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Advertising

(660 words)

Author(s): Berghoff, Hartmut
Advertising As an instrument of company trade policies, advertising underwent a lasting change during the World War. In August 1914 sales collapsed. Despite a partial recovery, sales figures were not to return to prewar levels before 1918. There were five reasons for advertising’s loss of importance. First, armament production came ever more strongly to the foreground, supplanting many heavily advertised consumer goods. Second, advertising was superfluous for many products. Some were scarce, so t…

Remarque, Erich Maria

(831 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Thomas F.
Remarque, Erich Maria ( June 22, 1898, Osnabrück – September 25, 1970, Locarno; born Erich Paul Remark), German writer. Remarque was born into a working-class family, and trained in Osnabrück as an elementary-school teacher; conscripted into the army in 1916, he underwent initial military training at Osnabrück and Celle. He served as a sapper on the Arras and Ypres fronts from June 1917. On July 31 at Houthulst in Flanders he was seriously wounded and spent the rest of the war in a military hospita…

Battlefield Tourism

(601 words)

Author(s): Brandt, Susanne
Battlefield Tourism This term covers visits both to former war locations and landscapes and to military cemeteries of the First World War. The majority of “battlefield tourists” during the 1920s and 1930s were relatives of the fallen. Every French citizen, for example, received a free railway pass every year to visit the military cemeteries. The English travel bureau Thomas Cook specialized in accompanying British visitors to the cemeteries and memorials in Belgium and France, which had begun to be constructed soon a…

Škoda 30.5-cm Siege Howitzer

(528 words)

Author(s): Storz, Dieter
Škoda 30.5-cm Siege Howitzer 30.5-cm M 11 mortar of the Austro-Hungarian army, a weapon specifically designed to destroy the most modern fortress complexes. At the beginning of the war, the Austro-Hungarian army possessed 24 howitzers of this type, designed and manufactured by the Škoda company. The gun could be dismantled into three parts, and was transported by a motorized tractor, which gave this “marvelous gun” (in the words of the Austrian general-staff manual) a degree of mobility not achieved…

Spain

(827 words)

Author(s): Albes, Jens
Spain This one-time world power had sunk to the level of a second-rate power after the 17th century. During the World War, however, it grew to become the most important neutral state of Europe. Favorably situated geo-strategically – two continents plus two oceans meeting at the Straits of Gibraltar – Spain constituted a veritable island of neutrality, surrounded by the warring states of France with Morocco, England with Gibraltar, and after March 1916 Portugal as well. That caused this land on the Iberian Peninsula to unexpectedly become the object of international interest. Despite co…

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…

Battle of the Frontiers

(647 words)

Author(s): Pöhlmann, Markus
Battle of the Frontiers Collective term for a series of engagements that were fought in Belgium and France in the course of the German invasion between August 20 and 24, 1914. The German operational plan had envisioned a strong right wing enveloping the bulk of the French, British, and Belgian forces in northern France. Following the successful coup de main against Liège this right wing consisting of the First, Second, and Third Armies advanced through Belgium toward the French border. The Fourth and Fifth Armies moved through Luxembourg and the Ardenne…

Mitchell, William Lendrum

(397 words)

Author(s): Tiefel, Marcus A.
Mitchell, William Lendrum (December 29, 1879, Nice – February 19, 1936, New York), United States general. Mitchell recognized the potential of the air weapon early on and in the postwar era became an outspoken advocate for making the Air Service an independent branch of the armed forces. After the entry of the United States into the First World War in 1917 Mitchell, a Signal Corps major who had recently learned to fly, was lucky enough to already be in France as an observer with the Allied forces. …

Sports

(883 words)

Author(s): Werth, German
Sports When the World War broke out, the Burgfrieden (Fortress Truce) between Turner (German workers’ sports movement) gymnasts and other athletes crumbled in the face of the possible awarding of the 1916 Olympic Games to Berlin. The Turner movement was critical of the ‘international Olympiad,’ rejecting its games as “English attempts to break records,” and not for Germans. Once it became clear that the war would last awhile, the idea grew of replacing the Olympiad with “German war games” as their “national Olympic games.” Accordingly in 1917, the Deutscher Reichsausschuss für die …

Protestantism

(641 words)

Author(s): Hübinger, Gangolf
Protestantism In the years before the outbreak of war, Anglo-Saxon Protestantism made repeated efforts to establish closer international relations with other churches. The World Alliance for Promoting International Friendship through the Churches, financially supported by the American industrialist Andrew Carnegie, with Friedrich Siegmund Schultze as its German contact, had called its founding assembly in Constance for the 3rd and 4th August of 1914. However, as the war began all the churches qui…

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 …

South Africa

(1,166 words)

Author(s): Nasson, Bill
South Africa The Union of South Africa came into being on May 31, 1910, with the coming into force of the South Africa Act, a common constitution for the British Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Natal, and Transvaal. Ruled by white settlers, the Union was granted the status of a self-governing dominion within Britain’s African Empire. South Africa was thus constitutionally bound to adhere to British foreign policy, including the event of a war. Although the question of the country’s joining the Fir…

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…

Tank

(1,187 words)

Author(s): Gross, Gerhard P.
Tank Originally a code name that is still being used in some countries today for a heavily armored fighting vehicle. Already prior to World War I, plans had been drawn up in Europe to develop an all-terrain armored fighting vehicle. Although armored cars had been developed, and the tracked vehicle concept was well, no known, no true armored fighting vehicles had been developed before the war. However, with the onset of positional warfare the question arose of how to achieve an operational breakth…

Forced Labor

(1,842 words)

Author(s): Hinz, Uta
Forced Labor It is entirely possible to see the development of state-organized forced labor in Germany between 1914 and 1918 as a kind of “trial run” for the Second World War (Ulrich Herbert). It is necessary first of all to distinguish between legitimate military forms of forced labor (in accordance with the laws of war as they stood at the time, for prisoners of war) and forced labor for civilians. The latter affected many civilians forced to work in Germany, and transported to Germany in breach of international law for that purpose. The use of the labor of captured ordinary soldiers…

The Forgotten Campaign: Alsace-Lorraine August 1914

(9,488 words)

Author(s): Herwig, Holger H.
Herwig, Holger H., - The Forgotten Campaign: Alsace-Lorraine August 1914 Keywords: French Army and its combattants | Western Front | France | Germany | Published memoirs and biographies | Experience of combat | Science, Technology, and Medicine Abstract: The conclusions drawn from the campaign in Alsace-Lorraine are as follows. First, the German army's prewar neglect of electronic communications and the need to assign royal heirs to command field armies combined against efficient coordination between Koblenz and Hell…

North Africa

(2,498 words)

Author(s): Cornelissen, Christoph
North Africa Geographical area stretching from the Atlantic coast of present-day Morocco in the west to the Suez Canal and the Red Sea in the east. The territories in question experienced various phases of political and military subjugation by the European colonial powers before the outbreak of the First World War. The North African territories were subject to differing external and internal political arrangements, and were then administered under direct and indirect forms of rule. France claimed formal sovereignty in Al…

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. …
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