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Title: The Croatian god Mars : the impact of the war on the male wartime generation in Croatia
Author: Newman, John Paul
ISNI:       0000 0001 3443 8236
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2008
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This thesis explores the impact of the Great War in Croatia on the male wartime generation through a study of Croatian veterans, that is, men from Croatia who fought or served in the Habsburg army from 1914-1918. The study is based on extensive archival research in Croatia, Serbia, and Great Britain, as well the study of memoirs, journals, publications, monuments, and other traces left by veterans. This material has been synthesized with existing historiography to answer questions about the way in which post-war transition was experienced and interpreted by Croatian men, and the impact of this on state and society relations in the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes in the 1920s. The study is divided into four parts. The first two parts, concerned with Croatian disabled veterans and ex-volunteers (Habsburg South Slavs who 'switched sides' to the Serbian army during the war) examine the way in which Croatian veterans attempted to reconcile their wartime sacrifice with that of the Serbian army. The second two parts study the fate of ex-Habsburg officers of Croat descent and the tens of thousands of Croatian peasants who had been conscripted into fighting for the Habsburgs during the Great War. These chapters examine the extent to which some veterans remained un-reconciled to the new order, rejecting the transition from a Habsburg to a Yugoslav framework in the post-war period. The overarching theme of the study is that Croatian veterans arrived at an understanding of their war-time sacrifice through an ongoing negotiation or contestation both with other nationalities (especially Serbians) and with fellow Croats. The inability of many of them to reach a consensus on this issue is a reflection of the contested nature of Croatian national identity in the 1920s and of ambivalent attitudes to the creation of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes. In this respect, the impact of the war is one part of the broader issue of post-war transition in Croatia and in East-Central Europe in the 1920s. The study significantly enhances our understanding of the manner in which the transition from empire to nation-state was experienced in Croatia in the 1920s, setting out a new agenda for understanding the impact of the Great War and the character of the new nation-states in the interwar period in Eastern Europe.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available