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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Lanrezac, Charles Louis Marie

(258 words)

Author(s): Krumeich, Gerd
Lanrezac, Charles Louis Marie (July 31, 1852, Guadeloupe – January 18, 1925, Neuilly-sur-Seine), French general. In 1905 Lanrezac, who was known as an expert in tactics, became a professor at the École de Guerre – a function he continued to perform until 1914 when, at…

Lansing Note

(488 words)

Author(s): Waechter, Matthias
Lansing Note A diplomatic note conveyed to the leadership of the German Reich on Nove…

Last Chance: Belgium at Versailles

(6,312 words)

Author(s): van Tuyll, Hubert P.
van Tuyll, Hubert P. - Last Chance: Belgium at Versailles Keywords: Belgium | Politics | …

Last Days of Mankind ( Die Letzten Tage der Menschheit )

(575 words)

Author(s): Pfäfflin, Friedrich
Last Days of Mankind ( Die Letzten Tage der Menschheit ) A drama by Karl Kraus. This writer believes that this play was written as “military theater.” This stage work first appeared in book form in May 1922, having previously been printed in four special editions of the Magazine Die Fackel (1918/1919). The work was reprinted in December 1922 and in 1926, on each occasion in revised form, for a total printing of 23,000 copies. The play has remained the most reprinted work of the Austrian writer Karl Kraus (1874–1936).…

Lavisse, Ernest

(370 words)

Author(s): Wüstemeyer, Manfred
Lavisse, Ernest (December 17, 1842, Le Nouvion-en-Thiérache [Département Aisne] – August 18, 1922, Paris), French historian. A “rationalist republican” since 1870/1871, and advocate of national educational renewal, Lavisse became a professor at the Sorbonne in 1888. His meteoric career took him to the Académie Française in 1892, and in 1904 he was appointed director of the École Normale Supérieure. He published various historical works, and, with his articles on the tea…

Lawrence, Thomas Edward

(391 words)

Author(s): Haidl, Roland
Lawrence, Thomas Edward (August 15, 1888, Tremadoc, Wales – May 19, 1935, Moreton, Dorset), British officer, archaeologist, author and adventurer (“Lawrence of Arabia”). Lawrence had participated in excavations in Syria and Anatolia before the war, when he took up a post with the Arab Bureau in Cairo. Because he had since 1916 been in contact with the Emir of Mecca, Hussein bin Ali, the British government gave Lawrence the task of organizing the Arab Revolt against the Turks. He received support in…

League of Nations

(487 words)

Author(s): Dülffer, Jost
League of Nations (German: Völkerbund, French:

Lenin, Vladimir Ilyich

(600 words)

Author(s): Brand, Bettina
Lenin, Vladimir Ilyich (Real name V.I. Ulyanov; April 22, 1870, Simbirsk [from 1924 Ulyanovsk] – January 21, 1924, Gorki [near Moscow]), Russian revolutionary and politician. Lenin was born into an upper class family. A critical youthful influence was the conviction and execution in 1887 of his older brother Alexander, who had taken part in an assassination attempt against the Tsar. Lenin qualified to practice as a lawyer after studying law at the University of Kazan. In 1893 he moved to Saint Pete…

Leopold, Prince of Bavaria

(337 words)

Author(s): Haidl, Roland
Leopold, Prince of Bavaria (February 9, 1846, Munich – September 28, 1930, Munich), German and Bavarian field marshal. Leopold, the second son of the future prince regent Luitpold, joined the Bavarian Army in 1861 and took part in the 1866 and 1870–1871 campaigns. A lieutenant colonel in 1871, he was appointed commanding general of the Ist Bavarian Army Corps in 1887. From 1891 to 1913, Leopold served as inspector general of the Fourth Army District. During this period he attained the ranks of colon…

Lersch, Heinrich

(400 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Thomas F.
Lersch, Heinrich (September 12, 1889, Mönchengladbach – June 18, 1936, Remagen), German writer. The son of a boilermaker, after attending Volksschule (elementary school) Lersch completed an apprenticeship in his father’s trade, before traveling as a journeyman around Germany and becoming a boilermaker himself. He volunteered to fight in 1914, and took part in the Battle of Champagne in 1914/1915. Having been buried alive and wounded, in 1916 he was discharged as medically unfit. After the war, he resumed his trade as a boilermaker but later lived from his writing.…

Lethal Journey between Four Fronts: First World War Experiences of the Reichstag’s Deputies

(8,581 words)

Author(s): Patin, Nicolas
Patin, Nicolas - Lethal Journey between Four Fronts: First World War Experiences of the Reichstag’s Deputies …

Lettow-Vorbeck, Paul von

(330 words)

Author(s): Zimmerer, Jürgen
Lettow-Vorbeck, Paul von (March 20, 1870, Saarlouis – March 9, 1964, Hamburg), German general. Lettow-Vorbeck was celebrated during the First World War as the commander of the German colonial forces in German East Africa. He began his military career in 1881. In 1900/1901 he took part in the suppression of the Boxer Rebellion in China, and between 1904 and 1907 served as a captain in the war against the Herero and the Nama tribes in German Southwest Africa. As a lieutenant-colonel, Lettow-Vorbeck became commander of the colonial force in German East Africa in 1914. Although he did not succeed in preventing the superior British forces from ultimately overrunning most of the colony, with a small force he was able to stymie the British from 1914–1916 and then conducted a brilliant delaying action and guerrilla campaign that tied down large numbers of British Commonwealth forces and considerable resources so they could not be used in Europe. Lettow-Vorbeck’s strategy of attrition was fought at a tremendous cost in casualties, especially among the British forces. Lettow-Vorbeck maintained an effective force in the field until the end of the war and his force did not capitulate until November 25, 1918, in the Rhodesian town of Abercorn. After the war, his participation in the Kapp…