Was There a “Lotharingian Axis”? Belgian, French, and Italian Military Policing During the First World War: A Study in Comparative History

  • Louis N. PanelEmail author
Part of the World Histories of Crime, Culture and Violence book series (WHCCV)


Recent scholarship benefiting the historiography of Gendarmerie forces allows us to formulate comparative hypotheses regarding their respective involvements in the First World War. Fighting together in the conflict, Belgium, Italy and France were using military police forces with similar historical, legal and numerical characteristics. Facing comparable challenges—sometimes on the same theatres of operations—, such forces did not—however—share the same fate along the war and in its aftermath—with differentiated changes affecting their structures and representations. Yet does this render impossible the outlining of a “Lotharingian axis” linking the military policing approaches of Brussels, Paris and Rome between 1914 and 1918? This contribution deals with this question by exploring legal, organisational and field practice aspects but also a cultural approach of Gendarmerie policing during the Great War.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.French Ministry of CultureStrasbourgFrance

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