Our view of the First World War is dominated by the twin images of the fronts and the home fronts, yet the war also generated a third type of ‘front’, that of military occupation. Vast areas of Europe experienced the war under a military regime and this book deals with the occupations by the German and Austro-Hungarian empires. Their conquests ranged from Lille in the West to the Don River in the East, and from Courland in the north to Friuli and Montenegro in the south. They encompassed capital cities such as Brussels, Warsaw, Belgrade and Bukarest, as well as areas of crucial economic importance. Millions of people experienced military occupation and, even though they were civilians, the war had a deep impact on their lives. Conversely, occupied territories influenced the states that had conquered them and the way these states waged war.
The chapters in this book analyze military occupation in 1914-1918 both from the point of view of the occupied and from the point of view of the occupier. They study counter-insurgency warfare, forced labour, food regimes, underground patriotism, and cultural policies. They demonstrate that military occupation was an essential dimension of the Great War.
This book was originally published as a special issue of First World War Studies.
1. Military occupation, political imaginations, and the First World War2. Mauvaise conduite: complicity and respectability in the occupied Nord, 1914 – 19183. Sursum Corda: the underground press in occupied Belgium, 1914 – 19184. Between recruitment and forced labour: the radicalization of German labour policy in occupied Belgium and northern France5. ‘A kind of Siberia’: German labour and occupation policies in Poland and Lithuania during the First World War6. Warsaw University under German occupation: state building and nation Bildung in Poland during the Great War7. The fruits of occupation: food and Germany’s occupation of Romania in the First World War8. Norms of war and the Austro-Hungarian encounter with Serbia, 1914 – 19189. Misconceived realpolitik in a failing state: the political and economical fiasco of the Central Powers in the Ukraine, 1918