In 1917 French and foreign agents reconstructed sections of Picardy destroyed by Operation Alberich, a “scorched-earth” program implemented by departing Germans. The region’s unanticipated maltreatment led French Third Army forces to evaluate and assist Picardy’s devastated homesteads and refugee-residents. Under General Georges Humbert, the Third Army implemented juxtaposing reconstruction policies in Picardy. Along with inhabitants, bureaucrats, and German prisoners of war, the Third Army initiated “a regime of temporary aid” that repaired property and provisioned civilians. Humbert’s subordinates also evacuated residents judged too ill, infirm, treacherous, or indolent for massive reconstruction projects. When extemporized statist programs proved insufficient for Picardy’s civilians, French ministries invited American and British humanitarians to inaugurate complementary and supplementary rehabilitation schemes designed to revive rural society and commerce. The conflicting confluence of these individuals’ consensual, coercive, patriotic, and philanthropic cultures de guerre within Picardy helped residents “demobilize” as refugees and “remobilize” for continued participation in World War I.

On 21 March 1917, France’s Third Army described the utter desolation it encountered among 25,368 Picardy inhabitants just abandoned by Germany. That month, Third Army troops under General Georges Humbert entered Aisne, Oise, and Somme villages, such as Trosly-Loire, where retreating Germans had recently burned all buildings and removed all residents. Humbert’s forces also encountered populated hamlets like Bléran-court, where 228 young, elderly, and infirm libérés lived amid demolished, pillaged neighborhoods. Under orders from Generals Hindenburg and Ludendorff, German soldiers had even systematically felled Picardy’s fruit trees as part of Operation Alberich, a “scorched-earth” action that exhibited what John Horne has termed the novel “totalizing logic” of belligerents’ Great War efforts. By 10 April, these Carthaginian conditions forced Humbert to evacuate over nine thousand Somme, Oise, and Aisne inhabitants from uninhabitable homesteads. Alberich had produced a culture de guerre, or “war culture,” of utter devastation throughout German-vacated Picardy.1

Nine months later, the Aisne, Oise, and Somme’s multidimensional reconstruction permitted more sanguine representations of Picardy. Humbert’s soldiers had restored damaged farm machinery and plowed, threshed, and harvested fallow fields. Nonstate agents supplemented these military labors. Driven by national and transnational motives, American, British, and French charities repaired and replaced ruined dwellings and augmented statist foodstuffs, merchandise, and medical provisioning. Working with French ministries, private groups helped ten thousand Somme, Oise, and Aisne residents return by December 1917. Trosly-Loire and Blérancourt experienced this revival. In July 1917, eight women from the American Fund for French Wounded visited both sites to augment Humbert’s agricultural and communal rehabilitation. By December, French servicemen and American women helped thirty-three residents return to Trosly-Loire, and thirty-two people re-enter Blérancourt. Such soldiers and volunteers “demobilized” thousands of adults and children from their refugee status and “remobilized” them for France’s war effort. They created new war cultures throughout Picardy.2

This article builds upon earlier complex definitions and redefinitions of France’s wartime cultural milieu. Stéphane Audoin-Rouzeau introduced the term culture de guerre in 1986. He argued that a common Great War culture of “shared … mental attitudes … [and] reflexes born of … harsh … living conditions, … immersion in battle and … confrontation with death” had homogenized the French Army.3 Eleven years later, Audoin-Rouzeau and Annette Becker, later codirectors of the Historial de la Grande Guerre’s research center, more broadly described culture de guerre as “all representations of the war forged by its contemporaries” to make the struggle comprehensible.4 By 2000 both scholars redefined war culture as “a collection of representations … crystallized into a system of thought which gave the war its deep significance.”5 Subsequent Historial discussions emphasized culture de guerre’s salience to French efforts to “persuade themselves to continue fighting,”6 to “forgotten” French war participants in “invaded or occupied regions,”7 and to Gallic demonization of Germans.8

The Collectif de recherche internationale et de débat sur la guerre de 1914–1918, or CRID,9 quickly challenged Audoin-Rouzeau and Becker’s 2000 redefinition. In 2002 four CRID scholars—Philippe Olivera, Emmanuelle Picard, Nicolas Offenstadt, and Frédéric Rousseau—argued that the Historial’s culture de guerre was both too broad to account for “varied social distinctions … travers[ing] … societies engaged in the conflict” and also too narrow to appreciate the war’s global contours. The four contended that any authentic war culture needed “a broader [conceptual] scope, such as a global system ‘of interpreting the world and the structuring of its behaviors’.”10

French nationals’ purportedly willing war stamina is central to this controversy. Audoin-Rouzeau contended that poilus’ shared patriotism and xenophobia inspired their endurance of the Western Front’s disturbing war culture.11 Jean-Jacques Becker’s La France en guerre similarly argued that French society participated in the Great War because its elites built and sustained popular war support.12 CRID stalwarts conversely asserted that French fortitude was coerced. Rémy Cazals and Frédéric Rousseau insisted that since August 1914 a “culture of obedience” compelled conscripts to obey officers as they had obeyed their fathers, teachers, employers, and priests. CRID supporters also held that French officers and soldiers simultaneously battled Germany and each other. To CRID adherents, Gallic superiors’ victories over subordinates demonstrated that intimidation, not consent, dominated wartime French society.13

The 1917 rehabilitation of Third Army Picardy cantons addresses and informs these debates. This article departs from earlier war culture evaluations that largely represented French society as binary, with a military Western Front and a civilian “home front.” Works by Tammy Proctor, Annette Becker, Helen McPhail, and Philippe Nivet have challenged this division by presenting civilians in German-occupied France as prisoners of war. Martha Hanna has likewise shown that a cognitive gulf did not always separate French soldiers and civilians. However, these monographs largely omit French civilians’ experiences under Operation Alberich.14 Additionally, Germany’s 1917 devastation of Picardy poignantly contrasted with their 1914 demolition of 15,000–25,000 French dwellings. As John Horne and Alan Kramer noted, Germans often represented the latter destruction as a riposte to alleged civilian atrocities against soldiers;15 Picardy’s residents perpetrated no such assaults after January 1915. Comprehensions of and reactions to Alberich thus differed vastly from earlier statist responses to war violence.

Third Army activities also prompted consensual and coerced participation in Picardy’s restoration. Many of its policies reinforce Historial contentions that Frenchmen toiled willingly. Humbert’s removal of “suspicious” individuals and his efforts to compel peasants’ labor also advance CRID’s countervailing thesis. However, this consensual-coerced debate excludes foreign agents. British and American humanitarian actors worked in 1917 Picardy without surrendering to France. Instead, these institutions aided war-victimized Picardy residents independent of Allied strategy. This article illustrates microhistory’s potential to, as Audoin-Rouzeau suggested, illuminate the depths to which “individuals, families, [and] communities … [were] integrated into warlike activity,” while situating that cultural activity in a transnational CRID-like vein.16

Picardy’s 1917 reconstitution likewise offers a unique case of wartime cultural “demobilization” and “remobilization.” Bruno Cabanes and John Horne have surveyed official post-Armistice demobilizations of French soldiers and civilians from their war culture.17 However, French agencies and foreign humanitarians also demobilized residents during hostilities. Instead of returning “discharged” soldiers and civilians to an envisioned antebellum existence—the goal of most postwar demobilizations—these 1917 efforts sought to “demobilize” French refugees from their demoralizing refugee status and war culture, and “remobilize” them as engaged, patriotic citizens. Picardy’s successful 1917 restitution thus provided a wartime template for the region’s dynamic postwar cultural demobilization.18

Conditions Envisioned

For Western Europe, World War I began in August 1914 with German invasions of Belgium, Luxembourg, and France. By November, German advances and calcified trenches left ten Gallic départements under Wilhelmine control. Little changed in 1915, as Anglo-French offensives failed to shatter German positions. These assaults and German requisitions damaged German-occupied France. By 1916, Gallic officials prepared to redress this destruction. On 18 May 1916, President Raymond Poincaré and Premier Aristide Briand formed the Interministerial Committee to facilitate the restoration of invaded or damaged provinces.19 They charged it with coordinating rehabilitative activity among ten ministries—including War, the Interior, Agriculture, and Finance. Poincaré and Briand appointed distinguished statesman and philosopher Léon Bourgeois, founder of the solidariste philosophy that championed “cooperation of all [society’s] members,” as its chair.20

