530 Works

British Expeditionary Force

Peter Simkins
Between 1914 and 1918 the British Expeditionary Force grew from a small professional striking force into a mass army, which was not only bigger than any in Britain’s history, but was also capable of fighting and winning a modern, industrialised war on a continental scale.

Prisoners of War and Internees (Great Britain)

Panikos Panayi
During the First World War, hundreds of thousands of men found themselves interned in Britain. These were made up of: civilians already present in the country in August 1914; civilians brought to Britain from all over the world; and combatants, primarily soldiers from the Western Front, but also naval personnel and a few members of zeppelin crews, whose vessels fell to earth. Prisoners were interned in a large number of locations, and could spend years...

Wartime Emotions: Honour, Shame, and the Ecstasy of Sacrifice

Ute Frevert
Through investigating the pivotal role of honour in private and public matters, in foreign and domestic relations, and in propaganda and everyday life during the First World War, this article examines the practices of public shaming (e.g. regarding supposed cowards and enemy soldiers), and the devotion to sacrifice oneself and beloved ones. It traces the roots of these highly gendered concepts of honour and shame in the moral economy of Europe’s 19th century, deciphering the...

Kolchak, Aleksandr Vasil'evich

Evgenii Vladimirovich Volkov
Aleksandr Vasil'evich Kolchak was a Russian admiral and political figure. He participated in the Russo-Japanese War, the First World War, and the Russian Civil War. He was one of the leaders of the White movement in eastern Russia and was proclaimed Supreme Ruler.

Ypres Menin Gate

Dominiek Dendooven
The Menin Gate in Ypres is the best known of the memorials to the missing in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's care. Designed by architect Sir Reginald Blomfield it is where the Last Post, the only daily ceremony in the world commemorating the dead of the First World War, is held.

Pacifism

David S. Patterson
The idea of peace in [[Controversy-Total War|total war]] may seem irrelevant, but pacifism, or peace activism, did exist during the First World War. A seemingly robust European peace movement existed before 1914, but it contained internal divisions and mostly collapsed early in the war. Except for some historic peace sects, conscientious objection to military service was not officially accepted among the belligerents. Britain had the largest number of objectors, and new anti-conscription groups supported the...

Barbusse, Henri

Laurence Campa
Fulfilling the archetype of the war writer, Henri Barbusse is the embodiment of pacifist activism. His book ''Le Feu ''(1916) paved the way for a new genre, that of literary testimony. Acclaimed as soon as it was published, it has been considered as a classic of French war literature ever since.

Laidoner, Johan

Ago Pajur
Johan Laidoner, Estonian general and statesman, started his career in the Russian army during World War I. He was crucial in establishing an Estonian army, which he commanded in the War of Independence (1918-20). In 1934 he participated in a coup d’état, bringing an authoritarian regime to power.

Union des Nationalités

Artūras Svarauskas
The ''Union des Nationalités'', alternatively called the ''Office Central des Nationalités'' or ''Bureau des Nationalités'', was created in 1912 in Paris and remained in existence until 1919. Its aim was to promote the cause of national and political self-determination of nationalities, especially in Eastern Europe.

Haller, Józef

Jan Snopko
General Józef Haller was one of the best known Polish military commanders of the First World War period, a lieutenant of the Polish Legions, commander of the II Brigade of the Polish Legions, commander of the Polish Army in France, Inspector General of the Volunteer Army and commander of the North-Eastern Front in the Polish–Soviet War of 1920.

Economic Planning before 1914

Martin Horn
This article surveys the financial and economic planning for war before 1914 in the European Great Powers that initially entered the conflict – Austria-Hungary, Britain, France, Germany and Russia. It argues that while there was limited financial and economic preparation for war, this situation was not due entirely to the short-war assumption. It suggests that only in Britain before 1914 was there a more expansive conception of economic planning that embraced economic warfare. Finally it...

Alexandra, Empress, consort of Nicholas II, Emperor of Russia

Fedor Aleksandrovich Gaida
Born Princess of Hesse-Darmstadt, Aleksandra Fedorovna married the future Russian Emperor Nicholas II in 1894 and became empress. She was engaged in charity work and served as a nurse during the First World War. However, she was suspected of treason and was arrested after the February Revolution, eventually being fatally shot by the Bolsheviks.

Civilian and Military Power (France)

Michaël Bourlet
The responsibilities of politicians and military leaders are defined in times of war. The president commands the armed forces, the government - subject to the representatives of the nation - is in charge of conducting the war and the military operations are led by the high command, responsible to the government. In France, however, the First World War disrupted the sharing of responsibilities. The relationship between the government, the Parliament and the high command were...

