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Bernhardi, Friedrich Adam Julius von

(494 words)

Author(s): Gerhards, Thomas
Bernhardi, Friedrich Adam Julius von (November 22, 1849, Saint Petersburg – July 10, 1930, Kunnersdorf, Silesia), German general and military writer. After serving in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–1871 Bernhardi was posted to Greece and then Switzerland as military attaché. This was followed in 1898 by his appointment as chief of the War Historical Section I at the Great General Staff, where he laid the foundations for his career as a military writer. From 1909, Bernhardi dedicated his entire time in retirement to that activity. Central to his writings was the propagation of t…

In the Name of Father and Son: Remembering the First World War in Serbia

(11,718 words)

Author(s): Todić, Katarina
Todić, Katarina - In the Name of Father and Son: Remembering the First World War in Serbia ISFWWS-Keywords: The Balkans and Eastern Europe | Legacy | Published memoirs and biographies | Pre-war period | Culture | France Other Fronts, Other Wars? Joachim Bürgschwentner, Matthias Egger and Gunda Barth-Scalmani , (2014) Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, 2014 e-ISBN: 9789004279513 DOI: 10.1163/9789004279513_021 © 2014 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Todić, Katarina

Frontline Theater

(1,304 words)

Author(s): Baumeister, Martin
Frontline Theater Theatrical and related presentations by or for soldiers in the rear areas, in occupied zones, and close to the front lines. The term applies to a variety of practices that arose from a highly diverse set of circumstances. Dramatic presentations by and for members of the armed forces in times of war and peace have a long historical tradition. In the period leading up to the First World War interest in the subject grew steadily among military experts. During the war, however, music…

War Bonds

(647 words)

Author(s): Zilch, Reinhold
War Bonds A form of government borrowing for the financing of war expenditures. War bonds were issued by the belligerent states during the World War, thus allowing for the mobilization of significant parts of the social wealth. Both their attractive conditions – interest rates frequently better than in peacetime – as well as a massive propaganda drive, ensured that the first war bonds were able to raise a considerable amount of capital. The bondholders typically reflected a broad spectrum of the p…

Guchkov, Alexander Ivanovich

(229 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Gerhard
Guchkov, Alexander Ivanovich (October 13/26, 1862, Moscow – February 14, 1936, Paris), Russian industrialist and politician. Guchkov came from a family of Moscow entrepreneurs. In November 1905, in the course of the first Russian Revolution, he was the founder and leader of the Union of the 17th October. In 1906 he became a member of the Imperial Council, in 1907 a member of the Imperial Duma, and its president in 1910–1911. From the end of 1906 Guchkov was the publisher of the Golos Moskvy ( Voice of Moscow) newspaper and from 1915 he was chairman of the Central War Industry Comm…

Petar I Karadjordjević, King of Serbia

(387 words)

Author(s): Höpken, Wolfgang
Petar I Karadjordjević, King of Serbia ( July 11, 1844, Belgrade – August 16, 1921, Belgrade), Serbian king (from 1903), from 1918 king of the newly emerged Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes. A grandson of Karadjordje Petrović, the legendary leader of the Serbian risings of 1804 to 1813, Petar spent the period of his civilian and military education in Switzerland and France after the fall of his father Prince Aleksandar Karadjordjević in 1858. Despite Russian support and links to opponents of…

Troop Strength

(1,120 words)

Author(s): Thoss, Bruno
Troop Strength The initial numbers of soldiers mobilized for immediate wartime service. The peacetime strength of the individual armies before 1914 provided the foundation for troop strength in the war. A cadre of commanders for reserve units and an attachment of reservists for these troop units were included in their mobilization plans. This would make it possible to raise units to wartime strength once the mobilization was begun. The troop strengths planned in the event of war, and the troop str…

Czernin von und zu Chudenitz, Count Ottokar

(345 words)

