The Shift in the Lithuanian Approach towards the Russian Army, 1914–1915

Hektoras Vitkus


During the Great War, the period 1914 to 1915 was one of the most intense stages of interactionby Lithuanian society with daily life of the war, and at the same time the most active stage inmilitary action in the future Lithuania. While many men were called up into the ranks of theImperial Russian army, most of the remaining population ended up under the military authorities,experienced the requisition of their personal property, and observed (at first in the rear)intense military movements to and fro. This article looks at how the change in the front line,and the successes and failures of the armies of the Romanov Empire, contributed to the changein the image of the Russian army in the Lithuanian discourse. Features of the change arerevealed in the article by analysing both the line taken by the official press during the initialperiod of the Great War, and the assessments of the Russian army that appeared in individualreflections (diaries and memoirs). It asks how the image of the Russian army changed duringthis period, and why.

KEY WORDS: First World War, Imperial Russian army, army image, discourse, war propaganda,war representation, war reception.

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