The committee’s convocation on 16 June 1916 highlighted several collaborative projects. Interior delegate Albert Bluzet discussed efforts by his ministry and the army’s Service de santé to reintroduce exiles into liberated lands “at the cessation of hostilities.” Both bureaucracies envisioned providing these individuals with necessities like furniture, cooking utensils, and portable housing. Bluzet also recommended that agricultural officials erect modern farm buildings to protect farming assets and increase output. Agriculture Minister Jules Méline praised these suggestions but warned that his ministry lacked engineers for these tasks. Méline also insisted that reconstruction should leave some “initiative” to farmers, lest rural resourcefulness wither.21

These principal activities—agricultural and housing reconstruction, and refugee reintegration and provisioning—formed the committee’s foci. Perhaps reflecting Bourgeois’s solidariste outlook, the committee’s second meeting established eight sections to investigate reconstruction-related topics. The first, second, and fourth sections aimed to restore function aries, distribute necessities, and improve hygiene for réintégrés. The second, fourth, and sixth sections emphasized recultivating crops by distributing and selling farming equipment. Similarly, the third, fourth, and fifth sections recommended approaches for repairing buildings, rebuilding homes, and redeveloping devastated villages.22

Reviving agriculture became central to many meetings. In August 1916, the second section (agricultural and social reconstitution) discussed the Somme province’s topsoil. Bourgeois, recently returned from that département, stated that the greatest impediment to resumed Somme farming was the ubiquity of unexploded shells. The second section also discussed restoring “essential conditions for communal life,” such as farms, houses, usable water, food sources, and local commerce.23 Similarly, in November 1916 the committee’s sixth section (agricultural revival through commerce) highlighted how insufficient livestock, tools, and tractors impeded renewed plowing, threshing, and harrowing.24

The committee also addressed liberated lands’ sanitation. In October 1916, after arranging for réintégrés’ provisioning and sheltering and assuring vital functionaries’ return, the first section (restoration of essential ministries) addressed the reorganization of sanitary services. Many of these issues—such as marking and restoring cemeteries, and exhuming and transporting bodies—concerned national issues of bereavement.25 Other topics, particularly water purification and household cleaning, contrastingly pertained to peasants’ public and private spaces and behaviors in future liberated lands.26

As French officials developed reconstruction schemes, they sought indices of occupied France’s condition. The information partly came from occupied France. In March 1916 the Interior and Foreign Affairs ministries worked with the International Red Cross (IRC) to inaugurate correspondence between German-held and “free” France. From Paris and Lyon, Interior officials received and censored twenty-word messages—military, political, and economic topics were prohibited—before transferring correspon dence to the IRC. The IRC delivered these notes to Germany via its Frankfurt-based prisoner of war observers. By May 1917, this channel had sent 186,000 messages to occupied France and obtained 24,000 replies.27

Agents of the Service de renseignements fournis par la correspondance avec les régions envahis analyzed these replies to discern on-site conditions.28 The Service’s bimonthly reports, submitted to the War ministry, suggested residents had adapted to occupation. Its third (16–31 October), fourth (1–15 November), and fifth (15–30 November) Paris missives represented residents of nine départements29 as regularly farming and assisting neighbors.30 The sixth (1–15 December), seventh (16–31 December), and eighth (1–15 January 1917) précis from Paris affirmed these trends’ continuity. Lyon’s concurrent bimonthly Service reports likewise portrayed occupied France’s commerce and agriculture optimistically, especially in German-held Aisne districts.31

The Interior ministry’s June 1916 assessment of 754 inhabited, “free” French towns among ten war zone provinces32 portrayed Picardy equally positively. War-related destruction in “free” Somme sectors only accounted for 425 of the 16,669 destroyed homes, 13 of the 331 ruined churches, and 5 of the 221 obliterated town halls. Surveyed Aisne and Oise towns comprised similarly small segments of “free” France’s devastation. The Aisne lost only 93 houses and 9 churches; the Oise lost only 263 houses, 13 churches, and 7 town halls. Picardy’s damage appears particularly marginal when compared to other assessed provinces. Of the surveyed communes, the Aisne lost the fewest houses (1.8). It tied with the Aube for the fewest town halls destroyed (none), and only ranked behind the Seine-et-Marne for the percentage of churches destroyed (18 percent). The Oise was ninth in destroyed houses per commune (4.5), and eighth and ninth in the percentage of devastated town halls (12 percent) and churches (25 percent). The Somme ranked eighth in per-village house losses (12.5) and seventh in the percentage of destroyed town halls (15 percent) and churches (38 percent). Like the Service’s profiles, the Interior report suggested that Picardy’s damage was marginal.33

Conditions Encountered

Picardy’s devastation in early 1917 transcended earlier expectations. Military offensives and deliberate German destruction precipitated this dystopia. The Somme Offensive (1 July–19 November 1916) liberated roughly seventy square miles in that département.34 These hard-won gains represented a fraction of the territory German forces later plundered and vacated. In September 1916, German units, Russian prisoners of war, and French civilians began constructing defensive works in the Nord, Pas-de-Calais, Oise, Somme, and Aisne. Termed the Hindenburg Line by Allied commanders, the fortifications were designed to survive Anglo-French assaults, and to reduce German salients.35

Upon the line’s completion in February 1917, German general Erich Ludendorff ordered most Western Front Reichswehr forces to enter it. Remaining units implemented Operation Alberich over the next four weeks. Alberich abandoned 1,400 square miles of the Aisne, Oise, Pas-de-Calais, and Somme to France; the 450 square miles forsaken in the Somme were six times greater than the area liberated in the Somme Offensive.36 The reunion was bittersweet. Alberich removed between 100,000 and 150,00 able-bodied civilians, as well as most valuable materials—including livestock, furniture, linens, and cooking utensils—to German-held territories. Immobile resources like buildings, orchards, roads, and machinery were destroyed or booby-trapped.37

The French Third Army encountered and documented Alberich’s wanton destruction. In March 1917, it entered recently vacated segments of Picardy. Following orders, its officers catalogued “damages caused by the enemy” to 193 Aisne, Oise, and Somme villages under their control. The Third Army’s 8 April assessment of Picardy classified 45 Aisne towns (or 47.5 percent of its Aisne villages) as wholly destroyed and 7 (7.4 percent) as half-destroyed. The Somme suffered similarly: 20 towns (60 percent of Somme villages under Humbert) were destroyed; 1 (3 percent) was half-destroyed. The Oise appeared less damaged, with only 16 localities (or 24.6 percent of the Third Army’s Oise villages) destroyed and 3 (4.6 percent) half-destroyed. Still, more than half the municipalities under Humbert had lost half or all their dwellings to Alberich.38 Two months later, the Third Army more discerningly surveyed its 264 Picardy villages. It expressly identified 4,683 prewar dwellings as razed. This figure excluded destruction within 94 “completely destroyed” and 3 “half-destroyed” localities. One can estimate losses at these sites. At Offoy, Quivières, and Ugny l’Equipée, three Alberich-demolished villages, each home had sheltered an average of seven people. Assuming similar average occupancies for all 97 villages would add 7,636 homes to the tally.39 For the Third Army’s Picardy cantons, liberation meant devastation.

