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The Great War and the Azores 2017 : The Great War and the Azores: from naval strategy to trench warfare


When Jul 13, 2017 - Jul 16, 2017
Where Ponta Delgada, Azores (Portugal)
Submission Deadline Apr 1, 2017

Call For Papers

Organisation: Institute of Contemporary History FCSH/NOVA; University of the Azores
Venue: Azores Military Museum, Ponta Delgada (Azores Islands)
Dates: 13 to 16 July 2017
Deadline for proposals: 1 April 2017

The Atlantic Ocean connects the western civilization in its banks, having in its center the archipelago of the Azores. Intensely contested since the discoveries, with the advent of the Industrial Revolution, with the mechanical propulsion and the economic and political rise of the USA, this ocean would know a commercial increase, based on a powerful market economy and a strong power of the financial capital, reinforcing even more its paper as a way of supplying the colonial raw materials, to the metropolises. The presence of powerful marines of war as merchants, with a modern naval industry of great capacity of production, becomes more and more its background scene, namely during World War I. By this view, the role of the Atlantic during the Great War would include the importance of maritime commerce and the need to protect commercial traffic from a Europe at war, taking the consequences of disturbing the enemy, as well as the use of a network of submarine cables with branches all over the world. The entry of the United States in World War I marked the end of the world's hegemony by the European continent, which lasted three centuries, changing the symmetries in the center of the Atlantic.

To enter the war, besides protecting the great commercial route that the Atlantic represented and reinforcing (or cutting) the logistics of the continental war, implied the preservation of a set of interests of this Atlantic community, identical in the necessities and objectives.

This concept, despite having in the second account, a defence concept predominantly geared to land threats, would draw attention to the urgency of preventing trade by sea and the very backs of the belligerents, not only as a way of replenishing but also by the possibility of a successful attack on their rear or flanks. The advent of aeronautics would reinforce this change of policy towards the Atlantic islands, clearly evidenced by the installation of a US naval base in Ponta Delgada, and the passage of Commander Read with its NC 4 in 1919, legitimizing the importance of the archipelago at the heart of Aviation in the North Atlantic.

This meeting aims to analyze the relationship of the Atlantic, with particular emphasis on the Azores, the complex logistical support to the belligerents, regardless of the stage of war being European or colonial, and the multiple dynamics involved, whether political, economic, ideological or geographical. Likewise, it seeks to value and dignify not only the memory of those who act as, but the material and immaterial heritage, in the year in which the bombing of the main Azorean city and the creation of a foreign naval base in its territory is evoked.

The organizing committee calls for proposals that address, but are not limited to, the following themes:

- The maritime and terrestrial dimension of the Azores, in World War I;
- Naval and submarine warfare;
- The Atlantic and the communications during the Great War;
- Maritime connections in the Trench Wars, or in the colonies;
- The internal front: the impact of World War I in the Azores;
- War and Memory;
- Museology and Military heritage.

Submission: 5 February to 1 April 2017

Submission process: Please send your identification (name, institutional affiliation and mail address), Paper title, Abstract (maximum 700 words), and academic CV (1 page) via mail to:

Working languages: English, Portuguese (no simultaneous interpretation is available).


Ana Paula Pires (IHC-FCSH/NOVA and Stanford University)
Annette D. Amerman (Marine Corps History Division)
Jakob Zollmann (Berlin Social Science Center)
Rita Nunes (IHC-FCSH/NOVA and National Olympic Committee)
Sérgio Rezendes (IHC-FCSH/NOVA and University of the Azores)

Scientific Committee:

António Paulo Duarte (IDN and IHC-FCSH/NOVA)
Carolina García Sanz (Universidad de Sevilla)
Filipe Ribeiro de Meneses (Maynooth University)
Luís Manuel Vieira de Andrade (University of the Azores)
Maria Inés Tato (CONICET and Universidad de Buenos Aires)
Jorge Augusto Paulus Bruno (Angra do Heroísmo Museum)

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