Joffre, Joseph (-Jacques-Césaire)

Joffre, Joseph (-Jacques-Césaire)

biographical name


Joseph-Jacques-Césaire Joffre, detail of a portrait by H. Jacquier, 1915.—H. Roger-Viollet

(born Jan. 12, 1852, Rivesaltes, France—died Jan. 3, 1931, Paris) French commander in chief on the Western Front in World War I. He was responsible for the calamitous campaign with which the French army began operations in 1914 against Germany, but he shifted his forces and created a new French army under his direct command that won a great victory in the First Battle of the Marne (1914). As commander in chief (1915–16), he ordered the French armies to burst through the German positions, at ruinous cost. His prestige waned, and, because of the lack of French preparation for the Battle of Verdun (1916), he was stripped of his direct command and resigned. He was created a marshal of France in 1916.

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