War in Peace: Paramilitary Violence in Europe After the Great War

TitleWar in Peace: Paramilitary Violence in Europe After the Great War
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsGerwarth, Robert, and John Horne
Number of Pages240
PublisherOxford University Press

The First World War did not end in November 1918. In Russia and Eastern Europe, it finished up to a year earlier, and both there and elsewhere in Europe it triggered conflicts that lasted until 1923. Paramilitary formations were prominent in this continuation of the war. They had some features of formal military organizations but were used in opposition to the regular military as an instrument of revolution or as an adjunct or substitute for military forces when these were unable by themselves to put down a revolution (whether class or national). Paramilitary violence thus arose in different contexts. In many cases, paramilitary violence was charged with political significance and acquired a long-lasting symbolism and influence. This volume explores the differences and similarities between these various kinds of paramilitary violence within one volume for the first time. It thereby contributes to our understanding of the difficult transitions from war to peace. It also helps to re-situate the Great War in a longer-term context and to explain its enduring impact.

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