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  • Publication
    Rusijos imperijos kariuomenės žygis pro Kauną 1757 m
    [The march of the imperial Russian army through Kaunas in 1757]
    research article
    Kauno istorijos metraštis. Kaunas; Vilnius : Vytauto Didžiojo universitetas; Versus aureus, 2016, T. 16, p. 7-32
    In the 18th century, the sovereignty of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was weakening, and it became increasingly more dependent on the neighbouring countries. These changes also affected the city of Kaunas, through which the Imperial Russian Army marched in 1734, 1735, 1748, 1757, 1759, 1763 and 1764, while in 1767–1774, 1792–1794 and 1794–1795, its garrison was located in the city. The foreign army often targeted Kaunas because of its geographical position: it was close to the Prussian border, there was the most direct overland route from Petersburg to Warsaw through the city, and the confluence of the two largest Lithuanian rivers, Nemunas and Neris, was especially important to the city because it not only regulated trading but also facilitated army provision. The biggest march of the Russian army through Kaunas took place from May to October, 1757 when the army of 50 000 soldiers led by Field Marshal Stephen Apraksin marched to Prussia and left the garrison in the city. This was a short period of the Seven Years’ War; however, it was particularly significant in the history of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania as a foreign army was allowed to march through the territory of Lithuania. Even though the march was monitored by local officials and the actions were observed on the international level, the fact itself demonstrated the decline of the power and authority of the country in the international arena. This march of the Russian army also had some influence on the city development; therefore, it was mentioned even in the first histories of Kaunas. Nevertheless, the only fact mentioned was that military leadership ordered to make stoves from the tiles of abandoned houses for baking bread and satisfying the needs of the army. Russian military engineers not only fortified the city but also left the oldest known plans of the city. The fortifications made in 1757 in Kaunas undoubtedly influenced the establishment of the foreign army garrisons later on.
      320  215
  • Publication
    Vokietijos kariuomenės žygis į Kauną 1915 m
    [The march of the German troops to Kaunas in 1915]
    research article
    Kauno istorijos metraštis. Kaunas; Vilnius : Vytauto Didžiojo universitetas; Versus aureus, 2016, T. 16, p. 33-49
    Kaunas city was an important strategic point in the Western Russian Empire. At the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century, the city became a first-class military fortress, and it was the most important strategic military object. When World War I started in 1914, the German troops had to occupy the fortresses situated on the Western Russian border, including Kaunas, in order to have a successful offensive of the German troops on the Eastern Front. In June 1915, the plans to attack Kaunas Fortress were discussed. After the initial success of the Spring Offensive and the information from the intelligence service about the weakening of the enemy, the attacks started. Because of these circumstances, K. Litzmann, commander of the XL Reserve Corps, assembled the heavy artillery of the 10th Army near the Kaunas Fortress and started the offensive from the south-west. It was considered that massed artillery fire would demolish fortifications, disorder garrison and create great possibilities for the infantrymen attack. The Army did not need a considerable number of soldiers to enclose the fortress. On April 25, P. Hinderburg, the Commander of the Eastern Front, gave the order to start preparations for the offensive of Kaunas Fortress led by K. Litzmann. E. Falkenhayn, the Chief of General Staff, did not accept this sequence of military operations. The summer was over and the autumn has begun; therefore, it was necessary to start the offensive of Kaunas Fortress. The commanders of the Eastern Front decided to not defer it. On the night of July 19, the attack of XL Reserve Corps started in order to break the anterior fortifications of Kaunas Fortress without the consent of the German Emperor and the Commander of the General Staff.
      283  309
  • Publication
    Kaunas 1940-ųjų birželio viduryje lietuvių memuaristikoje
    [Kaunas in the middle of June, 1940 in the memoirs of Lithuanians]
    research article
    Kauno istorijos metraštis. Kaunas; Vilnius : Vytauto Didžiojo universitetas; Versus aureus, 2016, T. 16, p. 50-70
    The aim of the article is to analyse and evaluate the description of the first days of the Soviet occupation (June 15–17, 1940) in Kaunas in the memoirs of Lithuanians. The present research has used the memoirs of various people differing in age and social status (e.g. pupils, state officials, diplomats, journalists and officers) about the entrance of the Red Army to the temporary capital of Lithuania. Chapter 1 discusses the moods of the city residents during the last years of Lithuanian independence and immediately before the occupation; Chapter 2 considers the impressions of witnesses related to specific places in Kaunas at the beginning of the Soviet occupation; Chapter 3 evaluates the descriptions of the Red Army soldiers’ appearance, behaviour and their meeting in Kaunas. The research has demonstrated that the memoirs of Lithuanians provide a sufficiently detailed image of life in Kaunas during the first days of the Soviet occupation. The contemporaries recorded the atmosphere, the time of the main events, the moods of residents, the entrance of the army and its appearance and behaviour in a sufficiently detailed way. Nevertheless, the memoirs also provide various subjectivities as well.
