When

22-23 September 2020

Where

Tartu
Baltic Defence College

Annual Baltic Military History Conference 2020
SMALL BUT CAPABLE? QUALITY AGAINST MASS IN MILITARY HISTORY

2020 has been a very different year, one to go down in history as the year of COVID-19. Despite the continuing spread of the virus we have decided not to call off our annual conference on military history. This year’s event is organised by the Baltic Defence College, the Estonian War Museum and the Estonian Military Academy. It will take place on 22nd and 23rd of September at BALTDEFCOL in Tartu but there will be speakers who cannot be physically present and will be live-streamed.   For registered participants there are two options: either to come to the BALTDEFCOL or take part as an online listener with the possibility to ask questions and comment.   The theme of the Conference is "Small but Capable? Quality Against Mass in Military History". The idea is to discuss whether quality or numbers is the most important factor deciding the outcome of military standoffs. Our guest speakers will present their views based on analysing various strategies and operations, and consider the implications of lessons learned for present challenges. Those challenges are not hard to identify: the superiority of Russian capabilities in the Baltic region over those of NATO, tensions within NATO and the continuing weakness of the European allies. The present political crisis in Belarus may – in the worst-case scenario – grow into a regional security crisis, exposing the lack of European purposefulness as well as the ebbing of US interest in Europe.

Keynote Speakers

Schedule

8:30 am - 9:00 am

Registration


Arrival and Registration at the Baltic Defence College Foyer

Administrative help: Ms. Kaja Arulepp and Ms. Jaana Reinek

9:00 am - 9:05 am

Administrative remarks

Mr Art Johanson

Administrative remarks by Mr Art Johanson, Conference Organizer and Lecturer in Military History and Strategic Planning of the Baltic Defence College

Venue: Second floor, Main Hall of Baltic Defence College

9:05 am - 9:15 am

Welcoming Remarks

BG Ilmar Tamm

Welcoming Remarks by Brigadier General Ilmar Tamm, Commandant of Baltic Defence College

Venue: Second floor, Main Hall of Baltic Defence College

9:15 am - 10:15 am

Keynote Address:

Prof Martin van Creveld

Speaker:

Prof Martin van Creveld – Prof. Emeritus at the Hebrew University; “United We Stand.”

 

Moderator:

COL (ret) Dr hab Zdzislaw Sliwa, Dean of the Baltic Defence College

10:15 am - 10:45 am

Coffee break


 

Venue: Second floor, in front of the Main Hall of Baltic Defence College

10:45 am - 12:15 pm

PANEL 1: Small but capable? Fighting against the odds before 20th century

LTC Jacek Lasota; Dr Michal Przybylak; Prof Valdas Rakutis; Dr Pierre O. Juhel; COL (ret) Dr hab Zdzislaw Sliwa

Speakers:

LTC  Jacek Lasota – Head of the Department of History of Art of War and Polemology at the War Studies University (Poland) and Dr. Michal Przybylak – assistant in Department of History of Art of War History and Polemology at the War Studies University (Poland); “Less numerous but victorious – an example of Kircholm 1605 battle”
Prof Valdas Rakutis – Lithuania army senior advisor, Klaipėda University Institute of Baltic region history and archeology professor; “Lessons learned in failure: Defence of Lithuania in 1792 Comonwealth of Both Nations – Russia war for protection of Constitution of 3 of May”
Dr Pierre O. Juhel – Polish Institute of Advanced Studies; “Small? But capable indeed! Napoléon’s counter-offensive in February 1814. Power and limits of charismatic leadership”

Moderator:

COL (ret) Dr hab Zdzislaw Sliwa, Dean of the Baltic Defence College

 

 

12:15 pm - 1:30 pm

Lunch break


Buffet lunch  hosted by Baltic Defence College

Venue: Second floor, in front of the Main Hall of Baltic Defence College

1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

PANEL 2: The Post-WWI New States and their Small Armies

Mr Valdis Kuzmins; Dr Eric Allan Sibul; Mr Toomas Hiio

Speakers:

