Perceptions and realities of the Mediterranean East: French soldiers and the Macedonian Campaign of the First World War

  • Kevin Broucke University of North Texas, USA


The historiography investigating the fate of the 300,000 French and colonial soldiers who served in Macedonia during the First World War remains incomplete. This article offers an analysis focusing on the cultural discovery of the ‘Mediterranean East’ by the French soldiers who served in Macedonia. It utilises the literature produced by the French personnel to define the differences between their imagined representations of the East, and the reality they encountered once they landed in Salonica. It also highlights the Orientalist influence exerted over the minds of many Frenchmen who sailed to an East that remained profoundly unknown.