Brill’s Digital Library of World War I

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Film, The First World War in

(1,429 words)

Author(s): Chambers II, John W. | Rother, Rainer
Film, The First World War in ISFWWS-Keywords: Australia | Britain | Canada | Culture | France | Germany | Italy | Russia | The United States of America First published in: Brill's Encyclopedia of the First World War, Gerhard Hirschfeld, Gerd Krumeich, Irina Renz, Markus Pöhlmann and James S. Corum, Leiden (2012) Documentaries and feature films, 1914–1943 (a selection) 1914–1918 England Expects (G.L. Tucker, Great Britain, 1914) The German Spy Peril (W. Barker, Great Britain, 1914) The Great European War (G. Pearson & G.B. Samuelson, Great Britain, 1914) It’s a Long Way to Tipperary…

Birdwood, Lord William Riddell

(457 words)

Author(s): Simkins, Peter
Birdwood, Lord William Riddell (September 13, 1865, Khadki, India – May 17, 1951, London; from 1919 First Baron Birdwood of Anzac and Totnes), British field marshal. After his training with the Scots Fusiliers, in 1885 Birdwood served as an officer with the 12th Lancers before being transferred to the 11th Bengal Lancers at the end of 1886. He served on Kitchener’s staff during the Boer War and established a personal connection that would be an advantage to him in his career. He went to India as Kit…

Canada

(1,457 words)

Author(s): Kitchen, Martin
Canada Canada was ill prepared for war in August 1914. The affluent were enjoying the August 1–3 civic holiday at their country houses. The less affluent were suffering from the effects of the worst economic depression since the early 1890s. Only the energetic but unpredictable Minister of Militia and Defence Sam Hughes was enthused by the prospect of war. His only concern was that the British might miss the opportunity. Under his command, some 55,000 militiamen and 44,000 cadets were trained in 1913. These men would comprise the bulk of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF). At first re…

The Old Front Line: Returning to the Battlefields in the Writings of Ex-Servicemen

(8,979 words)

Author(s): Pegum, John
Pegum, John - The Old Front Line: Returning to the Battlefields in the Writings of Ex-Servicemen Keywords: battlefield | British women | ex-servicemen | old front lines | old Western Front | soldiers | The Daily Telegraph ISFWWS-Keywords: Britain | Western Front | Published memoirs and biographies | Experience of combat | Culture | Literature | Australia | Intellectuals and the War Abstract: The old battlefield is imagined as a mute witness to the horrors and traumas of the war which can nonetheless impart its profound and tragic lesson to those …

Film (Post-1918)

(1,028 words)

Author(s): Rother, Rainer
Film (Post-1918) Compared with the largely propagandistic style of films before 1918, postwar films reflected the immense destruction and cost of the war by making a different choice of material and narrative method. With the exception of a boom in explicitly anti-German films in the United States, which lasted a considerable time beyond the Armistice (the most significant of these is probably The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Rex Ingram, 1921), film transferred its main attention to experiences of loss, sorrow, and death. J’accuse (Abel Gance, France, 1919), with its pacifi…

Australia

(2,831 words)

Author(s): Grey, Jeffrey
Australia Australia entered the First World War as a federal dominion of the British Empire (Commonwealth of Australia), having achieved that status in 1901. Although the Australian colonies had sent troops to the Boer War between 1899 and 1902, there was no military tradition in the sense of a high-echelon military leadership and administration and a defense policy, and precious little national experience of war. Yet, by the end of the First World War, almost seven Australian cavalry and infantr…

ANZAC

(1,413 words)

Author(s): Prior, Robin | Wilson, Trevor
ANZAC The Allied operations on the Turkish peninsula of Gallipoli in 1915 marked the first time ANZAC forces fought in the European theater of war. The completion of this mission in January of 1916 also brought to an end the deployment of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) along this front. Troops from Australia and New Zealand were now sent to the more important theaters of the First World War. Initially the corps was transferred to Egypt for rest, training, and expansion. Divided into the I and II ANZAC Corps, the men were ordered in May of 1916 to …

Sexuality

(1,427 words)

Author(s): Sauerteig, Lutz
Sexuality The crisis-related effects of the World War also had consequences for the sexual life of human beings. The separation of (married and non-married) couples became a mass phenomenon of hitherto unknown extent. Extramarital sexuality and prostitution reached new dimensions. Even though the frequency with which soldiers sought extramarital contacts during the war cannot be assessed with precision, a number of indications suggest that soldiers no longer felt bound to middle-class sexual morals as a result of their direct experiencing of war and death. The debate over issue…

Troop Strength

(1,120 words)

Author(s): Thoss, Bruno
Troop Strength The initial numbers of soldiers mobilized for immediate wartime service. The peacetime strength of the individual armies before 1914 provided the foundation for troop strength in the war. A cadre of commanders for reserve units and an attachment of reservists for these troop units were included in their mobilization plans. This would make it possible to raise units to wartime strength once the mobilization was begun. The troop strengths planned in the event of war, and the troop str…

Richthofen, Manfred Baron von

(440 words)

Author(s): Schmidt, Wolfgang
Richthofen, Manfred Baron von (May 2, 1892, Breslau – April 21, 1918, Vaux-sur-Somme near Amiens [killed in action]), German fighter pilot. Richthofen joined a Prussian Ulan regiment in 1911 after graduating from the cadet corps. He undertook patrol duties in 1914 and after the cavalry was in part transferred to the infantry in 1915, signed up to the Imperial Air Service. He was initially an observer, then a reconnaissance and bomber pilot. Between 1916 and April 1918, when he was shot down at Vaux-…

