Annual Baltic Military History Conference

War Summer 1941 in the Baltic Countries: Objectives, Strategies and Operations of the Opposing Sides, Results and Consequences


21 - 22 September 2021


Online/Tartu University Library


In June 2021, 80 years will have passed since the beginning of military action of the WW II on the territories of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. The Baltic Defence College and the Estonian War Museum – General Laidoner Museum are inviting you to an international military history conference with an aim to discuss the warfare that took place 80 years ago on the territories of three Baltic states, both from the point of view of strategy and tactics. 

The conference is the 11th annual Conference on Baltic Military History of the Baltic Defence College, and the 12th international military history conference of the Estonian War Museum – General Laidoner Museum.

Keynote Speakers


9/21/21 9:30 am - 9/21/21 10:00 am


Information about Covid 19 restrictions

Dear participants,

In line with decisions adopted by Estonian Government and Baltic Defence College on limiting the spread of COVID-19, we are implementing the following safety measures.

To keep all the participants, including speakers as safe as possible, access to the Conference area is granted only to persons who submit certificate(s) on the following:

1) Fully vaccinated no more than 12 months ago. Recovery from COVID-19 plus one dose of vaccine is considered equivalent to full vaccination;

2) Have taken a coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR-test no more than 72 hours ago or a rapid SARS-CoV-2 antigen test no more than 48 hours ago, with a negative result;

3) Is under 18-years old.

The organizers do not provide rapid antigen tests on site.

We kindly ask you to arrive at the Conference site at least 15 minutes in advance and present the certificate(s) required for access. We also ask you to disinfect your hands regularly and keep safe distance from other participants whenever possible.
Wearing of masks is compulsory in the Conference area, with the exception of the coffee break area.

Please stay at home, if you are feeling ill or experiencing any symptoms that might be associated with COVID-19.

Thank you for your cooperation and patience.

Estonian War Museum

Baltic Defence College

9/21/21 10:00 am - 9/21/21 10:10 am

Administrative remarks

Mr Art Johanson

Administrative remarks by Mr Art Johanson, Conference Organizer and Lecturer in Military History and Strategic Planning of the Baltic Defence College

Venue: Conference Centre of UT Library

9/21/21 10:10 am - 9/21/21 10:30 am

Welcoming Remarks, Hendrik Sepp Award 2021

Brig Gen Ilmar Tamm; Mr Hellar Lill

Welcoming Remarks by Brigadier General Ilmar Tamm, Commandant of Baltic Defence College

Director of the Estonian War Museum Mr Hellar Lill

Hendrik Sepp Award 2021

Venue: Conference Centre of UT Library

9/21/21 10:30 am - 9/21/21 11:30 am

Keynote Address:

Prof Gerhard Weinberg; Dr Jörg Muth


Prof Gerhard Weinberg – The Impact of the German Invasion 80 Years Ago 


Moderator: Dr Jörg Muth, Lecturer of Department of Leadership and Management Studies


9/21/21 11:30 am - 9/21/21 11:45 am

Coffee break


Venue: Conference Centre of UT Library

9/21/21 11:45 am - 9/21/21 1:15 pm

PANEL 1: Objectives, Strategies and Operations during 1941

Mr Toomas Hiio; Dr Martin Nassua; Dr Jeff Rutherford; Dr Jörg Muth


Objectives, Strategies and Operations during 1941


Mr Toomas Hiio: German-Soviet War in Estonia in 1941: Secondary Theatre of Leningrad Offensive“


Dr Martin Nassua: Operation Barbarossa 1941 – The Quest for the German Strategic Motive


Dr Jeff Rutherford: Total War in the Baltic: Army Group North at War, 1941

Moderator: Dr Jörg Muth, Lecturer in Strategic Leadership and Military Ethics of the Baltic Defence College




9/21/21 1:15 am - 9/21/21 2:30 pm

Lunch break

Buffet lunch  hosted by Baltic Defence College

Venue: Conference Centre of UT Library

9/21/21 2:30 pm - 9/21/21 4:00 pm

PANEL 2: Operations in the Baltics

Mr Valdis Kuzmins; Mr Jānis Tomaševskis; LTC Valerijus Šerelis; LTC Edgars Allers


