Foch, Ferdinand

Foch, Ferdinand

biographical name


Ferdinand Foch.—Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

(born Oct. 2, 1851, Tarbes, France—died March 20, 1929, Paris) French commander of Allied forces in World War I. He entered the artillery corps in 1873 and from 1885 periodically taught military strategy at the war college, becoming its commandant in 1908. After World War I broke out, he commanded an army detachment and planned the strategy that enabled Joseph-Jacques-Césaire Joffre to win the First Battle of the Marne. After commanding at the Battles of Ypres and the Somme, Foch was appointed chief of the general staff (1917), adviser to the Allied armies, and then commander in chief of all Allied armies (May 1918), in which capacity he prevailed on the battlefield against Erich Ludendorff. When Germany was forced to ask for an armistice, the conditions were dictated by the recently promoted Marshal Foch. Considered the leader most responsible for the Allied victory, he was showered with honours after the war and was buried near Napoleon in the Invalides.

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