The History Place - World War I

French troops walk along the Maubeuge Road returning from frontline duty in Belgium for a period of rest. Below: French soldiers enjoy their seaside leave as part of the reforms by Gen. Petain in response to the mutiny of May-June 1917. He boosted morale through regular leave--ten days off every four months--and increased troop rotation, thus reducing the average time spent in frontline trenches. The serious dysfunction affecting the French Army during the mutiny went undetected by the Germans in what was perhaps their biggest intelligence miss of the war.

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