Brill’s Digital Library of World War I

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Brill’s Digital Library of World War I is an online resource that contains over 700 encyclopedia entries plus 250 peer-reviewed articles of transnational and global historical perspectives on significant topics of World War I. This collection includes Brill’s Encyclopedia of the First World War, an unrivalled reference work that showcases the knowledge of experts from 15 countries and offers 26 additional essays on the major belligerents, wartime society and culture, diplomatic and military events, and the historiography of the Great War.

The 250 articles address not only the key issues from political, historical and cultural perspectives, but also engages with aspects of the war which have remained underexplored such as the neutrals, the role of women before, during and after the war, and memory. The chapters have been drawn from a select number of Brill publications that have been published in the last 15 years. Brill’s Digital Library of World War I is a unique digital library that will allow researchers to discover new perspectives and connections with the enhanced navigational tools provided.

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Sabotage

(501 words)

Author(s): Bavendamm, Gundula
Sabotage (French: sabot, wooden shoe) This expression refers to actions committed with the intention of weakening the resolve of a state. Sabotage may be further categorized into acts perpetrated by members of foreign powers, such as agents and prisoners of war, versus acts by individuals against their own nation. In the World War, sabotage was mainly committed by foreign agents. As a rule intelligence agents were responsible for the planning and execution of sabotage acts. Included under the head…

Saint-Mihiel Salient

(390 words)

Author(s): Pöhlmann, Markus
Saint-Mihiel Salient Located southeast of Verdun, this salient wa…

Salonica (Thessalonika)

(669 words)

Author(s): Simkins, Peter
Salonica (Thessalonika) Port in northern Greece. From October 1915 the base of the Entente’s so-called Army of the Orient. The multinational Entente campaign against Bulgaria was fought from the end of 1915 in inhospitable territory, and remained bogged down for long periods. In this theater of war the soldiers suffered most casualties from disease. The Entente forces finally achieved a sudden and decisive breakthrough in September 1918. After Bulgaria had received guarantees in respect of territorial gains in the Macedonian part of Serbia, its government signe…

Samsonov, Aleksandr Vassilievich

(254 words)

Author(s): Dahlmann, Dittmar
Samsonov, Aleksandr Vassilievich (November 14, 1859 – August 30, 1914, near Neidenburg), Russian general. Samsonov was a graduate of the Nikolaev Cavalry School (1877) and the General Staff Academy (1884). He became commander of a brigade in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904/1905, and later commander of a division of Siberian Cossacks. Ataman of the Don Cossacks from 1907 to 1909, from 1909 to 1914 he was governor general of Turkestan and commandant of the Turkestan military district. In August 1914 S…

San Giuliano, Antonino Paternò Castello Marchese di

(368 words)

Author(s): Isnenghi, Mario
San Giuliano, Antonino Paternò Castello Marchese di (December 10, 1852, Catania – October 16, 1914, Rome), Italian politician (foreign minister). San Giuliano’s political career began in the ranks of the liberal right wing, at a time when many political figures of national standing, among them Francesco Crispi, were emerging from Sicily. A member of the Italian parliament from 1882, he became undersecretary of state in 1892, and in 1898 served as a minister in t…

Sarajevo

(729 words)

Author(s): Pöhlmann, Markus
Sarajevo Capital of the Austro-Hungarian provinces of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Austria-Hungary’s annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1908 had aroused strong hostility against the dual monarchy among the Serbian population in Bosnia. Radicalization had led to the emergence of secret societies that were prepared to use violence. One of those societies, the “Black Hand,” enjoyed the protection of Serbian military circles, and planned to assassinate Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir apparent to the Austrian throne, on the occasion of his visit to Sarajevo on June 28, 1914. In the province for military maneuvers, Franz Ferdinand wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to make a courtesy visit to the Bosnian capital. Although the security situation was seen as critical, measures to protect the archduke and his wife Sophie Duchess of Hohenberg, who was with him, were inadequate. The route they would take through the city having become known, a total of six conspirators equipped with pistols and bombs obtained from Ser…

Sarrail, Maurice

(322 words)

Author(s): Krumeich, Gerd
Sarrail, Maurice (April 6, 1856, Carcassonne – March 23, 1929, Paris), French general. All his life Sarrail was a politically engaged soldier, close to the republican left. He was involved in the “republicanization of the army” after the Dreyfus affair. During the years after 1905, Sarrail was initially commandant of the Saint-Maixent military academy and from 1907 until 1911, head of the infantry department at the Ministry of War. At the beginning of the First World War he was given command of th…

Sassoon, Siegfried Lorraine

(753 words)

Author(s): Winter, Jay
Sassoon, Siegfried Lorraine (September 8, 1886, Weirleigh [Kent] – September 1, 1967, Heytesbury [Wiltshire]), British writer. Sassoon joined the Sussex Yeomanry in …

Savoia, Emanuele Filiberto di, Duca d’Aosta

(250 words)

