Themes Violence

Regional Thematic Articles

Encyclopedic Entries

Survey Articles (Thematic)

  • In early 1915 the Young Turk government of the Ottoman Empire decided to deport hundreds of thousands of Armenians and Assyrians from their homes into distant parts of the Empire, eventually into the deserts of Syria. Armenian soldiers in the Ottoman Army … 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 on "civilized" war had defined "atrocities" as acts … 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, from a broad acceptance of a defensive war in the summer … 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. These developments accelerated 19th-century … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • Until recently, the eastern theater of the First World War was what Winston Churchill called “the Unknown War.” It was not overlooked, as other fronts were, but unknown; while people knew of some battles (Tannenberg), the assumption was that the … 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 strong development during the war: the warring sides were … 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 experience. Still, the violence of 1914-1918 also had … 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 Lithuania. It will offer an explanation of the extent to … 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 attrition quickly developed with neither side able to break … 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 differences, and so did the people providing it. … 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 military tactics and technologies. Virtually nothing about … 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 was generally swift and often harsh. Decisions about the … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • The First World War created disfigured and mutilated bodies on a grand scale. Never before had the bodies of soldiers been so devastated by a conflict. Developments in established weapons such as cannons and machine guns, and terrifying innovations such … 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 produce a grave threat to the Allies through Germany’s … 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 government, geostrategic situations, moral/material … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • While World War I featured the largest armies ever assembled, it was also fought by unprecedented numbers of paramilitary fighters. In a situation where the line between combatant and non-combatant was fluid, so was the line between paramilitary fighter … 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 systems, with their bureaucratic management, rationalization … 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 representation of refugees. It discusses the political issues … READ MORE

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  • This article examines the changing dynamics of national tensions in the Habsburg, Romanov, and Ottoman empires during three distinct phases of the Great War. The outbreak and early months of the war witnessed a rise in imperial patriotism. Imperial … 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 multi-national populace when President Woodrow Wilson … 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 draw on huge manpower reserves to refill their ranks; … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • The Balkan Wars erupted in South Eastern Europe in October 1912. Fighting continued intermittently in the region until July 1914. As the First World War expanded into much of Europe, fighting continued throughout the South East until the autumn of 1918. … 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 were produced. This enquiry reveals the limits of … 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 psychiatrists struggled to manage these complaints and … 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 time determining its range of movement. Handling weapons … 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 there – either the Central Powers or the Entente – … READ MORE

    Thematic

Regional Thematic Articles

  • The beginning of the First World War signaled a rise in tensions within the United States over the meaning of democracy and the role of the democratic nation-state in the defense of both the human and civil rights of African Americans. The question of how … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The South African government’s decision to actively support Britain in the war against Germany led to much dissatisfaction within the white Afrikaans-speaking community. By the second week of October 1914, open rebellion erupted in certain areas. 11,476 … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Italy entered the war in 1915 with just a few dozen airplanes and more or less the same number of pilots, however, during the conflict, the accelerated development of the force made it necessary to build thousands of airplanes and to train thousands of … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article briefly outlines the origins, development and significance of the Anzac legend for Australians since 1915. The initial reception of Anzac as symbolizing “the birth of a nation” is followed by an outline of the development of the concept … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • All belligerent colonial powers enlisted Africans for fighting, and as carriers and war workers in African, European and Middle Eastern theatres of war. Despite the fact that universal compulsory military service did not apply to African subjects, a … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The attitudes and behaviours of men of the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) were the consequence of them serving as volunteers in the particular circumstances of a distant and costly war. But they also substantially came out of the background and culture … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Since the end of World War One it has generally been accepted that the collapse of the Habsburg Monarchy was primarily caused by friction among its ethnic groups. It has furthermore been alleged that this inter-ethnic conflict had a disastrous effect on … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • German soldiers' attitudes toward the war neither were static nor did they develop in a linear fashion. They were as complex as they were contradictory, differing according to front, deployment and the status of the war. The conviction of leading a war of … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This paper provides a brief account of the experiences of the Vietnamese who went to Europe as soldiers during World War I. It shows that, contrary to a common belief among many historians that they were conscripted laborers, most were volunteers. Their … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • During the First World War, Italian soldiers’ attitudes varied widely, from enthusiasm to outright rejection of military service thanks to diverse political opinions, socioeconomic backgrounds and conceptions of national identity. The majority were … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Their war experience changed the attitudes of New Zealand soldiers dramatically – from enthusiasm to a cynicism about war, from an identification with the British to a mateship with Australians, and from a hostility towards the enemy to an acceptance of … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Establishing the attitude of Portuguese soldiers towards the First World War and their role in it is a difficult task. Largely illiterate men left relatively little trace of their opinion in the shape of letters and diaries – while officers, politically … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article examines coercion and consent within the First World War – why did men fight – were they manipulated and intimidated into war, or were they willing to engage in combat. American soldiers, similar to their European brethren, fought for a … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Portugal went to war in March 1916 with a government and an army that did not sit comfortably with each other. The young republican regime’s relationship with its armed forces was difficult despite its popularity among a small number of officers and a … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article examines the mechanisms, results, and characteristics of the national mobilization in Russia in the conditions of the First World War. Moreover, it considers the forms of cooperation between the government and the public, the … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article analyzes the deployment of about half a million African soldiers in Europe, where most of them fought in the French army. It first outlines the numbers and origins of African soldiers as well as the ways they were deployed in Europe. Then it … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • In Newfoundland, the cult of the fallen followed the military disaster that befell the Newfoundland Regiment at Beaumont Hamel on 1 July 1916. Newfoundland and imperial officials portrayed the tragedy as a glorious sacrifice, beginning a wartime tradition … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Conscription was the most divisive issue in Australian politics during the First World War. The expeditionary force which the Australian government offered to Britain in August 1914 was composed only of volunteers, since earlier legislation forbade the … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The article illustrates the soldiers’ attitudes to the war, highlighting both the inadequacy of the work of involving the combatants in the reasons for the conflict and the decision to deal with the demonstrations of dissent, both individually and … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The dominions of Australia, Canada, Newfoundland, New Zealand, and South Africa shared an ambiguous constitutional relationship with Britain. The self-governing dominions were free to implement their own policies in matters of defence, but their limited … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article considers the experiences of New Zealand soldiers on leave in Britain. In particular it focuses on the efforts of voluntary organizations like the YMCA to construct London as a ‘home away from home’ for the New Zealand soldier. Though … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The First World War was a watershed experience for the ethnic minorities who had come to the United States in record numbers at the turn of the last century. Though the overwhelming majority of immigrants supported their adoptive country both on the … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • In 1917, with tens of thousands of Canadian soldiers killed and wounded, the end of the war was nowhere in sight. As the supply of volunteers dried up, conscription became the dominant issue in Canada. French Canadians were singled out and accused of not … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Policymakers in the British Dominions of Australia, Canada, Newfoundland, New Zealand and South Africa confronted the common questions about Indigenous service in the First World War but with diverse approaches: Under what circumstances (if at all) should … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article deals with operations carried out by belligerent secret services in Spain, challenging the declaration of neutrality issued by Madrid in August 1914. Its primary aim is to internationalize the Spanish experience as a peripheral but … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Intelligence activities in Sweden during the war were largely influenced by the same set of factors as in other neutral countries. Due to relative accessibility and limited surveillance, Sweden was a useful base for intelligence activities by foreign … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • From the first days of the war, the neutral Netherlands, because of its geographical position, was turned into a transit area for information and a variety of agents from the Entente and Germany. Their activities were mostly directed against each other, … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article seeks to analyze how the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the oldest existing humanitarian organization, coped with the outbreak of the First World and its aftermath. By using innovative methods of work and by deploying an … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The Russian Civil War of 1917-20 was closely related to the World War in terms of its cause, conduct, and results. This article discusses the two distinct phases of the Civil War, which were divided by the collapse of the Central Powers. It examines the … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Swiss governmental and non-governmental organizations were intensely involved in humanitarian activities for the victims of World War I. From 1916 on, the country opened its borders to a select number of sick or injured prisoners of war from Germany, … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • How did Canada, as a self-governing country within the British Empire, deal with the internal security challenges of the First World War? Not surprisingly, this question has elicited many different scholarly responses, particularly in terms of Canada’s … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The Danish government let two elements guide its hesitant use of the armed forces. Firstly, it should be acceptable to Germany. Secondly, a response to violations should never lapse into destructive defensive warfare. These two elements were not … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Since the middle of the 19th century, armed neutrality had been the pillar of Dutch military strategy. From 1900, this was implemented not only by the purely defensive concept of “Fortress Holland” on the country's western borders, but also … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The Ottoman Empire was the most religiously diverse empire in Europe and Asia. Macedonia, the southernmost Balkan regions and Asia Minor, which formed historically and in the minds of late Ottoman elites the territorial core of the empire, housed large … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article explores the issue of suffering through two distinct categories of those mutilated during the Great War: amputees, who were the most numerous, and the disfigured, who were the most emblematic of the violence inflicted on the body. Amputees … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The United States Navy made its greatest contribution to the Allies by providing destroyers at a critical moment in the submarine war. Its material contribution in terms of mining, aviation and shipbuilding grew slowly and would have been even more … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The armistices of 1918 officially ended the First World War in Europe, but violence did not cease with the signing of the peace treaties. Fighting continued not only on the periphery, in Archangelsk or Siberia, but also at the very heart of the continent … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • During the First World War, hundreds of thousands of men found themselves interned in Britain. These were made up of: civilians already present in the country in August 1914; civilians brought to Britain from all over the world; and combatants, primarily … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article analyzes the treatment and living conditions of prisoners of war (POWs) and civilian internees from Serbia, Montenegro and Romania in Austro-Hungarian, Bulgarian and German camps during the First World War. The article also addresses the … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • A comparatively small number of German residents were interned as “enemy subjects” in the Union of South Africa. Most of them were accommodated at an abandoned military fort, Fort Napier, in Pietermaritzburg. Imprisonment caused disruptions and … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Prisoners of war are central to the public memory of Australian involvement in the Second World War, but very little historical scholarship has been dedicated to the national experience of captivity in the First World War. This is partly because only a … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The following article offers an overview of the central fields of research concerning Prisoners of war (POWs) in the Habsburg Empire during World War One, including living conditions in war camps, propaganda campaigns, forced labour, repatriation and the … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • During the First World War, France was faced with creating a system of mass captivity for German prisoners of war and German civilian internees, both at home and in its overseas Empire. It largely succeeded in retaining civilian government control over … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • During the war, hundreds of thousands of East Central Europeans mobilised to the imperial armies of Austro-Hungary, Russia, and Germany were taken prisoner. Beyond the ordinary problems of POWs such as malnutrition, hunger, infectious diseases, insects, … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Long overlooked, the prisoner of war experience of the estimated 2.4 million combatants held in German captivity during the Great War has recently been the subject of significant new research. Historians now emphasise the scale of captivity, the modern … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • During the First World War South Asian combatants and non-combatants were taken prisoner in France, Belgium, Mesopotamia, East Africa and other theatres of war. The conditions under which POWs were captured differed enormously in terms of housing, food, … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • In the first part of the article, the salient features of the experiences of the Italian prisoners of war are highlighted: the high number of soldiers captured and the high number of deaths among the prisoners. Then consideration is given to the suffering … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • After Germany and its allies were defeated in Tsingtao, their soldiers were captured and sent to Japan. More than 4,600 combatant prisoners of war (POWs) were interned in temporary camps in cities throughout Japan. In 1915, after it became clear that the … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • During the Great War, at least 217,746 Ottomans were taken captive by the Entente on one of the various fronts where Ottomans fought. About 150,000 of them were captured by the British. The Ottomans captured more than 34,000 Entente soldiers - mainly … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article explores the particularities of the situation of prisoners of war (POWs) in Russia and the implications of the domestic political situation in Russia on the fate of POWs. The upheaval in Russia during the First World War resulted in … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Critical analysis of Canada’s recruitment for the war effort can be grouped around three main themes. The first is the government’s attempt to raise an expeditionary force that proved too large to be maintained by voluntary enlistment. As a result, … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • World War One represented a turning point in the relationship between churches and the Portuguese state. Both Catholics and Protestants perceived the conflict as an opportunity to expand their scope of influence in a society then dominated by a sector … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article charts the contours of the Great War as an American religious experience, focusing on the ways in which the study of religion and the Great War in America forces an examination of what is meant by “religion.” American clergy and American … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • South Africa’s contribution to the East Africa campaign extended beyond 1916, the year most South Africans served there under General Jan Smuts. South Africans of all racial groups served in different capacities from February 1915 to the departure of … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The South African invasion of German South West Africa (GSWA) in September 1914 was specifically aimed at securing several strategic British war objectives. The invasion was the first time that the Union Defence Force (UDF) was deployed operationally in … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Like other dominions of the British Empire, the Union of South Africa’s participation in war was varied. South African volunteers served in various geographical campaigns, ranging from the Western Front (1916-1918), Egypt (1916), and Palestine … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Although popular memory in Australia places a large emphasis on the Gallipoli campaign in the history of the First World War, the Australian military contribution was much more extensive than one nine-month campaign in 1915. Australian divisions fought … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Between August 1914 and November 1918 the Belgian army took part in the First World War against the German aggressor. This article describes the way the Belgian army fought this war that began disastrously for Belgium, with 95 percent of the territory … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Canada’s large-scale contribution to the Great War generated wartime pride and post-war nationalism. The scale of effort and its resulting costs also bred deep social cleavages that marked the country for generations to come. The army, at first … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Unlike the war on the Western Front, warfare in East Central Europe during the First World War was characterised by comparatively rapid movements, especially in 1915 and 1917/18. This manifested itself in a lower degree of trench warfare and the increased … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Germany entered the First World War as one of the era’s mightiest military powers. In 1914, Germany’s understanding of war was strongly influenced by four decades of peace and by its geostrategic situation. The army’s and navy’s expectations and … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The Italian Army faced the conflict in an inferior position compared to the opposing Austro-Hungarian forces which, in addition to skillfully exploiting the mountainous terrain for defensive purposes, had greater combat experience in trench warfare. The … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Japan’s participation in the Great War opened up a new chapter in the country’s military history. For the first time, Japanese military forces operated on a global scale, facing new challenges of transport, supply, and communication; for the first … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • In 1914 Newfoundland raised and maintained a regiment that over the next four years was kept at battlefield strength through voluntary enlistment. The Regiment was integrated with the British army, serving mainly with the 29th British Division. … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Between August 1914 and November 1918 approximately 102,000 New Zealand soldiers fought alongside Australian troops as part of the British army’s campaigns at Gallipoli in 1915, on the Western Front from 1916 to 1918, and in Sinai-Palestine from 1916 to … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • In late summer 1914 the Russian, German and Austrian armies engaged in intense battles from East Prussia to Galicia. After a prolonged siege through the winter of 1914-15 at the Austrian fortress of Przemysl, one where the Russians prevailed, the Germans … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The main intention of this article is to chronologically present major events on the battlegrounds of South East Europe in the Great War and to demonstrate how it actually represented a continuation of previous conflicts, or a "war within a war". Warfare … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • In 1917 and 1918, the United States raised the largest combat force in its history to date and deployed it to Europe. By November 1918, the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) contained two million soldiers, organized into twenty-nine massive combat … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Human resources in Africa were exploited during the First World War for imperial ends. Men were sent to Europe to augment the manpower of the combatants, and soldiers and labourers were mobilized to aid in the conquest or defense of Germany’s colonies. … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • China’s war losses during World War I were primarily composed of 1) public and private losses amounting to approximately 21.5 million yuan, caused by the Japanese army during its passage across Shandong in the assault on Qingdao (Japan refused to pay … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The official numbers of casualties suffered by the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) in the First World War are underestimated in multiple categories. These official figures comprise the limited statistics of 60,000 dead and 155,000 woundings, impacting … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Estimates of the total losses of the Austro-Hungarian armed forces range from 1.1 to 1.2 million in addition to 450,000 deceased prisoners of war and 300,000 soldiers who stayed missed after war. The number of direct and indirect civilian losses is … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The Belgian situation was unique in the sense that military losses were relatively limited compared to neighbouring countries due to the wait-and-see strategy pursued by King Albert I and a less successful mobilisation of the army in the first weeks of … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The Canadian casualty figures are difficult to determine in part because of incomplete sources and the normal vagaries of record-keeping in times of war. As best as can be determined now, Canada’s total wartime military dead for those who served in a … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • When the fighting came to an end in late 1918, military losses for France were in keeping with a prolonged industrial conflict involving the loss of a huge number of combatants on extremely deadly battlefields. In this context, the way the state handled … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • 2,037,000 German soldiers were killed in World War I. These losses were a military and demographic catastrophe which had enormously important political, social, economic, and cultural … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The article examines the Italian losses in the Great War 1914-1918. Regarding the military, indications are given about the losses in relation to the population and the number of men mobilized, the distribution per year, the causes, the different war … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The Ottoman Empire’s entry into the First World War turned out to be disastrous for the Empire and its people as a whole. The Empire was underdeveloped, with a primitive economy and a sparse population. It lacked the most vital communication and supply … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • American losses in World War I were modest compared to those of other belligerents, with 116,516 deaths and approximately 320,000 sick and wounded of the 4.7 million men who served. The USA lost more personnel to disease (63,114) than to combat (53,402), … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic

Encyclopedic Entries

  • Founded in 1889, ''Sektion IIIb'' (1915-1918: ''Abteilung IIIb'') was the military intelligence component of the Prussian-German general staff. During the First World War, ''IIIb'' developed into a hybrid security organization that had to handle a mixed … 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 maneuverability became less important than greater overall utility … 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 successful reconnaissance and bombing, many World War I … 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 on the Western … READ MORE

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  • This entry explains the Amritsar Massacre of 13 April 1919. It charts the events of the Massacre itself and the colonialist and nationalist imaginings of the Massacre that … READ MORE

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  • During World War I, the Russian military command was overtly anti-Semitic. Russian commanders pointed to the alleged disloyalty of Russia’s Jewish population. The Russian army expelled Jews from areas near the front lines, restricted their movements, … READ MORE

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  • Perhaps 30 percent of the World War I Ottoman officer corps hailed from Arab regions. Such people had often been the recipients of fully subsidized, comprehensive state education. Ex-officers figured prominently in all states that emerged from the Ottoman … READ MORE

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  • There were a number of Arab intellectuals who actively cooperated with the Entente and Central Powers during the Great War through their actions, writings and speeches. The entry focuses on the actions of Shakib Arslan, Muhammed Kurd Ali and the al-Khatib … 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, ''Arditi''’s active involvement in politics … 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 Bulgaria, this unit crushed the Bulgarian Army in … 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 infantry and the cavalry, the artillery could not enter … READ MORE

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  • ''Askari'' is a word that means “soldier” or “police” in Kiswahili, Arabic, Turkish and a number of other languages. Colonial powers in many parts of eastern, central and southern Africa used the term widely to refer to the African soldiers who … READ MORE

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  • After service in the Balkans and in Libya, Süleyman Askerî was chosen by Enver Pasha to lead the “Special Organization” before World War I. Sent to Iraq to organize the defense against the British Mesopotamian campaign, he was seriously wounded and … 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 came close to choking the British economy, but the … 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 or to wear them down to such an extent that their will … READ MORE

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  • On the outbreak of the First World War, the German presence in the Pacific, in particular its wireless transmitting stations, were seen as a strategic threat to both Britain and Australia. The Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force, during its … READ MORE

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  • The Balkan Wars were two sharp conflicts that heralded the onset of World War I. In the First Balkan War a loose alliance of Balkan States eliminated the Ottoman Empire from most of Europe. In the Second Balkan War, the erstwhile allies fought among … READ MORE

    Entry
  • During the Estonian War of Independence, the Baltic Germans - despite their relatively small numbers - established their own military forces, the ''Baltenregiment'', in order to support the struggle. The regiment continued to exist until the general … READ MORE

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  • When Latvia felt endangered by the Bolsheviks they called for German help, since Germany had assisted in clearing the country from the Bolsheviks before. However, very soon tensions between the Latvians and their helpers became apparent and the Allies … 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 skies of all the Austro-Italian fronts, and died during … 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 War, where it became an essential feature of trench … READ MORE

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  • John Lewis Barkley grew up in west-central Missouri, where he became a skilled outdoorsman. During the First World War, he served in an intelligence platoon in the 3rd Division of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF). For valor during the … 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 the trenches. His book was the first of many published … 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 pro-intervention propaganda. In 1915 he joined the Italian … READ MORE

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  • Max Bauer was a German artillery expert and a key suborndinate in the German Supreme Command. A loyal suporter of Ludendorff, Bauer intrigued against Falkenhayn and consistently pushed for the further militarisation of German everyday life. He played a … READ MORE

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  • The Great War was a severe trial for Belarus and its population. It ruined the local economy and caused a massive exodus of refugees. An attempt to establish Belarusian statehood was made during the chaos caused by the collapse of the Russian Empire, … 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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  • Hans Hartwig von Beseler was a German general and military engineer who oversaw the conquest of several fortresses early in the war. He was then named commander of German-occupied Poland, a post he held until the end of the … 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 April 1917 in Trois Fontaines, a village in … 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 British ex-officers. Both the Black and Tans and Auxiliaries … READ MORE

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  • This article looks at the Black Hand from its origins to the demise of its leader, Dragutin Dimitrijević "Apis", in the Salonika Trial of 1917, focussing on the role the association played in Serbia’s foreign and domestic affairs before and during the … READ MORE

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  • Following the decisions of the Congress of Berlin in 1878, Austria-Hungary occupied the provinces of Bosnia and Herzegovina. From 1882 onwards, members of all ethnicities in Bosnia-Herzegovina were equally conscripted to military service. … READ MORE

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  • Louis Botha, Boer General and Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa, served throughout the war. Following the 1914 Afrikaner rebellion, he commanded the troops in German South West Africa, won the 1915 general election and organized contingents for … READ MORE

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  • Brazil was the only South American country that participated actively in the First World War. Before the war, the country was economically dependent on European and North American markets and modelled itself on Western culture and science. After the war, … READ MORE

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  • Created some months after Brazil's declaration of war against Germany, the Naval Division for War Operations (''Divisão Naval em Operações de Guerra'' – DNOG), active between May and November of 1918, consisted of a mission whose objective was to … 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 of fighting and winning a modern, industrialised war on a … 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 population, these were times of scarcity, repression, and … READ MORE

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  • Robert Lee Bullard, born in Alabama and educated at West Point, served in the U.S. Army from 1885–1925. He was in the Geronimo Campaign, the Philippines, Cuba, and on the Mexican border, and he commanded First Division, III Corps and Second Army, AEF, … 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 until November 1917. Cadorna was known for imposing severe … 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 at the service of their … 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 aligned himself at the outset with fascism, he later … 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 the Isonzo front and was fought between the Italian army … READ MORE

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  • The Carrier Corps were a conscripted labour force used by all belligerent sides in the First World War in East Africa. The numbers recruited and the subsequent displacement of populations was one of the biggest effects of the war in East … 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 War I the losses of killed, wounded or missing carrier … READ MORE

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  • The mutiny of the sailors on Cattaro, the Austrian-Hungarian Navy Base, occurred on 1 February 1918. The incident ended with the mutineers surrendering. Even if the revolt did not significantly impact the balance of power in the Adriatic, its memory … READ MORE

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  • Cemal Paşa belonged to the top leadership of the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP), which ruled the Ottoman Empire during World War I. He served as wartime minister of the navy and autocratic governor general and commander of the Fourth Army in … READ MORE

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  • The Battle of Cēsis took place on 6-23 June 1919, near Cēsis, Latvia, during Latvian War of Independence. German units fought Estonian-Latvian units. The Estonian-Latvian victory led to the diminishing significance of the German factor in the Baltic … READ MORE

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  • The Battle of Charleroi (21-23 August 1914), in which General Charles Lanrezac’s Fifth Army was nearly surrounded by German First, Second and Third Armies, was one of the deadliest combats that occurred in the first weeks of World War One. Although … READ MORE

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  • ''Chetnik'' is a common name for a member of the auxiliary or paramilitary units used by the Serbian army for guerrilla warfare during the Great War. The ''chetnik'' tradition dates from the time of struggle against the Ottomans; their legacy continued to … 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 of a long and deadly war already underway since the … 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 artificial cover. The answer was a combination of … 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 death the same year. He sought to use violence in a … 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 challenges. One of the most significant wartime … 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 reconstruction of the world of human relationships which … READ MORE