General Humbert’s forces also assessed libérés’ willingness and ability to restore Picardy. The same orders to catalogue destruction also authorized identification and removal of undesirable civilians. The Third Army and municipal authorities investigated libérés who allegedly aided Germans intimately, such as Frenchwomen who purportedly showed “numerous acts of kindness” toward Germans, including conceiving children with them. French officers acknowledged that a German-fathered child did not automatically justify “eviction.” Still, they sought to identify and remove all women who had exhibited “poor daily moral conduct” with enemy soldiers.40

Humbert similarly extracted individuals incapable of rebuilding Picardy. While investigating war damages and alleged collaborators, the Third Army treated and evacuated many ill and infirm inhabitants. In the Aisne village of Blérancourt, Third Army detachments found that Germans had removed all individuals between ages fifteen and sixty, save “mothers of young children.” The same was true of Selens and Saint-Aubin, two other Aisne villages. Of Selens’s 270 inhabitants, 101 were sexagenarians or older, and 76 were under 10 years old. Likewise, 172 of Saint Aubin’s 285 residents were invalids, over 60 years, or below 10 years of age.41 These parties could not contribute effectively to the massive reconstruction necessitated by Alberich. By 15 April, the Third Army had evacuated more than 1,500 such libérés living in “painful circumstances” among “houses … deprived of all furnishings.” They could only return when their communes had revived vestiges “of normal life.”42

General Humbert particularly worried about the remaining civilians’ commitment to reconstruction. In April 1917 he reported that Picardy residents’ morale was generally “satisfactory.” However, Humbert noted that French servicemen periodically struggled “against [residents’] tendency … to live without producing or laboring.” Humbert attributed the attitude to inhabitants’ experiences with foodstuffs under occupation. Since 1915, the Commission for the Relief of Belgium, a transnational humanitarian agency led by American Herbert Hoover, had provisioned German-occupied French villages.43 After liberation, Allied forces analogously fed libérés. However, the French Army insisted that municipal authorities finance these programs. Humbert complained that peasants appeared indifferent to the budgetary strain that their consumption produced. He championed reviving local marketplaces to compel residents to “work if nothing else than to acquire money … for … subsistence.” This arguably coerced some participation in Third Army restoration schemes.44

Reconstructing Picardy

Within its zone, the Third Army needed to revive patriotism, restore Picardy, and fight Germany. Humbert’s approach amalgamated multiple complementary humanitarian activities. Military assets, later supplanted by civilian ministries and charities, initially revived stricken Somme, Oise, and Aisne regions. By September 1917, unofficial British and American relief societies and the semiofficial American Red Cross operated similarly in the region. French and foreign ventures encouraged liberated and returned residents’ active participation in reviving Picardy and its commerce.

Humbert’s most pressing concern was restarting Picardy’s primary prewar profession—farming. Resumed cultivation would resuscitate Picardy’s economy and feed more Frenchmen. As early as April 1917 Humbert labeled restoring farms “one of [his] most delicate [tasks].” However, extensive Third Army surveys confirmed that on-site residents were ill equipped to cultivate. Libérés were generally “too old or physically debilitated for considerable work.”45 Moreover, German requisitions and destruction had deprived inhabitants of necessary tools, draft animals, and seeds. Recultivation required intervention. The Third Army immediately assumed this burden. Humbert reassigned skilled servicemen to repair farming implements and began deploying “troops … found in barracks” as temporary field hands. These measures produced impressive results. By 30 April, Third Army workshops had refurbished 235 plows, 185 harrows, 175 weeding machines, 75 seed drills, and 243 other devices; two months later, they had restored an additional 1,000 scythes and 150 reapers. Reassigned poilus likewise revived farming. By 30 April, they had cultivated 2,900 hectares. Eight months later, these servicemen had seeded over 5,700 hectares with wheat, barley, and rye.46

Military mounts proved harder to acquire. In April 1917 the Third Army was severely deficient in horsepower. It could not even temporarily furlough horses.47 The later attachment of a cavalry corps provided some engines for plowing and furrowing. So did mechanized horsepower. In August 1917, the Agriculture ministry gave Humbert four tractor batteries. Throughout early September, cavalry officers promoted the machines’ use among reticent residents. Eventually, farmers in the Aisne canton of Coucy-le-Château accepted the motors. The tractors plowed swiftly and harvested effectively, leading to more requests. By 30 September, these vehicles accounted for 70 percent of September’s plowing.48

French agencies and civilians likewise cooperated to repair and erect shelters in Picardy. In mid-August 1917, the Third Army reassigned experienced masons, carpenters, roofers, and joiners to accelerate construction projects undertaken by skilled residents and German prisoners of war. Provincial and municipal authorities, particularly recently reappointed mayors, assisted their labors by providing legal access to on-site construction materials. By 31 October these poilus, prisoners, and peasants had constructed 61 homes and repaired 4,109 houses.49

These measures catalyzed Picardy’s repopulation. Originally, the Third Army had evacuated at-risk, “suspicious,” incapacitated, and indolent individuals. By 10 April, these departures had reduced the civilian populace by 36 percent. By 20 June the restored homes and agricultural activity enabled 9,870 civilians’ homecoming. This increased the Somme’s population by 140 percent, the Oise’s by 44 percent, and the Aisne’s by 21 percent. Two months later, continued public and private repairing of homes and plowing, seeding, and threshing had permitted the return of 2,600 more residents.50

However, the Third Army’s impressive intrusive efforts to restore Picardy’s “normal existence” required civilian successors. Since 10 April, Humbert’s forces had insisted on transferring food, agricultural, and building programs to ministries and charities seeking to restore “local commerce.” Some civilian agencies in Picardy proved willing to sustain Humbert’s “regime of temporary aid” for returned individuals. The Interior ministry, for example, authorized prefectures to provide réintégrés with twenty francs for purchasing necessities and resuming trades.51 Readers of L’Écho de Paris’s 1917 articles on Picardy’s condition likewise donated over thirteen hundred parcels of clothing, shoes, and foodstuffs for destitute inhabitants. Military distribution centers in the Somme, Oise, and Aisne received and transferred these wares to officials who dispersed them. L’Écho’s subscribers also purchased and maintained ten milking cows for municipal bureaux de bienfaisance within Humbert’s zone.52

Still, the commendable activism of Third Army soldiers, Interior bureaucrats, and L’Écho’s readers proved insufficient. Housing repairs ameliorated only one-third of Alberich’s destruction. Soldiers’ cultivation ended with their reassignment to military activity. Twenty francs per capita and ten milking cows provided figurative and literal drops of relief. The Third Army’s devastated districts needed overseas assistance. Humanitarian agencies existing before Operation Alberich, and those forged in its wake, supplemented and supplanted these earlier French efforts.

The Interministerial Committee knew of early foreign refugee relief in France. In September 1916 Bourgeois referenced the work of Britain’s Friends’ War Victims Relief Committee (FWVRC). Since October 1914, these Friends (Quakers) had erected prefabricated housing, provided medical care, and distributed necessities among refugees in the Marne and Meuse provinces.53 Bourgeois’s committee originally abstained from soliciting foreign assistance for liberated districts. After the Third Army’s June 1917 surveys revealed Alberich’s extent, the committee agreed to consider inviting foreign participation in refugee relief.54

Gallic interest in overseas assistance coincided with growing American willingness to proffer aid. In November 1916, the privately financed American Fund for French Wounded, a military relief agency, sanctioned efforts by its treasurer, American heiress Anne Morgan, to undertake a “work of reconstruction” in French refugee settlements or recently liberated lands. She and Anne Dike, a Scottish-born humanitarian, established the Civilian Division of the American Fund for French Wounded (AFFW-CD). By May 1917, they had received a report on conditions amid Humbert’s Aisne villages. It recommended that American humanitarians live in the Aisne and provide libérés with household utensils and agricultural implements, livestock, seeds, and small tractors. By 5 June, Dike, Morgan, and six additional women had entered Paris to inaugurate the AFFW-CD. They met with the Grand Comité de l’Aisne and the Comité de l’Aisne dévastée—French charities already succoring the province—to learn their effective, existing practices. Morgan also conferred with French general in chief Henri Philippe Pétain. She obtained his blessing for her women to live at Bléran-court. From there the AFFW-CD assisted libérés and réintégrés in 23 Aisne hamlets, including Selens and Saint-Aubin.55