Author(s): Afflerbach, Holger
Savoia, Emanuele Filiberto di, Duca d’Aosta ( January 13, 1869, Genoa – July 4, 1931, Turin), Italian general. Savoia, a cousin of King Victor Emmanuel III, entered the Turin Military Academy in 1884. He was commanding general in Naples from 1905 to 1910. At the outbreak of the First World War he was entrusted with command of the Third Army, which fought in the Karst region on the northeast Italian border. His army succeeded in capturing Gorizia in the summer of 1917. After the German-Austrian breakth…

Sazonov, Sergei Dmitrievich

(338 words)

Author(s): Lindemann, Mechtild
Sazonov, Sergei Dmitrievich (August 10, 1860, Ryazan territory – December 25, 1927, Nice), Russian politician and diplomat. In the diplomatic service since 1883, Sazonov became deputy foreign minister in 1909. After being appointed foreign minister in 1910 he sought to improve relations with France, and especially with Britain, in order to secure the support of the British fleet in the event of war. In this, Sazonov pursued a policy of war avoidance, motivated in pa…

Scapa Flow

(665 words)

Author(s): Krüger, Friederike
Scapa Flow A body of water in the Scottish Orkney Islands. On June 21, 1919, at 11 in the mor…

Scheer, Reinhard

(408 words)

Author(s): Herwig, Holger H.
Scheer, Reinhard …

Scheidemann, Philipp

(314 words)

Author(s): Mühlhausen, Walter
Scheidemann, Philipp ( July 26, 1865, Kassel – November 29, 1939, Copenhagen), German politician. From 1911 he was a member of the governing body of the SPD, and from 1913 one of the three chairmen of the SPD parliamentary party. During World War I, he was one of the best known Social Democrats in German public life. A brilliant speaker, he defended the Burgfrieden policy, but at the same time worked for a settlement with forces in the party opposed to war. In countless interventions he called for “peace by rapprochement” without reparations or annexations. He particularly opposed the German war propaganda program. Scheidemann gradually developed from being the SPD figure of integration into a mediator between imperial government and social democracy. After a split in the USPD and after the Würzburg party conference of October 1917, he became joint party …

Scheler, Max Ferdinand

(332 words)

Author(s): Hübinger, Gangolf
Scheler, Max Ferdinand (August 22, 1874, Munich – May 19, 1928, Frankfurt am Main), German philosopher, a pupil of Rudolf Eucken. After losing his unsalaried post at the University of Munich, Scheler lived in Göttingen and Berlin as a private scholar and freelance author. His book The Genius of War and the German War (1915) made him one of the protagonists of the “Ideas of 1914.” At the same time, as a convert to Catholicism, he undertook lecture tours on behalf of the Foreign Office in Switzerland, the Netherlands and Austria, with the aim of for…

Schlieffen Plan

(985 words)

Author(s): Cornelissen, Christoph
Schlieffen Plan Right up to the outbreak of the war in August 1914, the memorandum submitted by Count Alfred von Schlieffen in the winter of 1905/1906 outlined the basic strategic conception with which the German Reich entered the First World War – albeit in a version that had been modified several times by Helmuth von Moltke (the Younger). Although the significance of the Schlieffen Plan has been radically challenged in recent historical research (Zuber, 2002), the plan’s offensive strategy has r…

Schmidt von Knobelsdorf, Konstantin

(283 words)

Author(s): Pöhlmann, Markus
Schmidt von Knobelsdorf, Konstantin (December 13, 1860, Frankfurt an der Oder – September 1, 1936, Frankfurt an der Oder), German general. Schmidt joined the army in 1878. After attending the Staff College he held various posts in the General Staff and in the army, including chief of staff of the Xth Army Corps (1904–1908) and commander of the 4th Infantry Guards Regiment (1908–1911). In 1911 Schmidt was promoted to major-general, and a year later appointed chief quartermaster. At the outbreak of wa…

Schools

(1,037 words)

Author(s): Bendick, Rainer
Schools In all societies involved in the war, the start of hostilities also brought changes in the everyday life of schools. For example, the first Prussian war decrees allowed school children to work, if necessary, to harvest crops. In the course of the war German schools increasingly took on the role of a labor reserve, on which the authorities drew as a matter of course. French ministers of education particularly stressed the importance of schooling for the political and moral mobilization of youth. Their decrees and speeches repeatedly gave precise outlin…

Schools, State-Building, and National Conflict in German-Occupied Poland, 1915–1918

(10,678 words)

Author(s): Kauffman, Jesse
Kauffman, Jesse - Schools, State-Building, and National Conflict in German-Occupied Poland, 1915–1918 Keywords: conflicting | Germans | Poland | state-sanctioned schools | Verwaltungschef ISFWWS-Keywords: Poland | Children and War | Society | Germany | Russian Front Abstract: According to this chapter, directly overseen by the Government-General's highest-ranking civilian, Administrative Chief (Verwaltungschef) Wolfgang von Kries, the Germans' actions in field were intended to serve three frequently conflicting purp…
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