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  • Franz Conrad von Hötzendorf was an Austrian officer and Chief of the General Staff of the Austro-Hungarian Army from 1906 to 1911 and from 1912 to … READ MORE

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  • During World War I, many conscription age-men sought exemptions from combat duty for reasons of conscience. Religious beliefs formed the large majority of objections, but other reasons included humanitarian and political opposition to the war. While most … 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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  • 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 pioneering reflection on the testimony of social actors at that … READ MORE

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  • Josephus Daniels was United States secretary of the Navy from 1913–1921. He democratized, expanded, and modernized the United States Navy, preparing it for service in the First World War. During the war Daniels championed the North Sea mining barrage … READ MORE

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  • Berthold von Deimling was a controversial Prussian general known for both his military rigidity and his political inconstancy. In 1919, he converted to … READ MORE

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  • Charles Delvert was one of the witnesses of the Great War. A graduate of the École Normale and a reserve officer in the 101st Infantry Regiment, he won fame in the Fort de Vaux fights during the Battle of Verdun. After the war, he went on to … 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 army and laid the foundation for the final victory at … READ MORE

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  • In the First World War, the German Empire had two models of 42-centimeter mortars: the "Gamma-device" (caliber length L/16) and the "M-device" (L/12). For camouflage reasons, both were called "short naval guns." They were special ordnances for fighting … READ MORE

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  • A New York National Guard officer, attorney, and Medal of Honor recipient, William J. Donovan took his passion for accomplishing the mission into the trenches. As World War II began, he became the director of America’s first central intelligence and … 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 design soon followed; by 1914, all major navies measured … READ MORE

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  • Hugh Drum played an integral role planning the deployment of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) to France in 1917-18. He went on to become the primary staff officer responsible for developing the plan for the St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne Offensives, … READ MORE

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  • Dunsterforce, officially called the British Military Mission to the Caucasus, was a secret force of 450 to 1,000 imperial soldiers commanded by Major-General Lionel C. Dunsterville. Its mission was to safeguard the immense oil installations at Baku from … READ MORE

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  • The Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF) was a British Army formation that conducted campaigns in Sinai, Palestine and Syria during 1916-18, and its battlefield successes played a prominent role in the destruction of the Ottoman Empire in the … READ MORE

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  • After leading the coup that brought the Committee of Union and Progress to power, Enver was appointed chief of staff and war minister. Convinced of a German victory, he decided to join World War One. In November 1918, he fled to Germany and then to … 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 projectiles of these types but, by 1914, advances in ammunition … READ MORE

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  • Ludwig Freiherr von Falkenhausen was a German General and military writer who served in different leadership positions during World War One. From 1917 until the end of the war he was governor-general in … READ MORE

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  • Falkenhayn was Prussian minister of War and Chief of Staff (1914-1916). He was one of the decision makers during the July crisis 1914 and responsible for the German strategy in the first half of the war. His strategy was successful in 1915, but failed in … 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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  • Faysal ibn Husayn commanded the Northern Army of the Arab Revolt and was raised to the throne of Syria in October 1918. The French invasion drove him from Damascus in April 1921. Made king of Iraq under British tutelage, Faysal guided the country to … 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 managed, diagnosed, and treated. By the time of the Second … 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 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 the … 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 commander in March 1918. After leading the Allied … READ MORE

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  • The article discusses the ''Force Publique'', the colonial troops of the Belgian Congo, in the East African campaign of the First World War. The ''Force Publique'' played a major but until now insufficiently studied role in the Allied efforts against the … 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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  • European militaries considered fortifications before the First World War as vital to their strategic planning. Advancements in weapons technology after the mid-19th century caused engineers to upgrade their forts or face obsolescence. Although … READ MORE

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  • This article addresses the experience of Freiburg during the First World War, asking briefly how the problems that this city faced compared to those of other German … READ MORE

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  • ''Freikorps'' units were paramilitary formations which generally supported rightwing political causes, although they existed within a broader paramilitary environment. Many First World War veterans joined the ''Freikorps'' when they were first created in … 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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  • Pedro Frontin was a Brazilian navy admiral. He commanded the Brazilian Naval Division during military operations in World War I, acting in conjunction with British and U.S. naval forces along the coast of Brazil and the African coast from May to November … 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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  • 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 hardly had any military weight, but rumours about … 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, allowed him to win some aerial victories. After being taken … 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 incidence of gas warfare in the 20th century, and … READ MORE

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  • The ''Große Hauptquartier'' (Great Headquarters or GHQ) was the strategic command centre of the German armed forces for the duration of the war. It comprised representatives of all political and military decision-making … 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 German army fatally weakened, demoralized and facing its own … 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 the immediate aftermath of the war he showed some … READ MORE

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  • Colmar von der Goltz was one of pre-war Germany’s most outstanding and controversial military theoreticians. His publications had a considerable impact on military thought and the role of armed forces within society around the world. His ideas were … READ MORE

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  • Count Rüdiger von der Goltz was a German army general during the First World War who commanded divisions on the western and the eastern fronts. In 1918, he was also the commander of the German “Baltic Sea Division” during the civil war in Finland. … 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 occupation of Gorizia. This was overemphasized by the … 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 French colonial … 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 oceanic trade while also holding that state’s most … READ MORE

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  • Grigorovich was Navy Minister between 1911 and 1917. He sought cooperation with parliament and secured funds to rebuild fleets ravaged by war with Japan. His support for mobilisation in 1914 helped push Russia into a conflict for which the navy was … READ MORE

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  • As head of the Railway Section at the General Staff, Groener was responsible for the timely transport of troops to the front in August 1914. He was sacked from the Supreme Army Command (''Oberste Heeresleitung'', OHL) in August 1917 and deployed to the … READ MORE

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  • This entry historicizes myths of the ''Gurkha'' in contemporary Britain, India and Nepal. It charts the invention of the ''Gurkha'' through British colonial fantasies of the martial race, the socio-economic reasons for migration and military service in … 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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  • General Józef Haller was one of the best known Polish military commanders of the First World War period, a lieutenant of the Polish Legions, commander of the II Brigade of the Polish Legions, commander of the Polish Army in France, Inspector General of … 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 marked the weapon as an indispensable armament in modern … READ MORE

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  • Harbord, James Guthrie

    By J. Michael Miller

    Lt. General James G. Harbord was an influential American army officer. He served as Chief of Staff of the American Expeditionary Force between 1917 and 1918, the commander of the 4th Marine Brigade at Belleau Wood in June 1918, the commander of … 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 the military operations and authority of the … READ MORE

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  • Paul von Hindenburg shot to fame after the Battle of Tannenberg in August 1914. He was Germany’s national hero of wartime, soon eclipsing the Kaiser. Appointed to the Supreme Command in 1916, he increasingly took on a political role. His myth survived … READ MORE

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  • After the First World War, Hitler created a mythical account of his war years for political gain. This account was a far cry from the realities of his war experience on the Western … READ MORE

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  • This article is about the career of Heinrich Leonhard Emanuel von Hoff under the Ottoman state. As a German military officer, he played an active role in the local branch of Stuttgart’s German Youth Associations. During the First World War, the Ottoman … READ MORE

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  • Evelyn Berkeley Howell was appointed Chief Censor of Indian military correspondence in France in the winter of 1914. The thousands of letters that he and his staff translated and transcribed constitute the largest single compilation of colonial Indian … READ MORE

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  • A champion of “peaceful imperialism” before the war, Humann served as an ''éminence grise'' in Turkish-German relations, helping to establish the alliance and deterring criticism of genocide. He was a close friend of Enver Pasha and later publisher … READ MORE

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  • The Hundred Days was the final campaign on the Western Front during the Great War. During this period a series of sequential Allied offensives finally broke through German resistance and compelled the German army to seek an … READ MORE

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  • By December 1919, India had raised a total of 877,068 combatants and 563,369 non-combatants for the Great War. The latter included the Indian Labour and Porter Corps whose particular war experience, involving back-breaking toil in porterage, stevedoring, … 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 19th century linear formations to trench warfare and … 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 itself was more characterized by a rise in prostitution. … 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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  • Although the Iron Cross was originally created only for the duration of the Wars of Liberation, it was revived in 1870, 1914 and finally 1939. It became the quintessence of Prussian, and ultimately German, military … 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 in northeastern Italy. The results were usually high … 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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  • The Finnish Jäger movement recruited approximately 2,000 men to the German Armed Forces during the First World War. After their service on the Eastern Front, the Jägers formed the cadres of the White Army in the Finnish Civil War of … 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 the Battle of Jutland in 1916, the strategic victory that … 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, involving 151 British and ninety-one German warships. … READ MORE

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  • The sailors’ mutiny in Kiel quickly escalated into an open rebellion against the Imperial German state, setting in motion a course of events that culminated with the Kaiser’s abdication and the proclamation of a Republic in Berlin on 9 November, and … READ MORE

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  • The King’s African Rifles (KAR) were the British colonial military within East Africa before and during the First World War. While initially rarely involved in the British operations in East Africa, the continued resistance of the German … READ MORE

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  • Aleksandr Vasil'evich Kolchak was a Russian admiral and political figure. He participated in the Russo-Japanese War, the First World War, and the Russian Civil War. He was one of the leaders of the White movement in eastern Russia and was proclaimed … READ MORE

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  • The German light cruiser Königsberg made its name at the Battle of Zanzibar. After being scuttled, its guns were used by the German Schutztruppe to continue the Guerrilla campaign in East … READ MORE

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  • Kornilov rose rapidly in the Russian army during the First World War, becoming Commander-in-Chief in July 1917. In August, he sent troops into Petrograd, demanding all military and civil authority be placed in his hands. Kornilov’s forces were repelled … READ MORE

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  • The Battle of Kostiuchnówka occurred during the Brusilov Offensive in the Volhynia region on 4–6 July 1916. It was fought between the Austro-Hungarian Corps under General Leopold Hauer’s command (which consisted of three Polish Legions and units of … READ MORE

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  • Kreß von Kressenstein was a Bavarian-German officer who, as member of the German military mission in the Ottoman Empire, led the offensives on the Suez Canal and the defense of Gaza. In June 1918, he left for Georgia as the head of the “German … READ MORE

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  • A classic representative of pre-1914 Prussian officer education, Kuhl was a rising star within the peacetime general staff. Throughout the war, he served as chief of staff in three German armies and one army group on the Western Front. From 1918, Kuhl … 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 might be termed the first battle of the Russian civil … READ MORE

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  • The Lafayette Escadrille was a French Air Service fighter squadron formed of American volunteers and commanded by French officers. It served from 20 April 1916 to 18 February 1918. Although their service record did not impress the Germans, their exploits … READ MORE

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  • Johan Laidoner, Estonian general and statesman, started his career in the Russian army during World War I. He was crucial in establishing an Estonian army, which he commanded in the War of Independence (1918-20). In 1934 he participated in a coup … READ MORE

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  • Considered one of the best generals in the French armed forces, Charles Lanzerac commanded the French Fifth Army during the Battle of the Frontiers. However, at the end of August 1914, he was replaced by General Franchet d’Espèrey because of his poor … READ MORE

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  • The Latvian Riflemen were Latvian territorial units comprised of nine battalions, referred to as regiments from 1916 on, in the Russian army. They were active on the Northern Front (Riga) between 1915 and 1918 during World War I. They showed great … 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 imagination. Less contested is his role in brokering the … READ MORE

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  • In 1921 and 1922 the highest German court, the ''Reichsgericht'' in Leipzig, under pressure from the Allied powers, put seventeen Germans on trial for suspected war crimes in twelve trials. The trials and their results were criticized in both Germany and … READ MORE

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  • Major General John Archer Lejeune was the 13th Commandant of the Marine Corps. During World War I, he was initially assigned to command the 4th Brigade (Marines) of the US Army 2nd Infantry Division. Upon transfer of the division’s commanding general, … 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, became a metaphor for a wider political spirit, through … READ MORE

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  • Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck was commander of the German colonial troops in East Africa from 1914 to 1918. Lettow-Vorbeck faced far superior British, South African, Belgian, and Portuguese forces, but only surrendered after hostilities ended in Europe. He thus … 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 theoretical writing which contributed to a more critical … READ MORE

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  • Hunter Liggett was a general in the U.S. Army. He commanded the Forty-First Infantry Division, the I Corps, and the United States First Army. He led the I Corps at Chateau-Thierry, St. Mihiel, and in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. He was the architect of … READ MORE