      125  184
  • Publication
    Pirmosios sovietinės okupacijos dienos Kazio Škirpos akimis: slaptas Lietuvos diplomato vizitas į Kauną
    [First days of the Soviet occupation in the eyes of Kazys Škirpa: secret visit of Lithuanian diplomat to Kaunas]
    research article
    Kauno istorijos metraštis. Kaunas; Vilnius : Vytauto Didžiojo universitetas; Versus aureus, 2016, T. 16, p. 71-84
    The article analyses the trip of a famous Lithuanian military officer, politician and diplomat Kazys Škirpa to Kaunas soon after the USSR occupation in 1940. As all representatives, K. Škirpa was not sure about wthat was happening in Lithuania. There was a question if soviets would annex Lithuania and sovietize the country or if Lithuania as a protectorate state with possible cultural autonomy would be enough for them. That is why, when the new Minister of Foreign Affairs of the so called People’s government, Prof. Vincas Krėvė, invited K. Škirpa to Kaunas, he used this opportunity to not only speak with his new superior. In addition to this, he secretly met with people who were not only frustrated about things happenning in Lithuania but were also ready to actively resist the occupation. K. Škirpa suggested them wait till the upcoming war between USSR and Germany that was obvious to K. Škirpa because of his good relations with German officials. Active resistance without the help of any other country seemed kind of suicidal to K. Škirpa so he offered an idea of creating underground communications in Lithuania and avoiding direct confrontation with soviets. This trip was very important to K. Škirpa not only because it allowed him to share his first-look knowledge to other Lithuanian diplomats and some of German officials but because it made him believe his exceptional mission in Lithuania’s path to the freedom.
      475  163
  • Publication
    Sociokultūrinis lietuvinimas Kauno įguloje 1919–1940 m
    [Socio-cultural Lithuanization in Kaunas garrison in 1919–1940]
    research article
    Kauno istorijos metraštis. Kaunas; Vilnius : Vytauto Didžiojo universitetas; Versus aureus, 2016, T. 16, p. 85-102
    The present article discusses socio-cultural Lithuanization of soldiers in Kaunas Garrison in 1919–1940. It focuses on teaching the Lithuanian language, Lithuanian history and geography in the army units as well as the cultural events which were organised in Kaunas Garrison (e.g. lectures, festivals, etc.) to promote Lithuanian national culture. In the Lithuanian army units in Kaunas, the Lithuanian language, history and geography were started to be taught systematically since 1920 when the first education programmes for soldiers were prepared. The army units reached sufficiently good results of the Lithuanian language. For instance, from the recruits who came to the 2nd and 5th infantry, 1st hussar and 3rd artillery regiments, there were only 6,7%, 8,9%, 2,4%, and 4% of analphabets, respectively. After finishing the education course for soldiers, there were only five analphabets (1,8%) in the infantry regiment. Reading various nationally-oriented sources and books written by Lithuanian authors (there were small libraries in the army units) as well as learning Lithuanian-centered history and geography of the country, soldiers got introduced with the national Lithuanian culture and underwent certain influences of socio-cultural Lithuanization. Various cultural events organized in Kaunas Garrison also had influence on soldiers’ socio-cultural Lithuanization. They had lectures on the history of Lithuanian national movement and ethno-cultural features of the Lithuanian nation; state and national festivals (February 16, September 8, etc.) were celebrated. Their celebration included much cultural national symbolism (e.g. singing the state anthem). Soldiers’ visits to the War Museum, which combined the motives of nationalism and struggle for independence, also had socio-cultural influence of Lithuanization.
      131  206