Lithuanian Army

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LithuaniaLithuania Lithuanian Army
Lietuvos kariuomenė
KAM logo.svg
Commander in Chief : Defense Minister

(in case of war: President Gitanas Nausėda )

Defense Minister: Raimundas Karoblis
Military Commander: Lieutenant General
Valdemaras Rupšys
Headquarters: Vilnius
Military strength
Active soldiers: 12,000 (2015)
Conscription: 9 months
Resilient population: 677,689 men (2009)

743,468 women (2009)

Eligibility for military service: 19-45
Military budget: 894 million (2018)
Share of gross domestic product : 2% (2018)
Founding: November 23, 1918 ( Order No. 1 to build an army)
Factual foundation: March 11, 1990 (regaining independence)

The Lithuanian Army ( Lithuanian Lietuvos kariuomenė ) is the military of the Republic of Lithuania . The history of the armed forces is closely linked to the history of the country, which only regained its independence in the 1990s.

Lithuania is a member of NATO . Due to the country's limited financial possibilities, certain defense tasks are carried out together with neighboring Baltic states and / or other partner states.



In the 14th century, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was the only state in Eastern Europe that could effectively fight the Golden Horde militarily. Due to the constant military pressure from the outside that led Union of Krewo an alliance between Poland and Lithuania, which in 1569 in the Lublin Union to Real Union was transformed, which existed until the 1795th

Between the world wars

Still occupied by the German Empire , Lithuania declared its independence from the Russian Empire in 1918 and started to build its own armed forces. After fighting against the Red Army and Polish troops, the country's independence was also achieved in the period that followed. In 1935 the Lithuanian army had around 1,800 officers and around 28,000 non-commissioned officers and soldiers.

The country soon came under pressure from its neighbors again. In the run-up to the Second World War , Lithuania had to return Memelland , which it had occupied in 1923, to the German Reich in March 1939 . In the same year, after regaining the Vilnius region, the number of soldiers rose to 33,000. In addition, in view of the tense international situation, after the German attack on Poland , a partial mobilization took place. The army grew to 87,000 soldiers in September 1939 and up to a quarter of the state budget was spent on defense. Eventually up to 500,000 men served in the military. The military was fairly well equipped and had considerable authority in the state.

After the defeat of the protective power France in the western campaign , Lithuania still had little to oppose to its overpowering neighbors. For example, after the invasion of Soviet troops in the summer of 1940, a pro-Soviet government was brought into office and declared it would join the Soviet Union . In June / July 1941 German armed forces conquered the Lithuanian territory. In the summer of 1944, the Red Army reoccupied large parts of Lithuania and re-established the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic (LSSR). The military resistance of the “ Forest Brothers ” against the Soviet occupation was lost without foreign support, had shrunk to a few partisan units from 1948 and was finally discontinued.

The time since 1991

Lithuania regained its national independence in 1991 and introduced compulsory military service a year later . The Russian army withdrew from Lithuania in 1993. In the period that followed, the Lithuanian armed forces oriented themselves towards the west (joining NATO in 2004) and took part in various international missions and maneuvers. In addition, the troops' equipment was gradually modernized, depending on the country's financial resources.

At the end of February 2015 it became known that Lithuania intends to reintroduce compulsory military service due to the Ukraine crisis (initially temporarily for a period of five years) after it had been abolished in 2008. A corresponding draft law was introduced to parliament in March 2015 and approved by 112 votes to three with five abstentions. The service period is nine months, around 3,500 citizens are to be drafted annually. In addition, the military budget, which at times was below one percent of GDP, is being increased again.



The Lithuanian Army consists of the High Command and Defense Staff:

  • Insignia of the Lithuanian Armed Forces, svgHigh Command ( Lithuanian Vadovybė )
  • Insignia of the Joint Headquarters of the Lithuanian Armed Forces.jpgDefense staff ( Gynybos štabas )

the four branches of the armed forces:

  • Insignia of the National Defense Volunteer Forces (Lithuania) .pngVolunteer Armed Forces ( Savanorių pajėgos )
  • Insignia of the Lithuanian Naval Force.svg Naval Forces ( Karinės jūrų pajėgos )
  • Insignia of the Lithuanian Air Force.png Air Force ( Karinės oro pajėgos )
  • Specialiųjų operacijų pajėgos.pngSpecial Operation Forces ( Specialiųjų operacijų pajėgos )

as well as support areas such as B .:

  • Insignia of the Logistics Command (Lithuania) .jpgLogistics command ( Logistikos valdyba )
  • Insignia of the Training and Doctrine Command (Lithuania) .jpgTraining and education command ( Mokymo ir doktrinų valdyba )
  • Insignia of the Military Police (Lithuania) .jpg Military Police ( Karo policija )

The border troops ( Valstybės sienos apsaugos tarnyba prie Lietuvos Respublikos vidaus reikalų ministerijos ) are not part of the army. Like the Federal Border Police in the Federal Republic of Germany , they are subordinate to the Interior Ministry.

