Regions Western Europe

Regional Thematic Articles

Encyclopedic Entries

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Survey Articles (Regional)

  • With its economy highly reliant on Great Britain, Germany and other European nations, Denmark had to navigate between the two belligerent blocks during the war. This combined with shortages and … READ MORE

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  • To study France during the “Great War” – as it was called as early as 1914 – involves focusing on a major Western state that was confronted with a growing demand for resources to fuel the war … READ MORE

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  • Great Britain was with its Empire the most powerful of the major belligerents, the most politically and socially stable, and the best able to endure the strains of the war. Its great naval, financial … READ MORE

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  • Ireland’s war experience cannot be separated from Irish politics. Indeed, the story is not one of 1914-18 but of 1912-23, as the vast majority of people sought to change Ireland’s place in the … READ MORE

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  • Despite its neutrality, Luxembourg was occupied in August 1914 mainly for its strategic value. For four years, the national elites engaged in a difficult policy of cooperation with the German … READ MORE

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  • Norway managed to stay neutral during the First World War, but the war still crept into Norwegian life and impacted it in numerous ways. With a large merchant fleet – the fourth largest in the … READ MORE

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  • This article examines Spain’s neutrality during the Great War, highlighting factors such as the lack of military resources; the division of public opinion and internal conflicts; and actors such as … READ MORE

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  • For Sweden, the impact of the war was twofold. On the one hand, it was a test to the neutrality policy. Concessions and violations of neutrality got consequences for both foreign affairs and the … READ MORE

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  • The Netherlands remained neutral during the First World War, but was nevertheless significantly affected by it. Its army remained fully mobilized to counter any possible threat, and its economy felt … READ MORE

    Regional

Regional Thematic Articles

Encyclopedic Entries

  • A minority of the adherents of the Flemish movement were willing to collaborate with the German occupier in the context of ''Flamenpolitik''. This minority labelled themselves “activists”, … READ MORE

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  • Ador was the third president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and a Swiss minister during WWI. He displayed the charisma, the diplomatic skills and the decisiveness necessary to … READ MORE

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  • The general trend in aircraft development during World War I was towards better-engined, stronger, higher flying, more heavily armed, and more capable airplanes. Strictly speaking, pure … READ MORE

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  • Much like fighter aircraft, World War I reconnaissance and bomber technology advanced rapidly throughout the war. As aircraft designs that combined lift, range, and stability were key to both … READ MORE

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  • Reported missing in action in September 1914, Alain-Fournier is not officially considered a war writer because of his early death. The author of ''Le Grand Meaulnes ''has become a symbol for the … READ MORE

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  • Albert I, the third king of the Belgians, played a leading role as supreme commander of the Belgian army during the First World War. For four years he defended the last piece of unoccupied Belgium … READ MORE

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  • Alfonso XIII was a controversial Spanish king during the first decades of the 20th century. During the First World War he established a humanitarian office for prisoners and civilian … READ MORE

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  • Alsace-Lorraine was a border region located between the Rhine River and the Vosges Mountains. Its role in French wartime propaganda, its geographic location, and its tumultuous recent history all … READ MORE

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  • The Battle of Amiens, 8-12 August 1918, was a decisive British-led victory that marked the start of the Allied counteroffensive of the Hundred Days campaign, leading to the defeat of the German army … READ MORE

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  • Norman Angell (birth name Ralph Norman Lane), built a long career as an internationalist pundit on his best-selling book of 1910, ''The Great Illusion'', which argued that financial interdependence … READ MORE

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  • Although he actually died of Spanish influenza, the trepanned avant-garde poet was the embodiment of France’s “head wound”. Apollinaire’s letters to the woman he loved during the war, Lou, … READ MORE

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  • ''Arditi'' were elite assault troops in the Italian army. They also emerged on Italy’s post-war political scene thanks to newly formed associations. Even though many of them had ties to fascism, … READ MORE

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  • The French Army of the Orient is a military unit, which was created after the disaster of the Dardanelles Campaign (1915). Established at Thessaloniki with allied forces to fight against pro-German … READ MORE

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  • During World War I, Arnold J. Toynbee, as a member of the Political Intelligence Department, was charged with preparing analyses on the Middle East for the Paris Peace Conference. The global war was … READ MORE

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  • Artillery consisted of the military’s heavy firearms. As a branch of the armed forces, its purpose was to fire explosive-filled projectiles across relatively large distances. In contrast to the … READ MORE

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  • Asquith was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom at the outbreak of war. He formed a coalition in May 1915 but accusations of ineffectiveness led to his replacement by David Lloyd George in December … READ MORE

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  • Between February 1915 and the Armistice, Germany conducted three submarine campaigns against British, Entente and neutral merchant shipping. The final unrestricted campaign that started in early 1917 … READ MORE

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  • Attrition warfare is the term used to describe the sustained process of wearing down an opponent so as to force their physical collapse through continuous losses in personnel, equipment and supplies … READ MORE

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  • Arthur James Balfour was a British Conservative politician and statesman who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and was later Foreign Secretary. In the latter post, he issued the Balfour … READ MORE

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  • Francesco Baracca was the most famous Italian aviator, and shot down thirty-four enemy airplanes. He began his career in 1910 as a cavalry officer and became an air-fighter in 1912. He fought in the … READ MORE

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  • Invented in France in 1860, barbed wire was further developed in the United States, where it was used to restrict cattle and secure territory. Acquiring far more menacing qualities in the First World … READ MORE

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  • 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 … READ MORE

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  • A barrelmaker in a French village and corporal at war in an infantry regiment, Louis Barthas was considered the spokesman of his squad. He wrote a reliable testimony about his experience fighting in … READ MORE

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  • Cesare Battisti was the leader of the socialist party of the Italian Tirol (Trentino) and, from 1911, a member of the Austrian parliament. At the outbreak of war he went to Italy to engage in … READ MORE

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  • Ruijs de Beerenbrouck was a Dutch Prime Minster who successfully dealt with the threat of revolution in November … READ MORE

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  • This article briefly describes the 320,000 Belgian soldiers of the Great War. Who were they and what was special about the way they experienced the war compared to other … READ MORE

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  • Widely known as a philosopher in France from the publication of his first book in 1889, Bergson became an international celebrity with the publication of ''Creative Evolution'' in 1907. With the … READ MORE

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  • Sarah Bernhardt was a French actress. During the war, she showed great commitment to the patriotic cause through her participation in performances at the front, appearance in propaganda productions … READ MORE

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  • Annie Besant (1847-1933) was a British supporter of Indian nationalism. During World War I she propagated self-government for India and set up the All-India Home Rule League. Her political work … READ MORE

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  • Louise de Bettignies created an intelligence network for the British in occupied France. She was arrested, sentenced to death in March 1916 and deported to the prison of Siegburg. Sick, she died in … READ MORE

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  • Italian bishops and chaplains played a central role in making sense of the war by presenting sacrifice for one’s country as an act of charity and brotherly love. In addition to the 2,624 Catholic … READ MORE

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  • Moritz von Bissing was born on 30 January 1844, in Bellmannsdorf, Silesia, then part of the German Empire. He served as governor general of the Prussian Army from December 1914 until his death on 18 … READ MORE

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  • The "Black and Tans" were British ex-soldiers recruited to reinforce the United Kingdom’s police force in Ireland. The "Auxiliaries" were a temporary force of paramilitary police, composed of … READ MORE

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  • Bonar Law was leader of the Conservative Party in Britain during the war. He entered Asquith’s coalition government in May 1915, and in December 1916 played a crucial role in Lloyd George becoming … READ MORE

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  • The borders of the Netherlands were an important site of war experience for the Dutch, as well as a contested site of war interaction for the … READ MORE

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  • As a Flemish nationalist, August Borms actively collaborated with the Germans during the First World War. As a result of his ten-year imprisonment and his death sentence he became a true symbol of … READ MORE

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  • Elsa Brändström was the only neutral representative to work amongst prisoners of war (POWs) in Russia, Siberia, and Turkestan for five and a half years between winter between winter 1914 and summer … READ MORE

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  • 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 … READ MORE

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  • Vera Brittain’s memoir ''Testament of Youth'', and her wartime diary published in 1981 helped to validate women’s experiences of the First World War, and especially the legacy of sorrow that they … READ MORE

