Kestutis Kilinskas: The Interwar Military Forces of Lithuania as a Window into Imperial Legacy and Tradition

After WWI, Lithuania declared independence and created national military forces. Despite the declaration to create army of independent and democratic republic, despite the call volunteers and mobilization of citizens, military forces consisted of “old imperial” and “young Lithuanian nationalists” officers groups. The distinction between those groups was based on educational, religious, language and political aspects. They had different group identities and the conflict between those groups was so widespread, that it became one of the reasons of the 1926 coup d’etat in Lithuania when the democratic state was overthrown by a “nationalistic group” and “imperial” officers were dismissed from military forces. In my project presentation, I will argue how to separate analytically these groups, how they interacted, what were the cultural and political differences between them, and how these aspects correlate with imperial legacy and tradition in the Lithuanian army.

Kestutis Kilinskas works at the University of Vilnius, Faculty of History. In 2018, he defended his doctoral thesis on the subject “Civil Military Relations in Lithuania 1918-1940”. His research focuses on military history, war and society, and the memory of war. He has participated in international conferences in Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Israel, Romania, UK, USA and has published numerous articles in national and international journals.


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