Giovanna Cigliano

Russia in World War I: Paths of the Russian and Anglo-American Historiography on the Eastern Front

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: World War I; Eastern Front; Historiography; Russia; Germany.

For a long time the historiography of World War I has relegated the «Eastern Front» to a secondary role. This «forgotten» or «unknown» war was simply considered to be less relevant than the «cradles of the modern world» represented by the trenches on the Western Front. Furthermore, the Soviet regime promoted an interpretation of the war on the Eastern Front as a mere background of the Bolshevik Revolution, while encouraging to focus on the Civil War of 1918-1920. Only beginning in the early 1990s, Russian historians have promoted a reassessment of the Eastern Front aimed at including new social and cultural aspects within more traditional interpretations. More recently, a group of Russian scholars, inspired by patriotic reasons and joining hands with public authorities, have put a new emphasis on the Russian contribution to the World War I. Such impulses seem now to match a renewed interest of the international historiography to properly include the «Eastern Front» in the grand narrative of the Great War. The essay presents and discusses the most authoritative and significant results of these trends.

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