Stürgkh, Karl Graf

Martin Moll
Karl Graf von Stürgkh was an Austrian member of the Imperial Council, Minister for Education, and Minister President of Cisleithania from 3 November 1911 until his assassination on 21 October 1916 by the Social Democrat Friedrich Adler. Stürgkh was one of a committee of five Austro-Hungarian ministers who made the decision to go to war in summer 1914.

Rodó, José Enrique

Susana Monreal
José Enrique Rodó was a Uruguayan writer. His main work ''Ariel'' was published in 1900. As a journalist, Rodó reflected his personal interpretation of the First World War.

Film/Cinema (Italy)

Alessandro Faccioli
The Italian cinema has tried with difficulty to exploit the narrative idealization of the victory in the Great War. The film productions of the years of conflict (fiction and non-fiction) predictably served the needs of national propaganda, not unlike the other countries involved. Instead, over about a hundred fiction films have been produced on this subject from 1918 to the present day, and among these the most important are undoubtedly Mario Monicelli’s ''La grande guerra...

War Surveillance Office (Austria-Hungary)

Tamara Scheer
During the First World War, Austria-Hungary implemented a state of emergency with several emergency laws overseen by the ''kaiserlich und königlich ''(''k.u.k.'') ''Kriegsüberwachungsamt'' (war surveillance office, abbreviated KÜA). Although it presided over both halves of the empire, the KÜA never had an impact on the Hungarian state of emergency. It was important in press and post censorship, trade restrictions, internments, and cases of denunciation by the population.

Metaxas, Ioannis

Elli Lemonidou
Ioannis Metaxas was a conservative army officer and politician, who influenced decision-making in Greece during World War I by collaborating with King Constantine I. In 1936 he became head of an oppressive dictatorial regime and in 1940 he was responsible for Greece’s entry into the Second World War.

Colonial Military Participation in Europe (Africa)

Christian Koller
This article analyzes the deployment of about half a million African soldiers in Europe, where most of them fought in the French army. It first outlines the numbers and origins of African soldiers as well as the ways they were deployed in Europe. Then it explores Africans’ war experiences, their impact on colonial societies, and European perceptions of African troops, arguing that African military participation on European battlefields was a crucial experience both for Africans...

Zhekov, Nikola

Deniza Petrova
Nikola Zhekov was a Bulgarian infantry general, the Bulgarian minister of war from August through October 1915, and commander-in-chief of the Bulgarian Army during the First World War, from 1915 to 1918.

Schools and Universities

Andrew Donson
The military service of teachers and the mobilization of schoolchildren for voluntary war work deeply disrupted schooling, especially in Central Europe. In continental Europe, war infused curricula in all academic subjects. It also sped the reform of primary and secondary schooling. University students volunteered en masse in 1914. Female students replaced them, and a new sobriety dominated campus life. Humanities professors played a key role in writing war propaganda. Because technology was critical to the...

Propaganda at Home (Germany)

Vanessa Ther
This article introduces the changing sources, intentions and themes of war propaganda at the German home front before, during and (very briefly) after the First World War. By exploring its origins in the pre-war period and focusing on the paradigm shift of official propaganda in 1916, it contextualizes the development of both official and popular attempts to define the symbolic parameters and ideals of Germany’s wartime identity.

Propaganda: Media in War Politics

Stephen Badsey
Propaganda played an important part in the politics of the war, but was only successful as part of wider political and military strategies. For each belligerent, the most effective and important forms of propaganda were aimed at its own domestic population and based on consensus. As part of this, the Allies largely managed relations with their own newspapers and other media by negotiated agreement, backed by coercive powers that were seldom used. Germany had a...

Colonial Empires after the War/Decolonization

James E. Kitchen
The First World War saw the colonial empires of France and Britain mobilised to aid European and imperial war efforts. This mobilisation and the difficulties of demobilisation placed considerable strain on imperial systems which were only partly addressed through post-war reforms. The Great War also unleashed an unprecedented ideological challenge to colonial rule embodied in the ideas of Woodrow Wilson which took form through the mandatory system. Although there were some restrictions placed on the...

Baltic States and Finland

Klaus Richter
This article presents a survey of the First World War in the region of today’s states of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Finland. Chronologically the article begins with the outbreak of the war in August 1914 and ends with the conclusion of the Polish-Soviet Peace Treaty in Riga on 18 March 1921. The article covers the historical background of the region as well as a survey of the course of war and its effects on the...

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