Nicolas Offenstadt

Soldiers Executed during World War I Publication date : October 15, 2009

Nicolas Offenstadt is a senior lecturer at the University of Paris-I. He is the author of Faire la paix au Moyen-Age (2007) and Le Chemin des Dames (2004).

Why were some soldiers tried and executed by their own national military authorities during World War I? Using previously unpublished source material, Nicolas Offenstadt has been able to throw light on one of the most sombre episodes of the Great War. Besides reviewing the history of the events themselves, he examines the struggle with the military authorities to clear the soldiers’ names, beginning in the period between the two world wars. How did the soldiers’ public image begin to change in the 1960s and ‘70s, to culminate in a number of memorial ceremonies?

This investigation into one of the most controversial events of the First World War is also an examination of the evolution of historical memory to the present day.
This new revised edition reviews the debates that have flourished since the book was first published in 1999, and which have been extended by recent historical research.