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  • Liman von Sanders was the head of the German military mission in the Ottoman Empire from December 1913. As the commander of the 5th Army he was in charge of the defence of Gallipoli. In March 1918, he took over the command of the … 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 airships, bomber aircraft, and seaplanes, ran from … READ MORE

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  • Situated above the Austro-Hungarian naval base in the Bay of Kotor, Mount Lovćen was extremely important for both the Central Powers and the Entente. The mountain was a symbol of Montenegrin statehood and national identity. Austro-Hungarian forces … READ MORE

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  • Felix Graf von Luckner, the so-called “sea-devil”, was a German naval officer. During the Great War he became famous as a successful, but always gallant raider in the South Sea, until the merchant raider under his command, the sailing-vessel … READ MORE

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  • Erich Ludendorff was the effective commander of the German armed forces during the war. He also became a quasi-dictatorial figure, the ruthless symbol of the army’s political power. After the war he became the new republican government’s most bitter … READ MORE

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  • On 7 May 1915, a German U-boat fired a torpedo into the HMS Lusitania, sinking her off the coast of Ireland. While the sinking was not a direct cause of American entry into the war, it frayed relations between the United States and Germany and initiated a … 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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  • General Douglas MacArthur was a career Army officer and an American military leader during World War I. During the war, he rose to division commander and was cited for battlefield bravery. MacArthur participated in the Champagne-Marne, St. Mihiel, … 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 commonly associated with the First World War in the … READ MORE

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  • August von Mackensen was one of the most famous and successful German commanders during the First World War. He was engaged on the Eastern Front and campaigned in Russian Poland, Serbia and … READ MORE

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  • Nestor Makhno was a commander of peasant insurgents who fought the Bolsheviks, Whites and Ukrainian nationalists in the South East of present-day Ukraine. His espousal of anarchism has won him supporters among many Western anarchists, but some historians … 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 promoted the acceptance of black soldiers in the French … READ MORE

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  • A Finnish aristocrat, Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim served as cavalry commander in the Imperial Russian army during the First World War. After the Russian Revolution, he commanded Finnish White forces in the Finnish Civil War of 1918. He served as the Head … READ MORE

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  • General Peyton C. March developed the role and prominence of the relatively new position of U.S. Army Chief of Staff. March rivaled General of the Armies John J. Pershing in importance and influence during World War … READ MORE

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  • During the years 1915 to 1918 in the internment camp in Markl (Windigsteig), in Lower Austria, up to 1,400 mostly Jewish persons of Russian-Polish and Russian origin were incarcerated. They already lived in Austria before the outbreak of the war. The … READ MORE

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  • The notion of “martial races” was formally developed and codified in the wake of the Indian Uprising of 1857 and became an important basis for the recruitment policy of the Indian Army. Constantly manipulated and adapted to changing political and … 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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  • Ioannis Metaxas was a conservative army officer and politician, who influenced decision-making in Greece during World War I by collaborating with King Constantine I. In 1936 he became head of an oppressive dictatorial regime and in 1940 he was responsible … READ MORE

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  • It was the complex and far-reaching transformation of the Mexican Revolution rather than the First World War that left its mark on Mexican history in the second decade of the 20th century. Nevertheless, although the country maintained its … 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 the French army and the 2,500 ''irredenti ''who came from … 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, or to protect one’s own tunnel diggers and … READ MORE

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  • In World War I, Brigadier General William “Billy” Mitchell of the American Expeditionary Forces, led the largest armada of airplanes ever assembled to attack the Germans during the Saint-Mihiel offensive from 12-16 September 1918 and the Meuse-Argonne … READ MORE

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  • Colonel General Helmuth von Moltke (the Younger), the Chief of the General Staff of the army in Berlin from 1906 to 1914 and the Chief of the General Staff of the Field Army at the outbreak of the First World War, was one of the top generals of the German … 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. Mons, the capital of the province of Hainaut, endured … READ MORE

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  • During the First World War, at least half a million Muslim soldiers fought in the Russian Army. In spite of efforts of the Ottoman Empire to mobilize Russia’s Muslims against their rulers, Muslim soldiers continued to serve the Tsarist Empire loyally … READ MORE

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  • Italian Socialist Benito Mussolini envisioned war as the prerequisite for revolution. He helped push Italy into World War I. After combat service and medical discharge in 1917, he demanded war until victory. In 1919, he founded the Fascist movement. Using … 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 race among modern industrial nations, this arms race … 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 with the support of its allies, as well as a difficult … 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 commander of the army at Verdun. As commander-in-chief in … READ MORE

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  • Dennis E. Nolan was the chief intelligence officer for the American Expeditionary Forces in France under General John J. Pershing. Starting as the only intelligence officer on Pershing’s staff, Nolan built from scratch an intelligence organization of … READ MORE

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  • "No Man's Land" was a popular term during the First World War to describe the area between opposing armies and trench lines. How it came to exist and how far it might extend was influenced by a variety of military and topographic … READ MORE

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  • Gustav Noske was a social democratic politician and the first politician to be awarded with military responsibilities. His role as first ''Reichswehrminister'' (Reich minister of defense) during the revolution was controversial and ambivalent. He was … READ MORE

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  • The ''Oberste Heeresleitung'' (Supreme Army Command or OHL) was the mobile wartime formation of the Great General Staff of the Prussian Army. Due to Imperial Germany's geostrategic position as a European land power, the OHL quickly evolved into the … 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 arrived in … READ MORE

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  • Operation Alberich involved the systematic destruction of 1,500 square kilometres of French territory by the German army after Ludendorff’s decision to retreat to a newly constructed defensive line in 1917. It is often given as an example of German … READ MORE

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  • Although they were remote from the metropoles and generally small, the Pacific Island colonies of the European powers were nevertheless drawn into the conflict, largely through the Allied campaign to seize the German colonial holdings, but also through … READ MORE

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  • The Palmer Raids were efforts by the United States Department of Justice to arrest and deport suspected leftists and anarchists between November 1919 and January 1920. In response to the growing fear of political radicalism, United States Attorney General … 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 known in France as “Berthas” and thus commonly … READ MORE

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  • A talented administrator but a mediocre general, Cavit Pasha served in various parts of the empire, including commander of Iraq during the first year of the … READ MORE

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  • Esat Pasha played a key role during the Gallipoli campaign and achieved renown as a trainer, military intellectual and the defender of … READ MORE

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  • George Smith Patton was an American military leader. He began his career as a cavalry officer and later helped introduce tanks into the American army. His importance to the First World War was the way he trained the 304th Tank Brigade. He also … READ MORE

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  • John J. Pershing led all American forces during World War I. He emphasized staff work and offensive operations and fought successfully to keep all U.S. forces under his control. Although success during the St. Mihiel operation appeared to validate … 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 the final collapse of Italy. Both offensives were … READ MORE

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  • Józef Klemens Piłsudski was a Polish statesman, socialist politician, freedom fighter, and soldier. He commanded the Polish Legions during the First World War, and served as the first chief of state (1918–1922), marshal (from 1920 onward), prime … READ MORE

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  • The Bayonne Company was the first Polish unit in France, formed in 1914 as a unit of the French Foreign Legion. The Polish Army in France was created in June 1917 and consisted of volunteers. After the war it was relocated to … READ MORE

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  • At the outbreak of the Great War, two Polish Legions were formed within the Austro-Hungarian army. They eventually increased to three brigades that participated in a series of important campaigns in the years 1914 to 1916. When the soldiers refused to … READ MORE

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  • The Polish Army was born out of the chaos of revolutionary Russia. The Russian authorities accepted its establishment, and later the army sought an agreement with the occupying Germans. Polish units found themselves in a complicated legal and military … READ MORE

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  • Polish paramilitary organizations were active in Galicia from 1910 to 1914 with the permission of the Austro-Hungarian army’s intelligence service. Their ostensible aim was to militarily train young people and improve their shooting skills. The actual … READ MORE

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  • The Prussian War Ministry (''Preußisches Kriegsministerium'') was the highest administrative agency in the German army and was responsible for the organization of military personnel, the procurement of weapons and equipment, and for payment and pensions. … READ MORE

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  • This entry revisits the political upheavals that swept across several towns and cities of Punjab in April 1919, in protest against the passage of the Rowlatt Act in the Imperial Legislative Council. It argues that the moment marks a fundamental break in … READ MORE

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  • Black Americans served in the First World War, fighting for democracy both abroad and at home. They sought combat and leadership positions, both of which they were generally denied. Most African American soldiers remained stateside; those sent to Europe … 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 the other side for its barbarity and lawlessness, and this … 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, it was also the site of multiple conflicts, both within … READ MORE

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  • During World War I, about 1.1 million refugees sought refuge in the interior of Austria-Hungary. The coexistence between the host communities and refugees in the interior was difficult, due to national and religious prejudices as well as economic … READ MORE

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  • German and Austrian advances in 1914 and 1915, together with policies of the Russian military authorities, created millions of refugees in the Russian empire. These refugees suffered immense hardship but received aid from private organisations and local … READ MORE

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  • America’s “ace of aces,” Eddie Rickenbacker received the Distinguished Service Medal, nine Distinguished Service Crosses, and five Croix de Guerres for his service in the skies over the Western … 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 imported 30 million … 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 before becoming its Chief of staff in January 1915. In … 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 messages. It also intercepted some diplomatic traffic, … READ MORE

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  • The Belgian ''Force Publique ''occupied Ruanda and Urundi in 1916 after taking control of Lake Tanganyika from the Germans. This enabled the local populations and individuals to use the change in power for their own ends, on the one hand, and Belgium to … READ MORE

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  • Camillo Ruggera was an officer of the General Staff in the Austro-Hungarian army. Assigned to the Supreme Command, on 29 October 1918 he was commissioned to make contact with the leaders of the Italian army to begin armistice negotiations. In the … 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 overcrowding, conditions were relatively good and inmates … READ MORE

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  • Crown Prince Rupprecht was the heir to the Bavarian throne and one of Germany's most senior generals on the Western Front during the First World … READ MORE

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  • The Russian-Japanese War of 1904-1905, caused by Russian and Japanese expansionism in the Far East, inflicted humiliating defeats on Russia at land and sea. The war contributed to domestic unrest in both countries, catalysing the revolution of 1905 in … READ MORE

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  • Stephan Baron von Sarkotić was an Austro-Hungarian general who had already made his mark as a political officer prior to the outbreak of World War I. During the war, he formulated different approaches to solving the South Slavic problem in the Danube … READ MORE

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  • The renowned archaeologist Friedrich Sarre used his local knowledge to support the German-Ottoman war effort in western Persia in various leading functions. After the war, he sheltered the fugitive war criminal Enver Pasha in his … READ MORE

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  • Count Alfred Schlieffen was chief of the Great General Staff of the Prussian-German Army between 1891 and 1905. He devised the so-called Schlieffen Plan, a strategic plan for a campaign against France. Schlieffen bequeathed this plan to his successor … READ MORE

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  • Between 1891 and 1894 colonial forces, named “''Schutztruppe''”, were established in the German colonies in East Africa, Cameroon, and Southwest Africa. They formed a third military branch alongside the army and the navy and were composed of Germans … 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 exploiting global resources of manpower, food, industrial … READ MORE

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  • Seeckt became one of Germany’s best staff officers during the Great War. After 1918, he was the central figure of the Weimar Republic’s ''Reichswehr'' and a major contributor to the mobile doctrines that shaped the army's performance in World War … READ MORE

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  • The Ukrainian Sich Riflemen (''Ukrains’ki Sičovi stril’tsi,'' USS) was a Ukrainian battalion within the Austro-Hungarian army. The USS was active in the defense of the Eastern Front in World War I from 1914 to 1917. Following the conclusion of … READ MORE

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  • Jan Smuts was a South African lawyer and statesman who ultimately became deputy prime minister of the Union of South Africa. During the war, Smuts was Minister of Defence, Finance and Mines. He served for a time in German South West Africa before … 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 periods showed the limits to the endurance of soldiers, as … 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 and German armies fought on the same ground in … READ MORE

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  • Joseph Stalin lived in Siberian exile from 1913 until the revolution of March 1917. During the early period after the “February Revolution”, as well as during the year November 1917 to November 1918, Stalin advocated his country’s non-participation … 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 steel helmet, which remains a signature piece of … READ MORE