From Alliance to Conference: The British Empire, Japan and Pacific Multilateralism, 1911–1921

(8,446 words)

Author(s): Meehan, John D.
Meehan, John D. - From Alliance to Conference: The British Empire, Japan and Pacific Multilateralism, 1911–1921 ISFWWS-Keywords: Asia | The French and British Empires | Naval Warfare | International Relations during the War | Australia | New Zealand | Canada | The United States of America The Decade of the Great War Tosh Minohara , Tze-ki Hon and Evan Dawley , (2014) Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, 2014 e-ISBN: 9789004274273 DOI: 10.1163/9789004274273_004 © 2014 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Meehan, John D.

Cavalry

(738 words)

Author(s): Gross, Gerhard P.
Cavalry The combat arm of the land forces that fought primarily on horseback. The increased firepower of the infantry had since the middle of the 19th century forced the cavalry into playing a diminished supporting role in military campaigns. Paradoxically, the size of the cavalry forces maintained by the European Powers rose continually throughout the period. At the beginning of the 20th century, nearly all states uniformly modified the tactics and weapons of their mounted troops, creating a largely standar…

Soldiers’ Newspapers

(1,076 words)

Author(s): Nelson, Robert L.
Soldiers’ Newspapers Collective term for publications that were produced in the immediate vicinity of the front (front and trench newspapers) or in the rear areas by the official military authorities (army and corps newspapers). The editorial staffs of the soldiers’ newspapers consisted mostly of officers, but also of lower-ranking soldiers. Many soldiers’ newspapers printed official war bulletins and “eyewitness accounts” of recent events that had been written down by the war participants themsel…

Armed Forces (Great Britain)

(4,680 words)

Author(s): Bourne, J.M.
Armed Forces (Great Britain) The First World War was a highly unpleasant experience for the British. The perception of this war in public opinion was once summed up by the historian A.J.P. Taylor in the disparaging words “brave, helpless soldiers; blundering, obstinate generals; nothing achieved.” This negative view was primarily the consequence of the losses of human life, as the number of casualties among the soldiers was without precedent in the history of Great Britain. The majority of these los…

New Zealand

(743 words)

Author(s): Grey, Jeffrey
New Zealand New Zealand shared many World War experiences with its larger Pacific neighbor Australia. Yet there existed just as many differences which could not be erased by the fact that the troops of both states fought in joint contingents like the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) for most of the war. The military organization before the war was based on a territorial militia established in 1909, with a total strength of 25,000 men. Under the military service laws, the stationing of…

Armed Forces (Dominions)

(3,147 words)

Author(s): Grey, Jeffrey
Armed Forces (Dominions) The settler colonies of the British Empire (Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and South Africa) had already acquired the status of dominions prior to 1914, as part of a constitutional development towards full independence. Self-determination in domestic matters had already been granted to Canada in 1867, to Australia in 1901, to New Zealand in 1907, and to South Africa in 1910. The British declaration of war on Germany in 1914 was binding for all dominions, since London still…

Australian Prisoners of the Turks: Negotiating Culture Clash in Captivity

(8,635 words)

Author(s): Ariotti, Kate
Ariotti, Kate - Australian Prisoners of the Turks: Negotiating Culture Clash in Captivity ISFWWS-Keywords: Australia | Prisoners of War | The Ottoman Empire and the Middle East | Published memoirs and biographies | Masculinity | Medicine Other Fronts, Other Wars? Joachim Bürgschwentner, Matthias Egger and Gunda Barth-Scalmani , (2014) Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, 2014 e-ISBN: 9789004279513 DOI: 10.1163/9789004279513_008 © 2014 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Ariotti, Kate

Heroic Sacrifice, Myth of

(791 words)

Author(s): Hüppauf, Bernd
Heroic Sacrifice, Myth of The word Opfer (‘victim’) has two different connotations in the German language. One can make an Opfer, a ‘sacrificial offering,’ by sacrificing a victim to the gods, and in extreme cases a human being can offer himself in sacrifice. In its other connotation, a person can become the passive victim or ‘target’ of fate, whether from decisions made by others or from unknown circumstances. In both connotations the word has been extensively used in the literature and public debates on the World War. This suggests that the word…

Battlefield Tourism

(601 words)

Author(s): Brandt, Susanne
Battlefield Tourism This term covers visits both to former war locations and landscapes and to military cemeteries of the First World War. The majority of “battlefield tourists” during the 1920s and 1930s were relatives of the fallen. Every French citizen, for example, received a free railway pass every year to visit the military cemeteries. The English travel bureau Thomas Cook specialized in accompanying British visitors to the cemeteries and memorials in Belgium and France, which had begun to be constructed soon a…

Gallipoli

(1,150 words)

Author(s): Prior, Robin | Wilson, Trevor
Gallipoli A peninsula bordering on the Dardanelles. The military conflict at Gallipoli was a direct consequence of the failed naval operation in the Dardanelles. The British leadership wished to make up for this reverse by conducting a landing operation on the northern Turkish coast. This was remarkable inasmuch as it had always argued in front of the War Council that the great advantage of the Dardanelles operation lay in the fact that it could easily be called off in the event of a failure. It …
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