Skip to main content

Published on 20 December 2023

Military History

The Department of Military History at the Military Academy (MILAC) at ETH Zurich deals with the historical development of the military and of military thought in Switzerland as well as in the Western world since the end of the Napoleonic era. It focuses on the military in the form of state-organised, formally standardised and hierarchically structured armed forces, and provides an understanding of their formation, application and transformation in times of war and peace. In particular, the departement focuses on the development of tactics and doctrine in the German-speaking armed forces during the world war era.

Dr. Michael M. Olsansky

Michael M. Olsanksy is a military historian and has been lecturer for military history at the Military Academy at ETH Zurich since 2012. From 1997-2004, he studied history, politics and constitutional law at the University of Zurich. After completing his degree, he worked as a researcher at the Military Academy at ETH Zurich and as lecturer at the History Department of the University of Zurich. In 2012, he received his PhD form the University of Zurich. Since 2013, he has been on the board of the Swiss Association for Military History and Military Sciences (SVMM). He has been President of the Educational Committee of the International Commission of Military History (ICMH) since 2014.

Dr. Adrian Wettstein

After completing his degree in history and politics, Adrian Wettstein contributed to a research project at the University of Bern, financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation, on images and the imagination of war in a comparative European perspective between 1880 und 1914. In 2009, he started working at the Military Academy at ETH Zurich at the Chair for Strategic Studies. While holding this position, he completed his PhD on the Wehrmacht and urban warfare from 1939-1942. Since 2014, he has been engaged in teaching and researching at the Chair for Military History at the Military Academy.

MA Michel Scheidegger

Michel Scheidegger studied History and German Linguistics at the University of Bern. His MA thesis on the end phase of the Second World War, with a particular focus on the crimes committed on the German civilian population, was awarded with the Wilhelm-Deist-Prize of the Arbeitskreis Militärgeschichte in 2017. He has been working on his PhD on the military effectiveness and the crime history of the 35th Infantery Divison of the German Wehrmacht at the Chair for Military History at the Military Academy at ETH Zurich since 2019. This PhD thesis is supervised by Prof. Sönke Neitzel (University of Potsdam) and Prof. Alaric Searle (University of Salford).

Dr. Tamara Cubito

Tamara Cubito received her BA in history from the University of Northampton (UK) and her MA in history and gender studies from the University of Bern (Switzerland). She has been working at the Chair for Military History at the Military Academy at ETH Zurich since 2013. She finished her PhD thesis on enemy aliens in the British colonies during the First World War in 2020. She is currently working on the according book publication.

MA Andri Schläpfer

Andri Schläpfer has been a scientific assistant at the Military History department of the Military Academy at ETH Zurich since 2020. He majored in medieval history with a minor in reformed theology at the University of Berne.He concentrated on the social history and history of mentalities of the European Middle Ages as well as topics in recent military history. As part of his current function, he is responsible for supporting various research projects along with supporting and conducting courses in military history. He currently holds the rank of first lieutenant (Oberleutnant, OF-1a) in the Swiss Armed Forces.

Dr. Dipl.-Päd. Peter Mertens

Westfälische Wilhelms-University Münster, Germany, 1995-2002: studies and PhD in modern and contemporary history, medieval history and cultural anthropology. Verwaltungs- und Wirtschaftsakademie Essen, Germany, 1994/1995: economist (VWA). Helmut-Schmidt-University Hamburg (former: University of the Bundeswehr Hamburg) und University Hamburg, Germany, 1983-1986: studies and MA (Diplom-Pädagoge) in educational science, psychology, sports sciences and political sciences. Bundeswehr, Germany, 1982-1985: training as officer of the Signal Corps of the Federal German Armed Forces.

MA Christoph Hertner

Christoph Hertner studied history and politics at the University of Bern. From 2012 to 2013 he was a research assistant at the chair for modern history at the University of Bern (Prof. em. Stig Förster). After being employed in recruitment for a number of years, he started working on his research project at the Chair for Military History in 2018. He is a PhD student at the History Department of the University of Bern and is a member of its Graduate School for Humanities (GSH).