Première guerre mondiale


World War I - Research Guide International Law

La Première guerre mondiale - ou la Grande Guerre - est un conflit mondial qui débuta le 28 juillet 1914 pour prendre fin le 11 novembre 1918. Toutes les grandes puissances mondiales furent impliquées, au sein ou aux côtés de l'une ou l'autre des deux alliances adverses: la Triple-Entente (Royaume-Uni, France et Russie) et la Triple Alliance (Empire allemand et Empire austro-hongrois). Ces alliances connurent à la fois des réorganisations et des élargissements au fur et à mesure que d'autres nations entraient dans le conflit: l'Italie, le Japon et les États-Unis rejoignirent la Triple-Entente, tandis que l'Empire ottoman et la Bulgarie intégrèrent la Triple Alliance. Au total, plus de 70 millions de militaires - parmi lesquels 60 millions d'européens - furent mobilisés dans ce qui fut un des conflits les plus importants de l'Histoire. Plus de 9 millions de combattants y trouvèrent la mort, en raison notamment des progrès technologiques ayant mené à une augmentation considérable de la létalité des armes, sans que les améliorations correspondantes en termes de protection et de mobilité aient existé. Cette situation a provoqué de part et d'autre le recours à une guerre de tranchées et à l'envoi de véritables vagues humaines à l'attaque, à une échelle jamais atteinte auparavant; choix ayant eu pour résultat un coût extrême en terme de vies humaines. Pour nombre des États ayant pris part au conflit, la résolution de ce dernier a marqué le début de profonds changements politiques - y compris de révolutions. Les collections de la Bibliothèque portant sur la Grande Guerre abordent des champs précis du droit international tels que: le droit des conflits armés, la Conférence de paix de Paris, les traités de paix de 1919-1920, les indemnités de guerre et les politiques de mémoire.

Le présent guide de recherche se veut un point de départ pour mener des recherches sur la Première guerre mondiale. Il fournit les textes juridiques de base disponibles à la Bibliothèque du Palais de la Paix, qu’il s’agisse de documents imprimés ou de documents sous format électronique. La section intitulée “Bibliographie sélective” présente une sélection de manuels, d’articles importants, de bibliographies, de publications périodiques, de publications en série et de documents pertinents. Des liens permettent de rejoindre le catalogue PPL. Le code de classification de la bibliothèque 488. Guerre mondiale de 1914: En général et le mot-matière (mot-clef) Guerre mondiale de 1914 sont des instruments permettant de faire une recherche dans le catalogue. Une attention particulière est prêtée à nos inscriptions aux bases de données, revues électroniques, livres électroniques et autres ressources électroniques. Enfin, le présent guide de recherche contient des liens vers des sites Internet pertinents et d’autres ressources en ligne présentant un intérêt particulier.

La Bibliothèque du Palais de la Paix commémorera le centenaire de la Première guerre mondiale par une série d'articles publiés sur le site, cliquez ici.


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Articles on World War I and International Law


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Systematic classification → History: World War I

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  • Zanders, J.P., Innocence Slaughtered: Gas and the Transformation of Warfare and Society, London, Uniform Press, 2016.

    Among the many deadly innovations that were first deployed on the battlefields of World War I, none was as terrifying - or notorious - as poison gas. First used by the Germans on April 22, 1915, gas was instantly seen as a new way of fighting war, an indication that total warfare was here, and would be far more devastating and cruel than anyone had imagined. This book investigates the effects of chlorine gas at all levels, from its effects on individual soldiers to its impact on combat operations and tactics to its eventual role in the push to codify rules of warfare. Gathering eleven historians and experts on chemical weapons, Innocence Slaughtered puts WWI's cruelest innovation into its historical, industrial, and social context.

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  • Sharp, A., Consequences of Peace: the Versailles Settlement: Aftermath and Legacy, 1919-2010, London, Haus Publishing, 2nd edition, 2015.

