Stateless envoy: the life and times of August Torma (1895-1971)

Tamman, Tina (2010) Stateless envoy: the life and times of August Torma (1895-1971). PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

Due to Embargo and/or Third Party Copyright restrictions, this thesis is not available in this service.


This is a study of the life and activities of August Torma, an Estonian diplomat. He was born in 1895, well before his country broke free from Tsarist Russia, and died in 1971, in London, when Estonia was back in the Russian, by then Soviet, fold. Although a biography, it has the capacity to provide fresh insights into Estonian history. The study begins with Torma's early years and his activities during the First World War, observes his subsequent progression through the ranks at the Foreign Ministry in Tallinn and thereafter follows him to Rome, Bern and Geneva where he was appointed ambassador. The focus of the study falls on his years in London where he was posted in 1934. With the help of archival material the study sheds new light on a difficult period in Estonian history, particularly on the years leading up to the 1940 loss of independence, the Second World War and its aftermath. Torma's final three decades in England were a struggle for survival as financial problems persisted and his diplomatic position was gradually eroded. The study concludes that although Torma did not live to see Estonia regain its independence in 1991 he kept the idea of Estonian sovereignty very much alive during the Cold War and maintained the concept of legal continuity which was to form the cornerstone of the country's resurrection.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Published as monograph: Tamman, Tina (2011) The last ambassador: August Torma, soldier, diplomat, spy. Amsterdam, Rodopi. ISBN: 9789042033139.
Keywords: 20th century history, Baltic states, Britain, diplomacy, intelligence
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CT Biography
D History General and Old World > DK Russia. Soviet Union. Former Soviet Republics
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Modern Languages and Cultures > Slavonic Studies
Funder's Name: UNSPECIFIED
Supervisor's Name: Smith, Dr. David
Date of Award: 2010
Embargo Date: 30 August 2018
Depositing User: Mrs Tina Tamman
Unique ID: glathesis:2010-1541
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 30 Aug 2010
Last Modified: 21 May 2013 10:01
Related URLs:

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item