Une tradition militaire au xixe siècle : le culte de La Tour d’Auvergne (1800-1915)
Alain Le Bloas
Annales de Bretagne et des Pays de l'Quest, 125-2 | 2018 p. 145-170
This article proposes to dwell upon the notion of military tradition through a real case: the cult of La Tour d’Auvergne in his regiment, in the army, in the civilian world. This cult relied on rites that aimed at transmitting this tradition and on a materiality that gave it a sacred character. Initiated outside the authorities’ control, in an almost dissident manner, the tradition was soon cut short by Napoleon, and it then died out during the reign of the Bourbons. But it persisted in the civilian world which made it live and evolve. Reintroduced by the army in a context of military reform and moral rearmament, it reached its peak during the years before the First World War. But when war broke out, the tradition somehow turned out to be of little use. Indeed a military tradition was of more use when preparing for war than when waging it.