave, helpless soldiers; blundering, obstinate generals; nothing achieved.” This negative view was primarily the consequence of the losses of human life, as the number of casualties among the soldiers was without precedent in the history of Great Britain. The majority of these los…

Dukhonin, Nicolay Nicolayevich

(216 words)

Author(s): Dahlmann, Dittmar
Dukhonin, Nicolay Nicolayevich (December 13, 1876, Smolensk Governorate – December 3, 1917, Mogilev), Russian general. Dukhonin came from a noble family in the Smolensk Governorate. He graduated from the Alexander Military School in 1896 and from the Academy of the General Staff in 1902. At the outset of the World War he initially commanded a regiment, and in June of 1916 was appointed quartermaster general of the Southwestern Front. During June–August of 1917 he served as chief of Staff of the Sou…

Social Democracy

(1,232 words)

Author(s): Mühlhausen, Walter
Social Democracy A political movement in the German Imperial Reich seeking social and political emancipation of the workers. In the First World War, it suffered its greatest crisis, culminating in 1917 in a permanent split. On the eve of the war, with about a million members, the German Social Democratic Party (SPD) was the largest party in Germany, and with 110 members the strongest group in Parliament, but it split on the question of the “fortress truce” ( Burgfrieden) policy. Although shortly before the outbreak of war the party leadership called its membership to demo…

War Enthusiasm

(799 words)

Author(s): Ullrich, Volker
War Enthusiasm In August 1914, the Germans went to war in a wave of general enthusiasm – or so it was claimed until recently in schoolbooks and in a number of representative works written by German historians. This stereotyped conception has, in the meantime, been increasingly challenged and corrected in a number of crucial points. Accordingly, it can now stated with certainty that an “August Experience” in the sense of an enthusiastic, nationwide approval of the war that would have mobilized all social classes did not take place. …

Animals

(1,008 words)

Author(s): Werth, German
Animals The use of animals for war service is known from antiquity. Elephants, bears, or packs of bloodhounds were used to break open enemy lines. Clay balls containing poisonous snakes were used as projectiles. Most often used as “war equipment” was the horse, in a team to pull combat vehicles and naturally, as a mount for a rider. Surprisingly, it was not during the First World War – in which mechanization was at first of less significance – but during the Second World War that the use of horses was comparatively greater. Despite being engaged in pos…

Curzon Line

(287 words)

Author(s): Hecker, Hans
Curzon Line Demarcation line between Poland and Soviet Russia that was proposed by the British government on July 11, 1920, during the Interallied Conference at Spa, with the aim of establishing a cease-fire in the Polish-Soviet War. Named after the then British Foreign Secretary Lord (George) Curzon, it was based on the recommendation of the Commission for Polish Affairs that had been endorsed by the Entente Powers in Paris on December 8, 1919. The line was suggested as a possible eastern border …

Fourteen Points

(899 words)

Author(s): Waechter, Matthias
Fourteen Points Fourteen Points stands for the peace aims of American President Woodrow Wilson, who made them public in a speech before the United States Congress on January 8, 1918. The basic reasons for American participation in the war were already clear. To justify America’s joining the war in April 1917, Wilson stressed that the United States was not interested in realizing any narrowly defined national demands. Rather, he meant to for liberal political principles to be implemented globally, …

Rainbow Books

(583 words)

Author(s): Zala, Sacha
Rainbow Books Official printed texts or collections of diplomatic documents, appearing on an ad hoc basis treating primarily questions of foreign policy. A government published “rainbow books,” frequently during or after an international crisis, in order to inform its parliament and/or public, to legitimize its own policy, and/or to criticize the policy of a foreign state. The books owe their name to the colors of their bindings, used on a consistent basis by the various governments: Great Britain blue; Germa…

Military Losses (Casualties)

(1,331 words)

Author(s): Overmans, Rüdiger
Military Losses (Casualties) There is little agreement in the literature as to the casualties sustained by the states that took part in the First World War. Figures vary between about 6 and about 13 million. A principle reason for the different estimates lies in the fact that definitions of the term “casualties” differ greatly. In the narrow military terminology of the time and in the specialized military literature, “casualties” frequently included all those soldiers who were no longer available t…

Entente

(1,077 words)

Author(s): Becker, Jean-Jaques
Entente Also referred to as the Triple Entente, this was one of the great alliances that had formed in Europe at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century. Although these alliances are ascribed a certain responsibility for the outbreak of the First World War, they were far less stable and less systematically structured than was later claimed. The system of alliances created by Reich Chancellor Bismarck after the war of 1870/1871 had as its goal the isolation of France in Europe, and to that end the maintenance of good relations with…

Beseler, Hans Hartwig von

(293 words)

