Greek Army in World War I

January 25, 2010

Greece attempted to stay neutral in World War I and failed miserably. Amid elections, coups, overthrows, Allied interventions, the Greek Army was ultimately demobilized and sent home. By June 1917 the tide had turned and Greece entered the war on the Entente side. Below is a list of the leaders of the reconstituted Greek Army that fought in World War I.

Commander in Chief: Panayiotis Danglis (January-November 1918)

Chief of the General Staff (1914-18): Victor Dousmanis (to August 1916), Constantin Moschopoulos (August 1916-February 1917), Ioannis Metaxis (acting chief February-June 1917), Anastasios Charalambis (June-December 1917), Georgios Leonardapoulos (December 1917-February 1918), Theodoros Pangalos (February 1918 to the end of the war)

Army Corps A: Leonidas Paraskevopoulos (from formation in December 1917 to end of the war)

Army Corps B: Konstantinos Miliotis-Komninos (from formation in April 1918 to end of the war)

Corps of National Defense: Leonidas Paraskevopoulos (from formation in May 1917 to July 1917), Emmanuel Zymbrakakis (July 1917 to end of the war)

1 Division: Konstantinos Nieder (from formation December 1917 to end of the war)

2 Division: Ioulianos Kontaratos (from formation in March 1918 to end of the war)

3 Division: Nikolaos Triloupes (from formation in May 1918 to end of the war)

4 Division: Nikolaos Vlachopoulos (from formation in May 1918 to end of the war)

9 Division: Gregios Leonardopoulos (from formation in February 1918 to the end of the war)

13 Division: Iakovos Negrepontes (from formation in January 1918 to end of the war)

14 Division: Ioannes Orphanidis (from formation in June 1918 to the end of the war)

Archipelgo Division: Demetrios Ioannou (from formation in April 1917 to the end of the war)

Crete Division: Ioannes Phikiores (at formation in April 1917), Epaminondas Zymbrakakis (April-July 1917), Panagiotas Speliades (July 1917 to the end of the war)

Seres Division: (Nikolaos Christodoulou from formation in April 1917 to April 1918), Epaminondas Zymbrakakis (April 1918 to end of the war)

An 8 Division was recreated, but never served as a unit, its constituent parts being farmed out to other divisions.

The following units were demobilized and not reformed:

Corps: C, D, and E

Divisions: 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, and 12

Portugal in the Great War

January 13, 2010

Portugal, although an ancient ally of Great Britain, managed to stay neutral in World War I until March of 1916. It joined the war on the Allied side and stayed in the conflct through the end of the war. As a colonial power, much of its war effort was concentrated in Africa.

The colony of Angola managed to escape the ravages of war, although it bordered the German colonyof Sudwest Afrika, modern Namibia. There were rotatons of troops into and out of the colony but no fighting related to the war. Mozambique was different. The German invasion of its territory in an effort to evade and outflank British forces led to some fighting, but the German forces moved back over the border and the Portuguese forces did little else. Portugal’s command and political leadership in Mozambique and Angola is detailed in a post below.

In Europe Portugal sent an expeditionary force (the PEF) to France in February 1917. It was commanded by Fernando Tamagnini de Abreu e Silva and consisted of two divisons. First Division was commanded by Manuel de Oliveira Gomes da Costa, while Second Division was led by Jose Augosto de Simas Machado. The force was attached to the British Army.

In the German attacks on the Western Front in 1918, the Portuguese division at the front was overwhelmed and broke, leaving a gap in the line through which the Germans shoved massive forces. It took time but the onslaught was stemmed. By that time the First Division had been combined with Second, leaving one division commanded by Gomes da Costa. Abreu e Silva was replaced in July by Tomas Antonio Garca Rosado as Expeditionary Force commander. By October sufficient replacements had arrived to reconstitute the two division format with Gomes da Costa now commanding Second Division and Jaime Leitao de Castro taking over First Division. The PEF participated in the Allied advance in France at the end of 1918.

Portugal’s record in World War I isn’t particularly distinguished, but isn’t noticably worse than a number of other states.

European Leadership in Africa 1914-18

January 4, 2010

Most people know nothing about the war in Africa unless they know Lettow-Vorbeck in East Africa. Below is a list of the Europeans who led the political and military forces in the colonial wars in Africa during World War I.

