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Posts Tagged ‘Mxime Weygand’

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Mar√©chal Ferdinand Foch’s (1851-1929) rise to fame is firmly embedded in the popular consciousness of France as a symbol of Gallic spirit and determination to resist the invader at any cost. It was as the commander of the Ninth Army during the first battle of the Marne he displayed decisiveness that would turn the tide of the battle. Only a week after taking command, with the whole French Army in full retreat, he was forced to fight a series of defensive actions to prevent a German breakthrough. During the advance at the marshes in St.-Gond he is said to have declared: “My center is yielding. My right is retreating. Situation excellent. I am attacking.” These words were seen as a symbol both of Foch’s leadership which seems was, however lost on Maxime Weygand, his chief of staff .

Foch influenced General Joseph Joffre (chief of general staff, July 28, 1911 – Dec. 12,1916) when he drafted the French plan of campaign (Plan 17) in 1913.

Joseph Joffre(1852-1931)

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Papa Joffre (as he was called) took charge as Chief of the French General Staff in 1911.

In this capacity Joffre was responsible for the development of the deeply flawed Plan XVII blueprint for the invasion of Germany, which did not take account of the likelihood of a German invasion of France through Belgium.

Responsible for the French war effort, Joffre’s remarkable qualities of magisterial calm and an absolute refusal to admit defeat proved vital during the early days of the war, particularly during the First Battle of the Marne, after which he was declared the saviour of France, although others since claimed credit for saving France at the Marne, including Gallieni.

After two and a half years as Chief of Staff, Joffre was effectively dismissed on 13 December 1916 following the initial success of the German offensive at Verdun and other failures.  He was made Marshal of France on the same day.

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(Ack: firstworldwar.com,wikipedia)

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