Dike and Morgan’s venture inspired followers and imitators. By September they had recruited twelve additional women to relieve Aisne residents. These entrepreneurial philanthropists facilitated similar work by the Smith College Relief Unit (SCRU). Smith graduate and AFFW supporter Harriet Hawes proposed the unit at a Smith College gathering in April 1917. Hawes hoped the all-alumnae group might relieve refugees like those in Picardy. The SCRU quickly received applications and contributions. By 18 June, Smith College’s administration and alumnae association had approved it, and the AFFW-CD had affiliated with the SCRU. On 13 August, Hawes and fifteen other SCRU members arrived in Paris. Two days later, Hawes met with Anne Dike. Hawes learned that Pétain had recommended the unit operate from the Somme village of Grécourt, where it might succor sixteen nearby villages. By 19 September, sixteen Smith volunteers had entered Grécourt.56

The AFFW-CD and SCRU were independent of the American government. The American Quakers who established the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) were not. Like the SCRU, the AFSC emerged after America’s 6 April war declaration. Unlike the Smith and AFFW-CD women, AFSC founders framed their humanitarianism patriotically. On 30 April, they created the AFSC to help male Friends serve America “loyally … in any constructive work in which we can conscientiously serve humanity.”57 This increasingly involved relieving French civilians. By September 1917, the AFSC had trained one hundred men for French refugee relief under the American Red Cross (ARC), which President Wilson had designated four months earlier as the “single experienced organization” qualified to direct wartime American benevolence. The AFSC and FWVRC merged and served under the ARC through the Mission anglo-américaine de la société des amis. The Mission rapidly inducted American Friends into British Quakers’ work among the Oise and Somme hamlets of Gruny, Golancourt, Cremery, Liancourt, and Rethonvillers. The Mission’s Red Cross affiliation also guaranteed it access to twelve million francs allocated by the ARC for Friends’ French refugee work.58

War Cultures

American and British volunteers introduced a different culture de guerre into Picardy. French servicemen’s, philanthropists’, bureaucrats’, and residents’ regional labors derived from voluntary or forced loyalty to the Third Republic, attachment to France’s “national, religious, and racial and ethnic communities,” and “hatred of the enemy.”59 Mission members and AFFW-CD and SCRU women shared none of these characteristics. They never swore loyalty to France or French officials. They castigated German-inflicted deva station but never demonized all Germans. Although all three societies’ members professed affinity for Picardy’s occupants, no affective attachment precipitated this sentiment. Instead, destitute Somme, Oise, and Aisne dwellings inspired foreigners’ philanthropy.

Transnational humanitarians and French agencies and charities cooperated in several reconstructive tasks. The Third Army erected barracks at Blérancourt and Grécourt for SCRU and AFFW-CD volunteers. French officers provided both organizations with current, detailed surveys of their villages.60 Conversely, Anne Dike and Alice Tallant, who in September succeeded Hawes as SCRU director, conferred with French bureaucrats and philanthropists to maximize American aid. The sous­préfet at Nesle, G. Quellien, thanked Tallant for her detailed reports. Dike received similar statements from aid societies like the Village reconstitué, the Comité de l’Aisne dévastée, the Bon gîte, and the FWVRC for her accounts of civilian division distributions.61 The SCRU also collaborated with the Mission, as both organizations worked in Aubigny and Esmery-Hallon.62 Beyond this, foreign charities and French ministries autonomously reconstructed Picardy.

Third Army reports acclaimed these humanitarians’ ventures. By December 1917 Friends earned accolades for constructing and repairing over one hundred shelters in Saint Simon, Tugny-et-Pont, Aubigny, Bray-St-Christophe, and Villers-St-Christophe. The Third Army similarly praised English Red Cross activity at Omiecourt, Puzeaux, Pertain, and Hyencourt-le-Petit and ARC building repairs throughout Picardy. Humbert’s missives lauded Anglo-American labor for facilitating “the population[’s] … return to work in their [native] communes.” Third Army missives also held that international assistance and statist relief had remoralized residents. Its initial accounts had warned that certain inhabitants believed that German occupation “entitle[d] them to limitless assistance.” Public, private, French, and foreign aid reduced this sentiment. By September 1917, Humbert predicted that the “huge [rebuilding] effort” would “appreciabl[y] … rais[e] … the [population’s] morale … and provid[e] … it [with] courage for the future.”63

The Third Army’s construction work actually dwarfed that of British and American relief agencies. At most, Friends’ 1917 laborers equaled 8 percent of Humbert’s building output; the SCRU and AFFW-CD undertook no such work. French officials’ agricultural efforts likewise exceeded analogous Anglo-American work. By December 1917, Third Army seed distributions, plowing, and harvesting had yielded nearly twenty thousand tons of wheat, rye, winter barley, and winter oats.64 This production outstripped the Mission’s modest plowing around Golancourt in the Oise, and the twelve hundred hectares the AFFW-CD helped harvest (and the five hundred it helped sow) thanks to Third Army repairs and ordnance clearing.65 Picardy’s material relief remained largely French.

Foreign humanitarians achieved greater success when reviving local life, particularly commercial life. The Interministerial Committee and Third Army had originally envisioned temporary governmental intrusions into social and retail practices. However, Alberich’s magnitude compelled greater statist focus on agriculture and construction, rather than commercial and societal renewals. American and British aid societies increasingly assumed these tasks. Their vending of new household goods, utensils, seeds, and livestock in Picardy at below wholesale prices—a practice I term “commercial philanthropy”—complemented French officials’ broader projects, and helped inhabitants reconstruct Picardy’s material culture.

British and American distributions and sales helped bridge réintégrés’ and libérés’ apparently divergent cultures de guerre. Third Army reports in April represented many libérés as parasites. By June, Humbert’s officers found libérés more “capable of [addressing their] needs and making [their] purchases.” Two months later, réintégrés’ exertions overshadowed libérés’ labors; the Third Army hoped that the former would inspire the latter to retake “conscience of [their] obligations and resolutely set [themselves] to produce.”66 Whether consensual or coerced, sustained réintégré and accelerated libéré activity was only possible if private agencies replaced temporary statist aid.

Anglo-American charities’ distributions and sales were integral to nurturing residents’ reconstruction and restoring local life. After examining libérés and réintégrés and conferring with authorities, British and American societies gave inhabitants certain items. For example, after the Mission’s trained British female social workers confirmed material deprivations among 760 Aisne residents, they provided these inhabitants with free mattresses, blankets, sheets, clothing, and furniture.67 Dike, Morgan, and Smith alumnae often similarly provided “bare essentials”—beds, pillows, sheets, toiletries, indispensable furniture (such as cast-iron beds, chairs, wardrobes, and tables), farming implements, and kitchen utensils—to Somme and Aisne households. These allocations restored private property lost to German forces and largely ignored by official French ventures.68

After distributing necessities, the SCRU and AFFW-CD engaged in “commercial philanthropy.” The AFFW-CD allegedly sold items at two-thirds of their wholesale price. Its sales were irregular. AFFW-CD warehouse directors Gertrude Folks and Caroline Duer routinely discussed relief distributions, but not sales. On 30 August Duer termed the warehouse the AFFW-CD’s “giving-out department.” Two months later, Folks likewise insisted that the AFFW-CD comprehensively gave “outright almost entirely in practice if not in theory.” Folks later observed that the fund spent $100 to equip many families with beds, bedding, furniture, a stove, cooking utensils, agricultural tools, and “window curtains!” She claimed the charity was warranted, as recent réintégrés had scant assets, and as it repaid residents’ “courage to … live in a wooden barrack within sight of the ruins … that formerly was home.”69

In contrast, the SCRU regularly sold materials based on a nearby British charity’s practice.70 By mid-September, the SCRU had identified inhabitants with access to savings and/or government allocations. It sold these families “what the Germans took.”71 Unit transactions initially focused on clothing and kitchen utensils, and sold at prices between 62 and 78 percent of the wares’ original cost.72 However, the SCRU progressively expanded its merchandise to resurrect local life. During the first half of October, it exclusively sold foodstuffs and cookware. Between 21 October and 5 November, Smith volunteers increasingly vended toiletries, garments, shoes, and livestock.73 SCRU sales gradually provided residents with materials necessary to work and maintain their health.