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  • Charles de Broqueville, chief of the Belgian government during the First World War, acted as liaison between the king and the Belgian government. He supported the king in his attempts to obtain peace … READ MORE

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  • The Belgian capital was spared the anguish of combat, but the city suffered four long years of occupation. In fact, it became the most important occupied city during the First World War. For the … READ MORE

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  • Luigi Cadorna was a career military man, the son of a major general in the army of Piedmont. He quickly climbed the military hierarchy to become chief of staff of the Italian army from July 1914 … READ MORE

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  • A technique of concealment and protection, a means to deceive but not kill, camouflage was significantly developed during the First World War. The technique enabled many artists to put their talents … READ MORE

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  • Luigi Capello was an Italian general who took part in the war on the Gorizia front. As commander-in-chief of the Second Army, many held him to be chiefly to blame for the defeat of Caporetto. Having … READ MORE

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  • The Battle of Caporetto, also known as the Twelfth Battle of the Isonzo, remains the worst defeat suffered by the Italian army to date. It began at two o’clock in the morning on 24 October 1917 on … READ MORE

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  • Minister plenipotentiary for England in Lisbon, there was consensus about Lancelot Carnegie as a diplomat in Portuguese public opinion. He was recognized as one of the people responsible for the … READ MORE

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  • Since ancient times, carrier pigeons have been used successfully in various armed conflicts. After the Franco-Prussian War of 1870/71, several European armies created a pigeon service. During World … READ MORE

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  • Following a career as British consul and humanitarian investigator, Roger Casement became involved in the Irish nationalist movement and the Irish Volunteers. On the outbreak of war, he sought help … READ MORE

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  • Edith Cavell was an English nursing matron executed by the Germans in Brussels on 12 October 1915 for assisting enemy troops. After her death, she became one of the most famous women of World War … READ MORE

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  • The life and works of the poet Blaise Cendrars testify to a disturbing paradox: while encapsulating the trauma that was the result from his war experience, they also illustrate the creative virtues … READ MORE

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  • The Cenotaph is a major British war memorial. Standing in Whitehall, London, it was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and first unveiled on 19 July 1919. It provided an immediate focus for public grief … READ MORE

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  • Extracurricular mobilization of children through literature took place between 1914 and 1918 on the home front of most belligerent countries. Propaganda for children depended on the war’s effects … READ MORE

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  • In December 1914, there were several truces between enemy soldiers along one part of the Western front. Widely publicized, they underscore how difficult it was for soldiers to adapt to the conditions … READ MORE

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  • Churchill was Navy Minister during the early stages of the war but was widely criticized over his handling of the Dardanelles campaign. He was demoted and soon afterwards resigned from the government … READ MORE

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  • In a conflict characterized as a Holy War between “right” and “might”, the support of the Church of England for Britain’s cause was unwavering. Those who had died in the cause of good (and … READ MORE

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  • World War I had a profound impact on concepts of citizenship. Not only did hosts of people find themselves under new sovereignty at the end of the war, but many individuals had to contend with the … READ MORE

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  • During the war, Georges Clemenceau fought for a more efficient war effort and for parliamentary control of military affairs and, as a journalist, rejected unlimited censorship. As French premier, he … READ MORE

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  • The basic tactical question for all military powers prior to 1914 was how to approach and attack an enemy who was directing massive fire against the attacker and who was making use of natural or … READ MORE

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  • Before World War I, coffee had become a popular drink in countries in the northern hemisphere, but when the war broke out, it was not regarded as an essential commodity. This article describes the … READ MORE

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  • Collaboration is often associated with the military occupations of the Second World War, but there was a precursor to this multi-faceted phenomenon in occupied France and Belgium during the First … READ MORE

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  • Michael Collins was a revolutionary leader who rose to become chairman of the Irish provisional government in 1922 and Commander-in-chief of its army in the brief interval that supervened before his … READ MORE

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  • The ''Comité national de Secours et d’Alimentation'' (National Committee for Relief and Food) was created in Brussels a few days after the start of the war to coordinate the action of notables, … READ MORE

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  • From 1914 to 1919, the Commission for Relief in Belgium directed an innovative and successful international food relief program for more than 9 million Belgian and French civilians who lived in … READ MORE

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  • A selection of communication technologies, ancient and modern, was available at the outbreak of World War One. During the war, military communications evolved to meet new battlefield and military … READ MORE

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  • “United as we were on the battle front,” the rallying cry popularized by one of the two major French veterans’ associations created just after the First World War sums up the process of … READ MORE

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  • On 1 November 1914, the German East Asiatic Cruiser Squadron defeated the 4th British Cruiser Squadron near the harbour of Coronel, … READ MORE

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  • P.W.A. Cort van der Linden was the Dutch prime minister from 1913 to 1918. His cabinet managed to preserve Dutch neutrality throughout the … READ MORE

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  • Jean Norton Cru did not consider himself a historian. Yet his life’s work, ''Témoins ''(Witnesses), written for historians, is an exceptional book of historiography of 1914 to 1918 and a … READ MORE

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  • Dada, a transnational movement of artists, was founded in Zurich in 1916. It disappeared in 1924, after a sham trial against Maurice Barrès in 1921. Far from pacifism, Dada declared war against war. … READ MORE

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  • A local notable and mayor of Lille during the occupation, Charles Delesalle was forced to work with the Germans but also sought to protect the population as best as possible. In particular, he played … READ MORE

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  • De Valera was a prominent figure in the Easter 1916 rebellion against British rule. He subsequently became head of the Irish … READ MORE

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  • Armando Diaz was an Italian officer and a general during World War I. In 1917, after the defeat of Caporetto, he replaced Luigi Cadorna as chief of general staff of the Italian army. He reformed the … READ MORE

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  • Roland Dorgelès is the author of the pacifist novel ''Wooden Crosses'' (1919), a great classic of French war literature. Although based on his personal experience, he was convinced that fiction … READ MORE

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  • Adopted in 1906, HMS ''Dreadnought'' represented an innovative battleship design that changed the nature of the Anglo-German naval race preceding the Great War. A hybrid Dreadnought battlecruiser … READ MORE

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  • Queen Elisabeth was the third queen of the Belgians. Her attitude during the First World War propelled her to the mythic rank of "Queen … READ MORE

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  • This article analyzes the characteristics of Portuguese emigration to France and England during the First World War, which was provoked by the reduction of Portuguese emigration to traditional … READ MORE

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  • Eupen-Malmedy is the name given to the two districts that Germany ceded to Belgium in 1920 as a consequence of the Treaty of Versailles. This cession and the semblance of a “referendum”, … READ MORE

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  • During the First World War both sides accused each other of employing illegal small arms ammunition – either expanding or explosive bullets. The Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 outlawed … READ MORE

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  • Paul Eyschen, prime minister of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg from 1888 to 1915, insisted on the neutral status of Luxembourg, but practiced a policy of accommodation towards German occupying forces … READ MORE

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  • During the Battle of the Falklands, the British naval force commanded by Admiral Sturdee defeated the German force under Admiral von Spee off the Falkland Islands on 8 December … READ MORE

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  • Of the two world wars, the First World War was special in that fear figured prominently in a number of domains, including military tactics, psychiatry, and first-person sources. Fear was to be … READ MORE

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  • A minority section of the women’s movements opposed World War I and organized the International Congress of Women at The Hague in April 1915. Its participants demanded women’s rights and more … READ MORE

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  • Abel Ferry was a French politician and minister as well as an infantry combatant, who used his first-hand knowledge of the war to try and shape the official war effort. He died as a result of his … READ MORE

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  • Louis Feuillade was a popular filmmaker in France in the years leading up to and during the First World War. He is known for his serial productions, which, with their cliffhangers, were effective at … READ MORE

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  • John Fisher led the Royal Navy in the run-up to and in the early years of the First World War. A controversial figure in his lifetime and afterwards, his intentions and legacy are hotly disputed by … READ MORE

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  • The German ''Flamenpolitik'' during the First World War aimed to instrumentalise the Flemish movement in order to ensure lasting German control over Belgium. It did not divide the Belgian or even … READ MORE

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  • The use of portable flamethrowers in combat was a First World War innovation. The German army took the lead in developing this form of warfare and remained the foremost practitioner of it throughout … READ MORE

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  • The First World War engendered a rift within the Flemish movement, with some wishing to pursue the advocacy for Flemish rights and others preferring to await the end of the war to obtain new laws. … READ MORE

