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Cagoulards


Subject History

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405189224.2011.x


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Extreme right-wing terrorist organization (see terrorism ), created in 1936 as a response to the electoral victory of the popular front within the French third republic . Technically known as the Organisation Secrète d'Action Révolutionnaire Nationale, the movement took its name from the hoods (cagoules) which activists wore at meetings allegedly to avoid recognition. Original members were disgruntled militants from the action française . Generally middle-class and decorated veterans of World War I, they were headed by Eugène Deloncle, a former naval officer. Ideologically, little held them together beyond their hostility to communism . Deloncle later boasted 40,000 supporters but the true number was probably closer to 2,000. They were, however, extensively armed, and received funding from big business, which enabled them to carry out a series of murders and bombings. In November 1937 the Cagoule mobilized its forces in Paris, possibly in an attempt to launch a coup. This led to its dissolution and the arrest of its leaders. The police discovered links with senior army officers, notably Loustanau-Lacau, who headed another secretive body, the Corvignolles, which monitored left-wing subversion in the army. The fact that Loustanau-Lacau had served on pétain's general staff led to speculation about a high-level conspiracy against the Republic. In truth, no such plot existed. ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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