These transactions accustomed Picardy civilians to rely on autarky over charity. According to Harriet Ford—chairman of the SCRU’s Paris committee—French authorities preferred affordable sales to “indiscriminate giving.” Gallic officials found the latter practice “quite demoralizing and [against] … the government’s ideas.” This echoed Humbert’s earlier complaint that some peasants tried to live without laboring.74 SCRU vending provided a midpoint between AFFW-CD benevolence and many wartime merchants’ predatory commerce. The Interministerial Committee initially envisioned that returned retailers would affordably sell lost personal goods.75 However, war zone chambers of commerce, such as Saint Quentin’s, warned that only “merchants … attracted by the lure of making a fortune” would operate in devastated districts. Their pricing replicated the “consumers’ war” Tyler Stovall has identified as a staple concern in wartime France’s interior.76

American charity and “commercial philanthropy” helped Picardy repopulate and sidestep the “consumer’s war” as Third Army aid decreased. Between 19 June and 31 December 1917, the AFFW-CD–aided population grew 40 percent, from 1,028 to 1,445 residents, and the Mission’s seven Aisne towns77 expanded 46 percent, from 266 to 388 inhabitants. SCRU villages also increased 25 percent, from 1,625 people on 31 August to 2,034 on 31 December. This growth exceeded concurrent repopulation rates in Third Army Aisne (37.9 percent) and Somme (11.8 percent) sectors.78 Additionally, the SCRU’s “commercial philanthropy” enabled Third Army disengagement from civilian relief. On 30 September, Humbert’s forces stopped provisioning nine Somme villages “without … complaints.” Seven of these hamlets were under the SCRU.79

Demobilization and Remobilization

American women’s distributions and sales, along with French, British, and American men’s crop recultivation and building repairs, uniquely “demobilized” Picardy residents from their wartime refugee culture. Restoring ruined farmlands, buildings, and possessions reduced material losses endured by Picardy’s inhabitants. By expunging some of Alberich’s aftermath, the AFFW-CD, Mission, and SCRU helped their beneficiaries “demobilize” from their refugee war culture by removing Picardy’s German-inflicted representations of World War I.

Humanitarian procedures facilitating this cultural demobilization differed from most Europeans’ and French citizens’ Great War cultural demobilizations. The former largely occurred, as John Horne noted, after the conflict. The latter, as Horne and Bruno Cabanes observed, involved disengaging French people from wartime residencies or professions, and reconciling “enemy nations” to each other. However, “demobilized” wartime Picardy residents stayed at their posts and resumed their prewar (and German-occupation) professions. Moreover, Picardy civilians’ cultural demobilization was partial. The ephemeral labor of German prisoners of war and American, British, and French benevolence never eradicated Gallic images of the German enemy.80

Picardy’s multifaceted relief also helped “remobilize” its residents. Regional libérés and réintégrés faced daunting material conditions and personal insecurity due to past, present, and future military activity. Their morale initially resembled that of rural civilians whom the Third Republic tried remobilizing following lackluster and/or pessimistic war events. Unlike such “home front” citizens—particularly those attending lectures by the Union des grandes associations contre la propagande ennemie81—Picardy residents were apparently “remobilized” effectively.

Portents of these juxtaposing demobilizations and remobilizations came at American aid societies’ 1917 Christmas celebrations. Anglo-American Friends represented their Christmas fetes at Gruny, Villers-St-Christophe, and Aubigny as advancing “the stern business of reconstruction.” Quakers argued that as French children faced the “crushing load of a generation of reconstruction,” they deserved “the first fruits of a normal [Christmastime] childhood[,] which they had [not] enjoyed for three years.” In Gruny, these normalizing “fruits” included dolls given to happy girls who immediately baptized them at Gruny’s “wrecked and abandoned church.”82 Aubigny residents and nearby French servicemen similarly feted themselves in “demobilized” fashion. Inside a rebuilt schoolroom, Friends provided a Christmas tree, gifts, fruits, candies, and music for civilians’ “exit” from their refugee culture; for this, Aubigny’s adults and children profusely thanked the Friends. Aubigny’s party also paradoxically “remobilized” inhabitants. Attendees caroled “The Star-Spangled Banner,” “La Madelon,” and “La Marseillaise”—the last song surprisingly arranged (and hummed) by pacifist Friends. A French major also admonished local lads to “‘keep your patriotism and your eternal hate of Germany always burning like the candles on this [Christmas] tree.’”83 Gruny and Aubigny’s festivities reduced the Somme’s refugee culture, yet reminded residents culturally of their remobilized status.

Smith women’s Christmas festivities likewise hinted at Somme residents’ remobilization and demobilization. Like the Mission, the SCRU hoped to “give … peasants a good time” through fetes, songs, candy, and “useful & pleasant” gifts for many adults and over six hundred children.84 Like Friends’ parties at Gruny and Aubigny, SCRU festivities at Canizy, Douilly, Offoy, Éppeville, and a fifth (unidentified) site apparently produced a normalizing Christmas environment through singing, gifts, and a Christmas tree. Like Gruny’s and Aubigny’s audiences, Somme residents gathered in these SCRU towns thanked Smith women for their “great benefactions” of toys, clothing, and (at Canizy) a complete Nativity set.85 These assemblies helped participants forget some of their harsh experiences during and after German occupation.

Beyond these common elements, SCRU ceremonies exhibited divergent notes of consent, coercion, demobilization, and remobilization. Gatherings at Éppeville (30 December) and Douilly and Offoy (26 December) incorporated patriotic renditions of “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “La Marseillaise.”86 The priest at Canizy’s Christmas Mass asked children to pray “that the good God may [safely] return” their captive “fathers [and] … older brothers and sisters” from Germany. He also reminded residents that, like the infant Jesus, their temporary humble shelters portended better futures. After Mass, two Canizy schoolchildren called for “God to cover … noble American in glory and prosperity.”87 The fifth SCRU party similarly included a soldier-priest’s thanks to SCRU member Ruth Gaines for “the great country we represented which had … aid[ed] … France.”88 All five ceremonies strove to remobilize residents by recasting France and America’s struggle in religious terms and by reminding participants of un-Christian German behavior.

Gaines’s ceremony also hinted that some French servicemen and civilians, and perhaps even Gaines, were neither remobilized nor consensual participants. The soldier-priest thanked Smith women for America’s aid, but did not represent the Great War in Manichean terms. The party’s soldiers, “ragged children, … old m[e]n … [and] mothers” sang carols, but no martial tunes. Gaines’s French interpreter later hinted at a reason behind the absence of “La Marseillaise”: “We French … do not like to sing all the time, Pro patria mourir.” Gaines concurred. She noted that as she observed “the miserable remnant of this once happy village, whose fathers and daughters are prisoners, and whose sons are soldiers, slain or fighting, [sh]e could respect [t]his feeling. The Marseillaise is the nation’s funeral march.”89


Picardy’s wartime reconstruction ended with the Ludendorff Offensive of 21 March 1918. This year-long venture encountered, challenged, and produced multiple war cultures. The first culture de guerre encountered by Third Army soldiers in March 1917 grew from an environment of dependency, despondency, collaboration, and (after Alberich) brutality. This cultural matrix negated the earlier milieu envisioned in French reports and committee meetings. Some inhabitants apparently collaborated with Germans. Some apparently were disinterested in laboring. And many, due to age and strength, could not restore what Alberich had ruined. Picardy’s rehabilitation required the Third Army to implement a synergetic program that gave participants’ subsequent war contributions deep significance.