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  • Ferdinand Foch was a French general who commanded a corps and an army (1914), and then France’s Northern Army Group. He served on the army’s general staff in 1917 and was appointed Allied supreme … READ MORE

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  • Created in April 1918 to overcome the complex challenges occasioned by wartime pressures, bureaucratic competition, and public outcry, the Royal Air Force became the world’s first independent air … READ MORE

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  • Sir John French was the commander of the British Expeditionary Force between July 1914 and December … READ MORE

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  • General Joseph-Simon Gallieni was a colonial officer who became the Governor of Paris in 1914 and Minister of War in … READ MORE

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  • Arnaldo Garcez was the only official photographer of the Portuguese army on the Western Front, a fact that hints at the importance of his mission. Arriving in France in 1917, he thoroughly reported … READ MORE

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  • In 1830, Belgium constituted a ''Garde Civique'' or Civic Guard''', '''a national institution to be deployed both for maintaining law and order and for territorial defence. In 1914, the Garde Civique … READ MORE

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  • Roland Garros was a well-known French aviation pioneer before the war and successfully fought in a squadron as a fighter pilot during World War 1. His invention, firing through axis propeller, … READ MORE

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  • Gas warfare is a method of war that employs weapons that are designed to cause casualties primarily through the use of harmful chemical agents. The First World War constitutes the most extensive … READ MORE

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  • Eric Geddes was the most prominent example of Britain’s deployment of businessmen in government. He was the driving force behind the reorganization of the British Expeditionary Force’s (BEF) … READ MORE

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  • After the German Army had occupied wide areas of Belgium, the “Imperial Government General in Belgium” was established on 23 August 1914 with a governor-general at its head. Organized into a … READ MORE

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  • The war turned Maurice Genevoix into a writer. He embodied soldier loyalty and was the author of ''Ceux de 14'', a prime example of French literary narrative and a monument compelling us not to … READ MORE

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  • At the start of the First World War, tens of thousands of Germans lived in Belgium, with noted communities in Antwerp and Brussels. How the Germans in Belgium experienced the war years, ranging from … READ MORE

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  • During the First World War Britain became gripped with a Germanophobic hatred in which both government and the press played a central role. This hatred impacted the German community that lived within … READ MORE

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  • The Spring Offensives of 1918 were Germany’s last attempt to defeat the British and French armies on the Western Front, and thereby win total victory. Their failure by the mid-summer left the … READ MORE

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  • Gaetano Giardino was an Italian general best remembered for his role as commander of the Fourth Army, the army of the Grappa, and as minister of war during the parliamentary crisis of June 1917. In … READ MORE

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  • Philip Gibbs was the most celebrated, and arguably the most important, of the British official war reporters attached by their newspapers to British General Headquarters on the Western Front from … READ MORE

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  • The Battle of Gorizia, known as the Sixth Isonzo’s Battle, was fought by the Italian Third Army against the Austro-Hungarian Fifth Army between 6 and 16 August 1916. It resulted in the Italian … READ MORE

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  • Henri Gouraud was one of the most important French generals during the First World War, commanding on the Western Front and in the Dardanelles. Prior to World War I, he served as an officer with the … READ MORE

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  • The Grand Fleet was Britain’s most important manifestation of sea power in World War I. As the primary instrument of blockade in the North Sea, it was tasked with denying Germany the succor of … READ MORE

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  • Robert Graves was a British writer who enlisted in August 1914. He fought at the Battle of Loos in 1915, and was wounded at the Somme in 1916. He published his first volumes of poems during the war, … READ MORE

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  • Grey was the longest-serving British foreign secretary of the 20th century. His time in office is controversial for his role in the outbreak of the First World … READ MORE

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  • Robert Grimm was the most powerful socialist politician in Switzerland throughout the first half of the 20th century. As the organiser of the Zimmerwald and Kiental Conferences, he was one … READ MORE

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  • Georges Guynemer was a French fighter pilot. During World War I, he was known for his dangerous but effective fighting style. After his death, he became an aviation … READ MORE

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  • Douglas Haig was Commander-in-Chief of the British Expeditionary Force from late 1915 to 1919. Undoubtedly he was one of the significant generals of the war, but Haig's tenure of command remains very … READ MORE

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  • Declared unfit for military service, sociologist Maurice Halbwachs worked under Albert Thomas at the Ministry of Munitions. His work on memory (unwittingly) enabled reflection on the influence of the … READ MORE

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  • Liberal Secretary of State for War 1905-1912. Haldane’s reforms of the British Regular Army and its auxiliaries were instrumental in ensuring that Britain could dispatch an expeditionary force to … READ MORE

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  • The hand grenade is a small hand-thrown bomb dating back to antiquity. Advances in chemistry and explosives technology saw the resurgence of the grenade shortly before World War I. Its effective use … READ MORE

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  • Maurice Hankey was responsible for adapting the British government’s administrative machinery to the needs of modern war. He became an influential behind-the-scenes adviser to British prime … READ MORE

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  • Lord Northcliffe was the owner of the influential London newspapers the Daily Mail and The Times, and a powerful critic of the Asquith administration’s prosecution of the war. In the final years of … READ MORE

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  • Lord Rothermere owned the London newspapers the ''Daily Mirror'' and the ''Sunday Pictorial'', and was the brother and political ally of Lord Northcliffe, the owner of the ''Daily Mail''. He was the … READ MORE

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  • In 1915 the Germans built an electric fence along the Belgian-Dutch border, consisting of three lines of wires which were intended to stop all disturbing border activities that might severely harm … READ MORE

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  • The First World War precipitated a revolution in infantry tactics that changed the course of warfare. Armies adapted to modern industrialized war along a four-year learning curve, moving from … READ MORE

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  • The Spanish flu, the heaviest influenza pandemic in history, coincided with the end of World War One. In Switzerland, the flu had an immense impact on the relationship between the army command, the … READ MORE

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  • Italy entered the First World War in May 1915, roughly ten months after it began. During those ten months, the battle of opinions for and against intervention raged on. Public meetings, … READ MORE

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  • During the invasion and occupation of 1914-1918, German soldiers had sexual relations with local women in Belgium and France. There were many cases of rape during the invasion, but the occupation … READ MORE

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  • HMS ''Invincible ''was a British warship belonging to a type commonly known as battlecruisers. They sacrificed protection in order to combine the large guns of a battleship with the speed of a … READ MORE

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  • The campaign for Irish Home Rule lasted from 1870 until 1914. When Home Rule became a realistic possibility in 1912, a period of political turmoil ensued. Parliamentary solutions to the impasse were … READ MORE

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  • The battles of Isonzo represented Italy’s main offensive efforts against the Austro-Hungarian Empire during World War I. The eleven battles took place between 1915 and 1917 along the Isonzo River … READ MORE

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  • The Italo-Turkish War (1911-1912) took place mainly in Ottoman Libya following Italy’s invasion, not taking into consideration the fierce Ottoman and indigenous … READ MORE

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  • A philosopher, historian, and journalist (creator of'' L’Humanité''), Jean Jaurès defended the socialist program for workers and small farmers in the Chamber of Deputies and throughout France. … READ MORE

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  • John Rushworth Jellicoe was a British admiral, technologist and fleet commander. He commanded the Grand Fleet from 1914-1916, and was First Sea Lord from 1916-1917. He commanded the Grand Fleet at … READ MORE

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  • On 31 May/1 June 1916 the British Grand Fleet and the German High Sea Fleet clashed at Jutland. It was the largest naval battle in history until the Battle of Leyte Gulf off the Philippines in 1944, … READ MORE

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  • The "khaki" general election of 1918 was held in Great Britain almost immediately after the Armistice. It was the first held under what was almost universal adult suffrage. The result was a crushing … READ MORE

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  • This article details the mutiny of two Russian brigades sent to France in World War I. The less rebellious of the two was finally disciplined and used to suppress the unruly brigade in 1917 in what … READ MORE

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  • La Dame Blanche was an intelligence network created in Belgium in 1916. It was essentially devoted to the observation of railways. At the end of the war, it was comprised of over 1,000 agents and … READ MORE

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  • The music hall song “La Madelon” was first performed in Paris café concerts before the outbreak of war, but it did not initially catch on. Not until 1917 did it become a favorite – first among … READ MORE

