CfP: National formations in the Great War: from an imperial mobilization policy to armies of independent nation states

Estonian War Museum – General Laidoner Museum
Tallinn-Tartu, April 25–26, 2017

The Estonian War Museum’s annual conference for 2017, marking the 100th anniversary of the establishment of Estonian national units within the Russian imperial army, will aim at a comparative study of national formations in the Great War. It will analyse the political and military goals of the empires in recruiting and forming national units. To what extent were national formations tools for imperial war propaganda and mobilization, to what extent were they supposed to rouse national separatism against those empires? How important was the initiative by national leaders themselves? Obviously, internationalist agitation by the Bolsheviks, which competed with nationalist agitation, cannot be discounted as well. When empires collapsed, a number of those national units became the germ for armies of new states that fought in independence or freedom wars; but there were national formations on the other side, in the Red Army, too. What was the effect of national units in the long term? Clearly, there were attempts to revive the policy in the Second World War.

Please send abstracts of your papers (length up to 4,000 characters) in English or Estonian by 31 January 2017 to Panel proposals should include the abstracts of all prospective speakers. We also request that you send a short, one-page CV with an overview of your research so far. The length of presentations will be 20 minutes. The working languages of the conference will be English and Estonian. All the presentations in Estonian will be interpreted into English and vice versa. Articles based on the presentations will be published in the Estonian Yearbook of Military History in 2018. The Estonian War Museum will cover the costs of stay in Estonia. All speakers can also request compensation for travel costs.

The conference is held by the Estonian War Museum – General Laidoner Museum in co-operation with the Estonian National Military College. The events of 25 April will take place in the War Museum in Tallinn. For the second day on 26 April, all participants will be taken to the Military College in Tartu, and brought back to Tallinn at the end of the conference.

Further information here.