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  • Deputy General Commands, also referred to as Home Military Commands, were German military authorities led by a general. From 1914 on they enhanced capacity across the twenty-five Army Corps districts (''Armeekorpsbezirke'') that made up Imperial Germany … 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 image and more on the basic make-up of wartime stereotypes … 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 sinking of neutral merchantmen eventually led to diplomatic … READ MORE

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  • U.S. Army Chief of Staff General Charles P. Summerall enjoyed a distinguished military career that spanned nearly forty years. During World War I he commanded several American units and established a reputation of innovative, aggressive, and effective … 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 establish control over Allied shipping to supply and … READ MORE

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  • Fought between the Finnish Red and White forces from 15 March to 6 April 1918, the Battle of Tampere was the decisive confrontation of the Finnish Civil War. After a siege and bombardment, the White forces stormed and captured the … READ MORE

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  • The Battle of Tanga was the first major military engagement in East Africa and a significant British set back. It also contributed to the creation of Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck’s … 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 world war, but early models suffered from design flaws … READ MORE

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  • The Battle of Tannenberg (26-30 August 1914), in which General Aleksandr Samsonov’s 2nd Russian (''Narevskaia'') Army was surrounded and completely annihilated, was one of the largest battles on the Eastern Front in World War I. The battle … 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 some 192,000 ''tirailleurs sénégalais'' throughout … READ MORE

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  • Grand Admiral Tirpitz was Secretary of State of the Imperial Naval Office from 1897 until 1916. Quickly losing his former great influence on German politics after the outbreak of war, he was eventually forced to ask for his dismissal in March 1916. After … READ MORE

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  • Leon Trotsky's communist leadership was partially responsible for bringing about the October Revolution of 1917, after which Russia exited the First World War. Starting as an activist, he became People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs and People’s … READ MORE

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  • The province of Turkestan - modern-day Central Asia -, a Russian military colony since 1865-1875, truly entered WWI in 1916, when Tsar Nicholas II and his military staff decided, on 7 July (Gregorian calendar), to conscript a new labour force from the … READ MORE

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  • At the beginning of the 20th century Ukrainian lands were part of the Austro-Hungarian (Galicia, Transcarpathia, Bukovina) and Russian (the nine right-bank and left-bank provinces) Empires. Therefore, with the beginning of the First World War … READ MORE

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  • A race riot is a mob-related domestic disturbance in which specific racial groups are targeted for violence. The United States experienced a significant increase in race riots during and after World War I; much of the violence resulted from a variety of … READ MORE

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  • Jukums Vācietis commanded the 5th ''Zemgale'' Latvian Rifle Battalion. After the October Revolution he sided with the Bolsheviks and became the first commander-in-chief of the Soviet Armed … READ MORE

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  • The Austro-Hungarian battleship ''Viribus Unitis'' was commissioned in reaction to the newly built Italian dreadnought, ''Dante Alighieri''. The ''Viribus Unitis'' was the first Austro-Hungarian ship of the so-called ''Tegetthoff''-Class. During the First … 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 6th Army, the ''Armeegruppe'' Belluno and the … READ MORE

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  • Otto Weddigen was among the best-known German submarine commanders in the First World War. He died in March 1915 after HMS Dreadnought rammed and sank his submarine as it undertook a failed attack on the British military harbour at Scapa Flow. He remained … READ MORE

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  • Lieutenant Colonel Charles Whittlesey served in a unit of the U. S. Army’s 77th Division known as the “Lost Battalion” as it was trapped by German forces during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. Whittlesey received the U.S. Congressional Medal … READ MORE

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  • Adolf Wild von Hohenborn served as Prussian war minister from January 1915 to October 1916. He is best known for his role in the ''Judenzählung'' (Jewish census), a census of Jewish soldiers in the German army conducted by the war ministry to investigate … READ MORE

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  • Wilhelm’s education was dominated by a strict regime focused on preparing him for the military. As pro forma commander of the 5th Army at the Battle of Verdun, Wilhelm weakened his own position in the military chain of command and was later … READ MORE

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  • Petr Nikolaevich Wrangel was a Russian general and political leader. He participated in the Russo-Japanese War, the First World War, and the Russian Civil War. He was one of the leaders of the White movement in the south of Russia and founder of the … 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 Third Ypres (31 July - 10 November 1917). The severe … READ MORE

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See also

  • Though largely understudied to date, the regions in the western Balkans inhabited by Albanian speakers were afflicted by World War I in distinctive ways. The parceling out of former Ottoman lands to satiate the needs of neighboring political and economic … READ MORE

    Regional
  • The impact of the First World War on Australia was so profound that its memory dominates the national political culture even today, in the form of the Anzac “legend.” The mass casualties suffered in the Gallipoli campaign, Palestine and on the Western … READ MORE

    Regional
  • This article presents a survey of the First World War in the region of today’s states of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Finland. Chronologically the article begins with the outbreak of the war in August 1914 and ends with the conclusion of the … READ MORE

    Regional
  • From 1912 to 1918 Bulgaria engaged in a prolonged conflict that began in victory in 1913 and ended in defeat in 1918. During that period, the conflict exhausted Bulgaria’s manpower and material resources. By the end of the fighting in 1918, Bulgaria was … READ MORE

    Regional
  • This article discusses China’s role in the First World War with a focus on the country’s contribution to the war and the role of the war in shaping Chinese development and its place in the world. Contrary to common knowledge, China was not only … READ MORE

    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 inflationary pressures lead to a massive growth in state … READ MORE

    Regional
  • The war in East and Central Africa was one of the longest running of the Great War. It started on 8 August 1914 when the wireless station at Dar es Salaam was bombed and ended on 25 November 1918 when the Germans officially surrendered'' ''at Abercorn. … 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 machine and enable the country to hold out until … READ MORE

    Regional
  • When war broke out, in light of increasingly inflexible constellations and alliances among European powers, Germany was initially hoping to keep the war limited to Austria-Hungary and Serbia. Soon the conflict involved Russia, Germany, France, and Great … 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 and diplomatic strengths were critical to the Allied … READ MORE

    Regional
  • Greece officially entered the Great War rather belatedly in June 1917, despite informal involvement since 1914. The war divided Greek political elites, leading the whole country into a civil strife that lasted for decades. This text aims to present the … 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 United Kingdom, resisted by others who, though a minority, … READ MORE

    Regional
  • When the First World War broke out in Europe, Latin Americans of all social strata soon felt that the conflict would plunge the world into a crisis of hitherto unknown dimensions. Due to its globally entangled structures, the continent experienced 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 occupier. This choice did not prevent a deterioration of the … READ MORE

    Regional
  • Montenegro entered the First World War politically and militarily exhausted. The outcome of the First and Second Balkan Wars in 1912 and 1913 had a devastating impact on the future of Montenegro. From 1914 until January 1916, the Montenegrin army fought … READ MORE

    Regional
  • New Zealand was the British Dominion furthest from the conflict in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Nonetheless with Britain’s declaration of war on Germany, New Zealand and its one million inhabitants were enmeshed in the Great War. The whole … READ MORE

    Regional
  • The Ottoman and European colonial contexts are the necessary background for understanding northern Africa’s unique history with both Allied and Central powers. The impact of European state-building, imperialist ideology, and industrialization upon … 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 world – and heavily dependent upon imports, Norway’s … READ MORE

    Regional
  • During the Great War, the Ottoman Empire fought on several major and minor fronts, both in the Middle East and in the Balkans. Although initially seen as a military liability by its allies and a weak enemy by its foes, Ottoman armies delivered some heavy … READ MORE

    Regional
  • The outbreak of the First World War coincided with a period in Persian history when, following the Constitutional Revolution of 1905-1909, the Iranians were poised to refashion the constitutional order and establish an independent, accountable and … READ MORE

    Regional
  • This paper presents the process of building an independent Polish state during the First World War, which, from the Polish perspective, was the most important result of this conflict. The article focuses mainly on the political and military developments … READ MORE

    Regional
  • Portugal’s participation in the First World War was depicted by its supporters as a vital component of the consolidation of the country’s young republican regime (established in 1910) and its affirmation abroad. However, there was never any consensus … READ MORE

    Regional
  • World War I afforded the first opportunity for modern Romania to participate in a war which had a larger than regional horizon (South East Europe). The most important reason for participation was interest in gaining territories belonging to … READ MORE

    Regional
  • The Russian Empire entered the war in order to preserve its Great Power status, but it ended the war in a bout of revolution and decolonization. The army had a mixed record in the war, losing several key battles but remaining a dangerous force until the … READ MORE

    Regional
  • A short synthesis on Serbia's role and experience in the Great War encompasses several questions that still provoke controversies and offer many carefully reexamined data on issues such as war efforts in general, war casualties, war financing, refugees … READ MORE

    Regional
  • Siam (Thailand) declared war on Germany and Austria-Hungary in mid-1917. In 1918 it sent a small expeditionary force to France, the only troops of an independent Southeast Asian country to participate in the war in Europe and the occupation of Germany. … READ MORE

    Regional
  • The people of Southern Africa experienced the First World War as a continuation of late 19th century European imperialism. The war did not introduce new historical trends as much as it extended and exacerbated imperialism’s ill effects. In … 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 King Alfonso XIII (whose mediating role helped to … 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 the strain of both belligerents’ attempts to control … READ MORE

    Regional
  • In 1914, the Union of South Africa was four years old; its military only two. British supremacy in the South African War (1899-1902) provoked different responses from English and Afrikaner white South Africans to World War I. Prime Minister Botha, seeing … READ MORE

    Regional
  • The American debate over neutrality ended when Woodrow Wilson decided in April 1917 that German aggression on the high seas threatened US national security. From 1917-18 the Wilson administration vastly expanded the power of the federal government by … READ MORE

    Regional
  • This article examines the deployment of West African soldiers for military service in West Africa, including the manner of mobilization and recruitment. By demonstrating the heavy reliance on West African soldiers for the ‘European’ conduct of the … READ MORE

    Regional
  • The idea for the unification of the Southern Slavs emerged in the 19th century and the strength of its appeal varied over the course of its development. During the First World War, unification became the main war aim of the government of the … READ MORE

    Regional

Survey Articles (Thematic)

  • In early 1915 the Young Turk government of the Ottoman Empire decided to deport hundreds of thousands of Armenians and Assyrians from their homes into distant parts of the Empire, eventually into the deserts of Syria. Armenian soldiers in the Ottoman Army … 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 on "civilized" war had defined "atrocities" as acts … 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, from a broad acceptance of a defensive war in the summer … 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. These developments accelerated 19th-century … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • Until recently, the eastern theater of the First World War was what Winston Churchill called “the Unknown War.” It was not overlooked, as other fronts were, but unknown; while people knew of some battles (Tannenberg), the assumption was that the … 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 strong development during the war: the warring sides were … 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 experience. Still, the violence of 1914-1918 also had … 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 Lithuania. It will offer an explanation of the extent to … 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 attrition quickly developed with neither side able to break … 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 differences, and so did the people providing it. … 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 military tactics and technologies. Virtually nothing about … 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 was generally swift and often harsh. Decisions about the … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • The First World War created disfigured and mutilated bodies on a grand scale. Never before had the bodies of soldiers been so devastated by a conflict. Developments in established weapons such as cannons and machine guns, and terrifying innovations such … 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 produce a grave threat to the Allies through Germany’s … 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 government, geostrategic situations, moral/material … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • While World War I featured the largest armies ever assembled, it was also fought by unprecedented numbers of paramilitary fighters. In a situation where the line between combatant and non-combatant was fluid, so was the line between paramilitary fighter … 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 systems, with their bureaucratic management, rationalization … 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 representation of refugees. It discusses the political issues … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • This article examines the changing dynamics of national tensions in the Habsburg, Romanov, and Ottoman empires during three distinct phases of the Great War. The outbreak and early months of the war witnessed a rise in imperial patriotism. Imperial … 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 multi-national populace when President Woodrow Wilson … 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 draw on huge manpower reserves to refill their ranks; … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • The Balkan Wars erupted in South Eastern Europe in October 1912. Fighting continued intermittently in the region until July 1914. As the First World War expanded into much of Europe, fighting continued throughout the South East until the autumn of 1918. … 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 were produced. This enquiry reveals the limits of … 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 psychiatrists struggled to manage these complaints and … 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 time determining its range of movement. Handling weapons … 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 there – either the Central Powers or the Entente – … READ MORE