Author(s): Hecker, Hans
Beseler, Hans Hartwig von (April 27, 1850, Greifswald – December 20, 1921, Neubabelsberg), German general. At the outbreak of World War I Beseler took command of IIIrd Reserve Corps, and was ordered on September 17, 1914, to besiege the city of Antwerp. The fall of this strategically important fortress on October 9, 1914, established Beseler’s reputation. In August of 1915 he was responsible for the successful siege of Modlin Fortress near Warsaw which helped push the Russian army out of Poland. On …

Armed Forces (Austria-Hungary)

(3,011 words)

Author(s): Rauchensteiner, Manfried
Armed Forces (Austria-Hungary) The organization of the Austro-Hungarian Armed Forces during the First World War originated in the Compromise of 1867. Under this agreement the Habsburg Monarchy sported the outward appearance of a dual monarchy, yet internally there was minimal uniformity, and the merest balance of interests. The major weakness of the Compromise between the Kingdom of Hungary and the remainder of the Double Monarchy was the fact that the Slavs within Austria-Hungary, who had mainly s…

Russian Revolution

(1,052 words)

Author(s): Kochanek, Hildegard
Russian Revolution Neither the Russian army, nor their economy, nor their political system was equal to the demands of the World War, contributing to the end of the Russian Tsarist Empire. Another major reason was the rapid loss of trust, at all levels of society, which the regime had endured during the war years. As the situation at the military front continued to worsen, an even deeper conflict developed between Tsar Nicholas II and the State Duma. The subsistence crisis engendered by the wartim…

Occupation (West)

(1,527 words)

Author(s): Kramer, Alan
Occupation (West) Occupation is the temporary authority over foreign territory during war. According to international law, a territory is considered occupied when “it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army” ( Hague Convention Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land

After the Vote was Won. The Fate of the Women’s Suffrage Movement in Russia After the October Revolution: Individuals, Ideas and Deeds

(7,787 words)

Author(s): Shnyrova, Olga
Shnyrova, Olga - After the Vote was Won. The Fate of the Women’s Suffrage Movement in Russia After the October Revolution: Individuals, Ideas and Deeds Keywords: October Revolution | Russia | women's suffrage ISFWWS-Keywords: Russia | Politics | Gender | Intellectuals and the War | Women and War | Society | Pre-war period Abstract: As the women's movement in Russia has its own specific history which is connected with the peculiarities of the political and economic development of the country, this chapter starts with a short preamble …

Pan-German League

(886 words)

Author(s): Hagenlücke, Heinz
Pan-German League Radical nationalistic organization in Germany. The Pan-German League (Alldeutscher Verband, ADV) was founded in Berlin in April 1891 and (until 1894) operated under the name Allgemeiner Deutscher Verband (“General German Association”). It was formed as a non-party organization on the initiative of a small circle of activists that included representatives from the community of “ethnic Germans” living outside of the German Empire ( Volksdeutsche), several colonial propagandists with ties to Carl Peters, and Alfred Hugenberg, who was still a yo…

Artillery

(3,394 words)

Author(s): Storz, Dieter
Artillery Next to infantry and cavalry, artillery was the third combat arm of the land forces in 1914. Its task was to support other branches of the service, in particular the infantry. Since modern warfare was thought of as a war of movement, artillery doctrine, equipment and training were designed for mobile combat. It had to be able to follow the infantry in the field. This requirement restricted the weight and thus the caliber and ballistic capability of the guns. The primary weapons of the a…

Artois

(704 words)

Author(s): Jauffret, Jean-Charles
Artois Landscape in the northern French département of Pas-de-Calais and in 1914–1915 the site of three Allied offensives. Following the Battle of Arras (October 1–13, 1914), the French High Command had since mid-November of 1914 been working toward renewing the offensive. The plan proposed by the French commander in chief, General Joseph Joffre, envisioned two simultaneous attacks to cut off the large German salient between Arras and Reims: one in the Champagne region, and the other one in Artoi…

Brest-Litovsk, Treaty of

(1,047 words)

Author(s): Kochanek, Hildegard
Brest-Litovsk, Treaty of The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk is the peace treaty signed on March 3, 1918, by Germany, Austria-Hungary, Turkey, Bulgaria, and Soviet Russia. After the October Revolution, the fact that the Bolsheviks had included a call for an immediate end to the war in their October Manifesto introduced the prospect of concluding a separate peace with the Central Powers. Already on November 8, 1917, one day after the fall of the Provisional Government, the Second All-Russian Congress of Soviets rejected Lenin’s Decree on Peace, his proposal for an immediate “peace witho…

Samsonov, Aleksandr Vassilievich

(254 words)

