Valmistudes sõjaks. Õppused Leedu sõjaväe Gaižiūnai polügoonil aastatel 1931–1939 [Preparing for war: Lithuanian Army exercises at the Gaižiūnai military training field through1931–1939]

Lina Kasparaitė-Balaišė


The article examines the military exercises of the Lithuanian Army at the Gaižiūnai military training field and the nature of organizational characteristics. It focuses on the organization of field exercises of individual units and service arms, and mistakes as well as successes in the training process. The military training of the Lithuanian army was based on theoretical and practical exercises. The training of the troops was carried out not only in the territory of military units and shooting ranges, but also at the Gaižiūnai training field, which started to function in 1931. The exercises conducted at the Gaižiūnai military grounds were designed for the purposes of the Lithuanian military; they were supposed to improve the war readiness of the troops. This training period at Gaižiūnai was more productive than the training period at the Varėna military grounds through 1925–1930. The new and more modern military field allowed exercises and practical training in a new format, where a larger numbers of units could participate. When practical exercises started in the new field, new rules and procedures about exercises were also implemented. New instructions were prepared and published by the higher command. In the course of several years, exercises at the new field allowed the Lithuanian army to improve its combat readiness, as errors in battle procedures and readiness could be detected and fixed. Despite the apparent progress in preparation for war, when the Soviet Union delivered the ultimatum on 15 June 1940, it was decided that the Lithuanian armed forces were not yet ready to fight for the country’s sovereignty.


Lithuanian Army, training, exercises, manoeuvres, service arms, military leadership

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ISSN 2228-0669 (trükis / print)