This anthology surveys the ecological impacts of the First World War. Editors Richard P. Tucker, Tait Keller, J. R. McNeill, and Martin Schmidt bring together a list of experienced authors who explore the global interactions of states, armies, civilians, and the environment during the war. They show how the First World War ushered in enormous environmental changes, including the devastation of rural and urban environments, the consumption of strategic natural resources such as metals and petroleum, the impact of war on urban industry, and the disruption of agricultural landscapes leading to widespread famine. Taking a global perspective, Environmental Histories of the First World War presents the ecological consequences of the vast destructive power of the new weaponry and the close collaboration between militaries and civilian governments taking place during this time, showing how this war set trends for the rest of the century.
Richard P. Tucker is Adjunct Professor in the School of Environment and Sustainability at the University of Michigan. He is the author of Insatiable Appetite: The United States and the Ecological Degradation of the Tropical World (2000) and numerous publications on the environmental history of warfare. Tait Keller is an Associate Professor of History and former Director of the Environmental Studies and Sciences Program at Rhodes College. His publications include Apostles of the Alps (2016) and articles in journals such as Annales and Environmental History. He is a Fellow with the American Council of Learned Societies and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. J. R. McNeill is Professor of History and University Professor at Georgetown University and author of prize-winning books such as Mosquito Empires (Cambridge, 2010) and Something New under the Sun (2000). He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and served as President of the American Society for Environmental History (2011-13) and of the American Historical Association (2019). Martin Schmid is Associate Professor for Environmental History and Deputy Director (2016-17) at the Institute of Social Ecology of Alpen-Adria Universitat Klagenfurt in Vienna. He is founding member of the Center for Environmental History (ZUG), and served as its director in 2010-11. He was a 2011 Fellow of the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society in Munich.
List of figures; List of tables; List of contributors; Acknowledgments; 1. Mobilizing nature for World War I: an introduction Tait Keller; Part I. Europe and North America: Battle Zones and Support Systems: 2. Beans are bullets, potatoes are powder: food as a weapon during World War I Alice Weinreb; 3. Dissolution before dissolution: the crisis of the wartime food regime in Austria-Hungary Ernst Langthaler; 4. The chemist's war: Edgewood Arsenal, World War I, and the birth of a militarized environment Gerard J. Fitzgerald; Part II. War's Global Reach: Extracting Natural Resources: 5. 'The mineral sanction': the Great War and the strategic role of natural resources Roy MacLeod; 6. Something new under the fog of war: World War I and the debut of oil on the global stage Dan Tamir; 7. World War I and the beginning of over-fishing in the North Sea Ingo Heidbrink; 8. The political and natural eco-footprint of World War I in East Asia: environments, systems building, and the Japanese Empire, 1914-23 Jack Patrick Hayes; Part III. The Middle East and Africa: Ecosystems, Refugees and Famine: 9. 'Make them hated in all of the Arab countries': France, famine and the creation of Lebanon Graham Auman Pitts; 10. Why are modern famines so deadly? World War I in Syria and Palestine Zachary J. Foster; 11. Starving for someone else's fight: World War I and food insecurity in the African Red Sea Region Steven Serels; 12. Forest policy, wildlife destruction, and disease ecologies: environmental consequences of World War I in Africa Thaddeus Sunseri; Part IV. The Long Aftermath: Environmentalism and Memory: 13. Disruption and reorganization: international preservation networks and World War I Raf De Bont and Anna-Katharina Woebse; 14. Memories in mud: the environmental legacy of the Great War Frank Uekoetter.