The solutions proposed by Humbert, his subordinates and civilian colleagues, and interested relief societies reconstructed Picardy through complex consensual and coerced actions. Intimidating measures, like removing inhabitants, arguably made some labor involuntarily; it is also unlikely that German prisoners of war willingly helped restore Picardy. Other ventures—such as Humbert’s provision of free tractors, farmhands, and repairs, and Mission, AFFW-CD, and SCRU’s free or affordable personal goods—appear to have been accepted willingly as means for peasants’ self-disengagement from their refugee culture. If the Mission’s and the SCRU’s Christmas celebrations were any weather vane, consensual demobilizations and remobilizations outnumbered coercion. Most American women and many American men in these agencies served voluntarily and without seeking eschatological reasons for their immediate actions. This suggests that consent and coercion were integral to Picardy’s recovery, and that contrasting yet complementary cultures de guerre existed in the region between March 1917 and March 1918.


My thanks for contributions from Brian Newsome and two anonymous reviewers.


Service Historique de la Défense (hereafter SHD), N16 1662, IIIe Armée État-major, Enquête au sujet des territoires réoccupes, 21 March 1917; John Horne, “Introduction: Mobilizing for ‘Total War’, 1914–1918,” in State, Society and Mobilization in Europe during the First World War, ed. John Horne (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), 3; SHD, N16 1662, IIIe Armée État-major, Réorganisation des territoires reconquis: Somme, Oise, Aisne (hereafter Réorganisation), 13 April 1917.


SHD, N16 1660, IIIe Armée État-major, Aide apportée par l’Armée à l’administration civile dans les territoires reconquis (hereafter Aide) du 21 au 30 novembre 1917, 4 December 1917; IIIe Armée État-major, Information sur l’aide apportée à l’administration civile et la population par le Corps de Cavalerie depuis son arrive, s.d.; Aide pendant le mois de décembre, 5 January 1918.


Stéphane Audoin-Rouzeau, Men at War 1914–1918: National Sentiment and Trench Journalism in France during the First World War (Washington, DC: Berg Publishing, 1995), 34.


Stéphane Audoin-Rouzeau and Annette Becker, “Violence et consentement: La ‘culture de guerre’ du premier conflit mondial,” in Pour une histoire culturelle, ed. Jean-Pierre Rioux and Jean-François Sirinelli (Paris: Le Seuil, 1997), 252; Pierre Purseigle, “A Very French Debate: The 1914–1918 ‘War Culture,’” Journal of War and Culture Studies 1, no. 1 (2008): 10.


Stéphane Audoin-Rouzeau and Annette Becker, 14–18: Understanding the Great War, trans. Catherine Temerson (New York: Hill and Wang, 2002), 102–103.


“Preface,” in Leonard V. Smith, Stéphane Audoin-Rouzeau, and Annette Becker, France and the Great War, 1914–1918, trans. Helen McPhail (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), xv.


Bruno Cabanes and Édouard Husson, “Avant-propos,” in Les sociétés en guerre 1911–1946, ed. Bruno Cabanes and Édouard Husson (Paris: Armand Colin, 2003), 9.


Ibid.; Antoine Prost, “Les limites de la brutalisation: Tuer sur le front occidental, 1914–1918,” Vingtième Siècle: Revue d’Histoire 81 (January–March 2004): 14.


For CRID’s development, see Purseigle, “A Very French Debate,” 9–14; Jay Winter, “P vs C: The Still Burning Anger When the French Talk of the First World War,” Times Literary Supplement, 16 June 2006, 3–4; Leonard V. Smith, “The ‘Culture de guerre’ and French Historiography of the Great War of 1914–1918,” History Compass 5/6 (2007): 1974–1975; Jean-Yves Le Naour, “Le champ de bataille des historiens,” 10 November 2008, accessed 10 July 2015, http://www.laviedesidees.fr/Le-champ-de-bataille-des.html.


Denys Cuche, La notion de culture dans les sciences sociales (Paris: La Dècouverte, 2001), cited in Philippe Olivera, Emmanuelle Picard, Nicolas Offenstadt, and Frédéric Rousseau, “À propos d’une notion récente: la ‘culture de guerre,’” in Guerres, paix, et sociétés 1911–1946, ed. Frédéric Rousseau (Neuilly: Atlande, 2004), 672.


Audoin-Rouzeau, Men at War, 163–184.


Jean-Jacques Becker, La France en guerre 1914–1918: La grande mutation (Paris: Éditions Complexe, 1988).


Rémy Cazals and Frédéric Rousseau, 14–18, le cri d’une génération (Toulouse: Éditions Privat, 2001); Olivera et al., “À propos d’une notion récente,” 669.


See Tammy M. Proctor, Civilians in a World at War, 1914–1918 (New York: New York University Press, 2010); Annette Becker, Les Cicatrices rouges 14–18: France et Belgique occupées (Paris: Librairie Arthème Fayard, 2010); Philippe Nivet, La France occupée 1914–1918 (Paris: Armand Colin 2011); Philippe Nivet, Les Réfugiés Français de la Grande Guerre: Les “Boches du Nord” (Paris: Economica, 2004); Helen McPhail, The Long Silence: Civilian Life under the German Occupation of Northern France, 1914–1918 (New York: I. B. Tauris, 1999); “Introduction,” in Martha Hanna, Your Death Would be Mine: Paul and Marie Pieraud in the Great War (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2006), 17.


John Horne and Alan Kramer, German Atrocities: A History of Denial (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2001), 16–76.


Stéphane Audoin-Rouzeau, “Micro-histoire et histoire culturelle de la Grande Guerre: Apports et limites d’une approche,” in Histoire culturelle de la Grande Guerre, ed. Jean-Jacques Becker (Paris: Armand Colin, 2005), 231–237.


Bruno Cabanes, “Un temps d’incertitude et d’attente: Une lecture des relations épistolaires entre combatants et civils lors de la sortie de guerre (1918–1920),” in Éloignement géographique et cohesion familial (XVE–XXE siècle), ed. Jean-François Chauvard and Christine Lebeau (Strasbourg: Presses Universitaires de Strasbourg, 2006), 207–221; Bruno Cabanes, “Sortir de la Grande Guerre: Une expérience sexuée,” in Sorties de guerre: Les géopolituqes de Brest, ed. Youenn le Prat (Rennes: Presses universitaires de Rennes, 2008), 51–63; Bruno Cabanes, “Les Vivants et les morts: La France au sortir de la grande guerre,” in Sortir de la Grande Guerre: Le monde et l’après–1918, ed. Stéphane Audoin-Rouzeau and Christophe Prochasson (Paris: Tallandier, 2008), 27–45; John Horne, “Introduction: Démobilisations culturelles après la Grande Guerre,” in 14–18 Aujourd’hui­Heute­Today, vol. 5 (Paris: Éditions Noêsis, 2002), 45; John Horne, “Demobilizing the Mind: France and the Legacy of the Great War, 1919–1939,” French History and Civilization: Papers from the George Rudé Seminar 2 (2009): 101–119, accessed 10 June 2015, http://www.h-france.net/rude/rude%20volume%20ii/Horne%20Final%20Version.pdf.


See Des Américaines en Picardie: Au service de la France dévastée 1917–1924 (Paris, 2002); Michael McGuire, “‘A Highly Successful Experiment in International Partnership’? The Limited Resonance of the American Committee for Devastated France,” First World War Studies 5, no. 1 (2014): 101–115.


Nivet, Réfugiés, 450.


Archives Nationales (hereafter AN), F23 213, Procès-verbal, Le Comité interministériel pour aider à la reconstitution des régions envahies ou atteintes par la guerre (hereafter Le Comité), 15 June 1916, 4–5; Judith F. Stone, The Search for Social Peace: Reform Legislation in France, 1890–1914 (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1985), 26–36.


AN, F23 213, Le Comité, 15 June 1916, 11, 16–17, 19–23, 27; Ministère de l’Intérieur-Service spécial de reconstitution des moyens d’habitation et des immeubles détruits par les événement de guerre (hereafter Service spécial), Enquête sur les ressources locales en matériaux de construction des départements envahis ou atteints par les événements de guerre, 31 October 1916, 2; AN, F23 213, Le Comité, 2ème section, 4 August 1916, 2.