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  • T.E. Lawrence’s exploits during the Arab Revolt have acquired mythical status, making it difficult to distinguish between what he actually achieved and what was the product of his overactive … READ MORE

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  • Henri Barbusse published the emblematic French war novel ''Le Feu'' in 1916. Given the context of its first publication, ''Le Feu'' was not critical of French propaganda; rather, it was part of a … READ MORE

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  • Léger was fascinated by the front, but barely ever depicted what he saw in his work. His correspondence, however, offers a remarkable descent into the abyss of the … READ MORE

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  • ''Le Poilu'' translates literally as “the hairy one” and was a collective identity assumed by French infantry during the First World War. However, the term, based upon the soldiers’ hair, … READ MORE

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  • B.H. Liddell Hart served as a British infantry officer on the Western Front in 1915 and 1916 until he was gassed during the Somme Offensive. He is best known for his military historical and … READ MORE

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  • Lloyd George was a leading Liberal politician before World War I, who went on to play a central role in the United Kingdom’s war effort as Chancellor of the Exchequer (1908-1915), Minister of … READ MORE

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  • Germany’s aerial bombing campaign against Great Britain in the First World War, with London as its primary target, was the first sustained strategic bombing campaign in history. These raids, using … READ MORE

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  • A few weeks before his entry in Brussels, on 22 November 1918, Albert I, King of the Belgians, held talks with various politicians in Loppem Castle. Some particularly important decisions were made, … READ MORE

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  • During World War One, Hubert Lyautey was the French Resident-General in Morocco and became Minister of the French War Department in … READ MORE

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  • Ramsay MacDonald opposed British entry into the European conflict in 1914. Although often represented as anti-war, he subsequently supported the Allied cause. He criticised balance of power diplomacy … READ MORE

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  • Between 1914 and 1918, the machine gun played an ever-increasing role on the battlefield. Today, even though artillery was responsible for the majority of deaths, the machine gun is the weapon most … READ MORE

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  • French Interior Minister when the war was declared, Louis Malvy embodied the Union sacrée and the quest for social peace. In 1917, he was accused of treason and involved in a political scandal that … READ MORE

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  • Charles Mangin was a very important French general during the First World War. With his concept “''La Force Noire” ''(“Black Forces”), which he published in a book with the same title, he … READ MORE

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  • Marie Adelheid reigned from 1912 to 1919 as the Grand-Duchess of Luxembourg. Because of her friendly attitude towards the German occupying forces during World War I, the Luxembourgers and Allies … READ MORE

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  • The ''Marinegebiet'' on the Belgian coast was the Imperial German Navy’s base for attritional warfare against Entente shipping in the North Sea. The resulting occupation regime was particularly … READ MORE

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  • The institution of wartime pen pals to assist isolated soldiers who were unable to receive mail from their loved ones was made official in 1915. The system, which paired up lonely soldiers with a … READ MORE

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  • The First World War represents the apex of the ideal of the male warrior hero. Between 1914 and 1918, both the soldiers themselves and combatant societies relied upon gendered language to make sense … READ MORE

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  • Mata Hari was a famous Dutch female dancer, who spied in France for the German intelligence during the war. Arrested by the French, she was condemned to death and executed in October … READ MORE

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  • Adolphe Max, the mayor of Brussels, was known for his peaceful resistance against the Germans and his resulting jail-time. He was considered by the Belgian public as a hero of the Great … READ MORE

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  • The real naval war in the Mediterranean turned out to be a struggle against German and Austrian submarines and not a classic battle between major … READ MORE

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  • After his pastoral letter ''Patriotisme et endurance'', which had a worldwide impact, the Cardinal Archbishop of Mechlin, Désiré Mercier, was seen both in Belgium and abroad as the incarnation of … READ MORE

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  • In 1915 the Italian government created an agency called ''Mobilitazione Industriale'' (Industrial Mobilisation) to manage economic activities and labour relations in wartime. The MI attempted to … READ MORE

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  • The Military Board of Allied Supply, formed in mid-1918, attempted to centralize oversight of allied lines of communication in Europe and promote more efficient use of their limited … READ MORE

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  • The history of the Italian military volunteers concerns not only the roughly 10,000 men who chose to fight without (or before) being drafted, but also the approximately 6,000 Italians who served in … READ MORE

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  • Between 1890 and 1925, Alexandre Millerand was one of France’s leading politicians. From August 1914 to September 1915, he served as war minister in the first ''Union sacrée'' government. In 1920, … READ MORE

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  • Mine warfare or mining are the terms used to describe the digging of tunnels under the enemy’s line in order to place explosives to destroy a key location, to prevent an enemy from digging tunnels, … READ MORE

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  • The city of Mons took on great symbolic importance during the Great War. In both August 1914 and November 1918, the region was the scene of clashes between Commonwealth troops and German soldiers. … READ MORE

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  • E. D. Morel was one of the earliest critics of the secret diplomacy and alliance system that led to the start of the Great War. Imprisoned during the war by the British government for his writings, … READ MORE

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  • The two Moroccan crises represent the product of “rapacious joint imperialism.” Morocco could not escape the ambitions of its immediate neighbours, Spain and France, who secretly plotted to … READ MORE

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  • The First World War fundamentally changed the course of 20th century music. The era of late Romanticism, Symbolism and Expressionism had ended, the music culture of the European high … READ MORE

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  • The Anglo-German naval race was the most spectacular strand of the general maritime arms build-up before World War I. Often, albeit misleadingly, described as both the first and the prototypical arms … READ MORE

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  • Italy’s war at sea reflected the more general trends of the naval warfare in the Great War: a stalemate that turned into a war of naval attrition. Only after harsh losses to national shipping and … READ MORE

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  • During the First World War, the Netherlands Oversea Trust Company acted as a clearing house for imported contraband goods. Although the Dutch government viewed most of the company’s actions as … READ MORE

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  • During the 19th century, neutrality evolved into a set of legal and political tools designed to limit the impact of wars on the international system. This form of neutrality did not … READ MORE

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  • Francesco Nitti was minister of the Treasury in the Orlando Cabinet after the defeat of Caporetto in 1917 and prime minister of Italy in 1919. During his mandate he signed the treaty of … READ MORE

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  • Born in a Protestant family with an English mother, Robert Nivelle studied at the Polytechnique and Military Academy of Artillery. In 1914, he became a colonel and in 1916 lieutenant general and … READ MORE

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  • The so-called “''Oberstenaffäre''” (colonel’s affair) was a political scandal in Switzerland which erupted after details of a close cooperation between Swiss, German, and Austro-Hungarian … READ MORE

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  • The violation of Luxembourg’s neutrality started with the invasion on 1 August 1914, with the real occupation beginning on 2 August and lasting until 21 November 1918 when the first Allied troops … READ MORE

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  • Ugo Ojetti was a journalist who, during the war, was tasked with the protection of monuments and artworks in the Italian-occupied territories. He was also instrumental in establishing and managing … READ MORE

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  • Wilfred Owen was a poet and soldier who wrote some of the most memorable poems of the First World War. His theme of "the pity of war" continues to influence the cultural memory of 1914-18 and to … READ MORE

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  • Paul Painlevé was a prominent French political leader from 1914-1917. He was the head of the Inventions Committee in charge of defining modern warfare. In 1917, at the turning point of the war, he … READ MORE

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  • Paris Guns refer to the German long-range guns that fired intermittently on Paris in 1918. A prodigy of the ballistic technology designed to terrorize the Parisian population, these weapons – also … READ MORE

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  • Civilians under military occupation in World War One found their existences severely circumscribed, but they exercised agency – not through large-scale, decisive actions, but through small-scale … READ MORE

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  • Patrick Pearse was one of the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising in which the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB), an extremely nationalist organization, attempted to establish an independent Ireland … READ MORE

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  • Gabrielle Petit was a secret intelligence agent working for the British General Headquarters (GHQ) in occupied Belgium. She collected information on the German Sixth Army in the Tournai-Lille area. … READ MORE

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  • In World War I, the mobility of troops was of major strategic importance. New transportation means like trucks, as well as war planes, submarines and tanks, which began to revolutionize warfare … READ MORE

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  • The two battles of the River Piave were fought between 10 November and 25 December 1917, and 15-23 June 1918, respectively. The Austro-Hungarian army, supported by German units, tried to bring about … READ MORE

