Journal:Acta Historica Universitatis Klaipedensis
Volume 21 (2010): Klaipėdos krašto aneksija 1939 m.: politiniai, ideologiniai, socialiniai ir kariniai aspektai = The 1939 Annexation of Klaipėda Region: Political, Ideological, Social and Military Issues, pp. 104–114
The western European powers and their allies, including the Baltic States, were more concerned about the unavoidable economic losses of war, while Germany was a prisoner of its delusions about the potential economic advantages of war. The commanders of the Lithuanian army benefited from some tactical lessons during the Klaipėda crisis. The first and most important lesson was that it was nearly impossible to defend the country without some impact on the society as a whole and on the mobilisation of the economy. In reality, only a few units could be activated, and even those available to provide road cover had a shortage of personnel and modes of transport. The commanders realised that even if they were to develop plans for mobilisation, the implementation of those plans could not be assured, as the enemy forces were significantly more advanced technologically. The danger of a politically motivated delay or demands by a foreign country would postpone any plans and make mobilisation too late. The analysis of the principal problems demonstrated that the main issues were not even grounded in the clear technological advantages or differences between the Lithuanian and other armies. Quite the opposite: the most important problems were related to slow planning, a lack of coordination, late communications, and unclear subordination in the chain of command. Not less problematic was the basic discipline of the commanding officers, as well as a lack of political resolve in the climate of authoritarian dictatorship which paralysed the whole decision-making process. This combination determined the system’s outlook and its capacity to resist a foreign, that of German Reich’s, invasion in 1939.