AN, F23 213, Le Comité, 30 June 1916, 2–3.


AN, F23 213, Le Comité, 2ème section, 4 August 1916, 2–7.


AN, F23 213, Le Comité, 6ème section, 20 November 1916, 2–4.


See Audoin-Rouzeau and Becker, 14–18, 3–8.


AN, F23 213, Le Comité, 1ère section, 25 October 1916, 11; Le Comité, 2ème section, 10 November 1916, 2, 5.


AN, F23 18, Rapport au Ministère de l’Intérieur, 16 March 1916 et 1 May 1917; l’Office du vice-président de comité-section civile de la Croix-Rouge internationale à Pierre Caron, 18 December 1917.


AN, F23 20, Service des renseignements fournis par la correspondance avec les régions envahis (hereafter Service de renseignements), 1–2.


The Somme, Aisne, Nord, Pas-de-Calais, Oise, Ardennes, Marne, Meuse, and Meurthe-et-Moselle.


AN, F23 20, Service de renseignements du 16 au 31 octobre, 1–2, 10; du 1 au 15 novembre, 2, 7–8; du 15 au 30 novembre, 7, 13, 34–39.


AN, F23 22, Service de renseignements du 15 au 30 novembre, 4; du 1 au 15 décembre, 4; du 15 au 30 décembre 1916, 4; du 31 décembre 1916 au 15 janvier 1916, 3; du 15 au 31 janvier 1917, 3; du 1 au 15 février 1917, 5; du 16 au 28 février, 4; du 1 au 15 mars 1917, 3; du 16 au 31 mars 1917, 3; du 1 au 15 avril 1917, 2; du 16 au 30 avril 1917, 1–3.


The Somme, Aisne, Nord, Pas-de-Calais, Oise, Marne, Meuse, Meurthe-et-Moselle, Seine-et-Marne, and Vosges.


AN, F23 213, Rapport, Ministère de l’Intérieur: Service spécial, 16 June 1916, 2–16.


“Battle of the Somme, Peronne [sic] and Vicinity, 1916,” in Atlas for the Great War, ed. Thomas E. Griess (Wayne, NJ: Army Publishing Group, 1986), 13.


Martin Gilbert, The First World War: A Complete History (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1994), 288–308; Robert B. Asprey, The German High Command at War: Hindenburg and Ludendorff Conduct World War I (New York: William Morrow and Company, 1991), 266–267, 304, 309; Nivet, Réfugiés, 45; “Western Front, 1917,” in Atlas, 16.


“Western Front,” 16.


Asprey, The German High Command, 304–305; Gilbert, The First World War, 309; Nivet, Réfugiés, 455–461; Nivet, France, 313.


SHD, N16 1662, État du Recensement des Communes de la zone de la IIIe Armée, 8 April 1917.


SHD, N16 1662, Instructions sur les mesures à prendre lors de la réoccupation des territoires français (hereafter Instructions sur les mesures), 15 March 1917; SHD N16 1660, Territoires Reconquis, État des Localités, Population et Capacités de Cantonnement, 1 November 1917; IIIe Armée, État-major, 2eme Bureau, Service de renseignement, État de renseignement sur les communes¸ Secteur Aisne-Nord, Cantons de Moy, de Saint-Simon, et de Vermand, n.d.; Secteur Aisne-Centre, Cantons de Chauny et de la Fère, n.d.; Secteur Aisne-Sud, Cantons de Coucy-le-Château et de Vic-sur-Aisne, n.d.; and IIIe Armée, État-major, 2eme Bureau, Service de renseignement, État de renseignement sur les communes, Département de l’Oise, Cantons d’Attichy, de Guiscard, de Lassigny, de Noyon et de Ribécourt, n.d.; SHD, N16 1662, IIIe Armée, État-major, 2ème Bureau, Service de renseignement, État de renseignement sur les communes du secteur Somme-Est, Cantons de Ham et de Nesle, n.d.; Secteur Somme-Ouest, Canton de Roye, n.d.


SHD, N16 1662, Instructions sur les mesures, 15 March 1917; Enquête au sujet des territoires réoccupés, 21 March 1917; Rapport de l’Inspecteur de Police Auxiliaire sur le Secteur Somme-Est, April 1917 (hereafter Rapport de l’Inspecteur); SHD, N16 1661, Instructions sur l’organisation des territoires français reconquis, 10 April 1917.


SHD, N16 1662, Instructions sur les mesures, 15 March 1917; Enquête au sujet des territoires réoccupés, 21 March 1917.


SHD, N16 1662, Rapport de l’Inspecteur; Réorganisation, 13 April 1917.


Nivet, France, 155–161; Annette Becker, Cicatrices, 140–152.


SHD, N16 1662, Réorganisation, 23 April 1917.


SHD, N16 1662, Rapport de l’Inspecteur; Réorganisation, 13 et 23 April 1917; SHD, N16 1661, Instructions du 10 April sur l’organisation des territoires français reconquis.


SHD, N16 1662, Rapport de l’Inspecteur; Réorganisation, 13 et 23 April 1917; Aide du 10 au 20 June 1917, 25 June 1917; SHD, N16 1661, Instructions du 10 avril sur l’organisation des territoires français reconquis.


SHD, N16 1662, Réorganisation, 23 April 1917.


SHD, N16 1662, Note sur le travail dans le canton de Coucy, n.d.; Aide du 20 au 30 septembre 1917, 6 October 1917; Aide du 20 au 31 août 1917, 4 September 1917.


SHD, N16 1662, Aide du 1 au 10 août, 1917, 15 August 1917; Aide du 20 au 31 août 1917, 4 September 1917; Aide du 21 au 31 octobre 1917, 4 November 1917.


SHD, N16 1662, Réorganisation, 13 April 1917; Aide du 10 au 20 juin 1917, 25 June 1917; Aide du 1 au 10 août 1917, 15 August 1917.


Emphasis in original. SHD, N16 1661, Instructions sur l’organisation du territoire français reconquis, 10 April 1917; Albert Lebrun aux préfets, 31 July 1918; SHD, N16 1662, Note du GQG des Armées, État-major, sur le ravitaillement des civiles à la date de réoccupation des territoires envahies, 30 June 1916.


SHD, N16 1662, Compte-rendu au sujet des dons divers offerts par des particuliers à “L’Echo de Paris” et destinés aux populations des régions récupérées, 27 April 1917; Humbert à M. le délégué du Ministre de l’Intérieur, 1 May 1917.


AN, F23 213, Le Comité, 11 August and 15 and 27 September 1916.


SHD, N16 1659, Léon Bourgeois à Louis Klotz, 29 September 1916; Convocation pour le Comité interministériel, 23 June 1917 (hereafter Convocation).


McGuire, 103; Anne Morgan, “Diary Entry,” 7–28 June 1917, Box 41, Anne Tracy Morgan Papers, Archives of the Pierpont Morgan Library (hereafter ATM Papers). Morgan to Daisy Lewis, 14 June 1917, Box 13, ATM Papers.


Harriet Hawes, “Bad Weather in the Adriatic,” Smith Alumnae Quarterly (hereafter SAQ) 7, no. 4 (1916): 282; Ruth Gaines, Ladies of Grécourt: The Smith College Relief Unit in the Somme (New York: E. P. Dutton, 1920), 10–12; Hawes to Lathrop, 30 April 1917, Box 1, Smith College Relief Unit Records, Smith College Archives (hereafter SCRU Records); Morgan to Hawes, 16 May 1917, Box 9, Harriet Boyd Hawes Papers, Smith College Archives (hereafter HBH Papers); Hawes, “The Smith College Relief Unit,” SAQ 8, no. 4 (1917): 303–307; Organization of Unit, n.d., Box 1, SCRU Records; Hawes to Helen Thayer, 20 August and 12 September 1917, Box 2, SCRU Records; Alice Tallant calendar entries, 11–19 September 1917, Box 2, SCRU Records.


