CHOLERA IN THE FRENCH ARMY IN THE CRIMEA 1854-1855
Epidemic diseases during military campaigns were a traditional feature of the wars of the past. Sometimes epidemics, coupled with the protracted nature of the war, with a low degree of training of supply services and a low level of medicine, had an impact on the course of the military campaign, contributed to the weakening of the morale of soldiers, increased non-combat losses. One of the similar epidemics that broke out at the front was the cholera epidemic in the Crimea in 1854-1856. This article is devoted to the study of the spread of cholera in the French troops during the Crimean campaign of 1854-1855, which was called the "cruel winter", including due to losses as a result of an increase in the incidence among the military. Based on the study of personal sources - memoirs, letters, notes of the military-the authors analyze the process of the spread of cholera in the troops, the structure of the medical service and hospitals, and, most importantly, the attitude of soldiers and officers to the epidemic, death from the disease. Following the historical and anthropological approach to the reconstruction of the events of the Crimean campaign, the authors seek to determine to what extent the cholera epidemic affected the fighting qualities and moral attitudes of the French, as well as the image of the war in the French public consciousness. The authors found that the non-combat losses of France in the Crimea were largely the reason for the decline in the morale of the military, a trend that was reflected in the memoir literature, as well as in the letters and diaries of officers and soldiers. This area of research allows us to expand the conceptual framework of scientifi research related to military anthropology, reconstruct the psychological aspects of war, as well as the views of direct participants about events and everyday life at the front.