German Political Leaders: Kurt von Doering (Deputy Governor of Togo from 1914 to the conquest of Togo), Karl Ebermaier (Governor of Cameroon from 1914 to the conquest of Cameroon in 1915), Theodor Seitz (Governor of Southwest Africa from 1914 to the conquest of Southwest Africa in 1915), Albert Heinrich Schnee (Governor of East Africa for the entire period of the war)

German Military Leaders: Doerning (commander of forces in Togo 1914), Ernst Zimmermann (commander of forces in Cameroon 1914-1915), Joachim von Herdebreck (commander of forces in Southwest Africa 1914-15), Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck (commander of forces in East Africa for the entire period of the war)

French Political Leadership: Victor Emmanel Etienne Largeau (Governor of Chad), Martial Henri Merlin (Governor of Equitorial Africa)

French Military Leadership: Edmod Francois Leopold Brisset (Commander Chad column), Joseph Amerch (commander in Equatorial Africa)

British Political Leadership: William Cleland Robertson (acting Governor of the Gold Coast), Louis Botha (President of South Africa), Frederick John Deltry Lugard (Governor of Nigeria), Henry Conway Belfield (Governor of Kenya 1914-17), Charles Calvert Bowring (Governor of Kenya 1917 to the end of the war)

British Militay Leadership: Charles Macpherson Dobell (commander West Africa Frontier Force), Frederick Carkeet Bryant (commander Gold Coast Regiment), Charles Herbert Philip Carter (Commander Nigeria Regiment), Arthur Edward Aitkin (commander East Africa to November 1914), Richard Wapshire (Commander East Africa November 1914-April 1915), Michael Tighe (Commander East Africa April 1915-Februry 1916), Jan Christiaan Smuts (Commander East Africa February 1916-January 1917), Reginald Hoskins (Commander East Africa January-May 1917), Louis Jacobus Van Deventer (Commander East Africa May 1917 to the end of the war)

Portuguese Political Leadership: Joao Mendes Ribeiro Morton de Matos (Governor of Angola to 1915), Antonio Julio da Costa Pereira De Eca (Governor of Angola 1915-1916), Pedro Francisco Massano do Amorim (Governor of Angola 1916-1917), Jaime Alberto De Castro Morais (Governor of Angola 1917-1918), Filomeno de Camara Melo Cabral (Governor of Angola 1918)

Joaquim Jose Machado (Governor of Mozambique to May 1915), Alfredo Baptista Coelho (Governor of Mozambique May-October 1915), Alvaro Xavier de Castro (Governor of Mozambique October 1915-April 1918), Perdro Francisco Massano do Amorim (Governor of Mozambique April 1918 to the end of the war)

Portuguese Military Leadership: Jose Augusto Alves Rocades (Commander forces in Angola to 1915), Antionio Julio da Costa Pereira de Ecca (Commander forces in Angola 1915-1918)

 Perdro Francisco Massano do Amorim (Commander forces in Mozambique 1914-15), Jose Luis de Moura Mendes (Commander forces in Mozambique 1915-16), Jose Cesar Ferreira Gil (Commander forces in Mozambique 1916-17), Tomas de Sousa Rosa (COmmander forces in Mozambique 1917-the end of the war)

Belgian Political Leadership: Felix Alexandre Fuchs (Governor of the Congo 1914-16), Eugene Joseph Marie Henry (Governor of the Congo 1916 to the end of the war)

Belgian Military Leadership: Henri Mari Ernest Tombeur (Commander in the Congo and Central Africa)

Luxembourg Leaders

December 30, 2009

Luxembourg was a neutral in 1914. The Germans overran the country in August 1914 and occupied it until the end of the war. The political leadership listed below was allowed to stay in place and functioned reasonably normally under German supervision for the entire period.

Head of State-Grand Duchess Marie Adelaide (for the entire period of the war)

Prime Minister-Paul Eyschen (August 1914-October 1915), Mathias Mongenast (October-December 1915), Hubert Loutsch (December 1915-February 1916), Victor Thorn February 1916-June 1917), Leon Michel Kauffmann (June 1917-September 1918), Emile Reuter (September 1918 until the end of the war)

Foreign Minister-all Prime Ministers also served as Foreign Minister and their terms coincide with their term as Prime Minister

Justice Minister-Eyschen (August 1914-March 1915), Thorn (March-December 1915), Jean Baptiste Sax (December 1915-February 1916), Thorn (February 1916-June 1917), Leon Moultrier (June 1917-September 1918), Auguste Liesch (September 1918 to the end of the war)