Author(s): Dahlmann, Dittmar
Samsonov, Aleksandr Vassilievich (November 14, 1859 – August 30, 1914, near Neidenburg), Russian general. Samsonov was a graduate of the Nikolaev Cavalry School (1877) and the General Staff Academy (1884). He became commander of a brigade in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904/1905, and later commander of a division of Siberian Cossacks. Ataman of the Don Cossacks from 1907 to 1909, from 1909 to 1914 he was governor general of Turkestan and commandant of the Turkestan military district. In August 1914 S…

Enver Pasha, Ismail

(471 words)

Author(s): Zürcher, Eric N.
Enver Pasha, Ismail (Ismail Enver Efendi; November 22, 1881, Constantinople – August 4, 1922, near Baljuvon [Tajikistan]), Ottoman general and politician (war minister). Enver Pasha’s family was from Macedonia. His father was a minor official. Enver attended various military academies and in 1902 graduated from the general staff academy in Constantinople. He was one of the initiators of the Young Turks’ coup in January 1913. He was finally appointed minister of war in January 1914, and in that posi…

War Aims

(1,667 words)

Author(s): Mommsen, Wolfgang J.
War Aims Prior to the outbreak of the war, none of the European Powers had pursued concrete territorial annexation aims that might have significantly influenced their decision to take up arms. Soon after the beginning of the war, however, the issue of war aims began to be debated in all countries, at first mostly behind closed doors. The British foreign secretary Sir Edward Grey was able to prevent a public discussion of British war aims. Great Britain was quite resolute in its demand that the ind…

War Damage

(2,196 words)

Author(s): Thoss, Bruno
War Damage Damages and costs incurred during the war through the destruction of military equipment and weaponry, but also as a consequence of property damage in the regions directly affected by the war. War damage thus refers to the material costs of the war in the narrow sense. The calculation of war costs in the wider sense as well as of material losses in the narrow sense is so fraught with difficulties that all figures can only be seen as rough approximations. This already became evident during a first general assessment carried out for t…

China

(2,662 words)

Author(s): Mühlhahn, Klaus
China The largest state by population and area in eastern Asia; a republic from 1911 to 1949. Although China was scarcely involved militarily in the First World War, the war nevertheless represented an important turning point for the country. The consequences of the war fundamentally changed both China’s status in international politics and its internal political and social circumstances. China’s involvement in the First World War was a long-term result of the expansion of European imperialism. Increased rivalry between the Great Powers, in their strugg…

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…

Brusilov, Aleksei Alekseevich

(338 words)

Author(s): Kochanek, Hildegard
Brusilov, Aleksei Alekseevich (August 31, 1853, Tiflis, modern Tbilisi – March 17, 1926, Moscow), Russian general and commander in chief of the Russian Army. Brusilov was born into an ancient Russian noble family with a long military tradition. After completing his preparatory military training with the Imperial Corps of Pages he joined the Dragoons of the Tver Regiment in the Caucasus. He fought in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878 and was decorated multiple times. At the élite Cavalry Officer Sc…

Judaism

(604 words)

Author(s): Sieg, Ulrich
Judaism In all the belligerent states, Jews strove to give evidence of national loyalty. It would be well, however, to take care before singling out a particular Jewish patriotism. Western European Jewry was already largely integrated before 1914. Its national engagement was self-evident, and by no means a form of “total assimilation.” Statements by Jewish organizations that are usually interpreted as an expression of Jewish “hyper-patriotism” can be understood against the background of the press…

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 …

Flex, Walter

(544 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Thomas F.
Flex, Walter (July 6, 1887, Eisenach – October 16, 1917 [killed in action], Ösel, Estonia), German author. Flex was the son of a teacher. After studying and earning a doctorate (1910), he worked as a private tutor, among others, for the Bismarck family. Having volunteered for the war in 1914, he initially served in the Argonne before being trained as an officer in the vicinity of Posen (1915). He was subsequently deployed in Lithuania, but returned to the Western Front in 1917. From July 1917 onward, Flex spent a short time in Berlin revising the book The Russian Spring Offensive of 1916 ( Die ru…

Occupation (East)

(1,730 words)

Author(s): Liulevicius, Vejas Gabriel
Occupation (East) In 1915, the German Reich and Austria-Hungary conquered enormous areas of Eastern Europe, and subjected them to an occupation regime. Among the areas in question were Russian Poland and Lithuania, and parts of the Baltic provinces (now Estonia and Latvia), Belarus (White Russia), the Ukraine, Russia, and Serbia. These conquests were joined by Romania in 1916. As there was no detailed prewar planning for such an event, the occupation was initially characterized by improvisation and ad hoc policies with various different plans being proposed for the future…

Parliamentarization

(630 words)

