TimelineMaps

Follow us through the World War I centennial on Follow wwitoday on Twitter

Joseph Gallieni

Memorial card for General Gallieni who was called from retirement to defend Paris against the advancing Germans. His proclamation of September 3, 1914 asserts he will defend Paris to the end.
Text:
Général Gallieni
Né le 24 Avril 1849 - Mort à Versailles le 27 Mai 1917
"J'ai reçu le Mandat de dèfendre Paris contre l'envahisseur. Ce Mandat, je le remplirai jusqu'au bout."
(Proclamation du 3 Septembre 1914)
Born April 24, 1849 - Died at Versailles May 27, 1917
"I received the mandate to defend Paris against the invader. This mandate, I will fulfill to the end."
(Proclamation of September 3, 1914)
Reverse:
In Spanish, sent from Paris, July 10, 1916.

Memorial card for General Gallieni who was called from retirement to defend Paris against the advancing Germans. His proclamation of September 3, 1914 asserts he will defend Paris to the end.

Image text

Général Gallieni

Né le 24 Avril 1849 - Mort à Versailles le 27 Mai 1917

"J'ai reçu le Mandat de dèfendre Paris contre l'envahisseur. Ce Mandat, je le remplirai jusqu'au bout."

(Proclamation du 3 Septembre 1914)



General Gallieni

Born April 24, 1849 - Died at Versailles May 27, 1917

"I received the mandate to defend Paris against the invader. This mandate, I will fill to the end."

(Proclamation of September 3, 1914)



Reverse:

In Spanish, sent from Paris, July 10, 1916.

Other views: Larger, Back

After their defeat in the Battle of the Frontiers, the Allies retreated south from Belgium along the front from Verdun to the left end of their line. Fearful of losing Paris, the French government decamped to Bordeaux on September 2, 1914, putting General Joseph Gallieni in command of the garrison defending the fortified capital.

As the Allies retreated, French commander Joseph Joffre reconfigured his forces, creating a new Sixth Army on the left flank of his line north of Paris. This army too retreated, even as it strengthened.

At the far right of the German line, confident he had no concern on his right wing, German General von Kluck had changed direction from southwest to southeast to envelop what he thought was the French left. This move put him on course to bypass Paris to the north.

As they retreated, Joffre asked his generals when they would be ready to counter-attack. Newly commanding the French Fifth Army, Franchet d'Esperey would be ready on September 6.

Having been called by the government, Gallieni had some independence from Joffre. He saw the turn of von Kluck's army, its exposed right wing, and the opportunity it presented.

On September 5, even as other Allied forces retreated and prepared for the next day's offensive, the Sixth Army attacked from Paris, striking the right flank of the German First Army passing to the northeast. The Germany army turned to face this threat, widening a gap between it and the German Second Army on its left. In the Battle of the Marne, the French exploited this gap.

April 24, 1849

May 27, 1916

France

Roles held by Joseph Gallieni

Role Start Date End Date
Combatant - General

Books by or about Joseph Gallieni (1)

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