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Mutiny in the French Army, 1917

Kubaiak Jönnek 1917 — 'The Cubans are coming in 1917'. Against a yellow sky, on a smooth blue sea, a cigar submarine floats, a curl of smoke drifting from its lighted tip. An upright matchbox forms a conning tower, and a Cuban flag flies above it. Palm trees grow on a tip of land in the distance. A watercolor postcard by Schima Martos.

Kubaiak Jönnek 1917 — 'The Cubans are coming in 1917'. Against a yellow sky, on a smooth blue sea, a cigar submarine floats, a curl of smoke drifting from its lighted tip. An upright matchbox forms a conning tower, and a Cuban flag flies above it. Palm trees grow on a tip of land in the distance. A watercolor postcard by Schima Martos.

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Kubaiak Jönnek 1917 - 'The Cubans are coming in 1917'

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On May 3, 1917, French troops in some of the regiments that had suffered the greatest casualties of the Chemin des Dames Offensive began mutinying, mutinies that spread to 16 army corps in four armies, and that led to civilian sympathy strikes. On May 15, [Prime Minister Briand] replaced Nivelle with General Pétain, who had commanded the defense of Verdun. By that time, the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Tenth Armies had seen mutinous incidents.

On May 19, Pétain issued his Directive #1 declaring that he would await the arrival of the Americans and would end unlimited offensives. By May 20, the mutinies had ended.

Pétain courtmartialed over 100,000 soldiers, of whom 22,000 were found guilty, 432 sentenced to death, and 55 officially shot, although more may have been shot without sentence. Pétain also sought to addressed many of the soldier’s grievances. He generally improved conditions for the soldiers and declared, 'We must wait for the Americans and the tanks'.

1917-05-03

1917-05-20