Meeting between Five Years’ Meeting, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, and Friends’ General Conference, 30 April 1917, American Friends Service Committee Archives (hereafter AFSC Archives).


Michael McGuire, “Crusaders or Coerced Citizens? Motivations behind American Friends in France, 1917–1920” (Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations Annual Meeting, Arlington, VA, 20 June 2013); Woodrow Wilson, Statement creating the ARC-War Council, 10 May 1917, The Papers of Woodrow Wilson, ed. Arthur S. Link, 68 vols. (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1966–2016 [1983]), 42:258; Agricultural Report—Golancourt, 1917, AFSC Archives; Homer Folks, Six Months Report of the Director, Department of Civil Affairs, American Red Cross in France (Paris: American National Red Cross in France, 1918), 3.


Smith, “‘Culture de guerre,’” 1968.


SHD, N16 1659, Bourgeois à Klotz, 29 September 1916; Convocation; Dike to unstated recipient, 3 July 1917, Box 1, SCRU Records; Gaines, Ladies, 51–52; SHD, N16 1660, IIIe Armée, État-major, Territoires Reconquis, État des Localités Population et capacités de Cantonnements, 10 August 1917; Aide du 21 au 31 octobre 1917, 4 November 1917, 7.


Dike to unstated recipient, 12–13 June 1917, Box 9, HBH Papers; G. Quellien à Dr. Tallant, 1 November 1917, Box 2, SCRU Records; SHD, N13 129, American Fund for French Wounded, Report of Civilian Division, 1 October 1917 (hereafter AFFW Report), 11.


Edward Eyre Hunt, The Red Cross on the Front Line in the Great Battle of 1918 (Paris: American National Red Cross in France, 1918), 2; “Diary Entry,” 22 December 1917, in D. Owen Stephens, With Quakers in France (London, 1921), 72–74; Report of work in France, July–December 1917, AFSC Archives; Report of Social Services, 15 September–20 October 1917, n.d.; Report of Social Services, 21 October–5 November 1917, n.d., Box 2, SCRU Records.


SHD, N16 1662, Aide du 1 au 10 août 1917, 15 August 1917; Aide du 20 au 31 août 1917, 4 September 1917; Aide du 1 au 10 octobre 1917, 15 October 1917; Report of Relief Given and Persons Aided during the months July to December 1917, n.d. (hereafter Report of Relief), 4–7, AFSC Archives.


SHD, N16 1660, Aide du 1 au 10 décembre 1917, 14 December 1917, 1; Aide du 21 au 30 novembre 1917, 4 December 1917, 1–5; Aide du 21 au 31 octobre 1917, 4 November 1917, 7–8; Aide du 20 au 30 septembre 1917, 6 October 1917, 3.


Agricultural Report, 28 December 1917, AFSC Archives; SHD, N13 129, AFFW Report, 3, 8–9; SHD, N16 1660, Aide par le Corps de Cavalerie, s.d.; Aide du 20 au 30 septembre 1917, 6 October 1917, 1; Aide 21 octobre au 31 octobre 1917, 4 November 1917, 6–7.


SHD, N16 1662, Réorganisation, 23 April 1917; Aide du 10 au 20 juin 1917, 25 June 1917; Aide du 1 au 10 août 1917, 15 August 1917.


Report of Relief, AFSC Archives.


“American Women Remaking France,” New York Times, 23 December 1917, 9; SHD, N13 129, AFFW Report, 5, 9, 12; Report of Social Services, 15 September–20 October 1917, n.d., Box 2, SCRU Records; Richard Cobb, French and Germans, Germans and French: A Personal Interpretation of France under Two Occupations 1914–1918/ 1940–1944 (Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 1983), 5.


Emphasis in original. SHD, N13 129, AFFW Report, 9; Caroline Duer to Eleanor, and Duer to Miss Scarborough, 30 August 1917, Duer Family Papers—Transcripts of Caroline King Duer’s Letters from France, 1915–1918, Barnard College Archives; Gertrude Folks to her mother and Evelyn (copy), 24 October 1917, and 7 and 9 December 1917, Box 1, Gertrude Folks Zimand Papers, Archives and Special Collections Library, Vassar College.


Arguably the French Wounded Emergency Fund. Summary of Work, September 1917–January 1918, n.d., 5, Box 2, SCRU Records; Gaines, Ladies, 46.


Gaines to Georgia Reed, 19 December 1917, Box 13, SCRU Records.


Aubigny residents paid 72.13 percent of wholesale prices. Different resale rates existed at Brouchy (77.60 percent), Canizy (72.4 percent), Douilly (71.30 percent), Esmery-Hallon (70.60 percent), Offoy (71.10 percent), Sancourt (62.50 percent), and Verlaines (70.60 percent). Bacquencourt, Buverchy, and Hombleux residents bought at Grécourt and collectively paid 77.7 percent of wholesale prices. Report of Social Services, 15 September–20 October 1917, Box 2, SCRU Records.


Report of Social Services, 21 October–5 November 1917, Box 2, SCRU Records.


Ford to Thayer (copy), 7 November and 19 December 1917, Box 11, SCRU Records.


AN, F23 213, Bourgeois au Ministre du Commerce, 2 Septembre 1916; Ministre du Commerce à Bourgeois, 7 September 1916; SHD, N16 1660, Ministre du Commerce, Service du ravitaillement pour l’alimentation de la population civile aux préfets de Nord, Pas-de-Calais, Somme, Oise, Aisne, Marne, Meuse, Meurthe et Vosges, 22 July 1916, 5.


AN, F23 213, Théodore Tissier, Rapport sur l’utilisation des sociétés coopératives de consumation comme moyen de ravitaillement des populations des territoires libérés, s.d., 1–5; Tyler Stovall, “The Consumers’ War: Paris, 1914–1918,” French Historical Studies 31, no. 2 (2008): 294.


Bray-St-Christophe, Douchy, Ollezy, Saint-Simon, Sommette-Eaucourt, Tugnyet-Pont, and Villers-St-Christophe.


SHD, N16 1660, IIIe Armée, Secteur Aisne-Sud, Canton de Coucy-le-Château, État de Renseignements sur les Maisons détruits, 19 June 1917; IIIe Armée, Secteur Aisne-Nord, Cantons de Saint-Simon et Vermand, Information sur les communes détruits, 19 June 1917; IIIe Armée État-major, Aide du 20 au 31 août 1917, 4 September 1917; Aide pendant le mois de décembre 1917, 5 January 1918.


SHD, N16 1662, Aide du 20 au 30 septembre 1917, 6 October 1917.


Horne, “Introduction,” 45–47; Cabanes, “Sortir de la Grande Guerre,” 55–56; Horne, “Demobilizing,” 107.


Horne, “Remobilizing for ‘Total War’: France and Britain, 1917–1918,” in Horne, State, Society and Mobilization, 198–208.


AFSC, The First Year of American Friends’ War Relief Service June 1, 1917–May 31, 1918 (Philadelphia: American Friends Service Committee, 1918), 7–9; AFSC, First Annual Report of Charles Evans, Chief of Friends Unit in France (Philadelphia, PA: American Friends Service Committee, 1918), 9.


“Diary Entry,” 22 December 1917, in Stephens, With Quakers in France, 72–74.


Marjorie Carr to Robert Jamison, 3 and 29 December 1917 (typescripts), Box 7, SCRU Records.


Ruth Gaines, A Village in Picardy (New York: E. P. Dutton, 1918), 89, 172–176; Ruth Gaines, “Christmas in the Somme,” 26 December 1917, Box 13, SCRU Records; Anne Chapin, “Christmas fetes at Offoy and Douilly,” n.d., Box 5, SCRU Records; Hannah Andrews to Thayer, 8 January 1918, Box 2, SCRU Records.


Chapin, “Christmas,” SCRU Records; Gaines, Village, 89; Andrews to Thayer, SCRU Records.


Gaines, Village, 172–176.


Gaines, “Christmas,” SCRU Records.


Emphasis in original. Gaines, “Christmas,” SCRU Records.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.