Conference: Small Powers in the Age of Total War 1900-1940
Royal Netherlands Defense Academy, Breda 26-27 november 2008
Over the past decade a new field of research has been explored: the position of the small European powers vis-a-vis the First World War and its military consequences. During the war the small powers had to uphold and protect their neutrality against infringments by the belligerents. After the war they had to accomodate themselves to the radically changed face of modern warfare. How should they react to the brutality and high costs of industrialized warfare if a new European conflict would spill over to them? And how could they hope to remain ouside of it?
The Netherlands Defense Academy in Breda proposes a conference on this highly interesting theme. Researchers are invited to submit proposals on the following subjects:
- The nature and content of neutrality in an age of total war. What chances remained for neutrality? Proved neutrality to be negociable?
- How to stay neutral: the contribution and attitude of the armed forces of small powers. How should the armed forces of the small powers prepare for total war, a contingency that was, for all practical purposes, beyond their grasp?
- The place and function of European neutral states in the war planning of the great powers before, during and after the First World War, including the way the small powers in question used this place to their benefit.
- Political-military projects of cooperation of European small powers to protect themselves against the threat of war.
- Surprise attack by a great power as a military problem of small powers.
- Bomber scare among the civil population. The danger of strategic airwar for the civil population of the small powers, given their incapacity for reprisal. Protection of the civil population.
- Digesting total war: the consequences of large scale industrialized warfare for the defense and war planning of the European small powers. The changing reality of the modern battlefield. Challenges for the military leadership.
- The First World War and the changing discourse on violence, humanity, war and peace within the European small powers. The cultural impact of mass destruction.
- Military planning by small powers for missions of the League of Nations. The participation in military missions of the League.
- The special case of Germany during the 1919-1933 period: since the Versailles treaty Germany was militarily speaking a small power on the defensive. How did the German military leadership react to this unusual and probably temporary position? What options for the defense of Germany did it develop?
- How to prepare the population in general and the soldiers in particular mentally for modern warfare.
Send your proposals to email@example.com or to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We intend to publish a selection of the papers presented at the conference, in 2009.
Royal Netherlands Defense Academy
Military History Department
PO Box 90002
4800 PA Breda
Netherlands Email: email@example.com
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