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Vers l’armée du peuple : autorité, pouvoir et culture militaire en Tchécoslovaquie de Munich à la fin du stalinisme

Abstract : This dissertation explores the long social and cultural transition of the Czechoslovak military from 1938, the year of the Munich Agreement, to the late 1950s, when the People’s Army completed its transformation. This period saw the emergence of a new military culture, defined as a set of rules and practices governing the everyday life of army members. In particular, the power relationships were affected by political, legal, demographic and broad cultural changes throughout the transition period. This work takes these insights in new directions, by looking closely at leadership, violence, education and the space-time framework within the military. While the war and the immediate postwar purges destroyed the homogeneity of the officer corps, by ruling commanders out and by bringing new people in the army, this study also shows that the pre-communist (1945-1948) and communist period (from 1948) saw the attempt to transform the military into a more progressive and democratic institution, loyal to the Party and the Soviet Union. Ultimately, this endeavor failed because of the recurring violence, disinterest from the Soviet partner, loss of ideological impulse and need of modernization. By the end of the 1950s, Czechoslovak officers and soldiers were more concerned with professional issues than with transforming citizens into socialist new men. On the other hand, commanders had reassessed their authority in a context of increased nuclear tension and growing intra-bloc cooperation. By examining sources from multiple archives in and outside former Czechoslovakia, this research offers a new perspective on authority, resistance and acculturation in changing Central Europe.
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Submitted on : Thursday, May 5, 2022 - 10:49:11 AM
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  • HAL Id : tel-03659626, version 1

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Paul Lenormand. Vers l’armée du peuple : autorité, pouvoir et culture militaire en Tchécoslovaquie de Munich à la fin du stalinisme. Histoire. Institut d'études politiques de Paris - Sciences Po, 2019. Français. ⟨NNT : 2019IEPP0022⟩. ⟨tel-03659626⟩

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