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Conflicts between the French population and servicemen of the Russian occupation corps in 1815-1818

Bolt Valentina

The article examines the conflicts between the civilian population of France and the servicemen of Russian corps which was a part of the allied occupation army stationed in northeastern France in 1815-1818. The Paris Peace Treaty of November 20, 1815 contained the consent of not only European monarchs, but also the French king to the introduction of an occupation regime, which meant protecting both civilians and soldiers from violence that was widespread in the previous period of active hostilities. Nevertheless, the number of contradictions between military ranks and civilians remained significant and each of the parties in the new conditions was looking for affordable ways of self-defense. Seeing the severity that the corps command showed towards the offenders from among their subordinates, the population increasingly preferred not to use violence, but to present various complaints against soldiers, demanding justice for the offense. The command, in turn, began to pay attention to the population's attempts to use complaints as a political tool and tried to suppress them. The violence against soldiers was not frequent, in fact, it did not go beyond the framework of domestic conflicts, or represented isolated cases of seemingly unmotivated aggression. The only exceptions were the regular clashes between corps soldiers and French customs officials, which often resulted in casualties and caused serious concern for both the Russian military headquarters and representatives of local authorities.

Keywords: Russian occupation corps, Russian army in France, occupation of France 1815-1818, civil resistance, conflicts between soldiers and civilians
Link: Bolt V. Conflicts between the French population and servicemen of the Russian occupation corps in 1815-1818 // Annual of French Studies 2020: Wars and Revolutions in Modern Times.М. P. 185-195.

The study is sponsored by the Russian Science Foundation, grant 20-18-00113.