The “New Military History” of the Great War: Its Concepts and Methods

Mgr. Jiří Hutečka, Ph.D. (Univerzita Hradec Králové, Historický ústav)


The ongoing anniversary of the First World War witnessed an important “upgrade”, or innovation, of the “new military discourse” in historical writing. The purpose of this paper is to summarize the key points of this approach to history of warfare, and to follow its development in the past decade with special attention given to the ways it studied the Great War. The methodological approaches included range from alltagsgeschichte of wartime life both at home and at the front, history of mentalities, gender history, psychohistory, history of identities, as well as history of commemoration and memory, and their common effort is to shift study of warfare and “war experience” (whatever it is) towards social and cultural context underlying the traditional approaches towards history. Next to this summary, the paper will try to outline further possible development of these concepts and methods, especially with regards to the specifics of Czech history and historical writing.