Author(s): Mai, Günther
Parliamentarization From 1871 the German Reich was a constitutional monarchy. The Kaiser appointed and dismissed the chancellor, who was the only member of the imperial government responsible to the Reichstag (the lower house of parliament), and without whose agreement the Kaiser could not take political action. The chancellor could not rule for long against a majority of the Reichstag, since the Reichstag had the right to adopt the budget. Even before 1914, constitutional reality had changed in …

July Crisis

(720 words)

Author(s): Krumeich, Gerd
July Crisis Few topics from the history of the First World War have been discussed more intensively by historians and in the public arena than the July Crisis of 1914. Into the 1930s in Germany, the foremost question was that of the justice of the accusation of “war guilt” as expressed in Article 231 of the Versailles Treaty. In this case the predominant opinion initially, and even after the Second World War, was that all the powers “stumbled” into war. In the 1960s, Fritz Fischer brought to the c…

Fraternizing

(470 words)

Author(s): Jahr, Christoph
Fraternizing Spontaneous and unauthorized ending of fighting and leaving one’s own position with a view to making direct contact with enemy soldiers. Precise details of the extent of fraternizing are, of course, not available. The available sources, however, show clearly that the center of these events is to be found in those sectors of the Western Front in which German and British soldiers faced one another. Individual acts of camaraderie at Christmas, and informal truces, were also reported from German-French sectors and from the Eastern Front. The most spectacular case of frat…

Antisemitism

(880 words)

Author(s): Sieg, Ulrich
Antisemitism The First World War constituted a sharp turning point in the history of Antisemitism. It brought the radicalization of anti-Jewish stereotypes and gave rise to ideologies demanding the exclusion of Jews from what was perceived to be a völkisch (i.e. racially homogenous) German nation. The Burgfrieden (literally Fortress Truce: an agreement among political parties not to criticize the government or the war effort) declared by the Kaiser on August 4, 1914, was soon revealed to be no more than a “fair-weather” concept. In the very…

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…

Kerensky Offensive

(725 words)

Author(s): Krumeich, Gerd
Kerensky Offensive Contrary to the expectations and hopes of the Central Powers, the Russian February Revolution initially brought a considerable improvement of Russia’s political and military fighting morale. Alexander Kerensky, minister of war from May 19, 1917, onward, followed the motto that Russia was by and large in favor of a “peace without annexations and contributions,” but under certain circumstances also ready to fight for a “peace without defeat.” In July 1917, Kerensky toured the fron…

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 …

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…

Merrheim, Alphonse

(302 words)

Author(s): Mollenhauer, Daniel
Merrheim, Alphonse (May 7, 1871, La Madeleine [Département Nord] – October 22, 1925 [unknown]), French trade union leader. Merrheim was born into a working class family in the industrial region of Northern France. In the 1890s he joined the Syndicalist movement aimed at the takeover of the means of production by autonomous trade unions, as advocated by the Confédération Générale du Travail (CGT), in which he himself took on a leading role after the turn of the century. At the outbreak of the First World War, Merrheim differed from the leadership of the CGT under Léon Jouhaux in rejecting the U…

Goremykin, Ivan Legginovitch

(170 words)

Author(s): Dahlmann, Dittmar
Goremykin, Ivan Legginovitch (August 11, 1839, Novgorod – December 24, 1917, Caucasus [murdered]), Russian politician. Goremykin was descended from a noble family of the Novgorod Gouvernement. A jurist, he was minister of the interior from 1895–1899. After 1899, he was a member of the Imperial Council. From May to July 1906, then again from January 1914 to January 1916, he served as prime minister. He is remembered as a politically weak figure, a typical reactionary, and especially as the marionett…

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…

Military Courts

(861 words)

Author(s): Jahr, Christoph
Military Courts This special law jurisdiction is limited to military personnel. It provides for a host of criminal offense categories that are not included in civilian criminal law. It is noteworthy that, as in civilian jurisprudence, criminal law is handled separately from procedural law. A comprehensive modernization of the military legal system was undertaken in numerous countries in the closing years of the 19th century. During the World War, the following regulations applied in the specified warring states: in Germany, the Militärstrafgesetzbuch of 1872; in France, the Code d…

Chantilly Conference

(554 words)

Author(s): Becker, Jean-Jacques
Chantilly Conference The second Interallied Conference in 1915, held in the French headquarters north of Paris. Ever since the beginning of the war, the Allies had fought without really attempting to coordinate their operations. This approach benefited the interests of the Central Powers, whose geographical position allowed them to reinforce their troops in precisely those sectors where it was needed. During the first two years of the war the general situation seemed rather favorable for the Central Powers, even though they were unable to achieve a decisive victory. The Allies were…
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