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Joseph Joffre

Tinted French Postcard of French Generals de Castelnau, Joffre, and Pau. Joffre was Commander of the French Army at the beginning of the war, and engineered the Allied victory of the Marne. General Pau was brought out of retirement to lead the short-lived Army of Alsace, disbanded to strengthen French forces to the west for the French counterattack at the Marne. De Castlenau commanded the French Second Army at the beginning of the war.
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Dated April 20, 1915, and postmarked April 22, to Miss ??? in England.

Tinted French Postcard of French Generals de Castelnau, Joffre, and Pau. Joffre was Commander of the French Army at the beginning of the war, and engineered the Allied victory of the Marne. General Pau was brought out of retirement to lead the short-lived Army of Alsace, disbanded to strengthen French forces to the west for the French counterattack at the Marne. De Castlenau commanded the French Second Army at the beginning of the war.

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Gen. de Castelnau, Gen. Joffre, Gen. Pau

JK 9333



Reverse:

Dated April 20, 1915, and postmarked April 22, to Miss ??? in England.

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Commander of the French army at the beginning of hostilities in 1914, Joseph Joffre, executing his Plan XVII to attack Germany, failed to anticipate the German advance through Belgium and how far west the invaders intended to go before turning south to invade France. He recovered and engineered the Allied victory of the Marne.

During the long Allied retreat before the advancing Germans, Joffre remained calm, and reconfigured his commanders and armies to address the situation.

Commanding the Paris garrison, General Joseph Gallieni saw the opportunity presented as the German First Army exposed its right flank to him. He attacked from the French capital on September 5, the day before Joffre ended his retreat with a counter-attack.

During the Allied retreat, British commander Sir John French had been prepared to leave the battlefield, and return to Britain. Relations between Joffre and the British commander continued to be troubled. In the Race to the Sea, Joffre found the British to be inadequately aggressive.

With the trench line in place, and from the end of 1914 through 1915, Joffre attacked in Artois and Champagne. Wrongly confident the war would soon be over, Joffre opposed the introduction of helmets for his men.

Joffre and British commander Douglas Haig were preparing a joint offensive on the Somme when the German seige of Verdun began. Having seen how quickly the Belgian and French fortresses had fallen, Joffre was prepared to abandon Verdun, but was convinced of the political necessity of holding it. Haig and Joffre launched the Battle of the Somme, but with a lessened French force and a greater British.

France's terrible losses and a lack of government confidence led to Joffre being replaced by Robert Nivelle.

January 12, 1852

France

Roles held by Joseph Joffre

Role Start Date End Date
Combatant - General 1916-12-27
Commander-in-Chief 1916-12-27

Books by or about Joseph Joffre (1)

Title Author
Reputations Ten Years After B.H. Liddell Hart