General collection information
This collection contains records documenting casualties of war from the Loire-Atlantique department of France between 1914 and 1918. The information in this collection was compiled through “Loire-Atlantique Remembers,” a virtual memorial created to honor the hundredth anniversary of the Armistice.
Using the collection
Records in the collection may include the following information:
- Death date
- Death place
- Recruitment office
Collection in context
After its defeat in the Franco-Prussian War in 1871, France introduced a mandatory two-year military service for men over the age of 21. The required service was increased to three years in 1913. As a result, when France entered World War I in 1914, the country was able to mobilize almost three million soldiers within days. Over the course of the war, the conscription age would be raised to 45, and almost nine million men would serve. World War I brought about major changes in warfare (including the use of poisonous gas and aircraft) and living conditions were especially harsh; as a result, the mortality rate was high. World War I left approximately 1.4 million French soldiers dead and 4.2 million wounded. The Loire-Inférieure department alone lost 26,000 soldiers.