Tag: Helena Trnkova

"Poincaré the war-monger" for some, "the eminent statesman" for others, Raymond Poincaré's political career has fueled two contradictory parallel legends. Despite this ambiguity, he nevertheless remains one of the most distinguished French statesmen of the contemporary age.
The fate of this cautious and persevering man of Lorraine has gone through the long period between 1880 and 1930, disturbed by the memory of the defeat of 1870, the difficulties of the first years of the Third Republic, the...
In the Czech Legion, an excerpt from the journal published by Josef Jiří Švec (1883-1918), in 1914 a physical education teacher in Kiev and one of the first volunteers to join the Czechoslovak legions in Russia. Promoted to Colonel on 31 August 1918, he committed suicide on 25 October, three days before Czech independence.
From the beginning of the First World War, a number of Czechs and Slovaks demonstrated their dissent with the Austro-Hungarian Empire by joining the armed resistance. The Czechoslovak Legions formed in Russia, France and Italy played a key role in gaining independence and laid the foundations for the future national army.
On 4 August 1914, the German armed forces entered into war by attacking Belgium, thereby violating the country’s neutrality. In mid August, the Kaiser’s troops invaded northern France. The advance of the soldiers wearing the Pickelhaube was not halted until it was 70 km from Paris (the First battle of the Marne, 6-12 September 1914). By the winter, German troops controlled most of Belgian territory, which was divided into three distinct administrative zones. In the same period in France, ten...
In France between 1914 and 1918, 8 million men were forced to leave their homes to carry out their duty towards their homeland. Their departure caused upheaval in their lives and in the organization of daily life of society as a whole. The women left behind were forced to compensate for the men’s absence. They threw off their traditional roles and duties and, despite their unequal legal standing, replaced their husbands, sons or brothers running farms, workshops or shops as well as in the...
Between the end of May and the beginning of June 1917, the French Army on the Western Front was rocked by a wave of rebellion and unprecedented acts of disobedience. A spirit of protest inflamed numerous units, fuelled by the general circumstances in the spring of 1917 - marked by the failure of the great Nivelle Offensive -, the echoes of the Russian Revolution and civilian demonstrations. Units on leave did not want to return to the front line, and those who were already there refused to...
The Great War profoundly changed the everyday life of society, as well as its institutions. The enlisted men and the areas of the fighting were the hardest hit. However, not even the civilians and the rear guard were spared. Gradually, the war impacted, in a somewhat direct way, all aspects of civic life and brought about enduring transformations.
 

Military occupation and relations between occupiers and occupied
by Gustavo Corni
Philippe Pétain is one of the most important but also controversial figures in contemporary French history. His remarkable longevity took him though several pivotal moments in history. Rather an onlooker of events in the first part of his life, he became one of the major exponents of the two world wars. The first brought him glory, the second sealed his downfall.
Until 1914, Pétain’s life, like his military career, was nothing out of the ordinary. Never called up for a foreign operation, the...
Georges Caubet, born in Toulouse and a schoolteacher since 1908, was called up on 4 August 1914 to serve as sergeant of the 67th division of the French army. His diaries preserve the memories of the most significant moments of his military experience including his part in the initial stage of the Battle of Verdun in February-March 1916. He was captured in June 1918 and ended the war as a prisoner in Germany. On his return to France, he went back to teaching and wrote his own account of the war...
The Battle of Verdun, fought between the French and German armies on the Meuse between February and December 1916, was the longest battle of the First World War. This battle of attrition, whose symbolic impact greatly exceeded its strategic and political importance at the time, became the metonymic expression of the horrors of modern warfare.

 

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