Finance Minister-Mongenast (August 1914-December 1915), Edmund Reiffers (December 1915-February 1916), Kauffmann (February 1916-September 1918), Alphonse Neyens (September 1918 to the end of the war)

Interior Minister-Pierre Braun (August 1914-March 1915), Ernest LeClere (March-December 1915),  Sax (December 1915-February 1916, Moutrier (February 1916-June 1917), Maurice Kohn (June 1917-September 1918), Reuter (September 1918 to the end of the war)

Public Works Minister-Charles DeWaha (August 1914-March 1915), Thorn (March-December 1915), Guillaume Soisson (December 1915-February 1916), Antoine Lefort (February 1916-September 1918), Liesch (September 1918 to the end of the war) 

Agriculture Minister-Soisson (from formation of the ministry in December 1915-February 1916), Michel Welter (February 1916-June 1917), Joseph Faber (June 1917-September 1918), Auguste Collart (September 1918-end of the war)

Industry and Commerce Minister-Michel Welter (from formation of the ministry in February 1916-June 1917), Faber (June 1917-September 1918), Collart (September 1918 to the end of the war)

Public Instruction Minister-Moutrier (from formation of the ministry in February 1916-September 1918), Nicholas Welter (September 1918 to the end of the war)

Mayor of  Luxembourg City-Leandre Lacroix (August 1914-January 1918), Luc Housse (January 1918 to the end of the war)

Best World War I Movies

December 29, 2009

World War I makes better movies than World War II. I think that’s because that the First World War is almost totally tragedy, whereas in World War II if you stay away from the Holocaust you don’t get much true tragedy. Some good World War I movies below:

The Fighting 69th–OK not a great movie, but you gotta love Jimmy Cagney as Plunkett and Pat O’Brien as Father Duffy and “Garry Owen.”

The Kaiser’s Deserter’s–Polish flick about an Austrian Army full of  guys who think this whole war nonsense is just that, nonsense.

Borderlands–the best Russian view of the war. Not too overblown with Communist propaganda.

Grand Illusion–French flick that may be the greatest war movie ever. It sets the standard for POW movies (with apologies to The Bridge on the River Kwai) and has aged remarkably well.

All Quiet on the Western Front–a standard and one of the best anti-war movies ever made. The acting is uneven, but the plot so good you almost never notice. Kat is great, Himmelstoss is wonderful, and Paul carries the movie.

Paths of Glory–ever just absolutely hate generals? This movie will turn your stomach with the horror of what men can do to their own. Probably my favorite WWI war movie.

Montenegro Leadership in World War I

December 27, 2009

Below a listing of Montenegro’s civilian and military leadership during the First World War. Montenegro was occupied by Central Powers forces between 1916-1918 so many of these leaders were in exile.

Head of State-Nikola I (for the entire period of the war)

Prime Minister-Janko Vukotic (to July 1915), Milo Matanovic (July 1915-January 1916), Lazar D. Mijuskovic (January-May 1916), Andres Radovic (May 1916-January 1917), Matanovic (January-June 1917), Evgenije Popovic (June 1917 until the end of the war)

Foreign Minister-Petar Plamenac (to August 1915), Vukotic (August-September 1915), Mirko M. Mijuskovic (September-December 1915), Lazar D. Mijuskovic (December 1915-April 1916), Radovic (April 1916-January 1917), Milutin Tomanovic (January-May 1917), Evgenije Popovic (May 1917 to end of war)

War Minister-Vukotic (to July 1915), Masan Bozovic (July-December 1915), Radomir Vesovic (December 1915-April 1916), Matanovic (December 1916-May 1917), Nikola Hajdukovic (May 1917 to end of war)

Finance Minister-Risto Popovic (August 1914-August 1915), Mirko M. Mijuskovic (August-December 1915), Radovic (December 1915-January 1917), Stanisa Iljic (January-May 1917), Milo Vujovic (May 1917 to end of war)

Education Minister-Gavrilo Cerovic (August 1914-December 1915), Marko Radulovic (December 1915-April 1916), vacant from April 1916 to Jauary 1917), Tomanovic (January-May 1917), Evgenije Popovic (May 1917 to end of war)

 Justice Minister-Ljubomir A. Brkic (August 1914-December 1915), Radulovic (December 1915-April 1916), Janko Spasojevic (April 1916-January 1917), Ilijc (January-May 1917), Veljko Milicevic (May-September 1917), Pero Soc (September 1917 to end of war)

