Populations under occupation

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Introduction The European military occupations of the First World War were, so to speak, a by-product of war. In 1939–40, imperial designs on the European continent would provide the very impetus for war. By contrast, in 1914–18, the European belligerents – specifically, the Central Powers – found themselves in possession of vast swathes of continental territory, whether or not their leaders had gone to war with territorial aggrandisement foremost in mind. But vast swathes of territory they were. Successive waves of attack (1914 in Belgium and northern France; 1915–16 in the Baltic, Poland, and the Balkans; 1917–18 in north-eastern Italy, the Baltic, Ukraine and the Transcaucasus) yielded territories ranging, at the height of occupation, from Lille to Rostov – and even, briefly, Tbilisi – and from Estonia to Albania. The spoils encompassed four major capital cities (Brussels, Warsaw, Belgrade and Bucharest) and a host of other thriving centres – Roubaix, Antwerp, Vilna, Udine – not to mention areas of crucial economic importance from the Borinage coalfields to the Ploieşti oilfields.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Cambridge History of the First World War
Subtitle of host publicationVolume III Civil Society
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9780511675683
ISBN (Print)9780521766845
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities


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