Eight objects from the Musée de l’armée’s new exhibition that put paid to the lie of peace in 1918
Objects that tell the shocking tale of the wars that followed Armistice, courtesy of Paris’ Musée de l’armée
The end of the Great War of 1914 to 1918 brought about the collapse of four great empires. The Russian Empire was torn apart by a revolutionary Civil War between Bolshevik Reds and nationalist/conservative Whites; the Ottoman Empire was partitioned by Britain and France without the consultation or consent of Arab nationalists; the Austro-hungarian Empire was replaced by myriad new Slavic states who fought over borders and political settlements; and the German Empire lost a chunk of its eastern marches to birth the first independent Poland since 1795. In The East: War Without End, 19181923, a new exhibition at Musée de l’armée, the French national military museum in Paris, tells the story of these conflicts, many of which are largely overlooked in the west yet continue to define much of modern geopolitics.
The legacy of 1918 can be seen in the poisonous ethnic and cultural fault lines that have led to war in Crimea and Ukraine, and Franco-british division of the Middle East that created nearly a century of instability in the region.
Collecting artefacts from museums across Eastern Europe as well as its own archives, In
The East: War Without End, 1918-1923 is on at the Musée de l’armée until 16 January 2019.
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