Internal Affairs Minister-Savo Vuletic (August 1914-December 1915), Risto Popovic (December 1915), vacant from December 1915 to April 1916, Janko Spasojevic (April 1916-January 1917), Hadjukovic (May 1917 to end of war)

Army Commander-in-Chief-Bozidar Yankovic (August 1915-June 1915), Petar Pesic (June 1915-January 1916), Vukotic (January 1916 until he became a POW when Montenegro was overrun and the army ceased to exist)

Chief of Staff-Jukotic (August 1914 until he became a POW when Montenegro was overrun and the army ceased to exist)

Japanese Leadership in World War I

December 24, 2009

Below is a list of Japanese civil and military leaders in the World War I era:

Emperor-Yoshihito (for the entire period of the war)

Prime Minister-Shigenobu Okuma (August 1914-October 1916), Masatake Terauchi (October 1916-September 1918), Takashi Hara (September 1918 to end of the war)

War Minister-Ichinosuke Oka (August 1914-August 1916), Kenichi Oshima (August 1916-September 1918), Giichi Tanaka (September 1918 to end of the war)

Chief of Staff-Yoshimichi Hasegawa (August 1914-December 1915),Yusaku Uehara (December 1915 to the end of the war)

Foreign Minister-Takaaki Kato (August 1914-August 1915), Okuma (August-October 1915), Kiujiro Ishii (October 1915-October 1916), Terauhi (October-November 1916), Ichiro Montona (November 1916-April 1918), Shimpei Goto (April-September 1918), Yasuya Uchida (September 1919 to the end of the war)

Agriculture and Commerce-Kanetake Oura (August 1914-January 1915), Hironaka Kono (January 1915-October 1916), Ren Nakakoji (October 1916-September 1918), Tatsuo Yamamoto (September 1918 to the end of the war)

Education-Kitokuro Ichiki (August 1914-August 1915), Sanae Takata (August 1915-October 1916), Ryohei Okada (October 1916-September 1918), Tokugoro Nakahashi (September 1918 to the end of the war)

Finance-Reijiro Wakatsuki (August 1914-August 1915), Tokitoshi Teketomi (August 1915-October 1916), Terauchi (October-December 1916), Kazue Katsata (December 1916-September 1918), Korekiyo Takahashi (September 1918 to end of the war)

Home Affairs- Okuma (August 1914-January 1915), Oura (January-July 1915), Okuma (July-August 1915), Ichiki (August 1915-October 1916), Goto (October 1916-April 1918), Rentaro Mizuno (April-September 1918), Takejiro Tokoname (September 1918 to end of the war)

Justice-Yukio Ozaki (August 1914-October 1916), Itaru Matsumuro (October 1916-September 1918), Hara (September 1918 to end of the war)

Communications-Tokitoshi Taketomi (August 1914-August 1915), Katsundo Minoura (August 1915-October 1916), Kenjiro Den (October 1916-September 1918), Utaro Noda (September 1918 to end of the war)

Navy-Rokuro Yasjhiro (August 1914-August 1915), Tomosaburo Kato (August 1915 to the end of the war)

Commander Siberia Expeditionary Force April-Novemer 1918: Kitsuzu Otani

Making out like a fat rat

December 24, 2009

Many people don’t know it, but Japan particpated in the First World War on the Allied side. Allied with Britan under the Naval Treaty, they did mostly naval work in the Pacific. They didn’t take a lot of casualties, but when the war was over, they did quite well on dividing up the spoils.

The Japanese Army participated in one major land campaign. They attacked the German territory in China centered around Tsingtao. The Japanese 18th Division, led by Mitsuomi Kamio, was the major force in the multinational army. Tsingtao fell in 1914 and the Japanese Army spent much of the rest of the war consolidating its position in Manchuria and Inner Mongolia.

The navy was more active. It helped the British run down German commerce raiders and cruisers. It escorted British shipping across the Indian Ocean, and sent ships into the Mediterranean thus allowing the Royal Navy to send ships elsewhere. But its main job was to occupy German territories in the Pacific. At the end of the war Japan had control of each German colonial possession in the northern and central Pacific. With the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 possession of these territories became official under the South Seas Mandate. Japan managed, for minimal casualties, to grab control of the Marianas, Marshall, and Caroline Islands, and the Palau group. Each was to see major fighting in World War II with American assaults on Saipan, Tarawa, and Peleiu as well as provided the major Japanese base at Truk. Not bad for minimal casualties.