Mr Valdis Kuzmins – The National Defence Academy of Latvia, Researcher in military history, “The capture of Rēzekne, January 1920”
Dr Eric Allan Sibul – Senior Partner in Lockhart Group LLC and Instructor in City Colleges of Chicago,  “Marines and Armored Train Troopers:  Maneuver  Units in the  Estonian  Armed  Forces  During  the  Estonian  War of Independence 1918-1920”

 

Moderator:

Mr Toomas Hiio, Estonian War Museum, Head of Research

3:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Coffee break


Venue: Second floor, in front of the Main Hall of Baltic Defence College

 

 

3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

PANEL 3: Soviet, anti-Soviet and post-Soviet Warfare

Mr Jānis Tomaševskis; MAJ Rauno Viitmann; Dr Danilo Sarenac; LTC Joakim Paasikivi

Speakers:

Mr Jānis Tomaševskis – The War Museum of Latvia, Historian in the Collection and Historical research department; “The Power of a Minority or the Weakness of a Majority? Latvian National Partisans against the Soviet Military in the Summer of 1941”
MAJ Rauno Viitmann – Estonian Defence Forces, Self-propelled Artyllery Project Officer; “Battle of Cuito Cuanavale, Angola 1987-88”
Dr Danilo Sarenac – Institute for Contemporary History (Belgrade), Senior research fellow; “Fighting against the ‘the whole world’ for 78 days. Yugoslavia’s successes in the war against NATO in 1999”

 

Moderator:

LTC Joakim Paasikivi, Lecturer Joint Intelligence, Baltic Defence College

5:00 pm - 5:10 pm

Concluding remarks

Dr Kaarel Piirimäe

Concluding remarks Dr Kaarel Piirimäe – Estonian War Museum, Senior research fellow and University of Tartu, Associate Professor of Contemporary History

9:00 am - 9:15 am

Welcoming/Opening day two of the conference

Mr. Hellar Lill

 

 

Director of the Estonian War Museum

Mr Hellar Lill

9:15 am - 10:45 am

PANEL 4: The Security Challenges of Small States

Mr Thibaut Vetter; Dr Jeppe Plenge Trautner; Dr. Petros Savvides; Mr Art Johanson

Speakers:

Mr Thibaut Vetter, University of Strasbourg, “Diplomatic Ways and Innovations Race. The Means to Counterbalance Numerical Inferiority in Small Sized States in the Early Modern Period. The Example of the Duchy of Lorraine (1572 – 1634)”

Dr Jeppe Plenge Trautner, Baltap Associates, “Using military history for assessing small-state strategic situations and options”

Dr. Petros Savvides, “European small state security challenges and threats in the Eastern Mediterranean”

Moderator:

Mr Art Johanson, Lecturer Military History and Strategic Planning, Baltic Defence College

10:45 am - 11:00 am

Coffee break


Venue: Second floor, in front of the Main Hall of Baltic Defence College

11:00 am - 12:30 pm

PANEL 5: Insurgencies and Special Forces

Dr MG Rajendra Singh Thakur; Mr Shlomi Chetrit; COL Ronald Ti; Dr Kaarel Piirimäe

Speakers:

Dr MG Rajendra Singh Thakur, Indian Army, “Revolt by Queen of Jhansi in 1857 against the British Empire” (online)
Mr Shlomi Chetrit, Israel Police Heritage Centre, “Look on me, and do likewise”: What Can We learn from Orde Wingate and the Special Night Squads? (online)
COL Ronald Ti, Australian Department of Defence, “Carrying on the Fight- Timor: Sparrow Force 1942, and FRETILIN 1975-1999”(online)

 

Moderator:

Dr Kaarel Piirimäe Estonian War Museum, Senior research fellow and University of Tartu, Associate Professor of Contemporary History

12:30 pm - 1:45 pm

Lunch break


Lunch at your own expense

 

1:45 pm - 3:15 pm

PANEL 6: Israel and the Middle East

Prof David Tal; Dr Tamir Libel; Dr Jörg Muth

Speakers:
Prof David Tal, University of Sussex, “Israel’s Victory in the June 1967 War and the Idea of Occidentalism” (online)
Dr Tamir Libel, University of Bamberg, “Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in the Israel Defense Forces: A Precursor to a Military Robotic Revolution?”