    Thematic

Regional Thematic Articles

  • The beginning of the First World War signaled a rise in tensions within the United States over the meaning of democracy and the role of the democratic nation-state in the defense of both the human and civil rights of African Americans. The question of how … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The South African government’s decision to actively support Britain in the war against Germany led to much dissatisfaction within the white Afrikaans-speaking community. By the second week of October 1914, open rebellion erupted in certain areas. 11,476 … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Italy entered the war in 1915 with just a few dozen airplanes and more or less the same number of pilots, however, during the conflict, the accelerated development of the force made it necessary to build thousands of airplanes and to train thousands of … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article briefly outlines the origins, development and significance of the Anzac legend for Australians since 1915. The initial reception of Anzac as symbolizing “the birth of a nation” is followed by an outline of the development of the concept … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • All belligerent colonial powers enlisted Africans for fighting, and as carriers and war workers in African, European and Middle Eastern theatres of war. Despite the fact that universal compulsory military service did not apply to African subjects, a … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The attitudes and behaviours of men of the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) were the consequence of them serving as volunteers in the particular circumstances of a distant and costly war. But they also substantially came out of the background and culture … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Since the end of World War One it has generally been accepted that the collapse of the Habsburg Monarchy was primarily caused by friction among its ethnic groups. It has furthermore been alleged that this inter-ethnic conflict had a disastrous effect on … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • German soldiers' attitudes toward the war neither were static nor did they develop in a linear fashion. They were as complex as they were contradictory, differing according to front, deployment and the status of the war. The conviction of leading a war of … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This paper provides a brief account of the experiences of the Vietnamese who went to Europe as soldiers during World War I. It shows that, contrary to a common belief among many historians that they were conscripted laborers, most were volunteers. Their … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • During the First World War, Italian soldiers’ attitudes varied widely, from enthusiasm to outright rejection of military service thanks to diverse political opinions, socioeconomic backgrounds and conceptions of national identity. The majority were … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Their war experience changed the attitudes of New Zealand soldiers dramatically – from enthusiasm to a cynicism about war, from an identification with the British to a mateship with Australians, and from a hostility towards the enemy to an acceptance of … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Establishing the attitude of Portuguese soldiers towards the First World War and their role in it is a difficult task. Largely illiterate men left relatively little trace of their opinion in the shape of letters and diaries – while officers, politically … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article examines coercion and consent within the First World War – why did men fight – were they manipulated and intimidated into war, or were they willing to engage in combat. American soldiers, similar to their European brethren, fought for a … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Portugal went to war in March 1916 with a government and an army that did not sit comfortably with each other. The young republican regime’s relationship with its armed forces was difficult despite its popularity among a small number of officers and a … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article examines the mechanisms, results, and characteristics of the national mobilization in Russia in the conditions of the First World War. Moreover, it considers the forms of cooperation between the government and the public, the … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article analyzes the deployment of about half a million African soldiers in Europe, where most of them fought in the French army. It first outlines the numbers and origins of African soldiers as well as the ways they were deployed in Europe. Then it … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • In Newfoundland, the cult of the fallen followed the military disaster that befell the Newfoundland Regiment at Beaumont Hamel on 1 July 1916. Newfoundland and imperial officials portrayed the tragedy as a glorious sacrifice, beginning a wartime tradition … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Conscription was the most divisive issue in Australian politics during the First World War. The expeditionary force which the Australian government offered to Britain in August 1914 was composed only of volunteers, since earlier legislation forbade the … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The article illustrates the soldiers’ attitudes to the war, highlighting both the inadequacy of the work of involving the combatants in the reasons for the conflict and the decision to deal with the demonstrations of dissent, both individually and … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The dominions of Australia, Canada, Newfoundland, New Zealand, and South Africa shared an ambiguous constitutional relationship with Britain. The self-governing dominions were free to implement their own policies in matters of defence, but their limited … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article considers the experiences of New Zealand soldiers on leave in Britain. In particular it focuses on the efforts of voluntary organizations like the YMCA to construct London as a ‘home away from home’ for the New Zealand soldier. Though … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The First World War was a watershed experience for the ethnic minorities who had come to the United States in record numbers at the turn of the last century. Though the overwhelming majority of immigrants supported their adoptive country both on the … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • In 1917, with tens of thousands of Canadian soldiers killed and wounded, the end of the war was nowhere in sight. As the supply of volunteers dried up, conscription became the dominant issue in Canada. French Canadians were singled out and accused of not … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Policymakers in the British Dominions of Australia, Canada, Newfoundland, New Zealand and South Africa confronted the common questions about Indigenous service in the First World War but with diverse approaches: Under what circumstances (if at all) should … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article deals with operations carried out by belligerent secret services in Spain, challenging the declaration of neutrality issued by Madrid in August 1914. Its primary aim is to internationalize the Spanish experience as a peripheral but … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Intelligence activities in Sweden during the war were largely influenced by the same set of factors as in other neutral countries. Due to relative accessibility and limited surveillance, Sweden was a useful base for intelligence activities by foreign … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • From the first days of the war, the neutral Netherlands, because of its geographical position, was turned into a transit area for information and a variety of agents from the Entente and Germany. Their activities were mostly directed against each other, … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article seeks to analyze how the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the oldest existing humanitarian organization, coped with the outbreak of the First World and its aftermath. By using innovative methods of work and by deploying an … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The Russian Civil War of 1917-20 was closely related to the World War in terms of its cause, conduct, and results. This article discusses the two distinct phases of the Civil War, which were divided by the collapse of the Central Powers. It examines the … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Swiss governmental and non-governmental organizations were intensely involved in humanitarian activities for the victims of World War I. From 1916 on, the country opened its borders to a select number of sick or injured prisoners of war from Germany, … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • How did Canada, as a self-governing country within the British Empire, deal with the internal security challenges of the First World War? Not surprisingly, this question has elicited many different scholarly responses, particularly in terms of Canada’s … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The Danish government let two elements guide its hesitant use of the armed forces. Firstly, it should be acceptable to Germany. Secondly, a response to violations should never lapse into destructive defensive warfare. These two elements were not … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Since the middle of the 19th century, armed neutrality had been the pillar of Dutch military strategy. From 1900, this was implemented not only by the purely defensive concept of “Fortress Holland” on the country's western borders, but also … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The Ottoman Empire was the most religiously diverse empire in Europe and Asia. Macedonia, the southernmost Balkan regions and Asia Minor, which formed historically and in the minds of late Ottoman elites the territorial core of the empire, housed large … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article explores the issue of suffering through two distinct categories of those mutilated during the Great War: amputees, who were the most numerous, and the disfigured, who were the most emblematic of the violence inflicted on the body. Amputees … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The United States Navy made its greatest contribution to the Allies by providing destroyers at a critical moment in the submarine war. Its material contribution in terms of mining, aviation and shipbuilding grew slowly and would have been even more … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The armistices of 1918 officially ended the First World War in Europe, but violence did not cease with the signing of the peace treaties. Fighting continued not only on the periphery, in Archangelsk or Siberia, but also at the very heart of the continent … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • During the First World War, hundreds of thousands of men found themselves interned in Britain. These were made up of: civilians already present in the country in August 1914; civilians brought to Britain from all over the world; and combatants, primarily … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article analyzes the treatment and living conditions of prisoners of war (POWs) and civilian internees from Serbia, Montenegro and Romania in Austro-Hungarian, Bulgarian and German camps during the First World War. The article also addresses the … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • A comparatively small number of German residents were interned as “enemy subjects” in the Union of South Africa. Most of them were accommodated at an abandoned military fort, Fort Napier, in Pietermaritzburg. Imprisonment caused disruptions and … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Prisoners of war are central to the public memory of Australian involvement in the Second World War, but very little historical scholarship has been dedicated to the national experience of captivity in the First World War. This is partly because only a … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The following article offers an overview of the central fields of research concerning Prisoners of war (POWs) in the Habsburg Empire during World War One, including living conditions in war camps, propaganda campaigns, forced labour, repatriation and the … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • During the First World War, France was faced with creating a system of mass captivity for German prisoners of war and German civilian internees, both at home and in its overseas Empire. It largely succeeded in retaining civilian government control over … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • During the war, hundreds of thousands of East Central Europeans mobilised to the imperial armies of Austro-Hungary, Russia, and Germany were taken prisoner. Beyond the ordinary problems of POWs such as malnutrition, hunger, infectious diseases, insects, … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Long overlooked, the prisoner of war experience of the estimated 2.4 million combatants held in German captivity during the Great War has recently been the subject of significant new research. Historians now emphasise the scale of captivity, the modern … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • During the First World War South Asian combatants and non-combatants were taken prisoner in France, Belgium, Mesopotamia, East Africa and other theatres of war. The conditions under which POWs were captured differed enormously in terms of housing, food, … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • In the first part of the article, the salient features of the experiences of the Italian prisoners of war are highlighted: the high number of soldiers captured and the high number of deaths among the prisoners. Then consideration is given to the suffering … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • After Germany and its allies were defeated in Tsingtao, their soldiers were captured and sent to Japan. More than 4,600 combatant prisoners of war (POWs) were interned in temporary camps in cities throughout Japan. In 1915, after it became clear that the … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • During the Great War, at least 217,746 Ottomans were taken captive by the Entente on one of the various fronts where Ottomans fought. About 150,000 of them were captured by the British. The Ottomans captured more than 34,000 Entente soldiers - mainly … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article explores the particularities of the situation of prisoners of war (POWs) in Russia and the implications of the domestic political situation in Russia on the fate of POWs. The upheaval in Russia during the First World War resulted in … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Critical analysis of Canada’s recruitment for the war effort can be grouped around three main themes. The first is the government’s attempt to raise an expeditionary force that proved too large to be maintained by voluntary enlistment. As a result, … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • World War One represented a turning point in the relationship between churches and the Portuguese state. Both Catholics and Protestants perceived the conflict as an opportunity to expand their scope of influence in a society then dominated by a sector … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article charts the contours of the Great War as an American religious experience, focusing on the ways in which the study of religion and the Great War in America forces an examination of what is meant by “religion.” American clergy and American … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • South Africa’s contribution to the East Africa campaign extended beyond 1916, the year most South Africans served there under General Jan Smuts. South Africans of all racial groups served in different capacities from February 1915 to the departure of … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The South African invasion of German South West Africa (GSWA) in September 1914 was specifically aimed at securing several strategic British war objectives. The invasion was the first time that the Union Defence Force (UDF) was deployed operationally in … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Like other dominions of the British Empire, the Union of South Africa’s participation in war was varied. South African volunteers served in various geographical campaigns, ranging from the Western Front (1916-1918), Egypt (1916), and Palestine … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Although popular memory in Australia places a large emphasis on the Gallipoli campaign in the history of the First World War, the Australian military contribution was much more extensive than one nine-month campaign in 1915. Australian divisions fought … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Between August 1914 and November 1918 the Belgian army took part in the First World War against the German aggressor. This article describes the way the Belgian army fought this war that began disastrously for Belgium, with 95 percent of the territory … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Canada’s large-scale contribution to the Great War generated wartime pride and post-war nationalism. The scale of effort and its resulting costs also bred deep social cleavages that marked the country for generations to come. The army, at first … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Unlike the war on the Western Front, warfare in East Central Europe during the First World War was characterised by comparatively rapid movements, especially in 1915 and 1917/18. This manifested itself in a lower degree of trench warfare and the increased … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Germany entered the First World War as one of the era’s mightiest military powers. In 1914, Germany’s understanding of war was strongly influenced by four decades of peace and by its geostrategic situation. The army’s and navy’s expectations and … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The Italian Army faced the conflict in an inferior position compared to the opposing Austro-Hungarian forces which, in addition to skillfully exploiting the mountainous terrain for defensive purposes, had greater combat experience in trench warfare. The … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Japan’s participation in the Great War opened up a new chapter in the country’s military history. For the first time, Japanese military forces operated on a global scale, facing new challenges of transport, supply, and communication; for the first … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • In 1914 Newfoundland raised and maintained a regiment that over the next four years was kept at battlefield strength through voluntary enlistment. The Regiment was integrated with the British army, serving mainly with the 29th British Division. … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Between August 1914 and November 1918 approximately 102,000 New Zealand soldiers fought alongside Australian troops as part of the British army’s campaigns at Gallipoli in 1915, on the Western Front from 1916 to 1918, and in Sinai-Palestine from 1916 to … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • In late summer 1914 the Russian, German and Austrian armies engaged in intense battles from East Prussia to Galicia. After a prolonged siege through the winter of 1914-15 at the Austrian fortress of Przemysl, one where the Russians prevailed, the Germans … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The main intention of this article is to chronologically present major events on the battlegrounds of South East Europe in the Great War and to demonstrate how it actually represented a continuation of previous conflicts, or a "war within a war". Warfare … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • In 1917 and 1918, the United States raised the largest combat force in its history to date and deployed it to Europe. By November 1918, the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) contained two million soldiers, organized into twenty-nine massive combat … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Human resources in Africa were exploited during the First World War for imperial ends. Men were sent to Europe to augment the manpower of the combatants, and soldiers and labourers were mobilized to aid in the conquest or defense of Germany’s colonies. … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • China’s war losses during World War I were primarily composed of 1) public and private losses amounting to approximately 21.5 million yuan, caused by the Japanese army during its passage across Shandong in the assault on Qingdao (Japan refused to pay … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The official numbers of casualties suffered by the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) in the First World War are underestimated in multiple categories. These official figures comprise the limited statistics of 60,000 dead and 155,000 woundings, impacting … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Estimates of the total losses of the Austro-Hungarian armed forces range from 1.1 to 1.2 million in addition to 450,000 deceased prisoners of war and 300,000 soldiers who stayed missed after war. The number of direct and indirect civilian losses is … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The Belgian situation was unique in the sense that military losses were relatively limited compared to neighbouring countries due to the wait-and-see strategy pursued by King Albert I and a less successful mobilisation of the army in the first weeks of … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The Canadian casualty figures are difficult to determine in part because of incomplete sources and the normal vagaries of record-keeping in times of war. As best as can be determined now, Canada’s total wartime military dead for those who served in a … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • When the fighting came to an end in late 1918, military losses for France were in keeping with a prolonged industrial conflict involving the loss of a huge number of combatants on extremely deadly battlefields. In this context, the way the state handled … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • 2,037,000 German soldiers were killed in World War I. These losses were a military and demographic catastrophe which had enormously important political, social, economic, and cultural … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The article examines the Italian losses in the Great War 1914-1918. Regarding the military, indications are given about the losses in relation to the population and the number of men mobilized, the distribution per year, the causes, the different war … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The Ottoman Empire’s entry into the First World War turned out to be disastrous for the Empire and its people as a whole. The Empire was underdeveloped, with a primitive economy and a sparse population. It lacked the most vital communication and supply … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • American losses in World War I were modest compared to those of other belligerents, with 116,516 deaths and approximately 320,000 sick and wounded of the 4.7 million men who served. The USA lost more personnel to disease (63,114) than to combat (53,402), … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic