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  • A citizen of neutral Spain, Pablo Picasso did not fight in the war, but his avant-garde artwork accompanied war culture right up to its use in … READ MORE

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  • Accused of refusing to collaborate with the German authorities, the Belgian historian Henri Pirenne was deported to Germany in 1916. His captivity led him to reconsider his view on German historical … READ MORE

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  • Raymond Poincaré, the president of the French Republic, asserted his authority as early as 1914, in a manner contrary to institutional practices that had prevailed since 1877. After his August 1914 … READ MORE

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  • To many, the remembrance poppy is the defining symbol of the First World War, embodying loss of innocence and loss of life. Its more potent cousin, the opium poppy, ties the flower to conflicts … READ MORE

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  • During World War One, Macau's main problem was its relationship with China. This stemmed from the consequences of its internal tensions and the lack of recognition of the Portuguese borders. However, … READ MORE

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  • The Portuguese territory of Timor was affected by the war mainly because of its proximity to the Dutch colony, the Dutch East Indies. Furthermore, without lines of transportation and communication, … READ MORE

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  • The Socialists’ opposition to war in France, Germany and Italy during the period of the Second International (1889-1914) was contradictory. They tried to combine internationalism, antiwar … READ MORE

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  • Prostitution was considered among the most important societal problems facing civilian-military authorities in belligerent countries during World War I. Despite growing military control of the … READ MORE

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  • During the First World War, Dutch editorial cartoonist Louis Raemaekers was a fierce critic of the German invasion of Belgium and France. He played a key role in Allied propaganda with his … READ MORE

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  • Although rape was not usually systematic, it occurred frequently on all fronts during the First World War, during both invasion and occupation periods. It was often used in propaganda to discredit … READ MORE

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  • The rear area was the space behind the front, linking the operational zone with the home territory. While this area constituted a place of calm and recreation for soldiers returning from front duty, … READ MORE

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  • In Belgium, the outbreak of the First World War and subsequent German invasion caused massive population movements. Hundreds of thousands of Belgian refugees fled the country to seek asylum in the … READ MORE

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  • During World War I, about 2 million French citizens had to leave their homes, due to orders from the French military and administrative authorities, the German invasion, German shellings, or … READ MORE

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  • As early as 1915, France considered celebrating those who died for the nation. After four years of debate among political parties and veterans, 11 November became a national holiday in 1922. From the … READ MORE

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  • The ''Renascença Portuguesa'' (1912-1932) was an important cultural movement during the republican regime (1910-1926) in Portugal. This intellectual group was founded in Porto, in the northern part … READ MORE

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  • In occupied Belgium and France, citizens opposed the German army with organized but non-violent resistance. They created networks dedicated to military intelligence gathering, escape lines, … READ MORE

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  • Alexandre Ribot belonged to the French political elite for more than forty years. During the war, he was finance minister from 1914 to 1917 and prime minister (''Président du Conseil'') from March … READ MORE

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  • The rifle was by far the most common weapon used in the world war. When the major powers entered the conflict, they possessed around 11 million rifles. During the war, they either manufactured or … READ MORE

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  • William Robert Robertson was the first British soldier to advance from private to field marshal. During the Great War, he initially served as the British Expeditionary Force’s quartermaster-general … READ MORE

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  • A pacifist writer, Romain Rolland was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1915. During the Great War, he refused to choose one camp over the other and suffered nationalist attacks. In the post … READ MORE

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  • Room 40 was a highly secretive British intelligence organization within the directorate of intelligence of the Admiralty. Its primary task was to intercept and decrypt German wireless and telegraph … READ MORE

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  • During World War I, motor vehicles took on a key role as transport facilities for troops and equipment. They needed tires made of rubber, which as a result became a raw material of strategic … READ MORE

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  • The Ruhleben internment camp, situated on the outskirts of Berlin, held British civilian internees from its opening in November 1914 to its closure in November 1918. While the camp suffered from … READ MORE

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  • The 1923-1925 Ruhr occupation by France and Belgium was triggered when Germany defaulted on its reparations obligations. A passive resistance campaign obstructed the invaders but collapsed in … READ MORE

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  • This article examines how the outbreak of war in 1914 established Bertrand Russell’s reputation as social critic with an international audience. It considers his major writings on a range of … READ MORE

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  • Antonio Salandra was an important Italian politician in the early 20th century. When the Great War broke out, he was prime minister of Italy and had a decisive yet controversial role in … READ MORE

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  • Siegfried Lorraine Sassoon was a British soldier, poet and novelist. His work bitterly exposes the horrors of the First World War and offers a soldier’s account of the … READ MORE

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  • The Swiss Patriotic Federation (''Schweizerischer Vaterländischer Verband'', or SVV) was a private, right-wing association which was set up between 1919 and 1948 in response to the nationwide … READ MORE

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  • Much attention has been accorded to the massive scale of military operations in the European theatre. However, sea power, which determined the control of global communications and was the key to … READ MORE

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  • An Irish-born writer and critic, best known as a playwright, George Bernard Shaw was an ardent opponent to World War I. Already in his fifties at the start of the war, Shaw was outspoken in his … READ MORE

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  • In 1914, quick-firing field artillery could fire more shells than domestic industries, geared to peacetime consumption levels, could supply. Armies, although recognizing the dangers, had … READ MORE

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  • The privately organized SSS existed from October 1915 to July 1919 to prevent Swiss companies from forwarding goods and raw materials produced by the Entente to the Central Powers. The SSS grew from … READ MORE

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  • Soldier’s humour, as expressed in jokes, songs and slang, reflected a dark, ironic and sardonic mind-set common among combatants. It usually contributed to individual psychological resilience, … READ MORE

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  • Starting in 1915, periods of leave known as "permissionnaires" played a vital role in supporting the morale of troops, allowing fighters to rest, and letting some families come together. These … READ MORE

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  • There was fighting in the Picardy region of France throughout the war. The 1916 Battle of the Somme is the most well known engagement in this region, notorious for its heavy casualties. The British … READ MORE

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  • Sidney Sonnino was the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs during World War I. He negotiated the Treaty of London, defining the terms with which Italy would enter into the war alongside the Triple … READ MORE

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  • The painter Adriano de Sousa Lopes was the only official Portuguese war artist in the Great War, stationed on the Western Front. Like most of his international colleagues, he produced remarkable … READ MORE

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  • Spain became a centre of international espionage in 1914. Its strategic location in terms of the Anglo-French trade soon attracted German attention. The Germans waged an economic and propaganda war … READ MORE

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  • The Spanish government maintained a benevolent neutrality policy towards the Entente Powers during the First World War. Liberal and Conservative cabinets decided it was the only position consistent … READ MORE

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  • The steel helmet was invented and fielded in response to increased lethality on the battlefield due to advances in artillery and fragmentation. World War I witnessed the first wide-spread use of the … READ MORE

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  • This article summarises the main wartime stereotypes that defined war propaganda in Germany, France, Great Britain, the USA and Russia. It focuses less on particular details of each national enemy … READ MORE

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  • Storm troopers were soldiers in specialized assault units, which emerged in the German army during the First World … READ MORE

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  • During the First World War the German government made extensive use of submarines, initially against warships and then, as the war progressed, most heavily against merchant shipping. However, the … READ MORE

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  • The Supreme War Council was an Allied administrative organisation, created by the Entente governments in November 1917 to coordinate their military action. Its most significant achievement was to … READ MORE

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  • World War I introduced new technologies and doctrine in a quest to overcome the tactical stalemate of the trenches. The first tanks had great potential that would be capitalized upon during the next … READ MORE

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  • Whether on the Western or Eastern Front, by German, French, British, Canadian, American and other armies, shows were regularly organized on the front lines and at base camps during the Great War. … READ MORE

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  • ''Battle of the Somme'' was a feature-length British documentary film, released in August 1916 while the fighting on the Somme was still in progress. Filmed by commercial cameramen under military … READ MORE

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  • The song now known as the "Chanson de Craonne" ("Song of Craonne") remains one of the most well-known First World War songs in France. Several months before the mutinies in spring 1917, its text … READ MORE

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  • The Thiepval Memorial commemorates “the Missing of the Somme”: more than 72,000 British and South African soldiers who were killed in the region between 1915 and 1918 but have no known grave. … READ MORE

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  • The ''tirailleurs sénégalais'' (Senegalese riflemen) figured prominently among the many indigenous peoples who served in the French army during the First World War. By 1918, France had recruited … READ MORE