Author(s): Jerabék, Rudolf
Czernin von und zu Chudenitz, Count Ottokar (September 26, 1872, Dymokury, Bohemia – April 4, 1932, Vienna), Austrian diplomat and politician (foreign minister). Czernin was thought to be particularly close to the heir apparent, Archduke Franz Ferdinand. When in 1913 he became the Dual Monarchy’s envoy to Bucharest after only sporadic service in the diplomatic corps, it was rumoured that he had already been chosen as the next emperor’s first foreign secretary. Following the death of Franz Ferdinand in …

Armed Forces (United States)

(3,756 words)

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

Wolff, Theodor

(305 words)

Author(s): Cornelissen, Christoph
Wolff, Theodor (August 2, 1868, Berlin – September 23, 1943, Berlin), German journalist and politician. For more than 25 years, 1906–1933, the Berliner journalist was editor-in-chief of the Berliner Tageblatt, marked by his decidedly liberal orientation. Before 1914 Wolff already numbered among the most renowned representatives of his profession. Since 1894 he had been serving as the Tageblatt’s Paris correspondent, prominent as a knowledgeable critic of the Wilhelminian political scene. In foreign policy he advocated especially for a German-English r…

Armed Forces (German Empire)

(4,574 words)

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

Lyautey, Louis Hubert Gonzalve

(283 words)

Author(s): Krumeich, Gerd
Lyautey, Louis Hubert Gonzalve (November 17, 1854, Nancy – July 21, 1934, Thorey [Département Meurthe-et-Moselle]), French general and politician (minister of war). A cavalry officer serving at the Saint-Cyr military academy from 1873, Lyautey was politically to the right, but always remained alive to social questions. In the 1890s he produced proposals for reforming the social role of army officers. He was frequently employed in the French colonies in the 1890s, as well as in Algeria. From 1912 he …

Mobilization

(664 words)

Author(s): Thoss, Bruno
Mobilization The conversion of a nation’s military forces to a state of war, callled specifically “military mobilization,” and the adaptation of its government and industry to the demands of the war, known as “military mobilization.” Military mobilization for the World War had been planned in detail during peacetime. The preplanned procedures were intended to outfit military units with personnel, uniforms and equipment so as to bring them swiftly up to war strength. When the war began, frontier p…

Romania

(1,553 words)

Author(s): Höpken, Wolfgang
Romania Having come into being in 1859 in the union of the two Danube principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia, Romania endeavored to remain aloof from the great diplomatic crises and military upheavals that gripped the Balkans from the end of the 19th century. The country accordingly did not participate in the Balkan League comprising Serbia, Greece, Bulgaria, and Montenegro, which declared war on the Ottoman Empire in 1912. However, when Bulgaria’s success in the Balkan War of 1912 appeared to …

Ferry, Abel

(249 words)

Author(s): Mollenhauer, Daniel
Ferry, Abel (May 26, 1881, Paris – September 15, 1918, Jaulzy [Aisne]), French politician. As nephew of Jules Ferry, the dominant French statesman of the 1880s, and as the son of the parliamentarian Charles Ferry, Abel Ferry came from a highly respected political family. After studying law in Paris, in 1909 he was elected to parliament as the deputy for Épinal (department of the Vosges), identifying himself with the moderate left. In the cabinet formed by René Viviani in 1914, Ferry was named unde…

Soixante-Quinze

(621 words)

Author(s): Storz, Dieter
Soixante-Quinze French for 75. Nickname given to the M 1897 75 mm cannon, introduced in 1897 as the standard gun used by the French field artillery. The weapon combined several technical innovations, the most significant of which was the long barrel-recoil system. The energy of the recoil was no longer transmitted directly to the gun’s carriage; instead, the barrel slid on a cradle, which checked its backward motion by means of an integral braking device. At the end of the recoil stage the barrel…

Foch, Ferdinand

(633 words)

