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Compiègne

(335 words)

Author(s): Werth, German
Compiègne French town and railway junction on the River Oise, some 60 km northeast of Paris; in 1917 it became the seat of the French Headquarters (GQG) and later the site of the 1918 Armistice. On November 11, 1918, at around 5:20 am, the Armistice between the Entente represented by chief negotiator Marshal Ferdinand Foch, and the German Empire was signed in a wooded area near Compiègne. The act itself took place in a railway carriage parked in a siding that belonged to a disused railway gun emp…

Medical Services

(704 words)

Author(s): Gradmann, Christoph
Medical Services Under the pressure of the extremely high losses of the first months of the war, and the immobilization of the Western Front, medical services that had initially planned only for a war of movement developed in time into a deeply stratified system of medical care. Stretcher bearers brought the wounded to dressing stations situated close to the front lines. These provided only rudimentary first aid. The next stage was the field hospital, the most important institution for the care of…

Headquarters

(1,417 words)

Author(s): Pöhlmann, Markus
Headquarters Command centers for the supreme military, sometimes also political, leadership set up in the field for the duration of the war. Composition, location, and function of such a headquarters depended on the constitutional position of the supreme military command of each belligerent and the demands of modern mass and coalition warfare. – By far the most comprehensive headquarters at the outbreak of the war was the German “Great Headquarters.” Aside from the German Emperor as the nominal c…

New Zealand

(743 words)

Author(s): Grey, Jeffrey
New Zealand New Zealand shared many World War experiences with its larger Pacific neighbor Australia. Yet there existed just as many differences which could not be erased by the fact that the troops of both states fought in joint contingents like the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) for most of the war. The military organization before the war was based on a territorial militia established in 1909, with a total strength of 25,000 men. Under the military service laws, the stationing of…

Japan

(2,146 words)

Author(s): Schwentker, Wolfgang
Japan Japan rose to become a Great Power in East Asia during the two centuries preceding 1914. Although the Japanese Empire had become the object of Western imperialism during the late 19th century, they had resisted all attempts at colonization. After victories in both the Sino-Japanese War of 1894–1895 and the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–1905, Japan itself stepped into the imperialist arena in East Asia as the new colonial power. As Japan expanded its empire upon the Asian continent before 1914,…

Gas Warfare

(1,909 words)

Author(s): Müller, Rolf-Dieter
Gas Warfare With the large-scale use of poisonous chlorine gas at Ypres on April 22, 1915, the Germans opened a new chapter in the history of modern warfare. It marked the birth of a new “weapon of mass destruction,” which has had a profound impact on war and peace in the twentieth century and beyond. The use of poison gas became one of the hallmark phenomena of the First World War because it changed the image of the soldier and his “chivalrous struggle” much more radically than any other contemporary weapons development. The question of guilt – which side violated the Hague Convention…

Gaulle, Charles de

(360 words)

Author(s): Waechter, Matthias
Gaulle, Charles de (November 22, 1890, Lille – November 9, 1970, Colombey-les-Deux-Églises, Département Haute-Marne), French officer and politician. As a young officer, De Gaulle was decorated among other things, for Verdun. He fell prisoner to the Germans, and undertook several spectacular escape attempts. The World War came to have a special meaning for him, especially for his awareness of politics and history, and for his ideological formation. For De Gaulle, the Union sacrée achieved during the war became his lifelong ideal for a successful, domestic political or…

Reparations

(2,115 words)

Author(s): Geyer, Martin H.
Reparations Since the First World War the normal term for war compensation, by which a state is obliged to remedy damage illicitly caused by it on the sovereign territory of an enemy. In contrast to the traditional practice whereby financial obligations were imposed by the victors in a war in the form of tribute, the concept of reparations introduced the new idea that a state must pay for the damage it has caused another state by an illegal act. The first use in a treaty of the concept réparation des dommages (compensation for damages), drawn from French civil law, was in the cease-f…

Karl I, Emperor of Austria

(573 words)

Author(s): Jerabék, Rudolf
Karl I, Emperor of Austria (August, 17, 1887, Persenbeug [Lower Austria] – April 1, 1922, Quinta do Monte [Madeira]), Emperor of Austria, King of Hungary (Charles IV). Due to the death of the heir apparent Archduke Franz Ferdinand on June 28, 1914, Archduke Karl was suddenly compelled to assume the role of the successor to the throne without careful preparation, and thus too early. In view of the brevity of Emperor Franz Joseph’s remaining life expectancy, young Karl’s military assignment was above a…

‘War Profiteers’ and ‘War Profiters’: Representing Economic Gain in France during the First World War

(13,308 words)

Author(s): Bouloc, François
Bouloc, François - ‘War Profiteers’ and ‘War Profiters’: Representing Economic Gain in France during the First World War Keywords: 'War | Economic Gain | France | Representing | war profiteer | war profiter | World War ISFWWS-Keywords: Society | French society during the war | Home fronts | Economy | Politics | Legacy Abstract: This chapter analyzes questions, how wartime practices were understood, both internally and externally and how moral judgement operated in wartime societies to include or exclude various behaviors or attitud…

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…

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’…

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…

Churchill, Winston Leonard Spencer

(631 words)

Author(s): Cornelissen, Christoph
Churchill, Winston Leonard Spencer (November 30, 1874, Blenheim Palace – January 24, 1965, London), British politician. Churchill’s political development in the years leading up to World War I was significantly shaped by the events of the Second Moroccan Crisis of 1911, in the wake of which he was named first lord of the Admiralty. Churchill held several ministerial posts after switching from the Conservatives to the Liberal Party in 1904: from 1905 to 1908 he served as under-secretary of state for …

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 …

Lanrezac, Charles Louis Marie

(258 words)

Author(s): Krumeich, Gerd
Lanrezac, Charles Louis Marie (July 31, 1852, Guadeloupe – January 18, 1925, Neuilly-sur-Seine), French general. In 1905 Lanrezac, who was known as an expert in tactics, became a professor at the École de Guerre – a function he continued to perform until 1914 when, at the age of 62, he was appointed commander of the Fifth Army. In that capacity he saw action during the French opening offensive into Lorraine and was then exposed to the enveloping German counterattacks near Charleroi (August 22–23, 19…

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…

Albrecht, Duke of Württemberg

(291 words)

Author(s): Kress, Wolfgang
Albrecht, Duke of Württemberg (December 23, 1865, Vienna – October 29, 1939, Altshausen Castle in the district of Ravensburg), Prussian and Wuerttemberg field marshal. Albrecht had joined the army in 1883; at the start of the war the then colonel general and Wuerttembergian heir to the throne was given command of the German Fourth Army, which he led through the Ardennes into France. In October the Fourth Army was transferred to Flanders where it participated in the fighting at the Ypres salient (Fir…

Trench Art

(650 words)

Author(s): Korff, Gottfried
Trench Art The generally accepted cultural-historical term for what, during the First World War and afterwards, was called in Germany Schützengrabenkunst or Kriegsvolkskunst, in France l’art des tranchées or l’artisanat des tranchées, and in Britain also soldiers’ art. Most objects categorized as trench art were produced in military hospitals or prisoner of war camps, using materials found at the front. Examples include flower vases from shell cases, letter openers from shell splinters, small sculptures fashioned in the chalk of the…

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…
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