Gustave Hervé (1871–1944) at the Extremes of the French Third Republic
Chapter 15 From “La Bataille de la Salle Wagram” Until the July Crisis
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In late May 1912 La Guerre Sociale joined the clamor on the French Left against the new Berry-Millerand Law dealing with the military, which included provisions for sending militants found guilty of crimes against the army to North Africa.1 The uproar raised by this new law was used by syndicalists and anarchists to attack socialists because some of their Deputies had voted for it. Because some groups on the Left, who feared being dominated by the S.F.I.O., used the Berry-Millerand Law against the socialists, the Left remained as divided as ever.2 Significantly, Alexandre Millerand, the current Minister of War, had been characterized as a renegade for years; now people like Hervé increasingly feared that he could become a potential new Boulanger or Bonaparte.3 The Sans Patrie blamed the poor turnout for the anniversary of La Semaine Sanglante in May 1912 on the lack of preparation by the Fédération Socialiste de la Seine and the continuing rivalries among the forces of the Left. The insurrectional “General” expected the anniversary to remind militants that a divided Left, an absence of discipline, and a lack of support among professional military forces had led to revolutionary failures in 1789, 1848, and 1871.4 Though “revolutionary antimilitarism” was not yet abandoned by La Guerre Sociale, it was no longer the central theme of the paper. The appearance of articles by a Sergent G. (Sergeant Gustave) as early as June 1912 advocating Republican and socialist infiltration of the army and its ← 531...
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