Encyclopedic Entries

  • Founded in 1889, ''Sektion IIIb'' (1915-1918: ''Abteilung IIIb'') was the military intelligence component of the Prussian-German general staff. During the First World War, ''IIIb'' developed into a hybrid security organization that had to handle a mixed … 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 maneuverability became less important than greater overall utility … 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 successful reconnaissance and bombing, many World War I … 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 on the Western … READ MORE

    Entry
  • This entry explains the Amritsar Massacre of 13 April 1919. It charts the events of the Massacre itself and the colonialist and nationalist imaginings of the Massacre that … READ MORE

    Entry
  • During World War I, the Russian military command was overtly anti-Semitic. Russian commanders pointed to the alleged disloyalty of Russia’s Jewish population. The Russian army expelled Jews from areas near the front lines, restricted their movements, … READ MORE

    Entry
  • Perhaps 30 percent of the World War I Ottoman officer corps hailed from Arab regions. Such people had often been the recipients of fully subsidized, comprehensive state education. Ex-officers figured prominently in all states that emerged from the Ottoman … READ MORE

    Entry
  • There were a number of Arab intellectuals who actively cooperated with the Entente and Central Powers during the Great War through their actions, writings and speeches. The entry focuses on the actions of Shakib Arslan, Muhammed Kurd Ali and the al-Khatib … 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, ''Arditi''’s active involvement in politics … 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 Bulgaria, this unit crushed the Bulgarian Army in … 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 infantry and the cavalry, the artillery could not enter … READ MORE

    Entry
  • ''Askari'' is a word that means “soldier” or “police” in Kiswahili, Arabic, Turkish and a number of other languages. Colonial powers in many parts of eastern, central and southern Africa used the term widely to refer to the African soldiers who … READ MORE

    Entry
  • After service in the Balkans and in Libya, Süleyman Askerî was chosen by Enver Pasha to lead the “Special Organization” before World War I. Sent to Iraq to organize the defense against the British Mesopotamian campaign, he was seriously wounded and … 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 came close to choking the British economy, but the … 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 or to wear them down to such an extent that their will … READ MORE

    Entry
  • On the outbreak of the First World War, the German presence in the Pacific, in particular its wireless transmitting stations, were seen as a strategic threat to both Britain and Australia. The Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force, during its … READ MORE

    Entry
  • The Balkan Wars were two sharp conflicts that heralded the onset of World War I. In the First Balkan War a loose alliance of Balkan States eliminated the Ottoman Empire from most of Europe. In the Second Balkan War, the erstwhile allies fought among … READ MORE

    Entry
  • During the Estonian War of Independence, the Baltic Germans - despite their relatively small numbers - established their own military forces, the ''Baltenregiment'', in order to support the struggle. The regiment continued to exist until the general … READ MORE

    Entry
  • When Latvia felt endangered by the Bolsheviks they called for German help, since Germany had assisted in clearing the country from the Bolsheviks before. However, very soon tensions between the Latvians and their helpers became apparent and the Allies … 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 skies of all the Austro-Italian fronts, and died during … 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 War, where it became an essential feature of trench … READ MORE

    Entry
  • John Lewis Barkley grew up in west-central Missouri, where he became a skilled outdoorsman. During the First World War, he served in an intelligence platoon in the 3rd Division of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF). For valor during the … 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 the trenches. His book was the first of many published … 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 pro-intervention propaganda. In 1915 he joined the Italian … READ MORE

    Entry
  • Max Bauer was a German artillery expert and a key suborndinate in the German Supreme Command. A loyal suporter of Ludendorff, Bauer intrigued against Falkenhayn and consistently pushed for the further militarisation of German everyday life. He played a … READ MORE

    Entry
  • The Great War was a severe trial for Belarus and its population. It ruined the local economy and caused a massive exodus of refugees. An attempt to establish Belarusian statehood was made during the chaos caused by the collapse of the Russian Empire, … 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
  • Hans Hartwig von Beseler was a German general and military engineer who oversaw the conquest of several fortresses early in the war. He was then named commander of German-occupied Poland, a post he held until the end of the … 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 April 1917 in Trois Fontaines, a village in … 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 British ex-officers. Both the Black and Tans and Auxiliaries … READ MORE

    Entry
  • This article looks at the Black Hand from its origins to the demise of its leader, Dragutin Dimitrijević "Apis", in the Salonika Trial of 1917, focussing on the role the association played in Serbia’s foreign and domestic affairs before and during the … READ MORE

    Entry
  • Following the decisions of the Congress of Berlin in 1878, Austria-Hungary occupied the provinces of Bosnia and Herzegovina. From 1882 onwards, members of all ethnicities in Bosnia-Herzegovina were equally conscripted to military service. … READ MORE

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  • Louis Botha, Boer General and Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa, served throughout the war. Following the 1914 Afrikaner rebellion, he commanded the troops in German South West Africa, won the 1915 general election and organized contingents for … READ MORE

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  • Brazil was the only South American country that participated actively in the First World War. Before the war, the country was economically dependent on European and North American markets and modelled itself on Western culture and science. After the war, … READ MORE

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  • Created some months after Brazil's declaration of war against Germany, the Naval Division for War Operations (''Divisão Naval em Operações de Guerra'' – DNOG), active between May and November of 1918, consisted of a mission whose objective was to … 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 of fighting and winning a modern, industrialised war on a … 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 population, these were times of scarcity, repression, and … READ MORE

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  • Robert Lee Bullard, born in Alabama and educated at West Point, served in the U.S. Army from 1885–1925. He was in the Geronimo Campaign, the Philippines, Cuba, and on the Mexican border, and he commanded First Division, III Corps and Second Army, AEF, … 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 until November 1917. Cadorna was known for imposing severe … 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 at the service of their … 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 aligned himself at the outset with fascism, he later … 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 the Isonzo front and was fought between the Italian army … READ MORE

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  • The Carrier Corps were a conscripted labour force used by all belligerent sides in the First World War in East Africa. The numbers recruited and the subsequent displacement of populations was one of the biggest effects of the war in East … 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 War I the losses of killed, wounded or missing carrier … READ MORE

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  • The mutiny of the sailors on Cattaro, the Austrian-Hungarian Navy Base, occurred on 1 February 1918. The incident ended with the mutineers surrendering. Even if the revolt did not significantly impact the balance of power in the Adriatic, its memory … READ MORE

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  • Cemal Paşa belonged to the top leadership of the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP), which ruled the Ottoman Empire during World War I. He served as wartime minister of the navy and autocratic governor general and commander of the Fourth Army in … READ MORE

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  • The Battle of Cēsis took place on 6-23 June 1919, near Cēsis, Latvia, during Latvian War of Independence. German units fought Estonian-Latvian units. The Estonian-Latvian victory led to the diminishing significance of the German factor in the Baltic … READ MORE

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  • The Battle of Charleroi (21-23 August 1914), in which General Charles Lanrezac’s Fifth Army was nearly surrounded by German First, Second and Third Armies, was one of the deadliest combats that occurred in the first weeks of World War One. Although … READ MORE

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  • ''Chetnik'' is a common name for a member of the auxiliary or paramilitary units used by the Serbian army for guerrilla warfare during the Great War. The ''chetnik'' tradition dates from the time of struggle against the Ottomans; their legacy continued to … 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 of a long and deadly war already underway since the … 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 artificial cover. The answer was a combination of … 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 death the same year. He sought to use violence in a … 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 challenges. One of the most significant wartime … 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 reconstruction of the world of human relationships which … READ MORE

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  • Franz Conrad von Hötzendorf was an Austrian officer and Chief of the General Staff of the Austro-Hungarian Army from 1906 to 1911 and from 1912 to … READ MORE

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  • During World War I, many conscription age-men sought exemptions from combat duty for reasons of conscience. Religious beliefs formed the large majority of objections, but other reasons included humanitarian and political opposition to the war. While most … 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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  • 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 pioneering reflection on the testimony of social actors at that … READ MORE

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  • Josephus Daniels was United States secretary of the Navy from 1913–1921. He democratized, expanded, and modernized the United States Navy, preparing it for service in the First World War. During the war Daniels championed the North Sea mining barrage … READ MORE

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  • Berthold von Deimling was a controversial Prussian general known for both his military rigidity and his political inconstancy. In 1919, he converted to … READ MORE

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  • Charles Delvert was one of the witnesses of the Great War. A graduate of the École Normale and a reserve officer in the 101st Infantry Regiment, he won fame in the Fort de Vaux fights during the Battle of Verdun. After the war, he went on to … 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 army and laid the foundation for the final victory at … READ MORE

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  • In the First World War, the German Empire had two models of 42-centimeter mortars: the "Gamma-device" (caliber length L/16) and the "M-device" (L/12). For camouflage reasons, both were called "short naval guns." They were special ordnances for fighting … READ MORE

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  • A New York National Guard officer, attorney, and Medal of Honor recipient, William J. Donovan took his passion for accomplishing the mission into the trenches. As World War II began, he became the director of America’s first central intelligence and … 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 design soon followed; by 1914, all major navies measured … READ MORE

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  • Hugh Drum played an integral role planning the deployment of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) to France in 1917-18. He went on to become the primary staff officer responsible for developing the plan for the St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne Offensives, … READ MORE

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  • Dunsterforce, officially called the British Military Mission to the Caucasus, was a secret force of 450 to 1,000 imperial soldiers commanded by Major-General Lionel C. Dunsterville. Its mission was to safeguard the immense oil installations at Baku from … READ MORE

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  • The Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF) was a British Army formation that conducted campaigns in Sinai, Palestine and Syria during 1916-18, and its battlefield successes played a prominent role in the destruction of the Ottoman Empire in the … READ MORE