Team numbers

  • Land forces: 10,120 (of which 4,720 in the volunteer organizations)
  • Naval Forces: 550
  • Air Force: 1035
  • Logistics command: 1200
  • Training and education command: 670

High command

The armed forces report directly to the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense . According to the constitution , the president is the supreme commander in a state of defense .

The current military commander of the armed forces is Lieutenant General Valdemaras Rupšys . The commander of the land forces is Brigadier General Raimundas Vaikšnoras , the navy commander, Captain Giedrius Premeneckas, and the air force commander, Colonel Dainius Guzas.

Military commanders of the armed forces have been:

Surname Start of service Service end
Silvestras Žukauskas NN NN
Stasys Raštikis 1935 1940
Kariuomenės vado (since 1993)
Jonas Andriškevičius October 20, 1993 July 1, 1999
Jonas Kronkaitis July 1, 1999 June 30, 2004
Valdas tutkus June 30, 2004 July 3, 2009
Arvydas Pocius July 24, 2009 July 24, 2014
Jonas Vytautas Žukas July 24, 2014 July 24, 2019
Valdemaras Rupšys since July 24, 2019

Initial and continuing education

The training and further education of the Lithuanian soldiers is coordinated centrally by the training command ( Lithuanian Mokymo ir doktrinų valdyba ). The Hetman Jonušas Radvila Training Regiment , the General Adolfas Ramanauskas Combat Training Center and the Divisional General Stasys Raštikis Military School are available for the actual training . The officers' training takes place at the General Jonas Žemaitis Military Academy .

In addition, there are numerous educational institutions that are operated jointly with the Estonian and Latvian armed forces . The Baltic Defense Academy (BALTDEFCOL) in Tartu , where the future staff officers of the Baltic republics are trained, is just one example .


Land Forces

Soldier of the
Geležinis Vilkas Infantry Brigade

The most important part of the armed forces is the Lithuanian army . This has:

Since 2003, the armed forces have been using the HK G36 made in Germany as their standard rifle.

Naval forces

Patrol ship Žemaitis (P 11) of the Flyvefisken class

The Lithuanian naval forces operate the Baltic Sea Squadron BALTRON in cooperation with the neighboring Baltic states . The most important naval base is Klaipėda . There is u. a. the fleet is stationed, which has the following units:

The Navy also has a diving department. In addition, she is responsible for maritime and coastal surveillance as well as sea rescue.

Air Force

Lithuanian Alenia C-27J

The Lithuanian Air Force uses Šiauliai Airport . It operates the BaltNet air surveillance system with its Baltic neighbors . The Air Force has:



Air defense systems:

International cooperation

Since regaining independence, the Lithuanian armed forces have participated in various international missions abroad. As a member of the coalition of the willing , Lithuania has sent troops to Iraq and Afghanistan . On June 14, 2009, during a meeting of EU defense ministers, an agreement was reached to establish a Lithuanian-Polish-Ukrainian brigade .

In addition, one tries to increase the defense capability of one's own country through international cooperation. Already in the years of the reorganization one began to cooperate on various projects with the Baltic neighboring states (BALTRON, BaltNet etc.). However, joining NATO can be seen as the greatest milestone. The country has participated in NATO's Partnership for Peace program since 1994 and has been a regular member of the alliance system since 2004. The NATO Battlegroup Lithuania was set up as part of the Ukraine crisis and the strengthening of NATO's eastern flank . It is an international NATO association under German leadership. In the course of rearmament in the Baltic States, the USA also stationed M1 Abrams , M2 / M3 Bradley and Humvees battle tanks in Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia .

