July 16 in Landévennec – The 1917 mutinies

We go back in time…

On Tuesday 16 July, Mr. MALBOSC Guy, historian, will come from 6pm to Caer de Landévennec to talk about the mutinies of 1917.

“A difficult subject, it was not until 1967 and Guy Pédroncini’s masterful work, Les mutineries de 1917, that this page of history was treated with the care it deserved. The same historian was also the first to study the shot for example. These two subjects are closely linked.
Although the majority of units were involved, the mutinies can be explained by many factors, the main ones being:
– the weariness of war after the failure of the Chemin des dames offensive
– the gap between the life of the combatant and that of civilians
– the poor living conditions of the combatant, including at rest: cantonments and permissions, very poorly organised.
The case of the 19th R.I. of Brest illustrates very well how a revolt movement can, in such a context, be triggered by a minor incident.
It should be stressed that refusals of obedience are, in most cases, spontaneous. Indeed, no political force provokes or exploits mutinies, the extent of which remains unknown to the population, and above all, to the enemy.
The movements developed at a time when General Pétain took command of the French army. It immediately takes measures to strengthen the code of military justice, before improving the organization of permissions. In the end, this movement, which paralyses the French army for more than a month, will result in only a small number of executions, without any measures, neither with the gravity of the facts nor with the previous practice of military justice.
Hence a presentation of military justice and its evolution, as well as an overview of what it was like in the German camp.”

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