    Sharp, A., Consequences of Peace: the Versailles Settlement: Aftermath and Legacy, 1919-2010, London, Haus Publishing, 2nd edition, 2015.

    The Versailles Settlement, at the time of its creation a vital part of the Paris Peace Conference, suffers today from a poor reputation: despite its lofty aim to settle the world’s affairs at a stroke, it is widely considered to have paved the way for a second major global conflict within a generation. Woodrow Wilson’s controversial principle of self-determination amplified political complexities in the Balkans, and the war and its settlement bear significant responsibility for boundaries and related conflicts in today’s Middle East. After almost a century, the settlement still casts a long shadow. This revised and updated edition of The Consequences of the Peace sets the ramifications of the Paris Peace treaties—for good or ill—within a long-term context. Alan Sharp presents new materials in order to argue that the responsibility for Europe’s continuing interwar instability cannot be wholly attributed to the peacemakers of 1919–23. Marking the centenary of World War I and the approaching centenary of the Peace Conference itself, this book is a clear and concise guide to the global legacy of the Versailles Settlement.

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  • Abbenhuis, M., An Age of Neutrals: Great Power Politics, 1815-1914, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2014.

    Abbenhuis, M., An Age of Neutrals, Great Power Politics, 1815-1914, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2014.

    An Age of Neutrals provides a pioneering history of neutrality in Europe and the wider world between the Congress of Vienna and the outbreak of the First World War. The 'long' nineteenth century (1815–1914) was an era of unprecedented industrialization, imperialism and globalization; one which witnessed Europe's economic and political hegemony across the world. Dr Maartje Abbenhuis explores the ways in which neutrality reinforced these interconnected developments. She argues that a passive conception of neutrality has thus far prevented historians from understanding the high regard with which neutrality, as a tool of diplomacy and statecraft and as a popular ideal with numerous applications, was held. This compelling new history exposes neutrality as a vibrant and essential part of the nineteenth-century international system; a powerful instrument used by great and small powers to solve disputes, stabilize international relations and promote a variety of interests within and outside the continent.

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  • Hull, I.V., A Scrap of Paper: Breaking and Making International Law during the Great War, Ithaca; London, Cornell University Press, 2014.

    Hull, I.V., A Scrap of Paper: Breaking and Making International Law during the Great War, Ithaca; London, Cornell University Press, 2014.

    A century after the outbreak of the Great War, we have forgotten the central role that international law and the dramatically different interpretations of it played in the conflict’s origins and conduct. In A Scrap of Paper, Isabel V. Hull compares wartime decision making in Germany, Great Britain, and France, weighing the impact of legal considerations in each. Throughout, she emphasizes the profound tension between international law and military necessity in time of war, and demonstrates how differences in state structures and legal traditions shaped the way in which each of the three belligerents fought the war. Hull focuses on seven cases in which each government’s response was shaped by its understanding of and respect for the law: Belgian neutrality, the land war in the west, the occupation of enemy territory, the blockade, unrestricted submarine warfare, the introduction of new weaponry (including poison gas and the zeppelin), and reprisals. Drawing on voluminous research in German, British, and French archives, the author reconstructs the debates over military decision making and clarifies the role played by law—where it constrained action, where it was manipulated to serve military need, where it was simply ignored, and how it developed in the crucible of combat. She concludes that Germany did not speak the same legal language as the two liberal democracies, with disastrous and far-reaching consequences. The first book on international law and the Great War published since 1920, A Scrap of Paper is a passionate defense of the role that the law must play to govern interstate relations in both peace and war.

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  • Striner, R., Woodrow Wilson and World War I: A Burden too Great to Bear, Lanham, Rowman and Littlefield, 2014.

    Striner, R., Woodrow Wilson and World War I: A Burden too Great to Bear, Lanham, Rowman Littlefield, 2014.

