Centre d'Interprétation Marne 14/18

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Chapelle Russe à Saint Hilaire

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Monument de Navarin

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Monument de la 1ère Victoire de la Marne à Mondement

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Fort de la Pompelle à Reims

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Vallée du Camp Moreau

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Monument américain du Blanc Mont

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Mémorial national des Batailles de la Marne à Dormans

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Site de la Main de Massiges

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Ossuaire de la Gruerie

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Body: 

1914-18

2014-18

Yesterday &

Today meet

Russian

Chapel

Décembre 1915

Russian Chapel and Russian military cemetery of Saint Hilaire le Grand: Russia agreed to send 50,000 men to fight alongside French and British troops.

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According to the terms of the agreements signed in December 1915, Tsarist Russia consented, in exchange for war materials and munitions, to send four infantry brigades (or 50,000 men) to fight alongside French and British troops; the 2nd and 4th brigade in the Balkans and on the Salonika front; the 1st and 3rd brigade on the French front, in Champagne.

After a 30,000 km trek, including 60 days at sea, the 1st brigade arrived in Mailly and later joined the Suippes and Aubérive sector where it was replaced by the 3rd brigade in October 1916.

Equipped by the French Army, Russian soldiers could be distinguished by their Adrian helmets flanked with a two-headed eagle. In early 1917 the two brigades were present at Fort Herbillon and during General Nivelle's offensive on the Chemin des Dames from April 1917, where they suffered heavy losses.

The Bolshevik revolution of February 1917 caused tensions within the two brigades between so-called loyalist soldiers and Bolshevik sympathisers. Having withdrawn from the front and been posted at the Courtine camp in Creuse in the summer of 1917, there were mutinies among the soldiers that the loyalist troops contained through the use of arms.

When the Armistice was signed between Russia and Germany in 1917, the Russian soldiers in France could choose to join the French Army or become military workers. 400 Tsarist officers decided to continue fighting, 11,000 Russian soldiers agreed to work for the French Army. 4,800 rebels were sent to the camps of Algeria.

 

Situated at a place known as "L'Espérance", the Saint-Hilaire-le-Grand site was chosen to honour the memory of the Russian soldiers killed on the battlefields of Champagne. The Russian Chapel was built and decorated by Albert Benois in 1936-1937. The Russian military cemetery contains the bodies of 915 young Russian soldiers from the two brigades that came to fight on the Western front from 1916.

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The Association du Souvenir du Corps Expéditionnaire Russe (Association in Memory of the Russian Expeditionary Force in France) is in charge of the Chapel. Every year, during the weekend of Pentecost, it organises two days of ceremonies and events around the chapel and cemetery. One of the region's unmissable events.

 

Timeline

A land of history and memory,

Still today Marne carries deep scars bearing witness to the bitterness of the ceaseless fighting that continued throughout the Great War.

Use this timeline to discover the major dates of this conflict, the chronology of the fighting, the key personalities and also the repercussions of the international and national events on a local level.

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Reims 14-18 : De la guerre à la paix

Reims
A reference book aimed at the public about Reims and the Great War.

Events

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REIMS

28 Nov

Au cabaret des poilus

Historique

MONTMIRAIL

10 Dec

Bourse Militaria

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SUIPPES