Shopping Cart -

Your cart is currently empty.
Continue Shopping
This website use cookies and similar technologies to improve the site and to provide customised content and advertising. By using this site, you agree to this use. To learn more, including how to change your cookie settings, please view our Cookie Policy
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Pocketmags Digital Magazines

The Dreyfus Affair

Anna Harris unravels a 19th-century miscarriage of justice of mammoth proportions, which divided a nation and shook the world


IT WAS A SET-UP Captain Alfred Dreyfus was accused of passing French military secrets to the Germans, fueling the rise of anti-Semitism

The evidence was flimsy. But, no matter how many times he protested his innocence, the jury were decided. In January 1895, Captain Alfred Dreyfus was found guilty of communicating French military secrets to the German Embassy in Paris. The sentence was brutal – life imprisonment on Devil’s Island, a hellish penal colony off the coast of French Guiana. But why was this man – later shown to be innocent of all charges – targeted as a traitor?

The origins of this miscarriage of justice milestone go back to the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71. France had suffered an overwhelming defeat at the hands of a coalition of German states, led by Prussia, which marked the end of France’s dominance in Europe. Napoleon III was dethroned, William I of Prussia was proclaimed emperor at Versailles, and Germany annexed the Alsace and Lorraine regions of northeast France – a move that aroused a deep desire for revenge in the French people that remained for decades.

In the aftermath, questions were asked and rumours abounded. The French were convinced that a recent reorganisation of its army – which even had the newly invented mitrailleuse, an early machine gun – had made it far superior to the German forces. How, then, could the war have been lost? Was sabotage afoot? Could French military plans have been passed to the enemy by a secret agent?

THE BATTLE WAS LOST: Captain Dreyfus in his artillery officer uniform
Purchase options below
Find the complete article and many more in this issue of History Revealed - February 2017
If you own the issue, Login to read the full article now.
Single Issue - February 2017
Or 499 points
Monthly Digital Subscription
Only $ 2.76 per issue
Or 299 points
Annual Digital Subscription
Only $ 2.77 per issue
Or 3599 points
6 Month Digital Subscription
Only $ 2.77 per issue
Or 1799 points

View Issues

About History Revealed

February 2017