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 on 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.