Author(s): Becker, Jean-Jacques
Foch, Ferdinand (October 2, 1851, Tarbes – March 20, 1929, Paris) French field marshal. In the course of the large-scale German offensive in March of 1918 the Allies realized that the lack of a central military command on the Western Front might result in a defeat. Up to that point, British generals (with some exceptions) had categorically refused to serve under French command. Now, however, General Foch was given the task of coordinating the operations of the French and British armies; later he r…

Cambrai

(605 words)

Author(s): Werth, German
Cambrai City in the north of France on the canalized River Scheldt (L’Escaut). The “Tank Battle of Cambrai” in November of 1917 saw the first operational massed deployment of British tank forces – a veritable revolution on the battlefield. On November 20, after only a brief burst of fire and without the normal artillery preparation lasting several days, the newly-created British Tank Corps breached the German Hindenburg Line …

Looted Art

(1,176 words)

Author(s): Kott, Christina
Looted Art Originally a term for cultural assets taken away by the enemy in times of war, the looting of art today denotes an illegal act under international law that is perpetrated by belligerent powers and involves the theft of artistic and cultural items in the course of military operations or during occupation. The protection of cultural property had since the end of the 19th century, if not earlier, been one of the fundamental tenets of international law: in particular Article 56 of the Hague Convention Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land (1907) banned “[a]ll seizure of, …

Fortresses

(737 words)

Author(s): Storz, Dieter
Fortresses Sites provided with permanent, artificial reinforcement, so as to protect them from capture by the methods of field warfare. For this reason, the battle for fortresses was always given a particular designation as “fortress warfare,” to distinguish it from “field warfare,” or war as waged by mobile field forces. The technical design of fortresses closely paralleled developments in artillery, which made tremendous advances during the 19th century (introduction of …

Polish Activism Abroad

(509 words)

Author(s): Hecker, Hans
Polish Activism Abroad The term here refers to the activities in particular of the Polish National Democrats under Roman Dmowski and cooperating Polish politicians in the West, who achieved a political breakthrough following the proclamation for an independent Polish state by the Provisional Government of Russia on March 30, 1917, and the ensuing declaration by the French President Raymond Poincaré on June 4, 1917, announcing the formation of Polish army units in France. Thanks to the initiative of…

Medals and Military Decorations

(510 words)

Author(s): Thoss, Bruno
Medals and Military Decorations Externally visible decorations recognizing particular achievements and merits. Starting with absolutist France, in the 18th and 19th centuries orders were created in all states as signs of particular attachment to the ruling house, or to reward military achievements. Their design and distribution, and the manner of wearing them, were precisely laid down in laws, statues and regulations. As a rule, decorations were given in a number of…

Armed Forces (Dominions)

(3,147 words)

Author(s): Grey, Jeffrey
Armed Forces (Dominions) The settler colonies of the British Empire (Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and South Africa) had already acquired the status of dominions prior to 1914, as part of a constitutional development towards full independence. Self-determination in domestic matters had already been granted to Canada in 1867, to Australia in 1901, to New Zealand in 1907, and to South Africa in 1910. The British declaration of war on Germany in 1914 was binding for all dominions, since London still…

Intelligence Services

(574 words)

Author(s): Bavendamm, Gundula
Intelligence Services Also called the secret service, these government organizations were employed to collect and interpret intelligence information of military, political, economic, and scientific importance about other states. Intelligence services were also assigned sabotage missions and diversion operations, as well as the safeguarding of their own state secrets against enemy espionage. During the age of nationalism between 1860 and 1914…

Wartime Coalitions

(2,117 words)

Author(s): Dülffer, Jost
Wartime Coalitions Before the World War, the European system of states had become strongly polarized. On the one side stood the Central Powers, namely the Dual Alliance of German Reich and Austria-Hungary that had been formed in 1879 as well as the (independently concluded) Triple Alliance of German Reich, Austria-Hungary, and Italy; however, the latter country declared itself neutral at the beginning of the war. On the other side stood the Entente Powers, among which France and Russia had been bound by a military alliance since 1893/1894, while France and Great Bri…