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  • At the end of the Great War, many countries determined that they would bury an anonymous corpse to symbolize all those who died on the battlefields. In Italy, the ceremony for the entombment of the … READ MORE

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  • "Trench Art" is a genre of folk art comprised of items created in wartime, or from war materiel. It may be made by servicemen and women or by civilians, and is particularly associated with the First … READ MORE

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  • Trentino is an Italian-speaking region which was the southernmost part of the Tyrol. With Italy’s entry into the war, it found itself in the front area. After the war it was annexed to the Kingdom … READ MORE

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  • As prefect of the ''département ''of the Nord at the outbreak of war, Félix Trépont encouraged the defence of Lille during the invasion, eventually oversaw the evacuation of men and material, and … READ MORE

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  • Troelstra was a charismatic socialist leader who overestimated his influence and called for a socialist revolution in November 1918. His call was ignored and after suffering a nervous breakdown, he … READ MORE

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  • Founded in Lyon in February 1918, the ''Union fédérale'' was the largest veterans’ association in interwar France. It campaigned for the improvement of veterans’ pensions and for the … READ MORE

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  • Founded on 11 November 1918 with the support of French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau, the ''Union Nationale des Combattants'' was the largest right-wing veterans’ association in interwar … READ MORE

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  • The Union of Democratic Control was a prominent opposition group in Britain that particularly criticised the operation of British foreign policy and the role of "secret diplomacy". It advocated … READ MORE

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  • During the war, the Germans created a Flemish university in Ghent. By doing so, they fulfilled one of the Flemish movement’s principal … READ MORE

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  • Victor Emmanuel III played an important, if often overlooked part in Italy’s decision to intervene in World War I on the side of the Entente. During the war, he managed to solve two political … READ MORE

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  • Rodrigo de Saavedra y Vinent, Marqués de Villalobar was the diplomatic representative of Spain to Belgium from 1913 to 1926. During the war, his humanitarian activities in occupied Belgium … READ MORE

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  • Gabriele D’Annunzio’s phrase “mutilated victory” infers that Italy’s wartime sacrifices went unrewarded, but excessive Italian demands and inept diplomacy in Paris provoked French and … READ MORE

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  • The Battle of Vittorio Veneto was fought between 24 October and 4 November 1918 by the Italian 4th, 8th, 10th and 12th Armies against the Austro-Hungarian … READ MORE

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  • René Viviani was a leading French politician in the early 20th century. When the war broke out, he was prime minister (''Président du Conseil'') and contributed to the formation of the … READ MORE

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  • “''Stimmen im Sturm''” was a Swiss cooperative which published nine issues with decidedly Germanophile content. They not only defended the German war effort, but also argued against the French … READ MORE

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  • During the First World War, the Swiss federal government imposed a state of emergency, which was established to ensure the maintenance of Swiss neutrality, supply and integrity. As the war … READ MORE

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  • The latter Austrian ''Land'' Vorarlberg saw the rise of a grass root movement for a political union with Switzerland between autumn 1918 and spring 1919. These ideas never materialized, however, as … READ MORE

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  • Comics played a very important role in the total mobilization in Italy. Firstly in the cities and then in the trenches, they were a new propaganda tool and explanation of the war for children and … READ MORE

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  • The governments of all belligerent countries issued special loans to finance their expenditure after the war began. To mobilize the financial resources of their peoples required concerted war bonds … READ MORE

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  • As a long-lasting industrial war, the Great War led to the realization of considerable profits throughout industrialized countries. Both real and imagined, they structured many wartime facets, from … READ MORE

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  • In the First World War, war toys were regarded as a means to strengthen children’s identification with the war effort. Production and consumption of war toys in 1914 to 1915 reached heights never … READ MORE

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  • One third of the 9.7 million soldiers killed or declared missing during the Great War left behind a widow. The mourning of these women was conditioned as much by the social conventions practiced … READ MORE

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  • Queen Wilhelmina was by nature a forceful leader. The First World War showed that she lacked the meekness and patience that the head of a small neutral state … READ MORE

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  • Wireless telegraphy became an integral part of warfare on the ground, in the air, and at sea by 1918. Wireless helped to make the war global, though historians still debate its impact on the course … READ MORE

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  • The YMCA was a Christian charitable organization that provided a range of rest and recreational facilities for soldiers in Britain and on various fronts during the … READ MORE

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  • The Belgian city of Ypres is synonymous with the First World War. Ypres gave its name to three major battles: First Ypres (19 October - 22 November 1914), Second Ypres (21 April - 25 May 1915) and … READ MORE

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  • 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 … READ MORE

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  • In the context of the Swiss organisation ''Schweizer Verband Soldatenwohl ''Else Spiller initiated facilities for soldiers providing alcohol-free catering (''Soldatenstuben'') and organized social … READ MORE

