Building an army for a post-imperial state: generational conflict in the Lithuanian armed forces 1918 – 1926

Date / Time

January 16, 2019 - January 16, 2019

6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

How are new national armies built in post-imperial settings? This talk considers Lithuanian nation-building after the collapse of the Russian empire in the context of WWI and the Bolshevik Revolution. The Lithuanian lands were never mono-ethnic; there was not any precedent of “Lithuanian national” military force in the region and no clear strategic vision of Lithuania’s self-determination as a modern nation-state. Consequently, officers from different former empires, regions, nationalities, religious beliefs and social backgrounds joined the newly established Lithuanian military forces, bringing with them varying experiences, identities and expectations. This situation inevitably generated tensions and conflicts in the officers corps, led to the emergence of secret cells and ideological polarization, and eventually contributed to the coup d’etat of 1926. The talk focuses on the nature of the conflicts between the post-imperial military elites in the army of the newly created Lithuanian Republic.

Kęstutis Kilinskas is an Assistant Professor of History at Vilnius University’s History Department. His doctoral dissertation and relating publications examine the process of building a post-imperial army for the nationalizing Lithuanian state, offering a political history of post-imperial military elites in the Lithuanian Republic (1918-1940). His publications have appeared in Lithuanian and English in journals such as Lithuanian Historical Studies, Acta Historica Universitatis Klaipedensis, Archives of War and others.

The flyer can be accessed here
The talk is free and open to the public.

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