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  • After leading the coup that brought the Committee of Union and Progress to power, Enver was appointed chief of staff and war minister. Convinced of a German victory, he decided to join World War One. In November 1918, he fled to Germany and then to … 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 projectiles of these types but, by 1914, advances in ammunition … READ MORE

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  • Ludwig Freiherr von Falkenhausen was a German General and military writer who served in different leadership positions during World War One. From 1917 until the end of the war he was governor-general in … READ MORE

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  • Falkenhayn was Prussian minister of War and Chief of Staff (1914-1916). He was one of the decision makers during the July crisis 1914 and responsible for the German strategy in the first half of the war. His strategy was successful in 1915, but failed in … 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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  • Faysal ibn Husayn commanded the Northern Army of the Arab Revolt and was raised to the throne of Syria in October 1918. The French invasion drove him from Damascus in April 1921. Made king of Iraq under British tutelage, Faysal guided the country to … 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 managed, diagnosed, and treated. By the time of the Second … 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 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 the … 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 commander in March 1918. After leading the Allied … READ MORE

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  • The article discusses the ''Force Publique'', the colonial troops of the Belgian Congo, in the East African campaign of the First World War. The ''Force Publique'' played a major but until now insufficiently studied role in the Allied efforts against the … 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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  • European militaries considered fortifications before the First World War as vital to their strategic planning. Advancements in weapons technology after the mid-19th century caused engineers to upgrade their forts or face obsolescence. Although … READ MORE

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  • This article addresses the experience of Freiburg during the First World War, asking briefly how the problems that this city faced compared to those of other German … READ MORE

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  • ''Freikorps'' units were paramilitary formations which generally supported rightwing political causes, although they existed within a broader paramilitary environment. Many First World War veterans joined the ''Freikorps'' when they were first created in … 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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  • Pedro Frontin was a Brazilian navy admiral. He commanded the Brazilian Naval Division during military operations in World War I, acting in conjunction with British and U.S. naval forces along the coast of Brazil and the African coast from May to November … 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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  • 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 hardly had any military weight, but rumours about … 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, allowed him to win some aerial victories. After being taken … 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 incidence of gas warfare in the 20th century, and … READ MORE

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  • The ''Große Hauptquartier'' (Great Headquarters or GHQ) was the strategic command centre of the German armed forces for the duration of the war. It comprised representatives of all political and military decision-making … 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 German army fatally weakened, demoralized and facing its own … 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 the immediate aftermath of the war he showed some … READ MORE

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  • Colmar von der Goltz was one of pre-war Germany’s most outstanding and controversial military theoreticians. His publications had a considerable impact on military thought and the role of armed forces within society around the world. His ideas were … READ MORE

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  • Count Rüdiger von der Goltz was a German army general during the First World War who commanded divisions on the western and the eastern fronts. In 1918, he was also the commander of the German “Baltic Sea Division” during the civil war in Finland. … 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 occupation of Gorizia. This was overemphasized by the … 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 French colonial … 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 oceanic trade while also holding that state’s most … READ MORE

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  • Grigorovich was Navy Minister between 1911 and 1917. He sought cooperation with parliament and secured funds to rebuild fleets ravaged by war with Japan. His support for mobilisation in 1914 helped push Russia into a conflict for which the navy was … READ MORE

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  • As head of the Railway Section at the General Staff, Groener was responsible for the timely transport of troops to the front in August 1914. He was sacked from the Supreme Army Command (''Oberste Heeresleitung'', OHL) in August 1917 and deployed to the … READ MORE

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  • This entry historicizes myths of the ''Gurkha'' in contemporary Britain, India and Nepal. It charts the invention of the ''Gurkha'' through British colonial fantasies of the martial race, the socio-economic reasons for migration and military service in … 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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  • General Józef Haller was one of the best known Polish military commanders of the First World War period, a lieutenant of the Polish Legions, commander of the II Brigade of the Polish Legions, commander of the Polish Army in France, Inspector General of … 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 marked the weapon as an indispensable armament in modern … READ MORE

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  • Harbord, James Guthrie

    By J. Michael Miller

    Lt. General James G. Harbord was an influential American army officer. He served as Chief of Staff of the American Expeditionary Force between 1917 and 1918, the commander of the 4th Marine Brigade at Belleau Wood in June 1918, the commander of … 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 the military operations and authority of the … READ MORE

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  • Paul von Hindenburg shot to fame after the Battle of Tannenberg in August 1914. He was Germany’s national hero of wartime, soon eclipsing the Kaiser. Appointed to the Supreme Command in 1916, he increasingly took on a political role. His myth survived … READ MORE

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  • After the First World War, Hitler created a mythical account of his war years for political gain. This account was a far cry from the realities of his war experience on the Western … READ MORE

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  • This article is about the career of Heinrich Leonhard Emanuel von Hoff under the Ottoman state. As a German military officer, he played an active role in the local branch of Stuttgart’s German Youth Associations. During the First World War, the Ottoman … READ MORE

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  • Evelyn Berkeley Howell was appointed Chief Censor of Indian military correspondence in France in the winter of 1914. The thousands of letters that he and his staff translated and transcribed constitute the largest single compilation of colonial Indian … READ MORE

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  • A champion of “peaceful imperialism” before the war, Humann served as an ''éminence grise'' in Turkish-German relations, helping to establish the alliance and deterring criticism of genocide. He was a close friend of Enver Pasha and later publisher … READ MORE

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  • The Hundred Days was the final campaign on the Western Front during the Great War. During this period a series of sequential Allied offensives finally broke through German resistance and compelled the German army to seek an … READ MORE

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  • By December 1919, India had raised a total of 877,068 combatants and 563,369 non-combatants for the Great War. The latter included the Indian Labour and Porter Corps whose particular war experience, involving back-breaking toil in porterage, stevedoring, … 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 19th century linear formations to trench warfare and … 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 itself was more characterized by a rise in prostitution. … 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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  • Although the Iron Cross was originally created only for the duration of the Wars of Liberation, it was revived in 1870, 1914 and finally 1939. It became the quintessence of Prussian, and ultimately German, military … 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 in northeastern Italy. The results were usually high … 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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  • The Finnish Jäger movement recruited approximately 2,000 men to the German Armed Forces during the First World War. After their service on the Eastern Front, the Jägers formed the cadres of the White Army in the Finnish Civil War of … 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 the Battle of Jutland in 1916, the strategic victory that … 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, involving 151 British and ninety-one German warships. … READ MORE

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  • The sailors’ mutiny in Kiel quickly escalated into an open rebellion against the Imperial German state, setting in motion a course of events that culminated with the Kaiser’s abdication and the proclamation of a Republic in Berlin on 9 November, and … READ MORE

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  • The King’s African Rifles (KAR) were the British colonial military within East Africa before and during the First World War. While initially rarely involved in the British operations in East Africa, the continued resistance of the German … READ MORE

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  • Aleksandr Vasil'evich Kolchak was a Russian admiral and political figure. He participated in the Russo-Japanese War, the First World War, and the Russian Civil War. He was one of the leaders of the White movement in eastern Russia and was proclaimed … READ MORE

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  • The German light cruiser Königsberg made its name at the Battle of Zanzibar. After being scuttled, its guns were used by the German Schutztruppe to continue the Guerrilla campaign in East … READ MORE

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  • Kornilov rose rapidly in the Russian army during the First World War, becoming Commander-in-Chief in July 1917. In August, he sent troops into Petrograd, demanding all military and civil authority be placed in his hands. Kornilov’s forces were repelled … READ MORE

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  • The Battle of Kostiuchnówka occurred during the Brusilov Offensive in the Volhynia region on 4–6 July 1916. It was fought between the Austro-Hungarian Corps under General Leopold Hauer’s command (which consisted of three Polish Legions and units of … READ MORE

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  • Kreß von Kressenstein was a Bavarian-German officer who, as member of the German military mission in the Ottoman Empire, led the offensives on the Suez Canal and the defense of Gaza. In June 1918, he left for Georgia as the head of the “German … READ MORE

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  • A classic representative of pre-1914 Prussian officer education, Kuhl was a rising star within the peacetime general staff. Throughout the war, he served as chief of staff in three German armies and one army group on the Western Front. From 1918, Kuhl … 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 might be termed the first battle of the Russian civil … READ MORE

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  • The Lafayette Escadrille was a French Air Service fighter squadron formed of American volunteers and commanded by French officers. It served from 20 April 1916 to 18 February 1918. Although their service record did not impress the Germans, their exploits … READ MORE

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  • Johan Laidoner, Estonian general and statesman, started his career in the Russian army during World War I. He was crucial in establishing an Estonian army, which he commanded in the War of Independence (1918-20). In 1934 he participated in a coup … READ MORE

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  • Considered one of the best generals in the French armed forces, Charles Lanzerac commanded the French Fifth Army during the Battle of the Frontiers. However, at the end of August 1914, he was replaced by General Franchet d’Espèrey because of his poor … READ MORE

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  • The Latvian Riflemen were Latvian territorial units comprised of nine battalions, referred to as regiments from 1916 on, in the Russian army. They were active on the Northern Front (Riga) between 1915 and 1918 during World War I. They showed great … 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 imagination. Less contested is his role in brokering the … READ MORE

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  • In 1921 and 1922 the highest German court, the ''Reichsgericht'' in Leipzig, under pressure from the Allied powers, put seventeen Germans on trial for suspected war crimes in twelve trials. The trials and their results were criticized in both Germany and … READ MORE

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  • Major General John Archer Lejeune was the 13th Commandant of the Marine Corps. During World War I, he was initially assigned to command the 4th Brigade (Marines) of the US Army 2nd Infantry Division. Upon transfer of the division’s commanding general, … 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, became a metaphor for a wider political spirit, through … READ MORE

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  • Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck was commander of the German colonial troops in East Africa from 1914 to 1918. Lettow-Vorbeck faced far superior British, South African, Belgian, and Portuguese forces, but only surrendered after hostilities ended in Europe. He thus … 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 theoretical writing which contributed to a more critical … READ MORE

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  • Hunter Liggett was a general in the U.S. Army. He commanded the Forty-First Infantry Division, the I Corps, and the United States First Army. He led the I Corps at Chateau-Thierry, St. Mihiel, and in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. He was the architect of … READ MORE

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  • Liman von Sanders was the head of the German military mission in the Ottoman Empire from December 1913. As the commander of the 5th Army he was in charge of the defence of Gallipoli. In March 1918, he took over the command of the … 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 airships, bomber aircraft, and seaplanes, ran from … READ MORE

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  • Situated above the Austro-Hungarian naval base in the Bay of Kotor, Mount Lovćen was extremely important for both the Central Powers and the Entente. The mountain was a symbol of Montenegrin statehood and national identity. Austro-Hungarian forces … READ MORE

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  • Felix Graf von Luckner, the so-called “sea-devil”, was a German naval officer. During the Great War he became famous as a successful, but always gallant raider in the South Sea, until the merchant raider under his command, the sailing-vessel … READ MORE

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  • Erich Ludendorff was the effective commander of the German armed forces during the war. He also became a quasi-dictatorial figure, the ruthless symbol of the army’s political power. After the war he became the new republican government’s most bitter … READ MORE

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  • On 7 May 1915, a German U-boat fired a torpedo into the HMS Lusitania, sinking her off the coast of Ireland. While the sinking was not a direct cause of American entry into the war, it frayed relations between the United States and Germany and initiated a … 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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  • General Douglas MacArthur was a career Army officer and an American military leader during World War I. During the war, he rose to division commander and was cited for battlefield bravery. MacArthur participated in the Champagne-Marne, St. Mihiel, … 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 commonly associated with the First World War in the … READ MORE

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  • August von Mackensen was one of the most famous and successful German commanders during the First World War. He was engaged on the Eastern Front and campaigned in Russian Poland, Serbia and … READ MORE

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  • Nestor Makhno was a commander of peasant insurgents who fought the Bolsheviks, Whites and Ukrainian nationalists in the South East of present-day Ukraine. His espousal of anarchism has won him supporters among many Western anarchists, but some historians … 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 promoted the acceptance of black soldiers in the French … READ MORE

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  • A Finnish aristocrat, Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim served as cavalry commander in the Imperial Russian army during the First World War. After the Russian Revolution, he commanded Finnish White forces in the Finnish Civil War of 1918. He served as the Head … READ MORE

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  • General Peyton C. March developed the role and prominence of the relatively new position of U.S. Army Chief of Staff. March rivaled General of the Armies John J. Pershing in importance and influence during World War … READ MORE

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