Operations in the Baltics

Mr Valdis Kuzmins: Not good tank country? The attack of the German 41st Motorized Corps, July 2 – 3 1941


Mr Jānis TomaševskisThey Left the Corps with All the Radio: The Role of the former Red Army Soldiers within the Armed Anti-Soviet Resistance in Latvia during the Summer of 1941″

LTC Valerijus Šerelis Lithuanian uprising in June 1941. Ultimate objective – Independent State

Moderator: LTC Edgars Allers, Lecturer in Joint Intelligence/CIMIC of the Baltic Defence College


9/21/21 4:00 pm - 9/21/21 5:00 pm

Moderated discussion

Mr Toomas Hiio

Moderated discussion on the topic “War Summer 1941 in the Baltic Countries”.

Mr Toomas Hiio, Laidoneri Muuseumi direktori asetäitja teadusalal

9/22/21 9:30 am - 9/22/21 9:35 am

Welcoming/Opening day two of the conference

Mr Hellar Lill



Director of the Estonian War Museum

Mr Hellar Lill

9/22/21 9:35 am - 9/22/21 11:05 am

PANEL 3: Operations in Finland and Baltic sea during 1941

Dr Mikko Karjalainen; Prof Petteri Jouko; Dr Paweł Kosiński; Dr Kaarel Piirimäe


Operations in Finland and Baltic sea during 1941:

Dr Mikko Karjalainen: The Finnish Army operations in the back end of the year 1941

Prof Petteri Jouko: A Flawed Tool? Appreciation on Finnish Way of Attack in 1941

Dr Paweł Kosiński: Gotenhafen as the base of the German naval forces attacking the Soviet Baltic fleet in the summer of 1941.

Moderator: Dr. Kaarel Piirimäe, University of Tartu, Associate Professor of Contemporary History


9/22/21 11:05 am - 9/22/21 11:35 am

Coffee break

Venue: Conference Centre of UT Library

9/22/21 11:35 am - 9/22/21 12:35 pm

PANEL 4: Perspectives and events outside of the Baltic states during 1941:

Dr Jiří Plachý; Mr Peep Pillak, Mr Art Johanson


Dr Jiří Plachý (Czech Republic) Czechoslovak Government in Exile in London and Baltic States 1940-1941

Mr Peep Pillak: Estonian volunteers in the Battles of Narvik 1940 and in the War Summer 1941

Moderator: Mr Art Johanson,  Lecturer in Military History and Strategic Planning of the Baltic Defence College

9/22/21 12:35 pm - 9/22/21 12:45 pm

Concluding remarks

Concluding remarks


Fill out your information

Please register till 19/09/21 to participate on-site or online.

Registration Form

Click Here

Location and Venue


How to reach Tartu?

Covid-19 restrictions on travel: For up to date travel restrictions, please visit Estonian government website HERE

By air: The best way to reach Tartu is by Tartu Airport, that has connections with Helsinki Airport. The biggest airport in Estonia is Tallinn’s Lennart Meri International Airport (Tallinna Lennujaam) and there is connections all over the world. As Tartu is located approximately 190 kilometres south of Tallinn, arriving by air to Estonia also involves a two-hour coach journey from the airport to Tartu. However, Tartu Coach Station (Tartu Bussijaam) is located next to Hotel Dorpat and only one kilometer away from BALTDEFCOL.

By coach: Hourly coaches – with WiFi – run between Tallinn Coach Station (Tallinna Bussijaam) and Tartu Coach Station, with the journey taking approximately two hours. Daily coaches also run from Riga in Latvia and St. Petersburg in Russia, taking approximately four hours and seven hours respectively.

By car: Tartu is at the intersection of all major routes in Southern Estonia. National highways connect the city to Tallinn (Route 2) and Riga (Route 3), with the journey taking just over two hours from the former, and three and a half hours from the latter


Additional details

Due to its intellectual resources and great beauty, Tartu is often called the ‘Athens of Estonia’. It is Estonia’s second largest city with approximately 100,000 inhabitants. Because of its world-famous university, the city is widely known as the intellectual capital of Estonia. Founded by the King of Sweden, Gustavus Adolphus, in 1632, the university has made Tartu the centre of Estonian education and science for the past few centuries.