Mutiny of French forces |
Conditions for the French soldiers had deteriorated severely by the Spring of 1917, with men living – and dying – in muddy, rat and lice-infested trenches.
On 27 May 1917 the mutinous atmosphere turned into open insubordination and soldiers refused orders to advance. The Commander-in-Chief, Henri Petain, ordered mass arrests, followed by several firing squad executions. The situation lasted until 1 June 1917 when Petain suspended all French offensives and visited the troops to personally promise an improvement in conditions.
With the French Army in disarray the main burden on the Western Front fell to the British forces.