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See also

  • The First World War and its direct repercussions in the postwar period (revolution, counterrevolution, the founding of republics, and the Paris peace treaties) mark a profound caesura not only in the … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • New weapons produced during the Industrial Revolution in the late 1800s heightened existing tensions among European nations as countries strove to outpace their enemies technologically. This … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • The nature of the First World War put an end to traditions for battle painting. Instead, war art by younger more progressive artists was the best received because it was judged the most authentic. … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • The term "atrocity" describes an act of violence condemned by contemporaries as a breach of morality or the laws of war. "Atrocities" are culturally constructed; by 1914, an international discourse … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • Soldiers’ attitudes towards the Great War are a controversial issue, as they prove difficult to assess and raise complex methodological questions. They evolved during the course of the conflict, … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • France and Germany remained principal protagonists of the First World War. This essay will examine the reasons why both nations believed they were in a legitimate war of defense, for which domestic … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • This article presents cartoonists as patriotic propagandists mobilizing their pens and brushes for the national cause during the war. It analyses their techniques for arousing emotions such as … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • Censorship was an indispensable war weapon: its task was to keep the people in an atmosphere of utter ignorance and unshaken confidence in the authorities, and to allow their boundless indoctrination … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • Mass conscription recast relationships in families, raised minors’ potential as wage earners, and decreased supervision over them. War ravaged the health of young people in Central Europe while … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • By 1914 the leading states had succumbed to varying degrees of militarism, subordinating other interests to those of the armed forces, yet all were governed by regimes in which the ultimate authority … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • This article deals with civilian morale during the First World War. Between 1915 and 1918, governments “discovered” the importance of civilian morale and developed vast systems of surveillance to … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • 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 … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • The article discusses the role of the media in the complex international process leading to the First World War with a focus on the press of the great powers. Recent research has shown that the … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • Total war is a controversial term used in the past by politicians, publicists and military officers as well as by computer specialists and academics in the present. Since its conception by French … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • The idea that World War I was a watershed in gender relations has pervaded both contemporary narratives and historiography. In contrast to earlier studies, research now tends to give a more nuanced … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • This article examines the First World War’s ecological impact and shows that protracted environmental transformations resulted more from expanded industrial modes of production than heavy combat. … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • 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. … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • The internment of enemy aliens in the First World War was a global phenomenon. Camps holding civilian as well as military prisoners could be found on every continent, including in nation-states and … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • During the entire war, warring powers used the “secret war” to try to break the balance of the battlefield. Generally created in the previous few decades, intelligence and security services saw … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • The extra-European theatres of World War I have received far less scholarly attention than the war in Europe. This state of affairs is hardly surprising given the sheer magnitude of the Western Front … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • The First World War was not only the precondition of the rise of fascist movements in a general way: more definitely, the fascists presented themselves as the heirs of the trench combatants. German … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • The First World War played a significant role in the evolution of film both as a medium for reporting war and as a tool for the propagandist manipulation of public opinion to support the war effort. … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • This article examines the conditions, forms and consequences of forced labor and recruitment during the First World War, especially in German-occupied northern France, Belgium, Russian-Poland and … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • One sees a wide range of political regimes from a democratic republic with universal male suffrage (France) to parliamentary, constitutional, or even oligarchical monarchies in the countries that … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • This article discusses the close relationships between national governments, advertising trades and print media industries and assesses their significance for liberal democracy and national identity … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • There have been four generations of historical writing about the 1914-1918 war. The first was composed of contemporaries who either fought in the war or helped run it, and spanned the period … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • This article focuses on the extent to which imperialism contributed to the outbreak of the First World War. The first part describes the emergence of specific imperialist cultures and attitudes in … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • By examining the origins, pathways, demographic impact and consequences for the public, the medical profession and governments, of the so-called “Spanish” influenza pandemic of 1918-1919, this … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • The article examines international efforts to curb states’ war-making prerogatives in the second half of the “long” 19th century. It captures new humanitarian sentiments circulating … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • In May 1915, Italy attacked Austria-Hungary along the Isonzo River and in the Trentino, hoping to conquer territory which it believed to be rightfully Italian. An immobile, entrenched war of … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • The international crisis that began with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo on 28 June 1914 and culminated in the British declaration of war on Germany on 4 August is referred … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • Across the major belligerent powers, industrial production and the mobilization and organization of industrial labor became central to the conduct of the First World War. States and private … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • This article compares the history of labour movements during the war across a range of European countries. It charts the impact of the economic realities of the war upon labour and analyses the … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • This article seeks to present an overview of First World War literature across many of the combatant nations from the outbreak of the conflict up to the beginning of the Second World War. Taking a … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • Claims to “just war” formed the basis for the propaganda campaigns of the First World War. Propaganda on all sides focused on three interrelated issues to endorse the decision to enter the … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • It is impossible to talk about “the” medical care or “the” medical service of World War I. Medical care varied greatly, depending on geography, strategy, and national, social, or economic … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • What role do representations of the First World War play in media that reach a wide audience beyond the circle of experts? The following contribution focuses on this important question. Given the … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • There is an ongoing debate among historians whether the First World War did in fact lead to drastic changes in migration and migration policies. The war certainly resulted in numerous severe … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • Despite World War I’s reputation as a senseless bloodbath whose military operations were devoid of any intelligent thought, the period 1914-1918 was history’s single largest revolution in … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • This essay offers a comparative survey of the practice of military justice among several of the key belligerent powers. Accused soldiers enjoyed little in the way of legal protection, and punishment … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • This article offers an overview of the progress of nationalism and the national idea starting with its origins as a mass political programme during the French Revolution and tracing its passage up to … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • All of the great belligerent states of World War I were naval powers and engaged in operations around the globe. While the course of the war did not unfold as predicted by naval officials, it did … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • After an initial wave of interest in 1914 and the immediate post-war period, international historiography long neglected the wartime occupation of territories inhabited by large civilian populations. … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • The Great War was never considered the “war to end all wars” by the states and armed forces in conflict. The war’s legacies were processed in a wide variety of ways depending on forms of … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • The First World War was a global conflict that caught most of the participants ill-prepared for the demands of total war. Economic mobilization beyond the initial needs of the troops involved … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • In August 1914, a targeted and systematic manipulation of opinion by the media, intellectuals and authorities started. Atrocities were attributed to the enemies that arose from preformed images or … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • The idea of peace in 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 … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • This paper examines major peace initiatives during World War I. It describes efforts by the chief European belligerents to split apart enemy coalitions with separate peace settlements as well … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • The First World War represents a watershed in the history of war photography. It was the first conflict to be photographed in detail by all the participants and the first in which photography was … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • The Great War gave new impulses to the further development of public welfare systems which had emerged in previous decades. The desire for the social protection of the population and the restoration … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • Word War I had a significant impact on the evolution of the European media scene. Before the start of the war, newspapers in Europe were increasingly popular, free and independent, and transnational. … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • The First World War marked the shift from a 19th century, relatively ''ad hoc'' management of prisoners of war, to the 20th century’s sophisticated prisoner of war camp … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • This article summarizes and compares the principal arguments and strategies of propaganda at the home front, the military front, as well as in neutral and enemy countries. These included the … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • 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 … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • This article explores the policies adopted and implemented against enemy property from the beginning of the Great War to the signing of the peace treaties in Europe. Breaking a long-standing … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • Raw materials were vital during the First World War. Due to the armaments production, the belligerents’ needs increased significantly, while the available resources fell. Each country intended both … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • This article addresses the scale of wartime population displacement in continental Europe, the relief efforts made on behalf of refugees, their impact on host communities, and the cultural … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • From the cradle to the grave, popular religion formed a necessary and vital, if analytically messy, part of the human experience of the Great War. The war had the potential to atomize and alienate … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • The conduct of warfare in 1914-1918 included extensive population resettlement in all theatres of war in Europe, both as a result of pre-emptive decisions by civilians to flee in order to evade the … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • This article surveys the various movements toward social, national, and political revolution that emerged during and in the wake of World War I. The Russian revolutions of 1917 serve as the first … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • The paper describes the impact of war on peasantry and its mobilisation in the war effort. While observers portrayed the countryside as rich and callous towards urban shortages or waging war, the … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • 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 … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • Wartime science and technology developed in the context of the Second Industrial Revolution, with far-reaching consequences for national and international scientific institutions and social … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • Allied capacity at sea to sustain global transport and supply determined their ability to prevail in the First World War. The deployment of convoys to triumph over submarine warfare was an important … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • This article provides an international overview of the history of sexuality in the Great War, including (1) the venereal disease epidemic, prostitution, and expanding state surveillance of sexuality; … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • Soldier newspapers are a massive, yet little used primary source of the First World War. They were read and written by the almost universally literate men at or near the front in the French, British, … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • From 1914 to 1918, theatres in all major European cities staged plays – comedies, operettas, revues, classical and modern dramas, music hall shows or sensational plays – day after day. The lively … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • A vast array of initiatives designed to counteract the destructiveness of the First World War was developed by states and societies across the world. Protecting the bodies and minds of soldiers from … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • Reflecting current historiography, this article focuses primarily on Christian churches centered in the main European theater of the Great War, including more global interactions with the other … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • This essay examines how the "everyday" functions in war, not only for those on the home fronts, but for those in combat roles and for those living between the lines. Five important qualities, among … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • The debate about the origins of the war remains a vibrant area of historical research. It has been characterised by a number of features. First, from the outset, political concerns shaped the debate, … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • Regardless of whether it was based on volunteer enlistment or conscription, mass mobilization in all of the countries at war between 1914 and 1918 completely upended the pre-war relationships that … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • October 1918 witnessed the collapse of the German and Austro-Hungarian armies, both greatly affected by war-weariness and starvation. The Austro-Hungarian monarchy lost any remaining loyalty from its … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • This article offers an overview of peacemaking after the First World War from the armistices of 1918 until 1923. It considers the outcomes of the five Parisian treaties (Versailles, Saint-Germain and … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • Imperialism shaped almost every facet of international politics from 1898 to 1914. Imperial concerns brought Britain into entente relationships with France and Russia. This Triple Entente often … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • The Great War witnessed mass armies battling with modern, quick-firing weapons systems and using consumables of all kinds - ammunition, food, water, soldiers - at rates that had not been seen before. … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • Cities — with their comparatively large and dense but also vulnerable populations — went from being theaters of mass mobilization in favor of the political status quo to being sites of domestic … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • This essay traces belligerent policies toward venereal disease (VD) on the fighting and home fronts in Austria-Hungary, France, Germany, Great Britain, Russia, and later, the United States. VD rates … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • Veterans’ associations formed an influential social movement during the interwar period. They provided the platform for former soldiers to commemorate the war and their fallen comrades and to … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • This piece explores the visualisation of violence for home front audiences and shows that violence was often hinted at very strongly, but the actual act was avoided. All home front audiences were … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • Despite what some believe, there is still a lot to say and learn about the First World War, particularly with regard to war aims. A lot of focus is currently placed on the cultural, social and … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • At its outbreak, newspapers in the Allied and neutral democracies hoped to present vivid descriptions of the First World War. They were soon frustrated. Censorship obstructed the adventurous style of … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • Static “trench warfare” belied a dynamic transformation in warfare between 1914 and 1918. Every army grappled with the same issues: how to end a strategic stalemate occasioned by their ability to … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • In nations where literacy was well-established by 1914, letter-writing was critical to the emotional well-being of soldiers and their families. Men in uniform often circumvented the censors and sent … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • Military sources provide the primary statistics of war losses and casualties during World War I. In order to review and eventually revise their figures, one must understand how military statistics … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • During the First World War soldiers from all combatant nations suffered from a wide range of debilitating nervous complaints as a result of the stresses and strains of modern warfare. War … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • 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 … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • To understand the Great War, one has to understand weapons. Weapons are linked to bodies, to attacks on bodily integrity, to suffering. Hand weapons form an extension of the body while at the same … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • The Western Front, a 400-plus mile stretch of land weaving through France and Belgium from the Swiss border to the North Sea, was the decisive front during the First World War. Whichever side won … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • It may surprise us to learn that some sectors of the European public were in favour of the war in 1914. The impact of modern weapons was not well understood and many people in the government, … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • This article explores women’s economic, social, and political responses to the First World War. It addresses their mobilization including their engagement with the war effort as well as their … READ MORE

