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Saarbrücken Industrial city in South western Germany, on the River Saar; capital city of the region of Saarland.

Saarland Valuable industrial region of South western Germany; Saarbrücken is its capital city. Controlled by the League of Nations from 1919 until 1935, when it voted to return to German administration.

Saint Germain, Treaty of Allied peace treaty with Austria, signed on 10 September 1919.

Saint Mihiel salient Area south of Verdun held by the Germans for most of the war. Eventually taken by the Americans during the 1918 Allied counter offensive.map

Salonika Greek port and centrepiece of the Allies' Balkans strategy during the First World War. Anglo-French forces landed there in October 1915, ostensibly to offer support to the retreating Serbia army. The Salonika Front was widely regarded as a military sideshow in both Britain and Germany and only became important in the last few weeks of the war, when Allied forces defeated the Bulgarian troops in the region, triggering the beginning of the Central Powers' collapse. map

Sarikamish (Sarikamis) Territory in the Russian Caucasus. Scene of a crushing defeat of the Turkish army by Russian forces (29 December 1914-3 January 1915). map

Sassoon, Siegfried (1886-1967) British war poet and novelist. Served in France and Palestine, 1915-18. Commissioned in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, May 1915; awarded the Military Cross for gallantry in action, June 1916; met fellow poet Wilfred Owen while in hospital in Edinburgh in July 1917. His semi-autobiographical account of the war - The Complete Memoirs of George Sherston - was published in 1937.

Sazonov, Serge (1860-1927) Russian foreign minister during the July crisis. Advocated strong support for Serbia and the general mobilisation of the Russian army ordered by Tsar Nicholas II on 30 July 1914.

Scheer, Reinhard (1863-1928) Appointed commander-in-chief of the German High Seas Fleet on 24 January 1916. Led the German action at the Battle of Jutland (31 May-1 June 1916) and oversaw the scuttling of the defeated German fleet at Scapa Flow on 21 June 1919.

Schlieffen Plan Military strategy devised by the retired German army general Alfred von Schlieffen (1833-1913) between 1905 and 1912, according to which Germany was to avoid a 'two-front war' by first defeating France in the West and then turning its attention to Russia in the East. The plan formed the basis of German war strategy in 1914, but was frustrated by Anglo-French resistance at the Battle of the Marne in September of that year.

Scott, Captain Robert Falcon (1868-1912) British explorer who commanded the National Antarctic Expedition on HMS Discovery (1901-04). Became a national hero after dying in March 1912 during the second expedition to the Antarctic.

Senussi revolt Uprising against the Allies in Italian Libya by the Senussi tribesmen, begun in November 1915 and supported by the Turks. Although a relatively minor irritant, the Senussi revolt engaged 110,000 British, French and Italian troops in North Africa until peace terms were agreed in April 1917.

Sèvres, Treaty of First Allied peace treaty with Turkey, signed on 10 August 1920. Replaced by the Treaty of Lausanne in July 1923.

'Shell scandal' Term given to the press and Conservative Party campaign - based on the apparent shortage of shells on the Western Front - against Asquith's Liberal government in the spring of 1915. It resulted in the formation of a coalition government on 25 May.

Shell shock Trauma suffered by combatants as a result of life in the trenches. During the First World War, 'shell shock' was often dismissed by doctors and senior officers as a form of malingering.

Sinai desert Desert region in NE Egypt between the Gulf of Suez and the Gulf of Aqaba. map

Sinn Fein Radical Irish republican political movement, founded in 1905. Name is Gaelic for 'We Ourselves'.

Skaggerak German name for Jutland.

Smyrna City on the west coast of Turkey, known today as Izmir. Part of Ottoman Anatolia during the First World War, it was awarded to Greece in the Treaty of Sèvres (10 August 1920). However, following military success over the Greeks, the new republic of Turkey reclaimed Smyrna in 1922 - a settlement that was upheld in the Treaty of Lausanne in July 1923. map

Somme River in northern France. Scene of perhaps the most infamous and bloody campaign of the First World War: the Battle of the Somme (July-November 1916), in which 415,000 British and 650,000 German troops were killed. map

Spartacist uprising Abortive Communist uprising in Berlin in January 1919, led by Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg. Put down by government troops with the assistance of right-wing paramilitary groups known as Freikorps, who murdered both Liebknecht and Luxemburg.

Steinhauer, Gustav German naval intelligence officer, responsible for pre-war and wartime German espionage in Britain.

Suffragettes Name given to the militant campaigners for women's voting rights in the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU), founded in 1903 by Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst.

Supreme War Council Body created in November 1917 in order to improve the co-ordination ofthe Allied war effort.

Suvla Bay Beach on the NE side of the Gallipoli peninsula. Scene of British landings on 6-7 August 1915. map

Sykes-Picot agreement Secret Anglo-French agreement that divided up the Middle East into British and French spheres of influence. Negotiated between the British diplomat Mark Sykes and his French counterpart Georges Picot in Paris on 26 April 1916.

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