Volunteers

(916 words)

Author(s): Ziemann, Benjamin
Volunteers In the strict sense volunteers were men who enlisted in the wake of mobilization without having been liable for military duty or without having been previously called up as draftees. In Germany these could include men who were either too young or too old to be drafted (under 18 or over 45), but also those men who were of an age to be drafted but had not yet received a draft notice. Volunteers were also all those who voluntarily enlisted in the further course of the war. After the beginning of the war, reports of an en…

Soldiers’ Newspapers

(1,076 words)

Author(s): Nelson, Robert L.
Soldiers’ Newspapers Collective term for publications that were produced in the immediate vicinity of the front (front and trench newspapers) or in the rear areas by the official military authorities (army and corps newspapers). The editorial staffs of the soldiers’ newspapers consisted mostly of officers, but also of lower-ranking soldiers. Many soldiers’ newspapers printed official war bulletins and “eyewitness accounts” of recent events that had been written down by the war participants themsel…

The Great War and Modern Scholarship: Academic Responses to War in Paris and London

(11,490 words)

Author(s): Fordham, Elizabeth
Fordham, Elizabeth - The Great War and Modern Scholarship: Academic Responses to War in Paris and London Keywords: Intellectuals and the War | Politics | Britain | France | Austria-Hungary | Culture | Legacy | The Balkans and Eastern Europe | The United States of America ‛Warfare and Belligerence’ Pierre Purseigle, Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, 2005 e-ISBN: 9789047407362 DOI: 10.1163/9789047407362.012 © 2005 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Fordham, Elizabeth

Rupprecht, Crown Prince of Bavaria

(316 words)

Author(s): Pöhlmann, Markus
Rupprecht, Crown Prince of Bavaria (March 18, 1869, Munich – August 2, 1955, Schloss Leutstetten, Bavaria), Crown Prince of Bavaria, German Field Marshal. In 1886 he entered the Bavarian infantry regiment as a lieutenant. He then studied in Munich and Berlin, under Count Hertling and Hans Delbrück among others. His further military training took place according to the aristocratic norms. In 1899 he was made colonel and in 1906, general of infantry and commander of the Ist Ba…

Hindenburg, Paul von Beneckendorff und von

(1,692 words)

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

Flamethrower

(468 words)

Author(s): Gross, Gerhard P.
Flamethrower Weapon designed for tactical attacks against military targets by means of a stream…

War Guilt

(797 words)

Author(s): Krumeich, Gerd
War Guilt The question of responsibility for the First World War was actually the subject of controversial discussion even before the outbreak of war, during the July Crisis of 1914, and was even answered propagandistically, to justify positions taken. Proclamations at the outset of the war, such as the “balcony speech” of Kaiser Wilhelm II on August 4 (“It is not the desire for conquest that drives us . . .”) or Poincaré’s “ Union sacrée” address on the same date (“In the war now breaking out, France has right on her side.”) always emphasize the defensive character of…

Assault Battalions

(304 words)

Author(s): Gross, Gerhard P.
Assault Battalions Army formations that were raised specifically to be used in trench warfare and as training units. Beginning in 1916, the Germans deployed assault battalions primarily on the Western Front. France, Russia, and Austria-Hungary also fielded assault troops from 1917. The first German unit of this type, “Assault Battalion Rohr,” was organized in 1915 and initially comprised two pioneer companies. Its success led to the creation of 16 more assault battalions of this type, with infantry and pioneers providing most of the personnel. An assault battalion was composed of two assault companies, one machine gun company, one mortar (

Danilov, Yuri Nikiforovich

(350 words)

Author(s): Dahlmann, Dittmar
Danilov, Yuri Nikiforovich (August 25, 1866 – November 3, 1937), Russian general and military historian. Graduated from the School of Artillery at Mikhailovskoe in 1886, and from the General Staff academy in 1892. From 1908 to 1909 he was quartermaster-general, then senior quartermaster-general. From 1914 he was a general of infantry. Danilov took the leading role in drafting the Russian army’s plan of attack in case of war, entitled “Plan 19.” The plan envisaged a concentration of Russian forces f…