Belgian Military Leaders

December 19, 2009

To finish off the Belgians, here’s a list of Belgian military leadership to division level. In 1918 the Belgians split their 6 divisions, creating 12 smaller divisions, but they were grouped in sets of 2 making effectively for only 6 Divisions.

Commander-in-Chief: Albert I, King of the Belgians

Chief of Staff: Antonin de Sellier de Moranville (to September 1914), Maximilian Felix Eugene Wielmans (September 1917-4-January 1917), Louis Hubert Rucquoy (January 1917-April 1918), Cyriaque Cyprian Victor Gillain (April 1918 to the end of the war)

1 Division: Guillaume J. Baix (to January 1915), Louis Bernheim (from January 1915 to end of the war)

2 Divison: Emile Jean Henri Dossin de St. Georges (to January 1915), Honore I.J.Drubbel (January 1915 to the end of the war)

3 Division: Mathieu Leman (August 1914), Victor Louis J. Bertrand (August -October 1914), Joseph Jacquet (October 1914-February 1916), Jules Marie Alphonse Jacques de Dixmude (Februry 1916 to the end of the war)  

4 Division: Augustin Edouard Michel du Faing d’Aigremont (for the entire period of the war)

5 Division: G.A. Ruwet (to September 1914), Georges Louis Emile Guiette (September-October 1914), Leon Alphonse Scheere (October 1914-January 1915), P. LeChat (January 1915-June 1916), Louis Hubert Rucquoy (June 1916-January 1917), Cyriaque Cyprian Victor Guillain (January 1917-April 1918), Louis Hubert Rucquoy (April 1918 to the end of the war)

6 Division: Albert Bruno Amedee Lantonnois Van Rude (to January 1915), Armand Leopold Theodore DeCeuinck (January 1915-April 1917), Alois Biebuych (April 1917 to the end of the war)

1 Cavalry Division: Leon Alphonse Enest Bruno de Witt de Haelen (to January 1915), Vital Louis Adolphe Proost (January 1915-August 1915), Victor Desire Achille Leopold Buffin de Chosal (August 1915-August 1918), Jules Jean Marie De Blauwe (August-October 1918), Alfred LeMercier (October 1918 to the end of the war)

2 Cavalry Division: Zoe Petigny De Monge (from formation in October 1914-August 1915). Leon Alphonse Enest Bruno de Witte de  Haelen (August 1915 to the end of the war)

Commaner Antwerp Garrison to the fall of Antwerp: Victor Deguise

Belgian Political Leadership

December 19, 2009

Below is a list of the leaders and ministers of the Belgian government during the First World War. It should be noted that after late 1914 these leaders functioned in exile behind the lines of the Western Front.

Head of State-Albert I, king of the Belgians (1914-1918)

Prime Minister-Charles de Brouqueville (from the beginniing of the war until June 1918), Gerard Cooreman (from June 1918 until the end of the war)

War Minister-de Brouqueville (from the beginning of the war to February 1916), Emile Vandervelde (February 1916-August 1917), Armand de Ceuninck (August 1917 to the end of the war)

Foreign Minister-Julien Davignon from the beginning of the war to July 1915), Eugene van Beyens (July 1915-October 1917), de Brouqueville (October 1917-January 1918), Paul Hymens (January 1918 to the end of the war)

Agriculture Minister-Georges Helleputte (for the entire period of the war)

Railway, Post, and Telegraph Minister-Paul Segers (for the entire period of the war)

 Justice Minister-Henri Carton de Wiart (for the entire period of the war)

Finance Minister-Alois van de Vyvere (for the entire period of the war)

Interior Minister-Paul Berryer (for the entire period of the war)

Arts and Sciences Minister-Prosper Poullet (for the entire period of the war)

Industry Minister-Armand Hubert (for the entire period of the war)

Colonial Minister-Jules Renkin (for the entire period of the war)

Civilian and Military Affairs Minister-Vandervelde (from formation of the ministry in August 1917 to the end of the war)

Economic Affairs Minister-Hymans (from formation in October 1917-January 1918), Poullet (January-June 1918), Coorreman (June 1918 until the end of the war)

Minister of National Reconstruction-de Brouqueville (from formation in January 1918 to its end in June 1918)

Ministers without Portfolio-Beyens (July 1915-January 1916), Davignon (January-March 1916), Hymens (January 1915-January 1918), Emile Brunet (January 1916-June 1918), Eugene Goblet d’Alviella (Jauary 1916-June 1918), Vandervelde (January 1916-August 1917)


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