    Thematic

Survey Articles (Regional)

  • With its economy highly reliant on Great Britain, Germany and other European nations, Denmark had to navigate between the two belligerent blocks during the war. This combined with shortages and … READ MORE

    Regional
  • To study France during the “Great War” – as it was called as early as 1914 – involves focusing on a major Western state that was confronted with a growing demand for resources to fuel the war … READ MORE

    Regional
  • Great Britain was with its Empire the most powerful of the major belligerents, the most politically and socially stable, and the best able to endure the strains of the war. Its great naval, financial … READ MORE

    Regional
  • Ireland’s war experience cannot be separated from Irish politics. Indeed, the story is not one of 1914-18 but of 1912-23, as the vast majority of people sought to change Ireland’s place in the … READ MORE

    Regional
  • Despite its neutrality, Luxembourg was occupied in August 1914 mainly for its strategic value. For four years, the national elites engaged in a difficult policy of cooperation with the German … READ MORE

    Regional
  • Norway managed to stay neutral during the First World War, but the war still crept into Norwegian life and impacted it in numerous ways. With a large merchant fleet – the fourth largest in the … READ MORE

    Regional
  • This article examines Spain’s neutrality during the Great War, highlighting factors such as the lack of military resources; the division of public opinion and internal conflicts; and actors such as … READ MORE

    Regional
  • For Sweden, the impact of the war was twofold. On the one hand, it was a test to the neutrality policy. Concessions and violations of neutrality got consequences for both foreign affairs and the … READ MORE

    Regional
  • The Netherlands remained neutral during the First World War, but was nevertheless significantly affected by it. Its army remained fully mobilized to counter any possible threat, and its economy felt … READ MORE

    Regional

Regional Thematic Articles

Encyclopedic Entries

  • A minority of the adherents of the Flemish movement were willing to collaborate with the German occupier in the context of ''Flamenpolitik''. This minority labelled themselves “activists”, … READ MORE

    Entry
  • Ador was the third president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and a Swiss minister during WWI. He displayed the charisma, the diplomatic skills and the decisiveness necessary to … READ MORE

    Entry
  • The general trend in aircraft development during World War I was towards better-engined, stronger, higher flying, more heavily armed, and more capable airplanes. Strictly speaking, pure … READ MORE

    Entry
  • Much like fighter aircraft, World War I reconnaissance and bomber technology advanced rapidly throughout the war. As aircraft designs that combined lift, range, and stability were key to both … READ MORE

    Entry
  • Reported missing in action in September 1914, Alain-Fournier is not officially considered a war writer because of his early death. The author of ''Le Grand Meaulnes ''has become a symbol for the … READ MORE

    Entry
  • Albert I, the third king of the Belgians, played a leading role as supreme commander of the Belgian army during the First World War. For four years he defended the last piece of unoccupied Belgium … READ MORE

    Entry
  • Alfonso XIII was a controversial Spanish king during the first decades of the 20th century. During the First World War he established a humanitarian office for prisoners and civilian … READ MORE

    Entry
  • Alsace-Lorraine was a border region located between the Rhine River and the Vosges Mountains. Its role in French wartime propaganda, its geographic location, and its tumultuous recent history all … READ MORE

    Entry
  • The Battle of Amiens, 8-12 August 1918, was a decisive British-led victory that marked the start of the Allied counteroffensive of the Hundred Days campaign, leading to the defeat of the German army … READ MORE

    Entry
  • Norman Angell (birth name Ralph Norman Lane), built a long career as an internationalist pundit on his best-selling book of 1910, ''The Great Illusion'', which argued that financial interdependence … READ MORE

    Entry
  • Although he actually died of Spanish influenza, the trepanned avant-garde poet was the embodiment of France’s “head wound”. Apollinaire’s letters to the woman he loved during the war, Lou, … READ MORE

    Entry
  • ''Arditi'' were elite assault troops in the Italian army. They also emerged on Italy’s post-war political scene thanks to newly formed associations. Even though many of them had ties to fascism, … READ MORE

    Entry
  • The French Army of the Orient is a military unit, which was created after the disaster of the Dardanelles Campaign (1915). Established at Thessaloniki with allied forces to fight against pro-German … READ MORE

    Entry
  • During World War I, Arnold J. Toynbee, as a member of the Political Intelligence Department, was charged with preparing analyses on the Middle East for the Paris Peace Conference. The global war was … READ MORE

    Entry
  • Artillery consisted of the military’s heavy firearms. As a branch of the armed forces, its purpose was to fire explosive-filled projectiles across relatively large distances. In contrast to the … READ MORE

    Entry
  • Asquith was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom at the outbreak of war. He formed a coalition in May 1915 but accusations of ineffectiveness led to his replacement by David Lloyd George in December … READ MORE

    Entry
  • Between February 1915 and the Armistice, Germany conducted three submarine campaigns against British, Entente and neutral merchant shipping. The final unrestricted campaign that started in early 1917 … READ MORE

    Entry
  • Attrition warfare is the term used to describe the sustained process of wearing down an opponent so as to force their physical collapse through continuous losses in personnel, equipment and supplies … READ MORE

    Entry
  • Arthur James Balfour was a British Conservative politician and statesman who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and was later Foreign Secretary. In the latter post, he issued the Balfour … READ MORE

    Entry
  • Francesco Baracca was the most famous Italian aviator, and shot down thirty-four enemy airplanes. He began his career in 1910 as a cavalry officer and became an air-fighter in 1912. He fought in the … READ MORE

    Entry
  • Invented in France in 1860, barbed wire was further developed in the United States, where it was used to restrict cattle and secure territory. Acquiring far more menacing qualities in the First World … READ MORE

    Entry
  • 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 … READ MORE

    Entry
  • A barrelmaker in a French village and corporal at war in an infantry regiment, Louis Barthas was considered the spokesman of his squad. He wrote a reliable testimony about his experience fighting in … READ MORE

    Entry
  • Cesare Battisti was the leader of the socialist party of the Italian Tirol (Trentino) and, from 1911, a member of the Austrian parliament. At the outbreak of war he went to Italy to engage in … READ MORE

    Entry
  • Ruijs de Beerenbrouck was a Dutch Prime Minster who successfully dealt with the threat of revolution in November … READ MORE

    Entry
  • This article briefly describes the 320,000 Belgian soldiers of the Great War. Who were they and what was special about the way they experienced the war compared to other … READ MORE

    Entry
  • Widely known as a philosopher in France from the publication of his first book in 1889, Bergson became an international celebrity with the publication of ''Creative Evolution'' in 1907. With the … READ MORE

    Entry
  • Sarah Bernhardt was a French actress. During the war, she showed great commitment to the patriotic cause through her participation in performances at the front, appearance in propaganda productions … READ MORE

    Entry
  • Annie Besant (1847-1933) was a British supporter of Indian nationalism. During World War I she propagated self-government for India and set up the All-India Home Rule League. Her political work … READ MORE

    Entry
  • Louise de Bettignies created an intelligence network for the British in occupied France. She was arrested, sentenced to death in March 1916 and deported to the prison of Siegburg. Sick, she died in … READ MORE

    Entry
  • Italian bishops and chaplains played a central role in making sense of the war by presenting sacrifice for one’s country as an act of charity and brotherly love. In addition to the 2,624 Catholic … READ MORE

    Entry
  • Moritz von Bissing was born on 30 January 1844, in Bellmannsdorf, Silesia, then part of the German Empire. He served as governor general of the Prussian Army from December 1914 until his death on 18 … READ MORE

    Entry
  • The "Black and Tans" were British ex-soldiers recruited to reinforce the United Kingdom’s police force in Ireland. The "Auxiliaries" were a temporary force of paramilitary police, composed of … READ MORE

    Entry
  • Bonar Law was leader of the Conservative Party in Britain during the war. He entered Asquith’s coa