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Jean-Louis Bordier

Jean-Louis Bordier is passionate about history and stories, and more particularly about the Russian mutineers of La Courtine. As President of the association La Courtine 1917, he will tell you about the particular events that took place in this corner of Creuse during the Great War.

“The Russian Mutineers of the Courtine”

Since 1915, Russian soldiers fought alongside France, which needed men to mop up the terrible losses during the previous two years. At first well integrated, the events of March 1917 as well as a wave of mutiny in the French army will throw strong suspicions on its soldiers especially since some of them will clearly take sides with the Revolution.

To avoid any contagion within the ranks of the French army, the mutineers are quickly withdrawn from the front and placed in different camps before being interned at the camp of Courtine from June 1917. From then on Russian soldiers dug trenches and French artillery positioned themselves for an assault. War was declared! The fighting raged from September 16 to 19. Officially the fighting will have caused 9 deaths but the truth would be closer to one hundred killed.

If the military camp is well known to the French, the History of these 16,500 Russian mutinous soldiers present in 1917 is less so. It is this incredible and often ignored story that Jean-Louis will tell you.