 

Moderator:

Dr Jörg Muth, Lecturer Strategic Leadership and Military Ethics, Baltic Defence College

3:15 pm - 3:30 pm

Coffee break


Venue: Second floor, in front of the Main Hall of Baltic Defence College

3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Closing Keynote: Brigadier General (ret) Michael H. Clemmesen

BG (ret) Michael H. Clemmesen

Closing Keynote: BG (ret) Michael H. Clemmesen: „The Paths to and Limitations of Quality against Mass“

Registration

Registration is closed. Please fill in the data below. You will receive an automatic response via e-mail if our system has received your application. You will be contacted by conference organizers as soon as your application is approved. Should you have any questions, please contact Ms. Kaja Arulepp (kaja.arulepp@baltdefcol.org). PPE - Personal protective equipment (Masks, gloves, disinfectant) are provided at the Conference venue. Use of PPE is encouraged.

Fill out your information

0 EUR

Conference has no participation fee.

Location and Venue

Venue

Baltic Defence College

The Baltic Defence College is located on 12 Riia Street in the heart of Tartu, Estonia’s second largest city. It shares the same building with the Estonian National Defence College, a grand neo-classical building with a fascinating history, stretching back into the early twentieth century. The college is within close proximity to the main transport hubs, restaurants and shopping malls in the city centre, as well as the University of Tartu and the University Library.

Address: Riia 12

How to reach Tartu?

By air: The best way to reach Tartu is by Tartu Airport, that has connections with Helsinki Airport. The biggest airport in Estonia is Tallinn’s Lennart Meri International Airport (Tallinna Lennujaam) and there is connections all over the world. As Tartu is located approximately 190 kilometres south of Tallinn, arriving by air to Estonia also involves a two-hour coach journey from the airport to Tartu. However, Tartu Coach Station (Tartu Bussijaam) is located next to Hotel Dorpat and only one kilometer away from BALTDEFCOL.

By coach: Hourly coaches – with WiFi – run between Tallinn Coach Station (Tallinna Bussijaam) and Tartu Coach Station, with the journey taking approximately two hours. Daily coaches also run from Riga in Latvia and St. Petersburg in Russia, taking approximately four hours and seven hours respectively.

By car: Tartu is at the intersection of all major routes in Southern Estonia. National highways connect the city to Tallinn (Route 2) and Riga (Route 3), with the journey taking just over two hours from the former, and three and a half hours from the latter

Tartu

Nearby Accomodation

Hotel Dorpat (3superior***)

Hotel Dorpat that has partnered with the Baltic Defence College to offer the best prices for the conference participants.

Single room: 60 EUR

Double room: 76 EUR

Please send the e-mail to info@dorpat.ee and mention the code “History Conference” and you will be assigned one of the rooms with special price.

Reserving and paying for the accommodation is the responsibility of the conference participant.

Address: Soola 6

Hotell Lydia (4superior****)

Hotell Lydia is located behind the City Hall and offers accommodation for special price for the participants:

Single 86.10 EUR

Double/twin 107.80 EUR

Please send the e-mail to sales@lydia.ee and mention the code “History Conference” and you will be assigned one of the rooms.

Reserving and paying for the accommodation is the responsibility of the conference participant.

Address: Ülikooli 14

Additional details

Due to its intellectual resources and great beauty, Tartu is often called the ‘Athens of Estonia’. It is Estonia’s second largest city with approximately 100,000 inhabitants. Because of its world-famous university, the city is widely known as the intellectual capital of Estonia. Founded by the King of Sweden, Gustavus Adolphus, in 1632, the university has made Tartu the centre of Estonian education and science for the past few centuries.