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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. …

Famine

(1,380 words)

Author(s): Corni, Gustavo
Famine The long duration of the war, reciprocal blockades of food imports, and the exploitation of regions occupied by the Central Powers all caused occasional dramatic occurrences of famine in the World War. In the German Reich and Austria especially, the food situation during the second half of the war was appalling. In Germany, the lack of planning to maintain the food supply in case of war was partly the blame for the quantitative and qualitative decline in the diet of a majority of the German civilian population. The weekly flour ration fell…

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…

Big Bertha

(279 words)

Author(s): Gross, Gerhard P.
Big Bertha Name popularly given to the 42-cm mortar on a wheeled carriage developed by the Krupp Company, and named after the eldest daughter of Friedrich Alfred Krupp. Commissioned by the Prussian general staff as a howitzer with the aim of destroying the modern fortifications located in Belgium and France along the line of the planned Prussian advance. In 1909 Krupp proposed the 42-cm short naval cannon 12/16, with the cover-name Gamma Device, often also referred to as dicke Bertha (BB). This platform gun was transported by rail and fired 930-kg shells up to a distance o…

Uniforms

(1,390 words)

Author(s): Kraus, Jürgen
Uniforms At the beginning of the war, the armies of most warring states were outfitted with a special field uniform, camouflaged to blend into the terrain, in addition to their colorful parade uniforms. Such a camouflage uniform was necessary because of modern weapons technology including smokeless powder. This was already well known from the Boer Wars and the Russo-Japanese War. Still, camouflage uniforms dated back to the colonial wars of the 19th century. Based on experience in India, Great Br…

Eastern Front

(1,205 words)

Author(s): Stone, Norman
Eastern Front The topography of the Eastern Front differed markedly from that of the Western Front. For one thing, it was twice as long as the Western Front, stretching in an irregular line from the southeast corner of the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea – including the Bulgarian Front and all the way to the Aegean Sea. Although the terrain was mainly gently rolling, or else flat and forested, the Carpathian Mountains along the Polish and Hungarian borders could pose a significant obstacle for militar…

Public Opinion, Study of

(594 words)

Author(s): Ziemann, Benjamin
Public Opinion, Study of Opinion polls, often systematically organized, were taken periodically regarding the outlook of different population groups on politics, the war situation, the economic situation, and other topics, with the object of obtaining information for official use concerning public opinion The study of public opinion was based upon various kinds of reports officially collected as part of government reforms after 1812, including the Prussian Zeitungsberichte, and the weekly reports on the workers’ movement beginning in 1848 in Bavaria, the Wochenberichte. Thes…

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…

Isonzo

(796 words)

Author(s): Isnenghi, Mario
Isonzo River located in the Karst region of Slovenia near the front in the Alps where, between 1915 and 1917, Italian and Austro-Hungarian troops opposed one another. Directly after Italy had joined the war in May 1915, their Chief of Staff Luigi Cadorna had wanted to undertake a penetration of the Austrian heartland across the Isonzo. However, the Imperial Austrian Army troops held their defensive positions. The war, which devolved into independent actions in the High Alps, was cemented here at …

Motor Vehicles

(664 words)

Author(s): Storz, Dieter
Motor Vehicles The technology of motor vehicles had already been progressing at a tremendous pace before the outbreak of the war. Dissatisfied with their cumbersome, horse-drawn supply convoys, all the armies were greatly interested in trucks. However, the technological advances were so rapid that motor vehicles soon became obsolete, which spoke against their acquisition for the army. Instead, most nations decided to help the private economy purchase trucks in exchange for the obligation to place …

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, Article 42). Not to be viewed as occupation are the systems of government in Ireland, Alsace-Lorraine, the non-Russian part of the Tsarist Empire etc., even though their administrations developed techniques of asserting their authority which resemble…

Owen, Wilfred

(538 words)

Author(s): Winter, Jay
Owen, Wilfred (March 18, 1893, Oswestry [Shropshire] – November 4, 1918, Landrecies [Département du Nord; killed]), British lyric poet. During the World War Owen served on the Western Front with the Second Manchesters. His experiences in positional warfare provided the material for forceful lyrics, which after his death counted among the most significant English-language testimonials of the antiwar movement. Owen had already travelled to France, where he worked as a language teacher. Then in 1915, he returned to England to enlist as a volunteer soldier.…

Roques, Pierre Auguste

(230 words)

Author(s): Krumeich, Gerd
Roques, Pierre Auguste (December 20, 1856, Marseillan [département Hérault] – February 26, 1920, Saint-Cloud [near Paris]), French general (minister of war). Roques first made his reputation during his service in the French colonial army in the 1890s as General Gallieni closest subordinate in the pacification and development of Madagascar, where he was responsible for the creation of a technical infrastructure. General of a division and responsible in the war ministry for technical troops from 1909…

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…

Kiggell, Sir Launcelot

(246 words)

Author(s): Tiefel, Marcus A.
Kiggell, Sir Launcelot (October 2, 1862, Ballingarry [Limerick] – February 23, 1954, Felixstowe [Suffolk]), British general. A general of traditional views and a confidant of Sir Douglas Haig, Kiggell was promoted to the rank of major-general in 1914 and served in the War Office until November 1915. Summoned to France by Haig in December of the same year, he was appointed chief of staff of the British Expeditionary Force. However, the Sandhurst-educated Kiggell had until then never had an opportuni…

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…

Immelmann, Max

(341 words)

