The End of the Great War – its impact upon the military, military thinking, and military planning.

ZMSBw, Zepplinstraße 127/28, 14471 Potsdam
Zentrum für Militärgeschichte und Sozialwissenschaften der Bundeswehr (ZMSBw)
25.06.2019 - 27.06.2019
Prof. Dr. Michael Epkenhans

The End of the Great War – its impact upon the military, military thinking, and military planning.

In June 1919, Germany had to sign the Treaty of Versailles. This treaty, which finally ended the Great War, was the first of a number of similar treaties signed by Germany and its allies on the one hand and France, Great Britain, the USA and their allies on the other.
These treaties were much criticised by contemporaries and have since been so by later historians.
A hundred years on, it is time for them to be re-evaluated. Whilst their impact upon politics and society has been widely discussed, their impact upon the military, irrespective of which side finally won or lost the Great War, has remained largely neglected.
The Bundeswehr Centre of Military History and Social Sciences (ZMSBw) invites you to an international workshop to discuss this aspect.
The workshop will address the following issues:
1) The strength and the organization of the military
2) Social change in the military
3) The role of the military in politics and society
4) The discussion of strategy and tactics
5) The attitude of the military towards disarmament
6) The attitude of the military towards new international organizations

This workshop will take place at the Bundeswehr Centre of Military History and Social Sciences in Potsdam from 25 to 27 June 2019.

The workshop will be held in English.
Attendees will be requested to pay a workshop fee of 5 Euro.
If you wish to attend the workshop, you are requested to register by 19 June 2019.


25 June 2019

Prof. Dr. Eckart Conze
Warum die Welt 1919 keinen Frieden fand.
Pariser Konferenz und Versailler Vertrag nach 100 Jahren

18:00 Uhr Begrüßung
Kapitän zur See Dr. Jörg Hillmann
Kommandeur des ZMSBw

18:05 Uhr Einführung
Prof. Dr. Michael Epkenhans
Leitender Wissenschaftler des ZMSBw

18:10 Uhr Vortrag
Prof. Dr. Eckart Conze
Professor für Neuere und Neueste Geschichte
an der Philipps-Universität Marburg

19:00 Uhr Podiumsdiskussion

Prof. Dr. Michael Epkenhans

Prof. Dr. Dirk Bönker (Universität Freiburg)
Prof. Dr. Eckart Conze (Universität Marburg)
Pierre Laugeay (Service historique de la Défense)
Dr. Christian Ortner (Heeresgeschichtliches Museum Wien)
Prof. Dr. Andreas Eckart (Humboldt-Universität Berlin)

19:30 Uhr Kleiner Empfang

26 June 2019

Opening address by Captain (GN) Dr. Jörg Hillmann, Cdr ZMSBw
Introduction by Prof. Dr. Michael Epkenhans, Director of Research, ZMSBw

09.15- 11.00
Panel I: The Victors of the War (Part I)
Presenter: Prof. Dr. Michael Epkenhans (Potsdam/Germany)

Prof. Dr. Jean Martinant de Preneuf (Paris/France)
From Excellence and Proudness to Uncertainty and Bitterness. French Military Officers and the Pyrrhus Victory of 1918

Prof. Dr. Andrew Lambert (London/Great Britain)
Shaping a new world: British policy and the search for stability

Prof. Dr. Dirk Bönker (Durham/USA)
The United States and its Military after World War I

11.00-11.15 Coffee break

11.15-12.45 Panel II: The Victors of the War (Part II)
Presenter: Dr. Markus Pöhlmann (Potsdam/Germany)

Prof. Dr. Nicola Labanca (Siena/Italy)
The difficulties of an ‘easy’ peace after a difficult war. The Italian military after 1918

Colonel Shohei Abe (Tokyo/Japan)
The impact of WWI on the tactical development of Imperial Japanese Army

12.45-14.00 Lunch break

14.00-16.30 Panel III: The Defeated
Presenter: Colonel Dr. Gerhard Groß (Potsdam/Germany)

Dr. Markus Pöhlmann (Potsdam/Germany)
The Military Clauses of the Versailles Treaty and the Rebuilding of Armed Forces in Germany

Dr. Christian Ortner (Vienna/Austria)
The Army of St. Germain 1920-1933/34

27 June 2019

09.00-12.00 Panel IV: Smaller States, New States, and New Emerging Powers
Presenter: Dr. Manuel Stanescu (Bucharest/Romania)

Dr. Carmen Rijnoveanu (Bucharest/Romania)
Reshaping the Romanian military under the impact of the Great War: new challenges - new paradigms

Prof. Dr. Roman Kochnowski (Krakow/Poland)
The Military-Political Consequences of the Treaty of Versailles for the Second Republic of Poland

Rear Admiral ret. Dr. James Goldrick (Canberra/Australia)
Facing a new World Maritime Order: Australia's part in the search for an effective British Empire naval strategy for the Asia-Pacific 1918-1924

Dr. Thean Potgieter (Cape Town/South Africa)
Between Imperial Requirements and National Defence: The Military Establishment in South Africa after the great War

Major Dr. Denda (Belgrade/Serbia)
Royal Yugoslav Army - foundation, organisation, problems

12.00-13.00 Final discussion and concluding remarks


Meike Wanner
Zentrum für Militärgeschichte und Sozialwissenschaften der Bundeswehr
Zeppelinstraße 127/28, D-14471 Potsdam

The End of the Great War – its impact upon the military, military thinking, and military planning., 25.06.2019 – 27.06.2019 Potsdam, in: H-Soz-Kult, 20.05.2019, <>.
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