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Experiencing the Centenary
Discovering the Centenary
Understanding the Centenary
Scientific section > Colloquesseminaires > A Civilizing Work ? The French Army in Macedonia, 1915-1918

A Civilizing Work ? The French Army in Macedonia, 1915-1918

Building a French airfield at Thasos, 1916
© René Préjelan, Croquis d'aviation en Macédoine (Paris, Devambez, n.d.)
Image locale (image propre et limitée à l'article, invisible en médiathèque)

At 7pm Thursday March 9th a lecture will be given by professor John Horne, at the Ecole Française d'Athènes (EFA), in Greece.

The Franco-British front in Macedonia was the last of the ‘fronts’ that locked Europe into a mutual siege during the Great War. All siege warfare by its static nature entails multiple kinds of work for fortification, supply and transport, not to mention economic and cultural relations with the local population. The Macedonian front, with its hub in Salonika, was no different. But the French expeditionary force, which led the Allied effort, was significantly colonial in its make-up and its approach to work as a ‘civilizing mission’ drew on more than a century of military expeditions to the ‘Orient’. This lecture will use John Horne’s ongoing work to ask how the French army understood its role in Macedonia during the Great War.

John Horne is currently Leverhulme Visting Professor of History at Oxford University. He is emeritus Fellow of Trinity College Dublin, where he was Professor of Modern European History until 2015, and the founder of the Centre for War Studies. A Member of the Royal Irish Academy, he is a member of the Research Centre of the Historial de la Grande Guerre, Péronne and serves on the French Mission du Centenaire de la Grande Guerre. Of British-Australian parentage and upbringing, he studied as an undergraduate at Adelaide and Oxford (Balliol College) and took his D. Phil. at the University of Sussex.
He has written extensively on modern France and the transnational history of the Great War. Among his books are: (with Alan Kramer), German Atrocities, 1914. A History of Denial (New Haven, Yale, 2001), translated into German (2003) and French (2005); (ed.) A Companion to World War One (Oxford, Blackwell-Wiley, 2010); (ed.) Vers la guerre totale: le tournant de 1914-1915 (Paris, Tallandier, 2010); and with Robert Gerwarth, War in Peace: Paramilitary Violence in Europe after the Great War (Oxford University Press, 2012). He is currently working on a history of the French experiences of the Great War.