Delcassé, Théophile

(468 words)

Author(s): Becker, Jean-Jacques
Delcassé, Théophile (March 1, 1852, Pamiers [Ariège] – February 22, 1923, Nice), French politician (foreign minister). Delcassé was a journalist who entered politics as a disciple of Léon Gambetta. He remained deputy for his home department of Ariège from 1889 until 1919. His uninterrupted seven years’ service as foreign minister, from 1898 to 1905, was the most important period of his political career. Although his stance was for a long time anti-British rather than anti-German, it was during his…

Inflation

(1,440 words)

Author(s): Geyer, Martin H.
Inflation An increase in the money supply and a rise of the monetary demand that is not matched by a corresponding amount of goods. Until long after the end of the war, people were accustomed to speak of “rising prices” instead of inflation or devaluation. In current research, the “age of inflation” denotes the period extending from the war to the beginning of the currency stabilization in November 1923. It also alludes to the economic, political, social, and cultural changes that resulted from the currency devaluation as well as to the ways of coming to terms with inflation. The causes of w…

Victor Emmanuel III, King of Italy

(482 words)

Author(s): Afflerbach, Holger
Victor Emmanuel III, King of Italy (November 11, 1869, Naples – December 28, 1947, Alexandria, Egypt), Italian king. As heir apparent Prince Victor Emmanuel pursued the usual, meteoric career in the Italian Army. In 1896 he married Princess Helena, daughter to the Prince of Montenegro, whereupon he acquired an especial interest in Balkan politics. The diminutive Prince Victor Emmanuel was reputed to be great in intelligence, reserved and skeptical. He ascended to the Italian throne in 1900 upon the mu…

Armed Forces (Russia)

(2,272 words)

Author(s): Brand, Bettina | Dahlmann, Dittmar
Armed Forces (Russia) One year before the outbreak of the Russo-Japanese War of 1904/1905, the standing Russian army comprised approximately 41,000 officers, 10,000 military service personnel (including army dentists), and approximately 1 million non-commissioned officers and other ranks. There was provision for about 2 million reservists. Some 3 million non-commissioned officers and other ranks could thus be mobilized in the event of war. The guard regiments had a particular role and status in the Russian Imperial Army until the end of the First World War.…

ANZAC

(1,413 words)

Author(s): Prior, Robin | Wilson, Trevor
ANZAC The Allied operations on the Turkish peninsula of Gallipoli in 1915 marked the first time ANZAC forces fought in the European theater of war. The completion of this mission in January of 1916 also brought to an end the deployment of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) along this front. Troops from Australia and New Zealand were now sent to the more important theaters of the First World War. Initially the corps was transferred to Egypt for rest, training, and expansion. Divided into the I and II ANZAC Corps, the men were ordered in May of 1916 to …

Alain-Fournier, Henri

(324 words)

Author(s): Beaupré, Nicolas
Alain-Fournier, Henri (October 3, 1886, La Chapelle d’Angillon, Département Cher – September 22, 1914, killed in action near Saint-Rémy), French author whose real name was Henri-Alban Fournier. Along with Charles Péguy, Alain-Fournier is one of the best-known literary figures of the so-called Lost Generation of artists and writers killed in World War I. His parents were primary school teachers in the Berry region. After obtaining his baccalauréat from the Lycée Voltaire, he attended various courses in Paris in preparation for the École Normale Supérieure; howe…

Prisoners of War

(3,043 words)

Author(s): Hinz, Uta
Prisoners of War Persons with the status of combatants who fell into enemy hands during the war. Only rough estimates of the total number of prisoners of war can be given for the World War. It is assumed that some 6.6 to 8 million soldiers were taken captive, which represents at least 10% of the approximately 60 million soldiers who were mobilized during the war. By late 1918, according to statistics from the interwar period, 328,000 soldiers had been captured by the British, 350,000 by the French,…