    Woodrow Wilson is often considered one of the greatest presidents in American history because, in the first two years of his presidency, he succeeded on many fronts. However, acclaimed author and historian Richard Striner now makes the case that a presidency that is too often idealized was full of missteps and failures that profoundly affected America’s politics and people long after it ended. While other negative assessments of Wilson’s leadership have been one-sided, Striner’s critique—though undoubtedly scathing—is judicious, nuanced, and fair. With detailed description and accessible prose, Striner sheds light on how—as soon as America entered World War I—flaws of Wilson’s were exposed as the pressure on his administration mounted. This book is a story of presidential failure, a chronicle of Woodrow Wilson’s miscalculations in war, and a harrowing account of the process through which an intelligent American leader fell to pieces under a burden he could not bear.

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  • Gaaff, A., Financiering van de Eerste Wereldoorlog: vier jaar vechten op krediet, Soesterberg, Uitgeverij Aspekt, 2014.

    Gaaff, A., Financiering van de Eerste Wereldoorlog: vier jaar vechten op krediet, Soesterberg, Uitgeverij Aspekt, 2014.

    De Eerste Wereldoorlog zou vóór Kerst 1914 afgelopen zijn. De verslagen vijand zou de rekening betalen. Het liep allemaal anders en gaandeweg drong de akelige waarheid door: deze oorlog kost niet alleen miljoenen mensenlevens, maar ook miljarden marken, francs, ponden, dollars. Terwijl er vanuit de loopgraven gevochten werd om een paar honderd meter terreinwinst, zetten achter het front de ministers van Financiën en de centralebankiers alle creativiteit in om het geld bijeen te brengen. Elk land deed dat in zijn eigen traditie, met een mix van belasting, leningen en simpelweg geld bijdrukken. Zij schiepen hiermee een financieel slagveld dat zijn weerga niet gekend heeft. Nog tientallen jaren na de oorlog was de afwikkeling ervan een slepende kwestie, die in complexiteit niet onderdeed voor de huidige financiële crisis. Pas in 2010 werden de laatste Duitse schulden afgelost; de Britse staat betaalt nog steeds. Dit boek verschilt van de gebruikelijke werken over de Eerste Wereldoorlog. Het beschrijft de volstrekt ontoereikende financiële oorlogsplannen, de wonderbaarlijke geldcreatie tijdens de oorlog en de verlammende nasleep. De hoofdrolspelers in dit verhaal zijn geen militairen in uniform maar burgerheren in maatkostuums. Een belangrijk stuk geschut was de bankbiljettenpers.

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  • Paardenmarkt: A Toxic Legacy of the Great War

    Countries that in the past have chosen to take the easy way out by disposing their chemical warfare material by ocean dumping are now realizing the unpleasant fact that this material, although out of sight, is not out of mind because it presents threats to public health and the environment. Here, the example of one of the largest World War I ammunition dump sites in Europe, the Paardenmarkt, a narrow submerged sand-bank called off the coast of Belgium.

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  • International Congress of Women of 1915

    This Spring, on April 28, the Peace Palace will participate in the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the International Congress of Women that took place in the city of The Hague in 1915. The women who attended this Congress a century ago, were suffragists who up until that time, met every other year through their national organization at the International Women Suffrage Alliance. A small delegation headed by Dutch suffragist and physician Dr. Aletta Jacobs, believed it to be important to organize a meeting, even during wartime, to discuss the principles of constructive peace.

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  • Lecture: There is Only War - Neutrals Reflect on the First World War, Tuesday, 2 December, 17:15 h.

    It should not surprise us that war is never only about the actors waging it. Most non-belligerents in the First World War came into the war with clear expectations of what their neutrality meant and what their country’s international obligations were. Those expectations had been shaped by a century of precedent within an environment that enhanced and protected the rights of neutrals. This Peace Palace Library lecture by Maartje Abbenhuis starts at 17:15. Doors open at 17 h. Entrance fee € 4. Visit of the exhibition this day possible until 17 h.

