This innovative project aims to explore a neglected aspect of the experience of the First World War: the intercultural contacts and exchanges between and within the forces which made up the Entente.
The project will investigate the construction of an Allied identity that was meant to ensure the cohesion of a multinational Allied coalition. This project will look into the articulation of Allied and national identities, as historians keep on debating the role played by the latter in bolstering the endurance of combatants. The project will contrast the emergence of this Allied identity with the efforts made to maintain communal identities during and after the conflict. The attitude of the Allied leadership towards coloured troops and their segregative policies will be scrutinized as part of their effort to create and maintain a sense of community among allied troops. Drawing on European and North American sources, this transnational study will explore a critical dimension of the Allied experience.