Military personnel

Generals 1569–1795

Generals 1918–1940

  • Edvardas Adamkevičius (1888–1957), division general
  • Feliksas Baltušis-Žemaitis (1897–1957), Brigadier General
  • Juozas Barzda-Bradauskas (1896–1953), Brigadier General
  • Albinas Čepas-Čepazier (1896–1961), Brigadier General
  • Jonas Černius (1898–1977), Brigadier General and Prime Minister
  • Teodoras Daukantas (1884–1960), major general
  • Jonas Galvidis-Bikazier (1864–1943), major general
  • Zenonas Gerulaitis (1894–1945), Major General
  • Viktoras Giedrys (1894–1955), Brigadier General
  • Antanas Gustaitis (1898–1941), Brigadier General
  • Jonas Jackus (1894–1977), Lieutenant General
  • Jonas Joudisius (1893–1950), Brigadier General
  • Vladis Karvelis (1902–1980), Brigadier General
  • Maksimas Katche (Max Kattchée), (1879–1933), Lieutenant General
  • Juozas Kraucevičius (1879–1964), Lieutenant General
  • Petras Kubiliūnas (1894–1946), Lieutenant General
  • Jurgis Kubilius (1875–?), Lieutenant General
  • Kazys Ladyga (1893–1941), Lieutenant General
  • Pranas Liatukas (1876–1945), Lieutenant General
  • Vladas Mezialis (1894–1966), Brigadier General
  • Kazys Musteikis (1894–1977), Brigadier General
  • Vladas Nagius-Nagevicius (1881–1954), Brigadier General
  • Stasys Nastopka (1891–1938), Lieutenant General
  • Kazimieras Navakas (1894–1945), Brigadier General
  • Klemensas Popeliučka (1892–1948), Brigadier General
  • Motiejus Pečiulionis (1888–1960), Lieutenant General
  • Povilas Plechavičius (1890–1973), Lieutenant General
  • Stasys Pundziavičius (1893–1980), major general
  • Leonas Radus-Zenkavicius (1874–1946), Lieutenant General
  • Stasys Raštikis (1896–1985), division general
  • Mikas Reklatis (1895–1976), Major General
  • Kazys Skučas (1894–1941), Brigadier General
  • Jonas Sutkus (1893–1942), Lieutenant General
  • Kazys Tallat-Kelpsa (1893–1968), Brigadier General
  • Pranas Tamašauskas (1880–1951), Brigadier General
  • Adolfas Urbšas (1900–1973), major general
  • Mykolas Velykis (1884–1955), Major General
  • Emil Vimieris (1885–1974), Brigadier General
  • Vincas Vitkauskas (1890–1965), Lieutenant General
  • Vincas Žilys (1896–1972), Brigadier General
  • Silvestras Žukauskas (1860–1937)

Generals and Admirals since 1991

Web links

Commons : Lithuanian Armed Forces  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Financial and Economic Data Relating to NATO Defense (PDF, 424kB) , NATO press release of June 22, 2015, accessed on March 8, 2016.
  2. a b Lietuvas valdība piešķir aizsardzības izdevumiem vēl 21.5 miljonus eiro, lai tie sasniegtu 2% no IKP , online report on of November 29, 2018, accessed on December 1, 2018 (Latvian).
  3. Armed Forces Day (English).
  4. ^ Mathias Niendorf: The Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Studies on nation building in the early modern period (1569–1795) - Publications of the Nordost-Institut 3. Harrassowitz Verlag, Wiesbaden 2006, ISBN 3-447-05369-0 (also: Kiel, Univ., Habil.-Schr., 2003) .
  5. Ką savo didžiausiu ir pavojingiausiu priešu laikė Lietuvą okupavę sovietai? (Daily newspaper Panevėžio balsas and portal )
  6. Lithuania has an online report on, accessed on March 20, 2015.
  7. White Paper on Lithuanian defense policy (download source at , accessed on September 18, 2017 (English).
  8. ^ Lithuania Land Forces Equipment on, accessed July 10, 2016.
  9. ↑ Online notification of the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense of June 24, 2016, accessed on August 11, 2016 (English).
  10. ^ Lithuanian Air Force Equipment on, accessed July 10, 2016.
  11. ^ Robert Rochowicz: List intencyjny w sprawie LITPOLUKRBRIG podpisany ( memento of November 26, 2009 in the Internet Archive ), Polska Zbrojna, November 16, 2009 (Polish).
  12. ↑ Online report from March 9, 2015 , accessed on March 10, 2015.
  13. ↑ Online report at from March 10, 2015 ( Memento from March 11, 2015 in the Internet Archive ), accessed on March 12, 2015.