Author(s): Schmidt, Wolfgang
Immelmann, Max (September 21, 1890, Dresden – June 18, 1916, Northern France [crashed]), German airman and officer. After graduating from school and completing his training as a reserve officer in a Prussian railway regiment, Immelmann studied mechanical engineering at the Technical University of Dresden from 1912 to 1914. Called up for active military duty in the railway forces at the beginning of the war, he was then trained as an airplane pilot and stationed on the Western Front from 1915 onwar…

Winning And Losing: France On The Marne And On The Meuse

(11,023 words)

Author(s): Doughty, Robert A.
Doughty, Robert A. - Winning And Losing: France On The Marne And On The Meuse Keywords: French Army and its combattants | Western Front | France | Germany | Science, Technology, and Medicine | French society during the war Abstract: The 1914 battle of the Marne and the 1940 battle of the Meuse are two of the most famous battles of the twentieth century. In 1914 France lost the battle of the frontiers and won the "miracle of the Marne." The victory on the Marne brought elation and celebration; the French had parrie…

Submarine Warfare

(2,604 words)

Author(s): Rohwer, Jürgen
Submarine Warfare Grossadmiral Alfred von Tirpitz, secretary of state for the German Imperial Navy Bureau, was mainly interested in the battle fleet and initially had little regard for submarines. So the construction of U1 did not begin until 1904/1905, and, by the beginning of the First World War, only 28 submarines were in service in the German Navy. Of these, only the final ten were equipped with operationally safe diesel engines for running on the surface. Tirpitz’ intention at the beginning of the war was to use submarines for reconnaissance against the British Gra…

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…

Balfour Declaration

(486 words)

Author(s): Sieg, Ulrich
Balfour Declaration Statement by the British government made in a letter from the Foreign Secretary Arthur J. Balfour to Lord Lionel Rothschild on November 2, 1917, expressing support for the “establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.” The Manchester-based British Palestine Committee had campaigned for the Declaration. The most prominent advocate was Chaim Weizmann, an advisor to the British government, who enjoyed good contacts with Lord Balfour and the (then) Chancello…

A Bitter-Sweet Victory: Feminisms in France (1918–1923)

(8,697 words)

Author(s): Bard, Christine
Bard, Christine - A Bitter-Sweet Victory: Feminisms in France (1918–1923) Keywords: feminists | France | La Garçonne | pacifism ISFWWS-Keywords: France | Politics | Legacy | Gender | Germany | French society during the war | Women and War | Legacy Abstract: Feminists in France were to share in the mass jubilation of 11 November 1918. From the beginning of the 1920s, the pacifist propaganda of women was based on a naturalistic discourse, namely: 'woman' is a pacifist by nature. The degree of naturalisation/essentialisatio…

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…

Luring Neutrals: Allied and German Propaganda in Argentina during the First World War

(10,707 words)

Author(s): Tato, María Inés
Tato, María Inés - Luring Neutrals: Allied and German Propaganda in Argentina during the First World War ISFWWS-Keywords: South America | Economy | Literature | Culture | Britain | The United States of America | France | Germany | Naval Warfare World War I and Propaganda Troy R.E. Paddock , (2014) Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, 2014 e-ISBN: 9789004264571 DOI: 10.1163/9789004264571_016 © 2014 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Tato, María Inés

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…

League of Nations

(487 words)

Author(s): Dülffer, Jost
League of Nations (German: Völkerbund, French: Société des Nations). The measures instituted by the Hague Peace Conferences of 1899 and 1907 proved insufficient to prevent war. Therefore, during the World War, the peace movements of several nations considered founding a new institution. After 1917–1918 government representatives in Great Britain, France, the United States, and also the German Reich increasingly considered the possibilities. For American President Woodrow Wilson, the creation of a League…

Paris, Berlin: War Memory in Two Capital Cities (1914–1933)

(12,440 words)

Author(s): Julien, Elise
Julien, Elise - Paris, Berlin: War Memory in Two Capital Cities (1914–1933) Keywords: Home fronts | Society | France | Germany | Legacy | Politics ‛Warfare and Belligerence’ Pierre Purseigle, Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, 2005 e-ISBN: 9789047407362 DOI: 10.1163/9789047407362.016 © 2005 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Julien, Elise

Liaisons not so Dangerous: First World War Liaison Officers and Marshal Ferdinand Foch

(9,133 words)

Author(s): Greenhalgh, Elizabeth
Greenhalgh, Elizabeth - Liaisons not so Dangerous: First World War Liaison Officers and Marshal Ferdinand Foch Keywords: DuCane | First World War | General Ferdinand Foch | liaison Officers ISFWWS-Keywords: French Army and its combattants | Military organisation of combat | France | Britain | Soldiers and Combat | International Relations during the War | Politics | Belgium Abstract: This paper examines the work of Foch's liaison officers in order to show how their reporting illuminates his actions in carrying out his various wartime command r…

Luxembourg

(1,322 words)

Author(s): Majerus, Benoît
Luxembourg The First World War scarcely has a presence in the collective memory of Luxembourgers, and the country’s historians have until now shown little interest in the period. Luxembourg’s entry into the Zollverein (German Customs Union, 1842) engendered very close economic links between the Grand Duchy and the neighboring German territories. Luxembourg’s railways passed into German Reich ownership in 1872, and the rise of the iron industry was facilitated by both German capital (e.g. Gelsenkirchener Bergwerk AG) and German workers (more than half the foreigners livi…
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