Joseph Joffre

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Joseph Joffre
Joffre (left) with John J. Pershing

Joseph Jacques Césaire Joffre (born January 12, 1852 in Rivesaltes , Département Pyrénées-Orientales , † January 3, 1931 in Paris ) was a French military man and Marshal of France .

During the First World War , Joffre was Commander-in-Chief of the French Army and was replaced in this position on December 15, 1916.


Joseph Joffre was born on January 12, 1852 in the commune of Rivesaltes ( Département Pyrénées-Orientales ), the son of a cooper . Despite his simple origins, he attended the Lycée François-Arago in Perpignan , and from 1868 the preparatory class of the renowned Lycée Charlemagne in Paris .

Then Joffre struck a military career and was accepted in July 1869 at the École polytechnique . While still in training, he took part in the Franco-German War (1870/71) as an officer candidate and defended the besieged Paris . After the war, Joffre received his officer's commission and performed as Sous lieutenant in the genius troupe one. From 1872 to 1874 he was assigned to the École d'application de l'artillerie et du génie in Fontainebleau , before he was involved in the construction of the Paris fortifications and along the French eastern border.

With the rank of captain , Joffre switched to colonial service in 1885 and served under Admiral Amédée-Anatole Courbet first on Formosa , then in the newly acquired colony of Indochina . During the Sino-French War , Joffre fought in Tonkin and was awarded the Officer's Cross of the Legion of Honor. In 1888 he returned to France and took over as commander of the command of the 5th genius regiment in Versailles , 1891 he was given a job as an instructor at the École d'application de l'artillerie du génie et. The following year Joffre was transferred to the French Sudan colony in Africa . There he directed the construction of a railway connection from Bamako to Kayes , in 1894 Joffre took part in the conquest of Timbuktu and was promoted to lieutenant colonel. Between 1897 and 1902, Joffre helped to consolidate French colonial rule in Madagascar . Because of his merits, he was appointed Général de brigade by Governor General Joseph Gallieni .

With the rank of Général de brigade , Joffre took over the management of the engineering department in the War Ministry in 1902. In 1905 he was promoted to Général de division because of his services in Africa , then to commander of an army corps , in 1910 to a member of the Supreme Defense Council and in 1911 to its vice-president and chief of the general staff. Joffre pushed for the expansion of strategically important railway lines and highways in order to achieve a high mobility of the army in the event of a defense . He also designed a new mobilization plan , the " Plan XVII ".

After the beginning of the First World War , Joffre, as commander of the French army , succeeded in thwarting the encirclement planned by the Germans according to the Schlieffen Plan on the northern and northeastern fronts in September 1914 through his strategic retreat and the German advance in battle stop the Marne . After the great battles of 1916 for Verdun and on the Somme , he was replaced on December 3, 1916 as commander by Robert Nivelle (who had led the successful counter-offensive at Verdun) and appointed Marshal of France . In 1917 he took on military diplomatic tasks in the USA . In 1918 he was accepted into the Académie française , also elected to the American Philosophical Society in 1918 and to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1919 . After the end of the war he withdrew into private life.

Joffre died in Paris in 1931. He was buried in Louveciennes ( Yvelines department ) in his estate La Châtaignerie, where he had spent his old age.



Web links

Commons : Joseph Joffre  - Collection of Images, Videos and Audio Files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Member History: Joseph JC Joffre. American Philosophical Society, accessed October 13, 2018 .