• 10am - 5.30pm
  • FREE
  • Chelsea, London
National Army Museum
  • 10am - 5.30pm
  • FREE
  • Chelsea, London

Illusions of Peace

General William Ironside taking the salute during a parade in Archangel, 1919

General William Ironside taking the salute during a parade in Archangel, 1919

Join us for a two-day virtual conference exploring the illusion that the end of the First World War delivered peace.

​​​​​The years after 1918 did not, as popular myth would have it, bring about universal peace. In fact, the ‘war to end all wars’ accomplished little of the sort.

In the aftermath of the First World War, the belligerents endured years of ongoing military campaigns, domestic political upheaval, cultural transformation and territorial disputes. It was a period of revolution and of persistent challenges.

Organised in partnership between the National Army Museum, the British Commission for Military History and the Western Front Association, this two-day virtual conference will explore the aftermath of the First World War.

Logos of the British Commission for Military History and the Western Front Association

Day 1

The Aftermath in Europe

Saturday 23 January 2021, 11.30am

Discover the impact that the First World War had on Europe in this session which will last approximately two hours, including time for audience questions. The following papers will be presented: 

  • Professor William Philpot - ‘Grandeur and Misery of Victory’: France's Quest for Security in a New World Order
  • Dr Matthias Strohn – ‘I believe and confess that a people can value nothing more highly than the dignity and liberty of its existence’: The Aftermath of the First World War in Germany
  • Dr Vanda Wilcox - From Caporetto to Fiume: Legacies of Defeat and Victory in Italy after the First World War
  • Adam Zamoyski – All Hell on the Eastern Front
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The Aftermath Beyond Europe

Saturday 23 January 2021, 2.30pm

Outside Europe, the repercussions of the First World War continued to be felt beyond the armistice. This session will last approximately 1.5 hours and will include time for audience questions. The following papers will be presented:

  • Dr Dan Whittingham – Illusions of Peace: The Ongoing War and Failure to Achieve ‘Peace with Turkey’, 1918-23
  • Alan Wakefield – ‘An Education in Itself’: The British Military Mission to South Russian, 1918-20
  • Professor Ali Ansari – Persia and the Persian Question: The End of the Great War in Iran
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Day 2

The British Army Following the First World War

Sunday 24 January 2021, 12.00pm

After fighting a large war on multiple fronts, the British Army were faced with many challenges in the wake of the First World War. This session will last approximately 1.5 hours and include time for audience questions. The following papers will be presented:  

  • Dr Mario Draper – The Connaught Rangers Mutiny, India, 1920
  • Dr William Butler – ‘The British Soldier Is No Bolshevik’: The British Army and the Demobilisation Strikes in 1919
  • Professor Alison Fell – ‘That Glorious Comradeship’: Female Veterans in 1920s Britain
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Keynote with Hew Strachan

Sunday 24 January 2021, 2.00pm

Eminent historian Professor Sir Hew Strachan closes a weekend of talks with a Keynote. This session will last one hour and there will be time for audience questions.

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