Montenegro

(459 words)

Author(s): Pöhlmann, Markus
Montenegro The smallest of the Balkan states, Montenegro was strategically defined by its borders with Austria-Hungary and Serbia. To the south the kingdom bordered Albania, from which it had won territory populated by Albanians during the Second Balkan War. Since the Montenegrin populace itself was ethnically mainly Serbian, during the July Crisis of 1914 their support for their Serbian neighbors arose. The land had been ruled since 1860 by Nikola Petrović I, who had crowned himself king in 1910…

Rationing

(634 words)

Author(s): Berghoff, Hartmut
Rationing The systematic registration and distribution of goods in short supply, in order to meet priority needs. The aim of rationing is to achieve distribution which is as fair as possible, and adequate to the war economy. All belligerent nations, and even the neutral countries, realized that the destruction of established structures of the international division of labor, together with enemy blockades and the enormous needs of the defense economy, created shortages of raw materials and foodstu…

Total War

(813 words)

Author(s): Förster, Stig
Total War This expression first appeared in the French press in 1917 as la guerre totale, meant to stir the French to their ultimate war effort. “Total war” and related expressions played a major role in international discussions concerning military policy in the 1920s and 1930s. The Italian General Giulio Douhet and German General Erich Ludendorff in particular promoted total war as the warfare of the future. In the Second World War the call for total war became a thoroughly universal phenomenon. Joseph Goebb…

War Atrocities

(955 words)

Author(s): Kramer, Alan
War Atrocities War atrocities may either be in direct violation of international law or contravene the generally accepted conventions of war, or else be conform to international law but nevertheless condemnable. The basic premise lies in the particular atrocity of the type of warfare or in the choice of victims. When defenseless people deliberately become the target of acts of war (civilians, shipwrecked persons, captured or wounded soldiers), the afflicted side perceives such acts as war atrociti…

Disability

(1,876 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang U.
Disability In 1934, the Medical Report of the German Army estimated the number of German soldiers who had died of wounds, accident, suicide, or disease between August 2, 1914, and July 31, 1918, at 1,202,042. This number, which rose considerably in the period between the cessation of military casualty reports in July 1918 and the end of the war, must be viewed alongside the 702,778 dismissed from the armed forces in the same period as being unfit for service (503,713 with medical support, 199,065 without…

Poincaré, Raymond

(994 words)

Author(s): Krumeich, Gerd
Poincaré, Raymond (August 20, 1860, Bar-le-Duc [Département Meuse] – October 15, 1934, Paris), French politician, state president. Poincaré came from a prosperous French provincial bourgeois family. Despite a political career that took place predominantly in Paris, his home town of Bar-le-Duc (capital of the Meuse Department) remained for him a haven of social and political retreat. Poincaré became one of the defining personalities of moderate republicanism in France. A lawyer by profession, he wa…

German War Graves Commission

(615 words)

Author(s): Brandt, Susanne
German War Graves Commission Founded in 1919 this commission, entitled the Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge (VDK), was the most important private organization of the interwar period concerned with the creation and maintenance of German war graves. After 1923 the Zentralnachweiseamt für Kriegerverluste und Kriegergräber (‘Central Office for War Victims and War Graves,’ or ZAK) in Berlin was officially charged by the Interior Ministry with the many tasks involved in the care of war graves, and of fallen soldiers’ next-of-kin, as wa…

Paris Peace Conferences

(739 words)

Author(s): Schwabe, Klaus
Paris Peace Conferences In Paris between January 18 and June 28, 1919, peace conferences were held by the victorious powers of the First World War in order to make final decisions on a host of questions, and then to write them as regulations to which the signatories would be contractually obligated. Additionally the victorious powers would conclude so-called minority treaties with the allies of the German Empire after the signing of the Versailles Treaty. The Paris Peace Conferences were held in se…
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