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  • World War One Poetry and Music, Tuesday 25 November, Peace Palace

    On Tuesday 25 November 2014, 19:45 hrs, a special ‘war poetry’ evening will take place in the Peace Palace to commemorate the First World War, based on a selection by Onno Kosters. Poems of well-known poets from Great Britain, France, Germany and Italy, such as Siegfried Sassoon and John McCrae, Georg Trakl, Guillaume Apollinaire will be recited. The reading of the poems will be interlarded with music compositions and performances by Rénan Zelada closely linked to the First World War. A guided tour of the exhibition ‘Peace Illusion Disturbed’ is included.

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  • Filmscreening 'Joyeux Noel', Tuesday, 18 November, Peace Palace

    Joyeux Noel captures a rare moment of grace from one of the worst wars in the history of mankind, World War I. On Christmas Eve, 1914, as German, French, and Scottish regiments face each other from their respective trenches, a musical call-and-response turns into an impromptu cease-fire, trading chocolates and champagne, playing soccer, and comparing pictures of their wives. But when Christmas ends, the war returns. Tuesday, 18 November, Peace Palace, 16.00 h, start film 17.00 h. Only by registration:

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  • The Illusion of Peace Disturbed: Lectures, Europeana Collection Day, Film and Exhibitions

    Events and commemorative ceremonies will be taking place during 2014 to 2018, marking the Centenary of the First World War. The Peace Palace Library, in collaboration with the Alliance Française, organizes a Conference Day on Friday, 14 November, with lectures on the First World War and presents two exhibitions in the main entrance hall of the Peace Palace: The First World War in Posters & “Lettres d’un soldat” – letters of a French soldier to his wife (1914-1915). Furthermore, the feature film “Joyeux Noël”, and a Europeana Collection Day to be held in the Library next Saturday.

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  • The Destruction of the Cathedral of Reims, 1914

    On 20 September 1914, German shellfire burned, damaged and destroyed important parts of the magnificent Cathedral of Reims. The destruction of the Cathedral was generally regarded as an act of sheer vandalism. At the time, it was generally admitted by writers on international law that if the military commander of a besieged place used a church or other building whose immunity had been established, as a stronghold, a storehouse, or an observatory, the besieger might bombard the site without being held responsible for damages caused in consequence of their proximity to other buildings which are liable to bombardment. Even the French war manual itself admitted this.

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  • A Supreme Offence against International Morality and the Sanctity of Treaties: William II of Hohenzollern and the Treaty of Versailles

    Early during World War I, jurists and statesmen in both France and Great-Britain, such as Larnaude and Lapradelle, had advocated the German Emperor William II to be arrested and brought to trial. The principle that military officers should be held personally responsible for orders in violation of the laws and customs of war, if pushed to its logical limits, would render commanders-in-chief, that is heads of State, liable for illegal acts for which they are responsible, directly or indirectly. And in Germany, there was one commander-in-chief: the Emperor William II.

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  • Article 247 of the Treaty of Versailles and the “Mystic Lamb”

    The ‘biography’ of the Ghent Altarpiece, also called the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, reads like a thriller. From the beginning this fascinating work was the object of passionate desire to either possess or destroy it. During the centuries of its existence, the altarpiece witnessed religious upheavals in the Southern Netherlands, came close to being destroyed during these outbreaks of iconoclasm and was damaged when moved to save guard it or when stolen. It endured fires, Napoleon’s looting army and two world wars. Parts of it were stolen, burned, recovered and stolen again and again.
    Article 247 of the Treaty of Versailles and the “Mystic Lamb”

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  • German War Reparations (WW I) Financially Ended

    Nearly 92 years after the official end of World War I, Germany made its final reparations-related payment for the Great War on October 3, thereby ending the conflict financially. The German newspaper Die Welt discovered a last installment for the Londoner Schuldenabkommen of 69,9 million euro’s in the German budget. Not being a direct reparations settlement but rather the final sum owed on bonds that were issued between 1924 and 1930 and sold to foreign (mostly American) investors, but then never paid.
    German War Reparations (WW I) Financially Ended

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Systematic classification → History: World War I