Joseph Joffre Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1852 - 1931 *** Full Name: Joseph Jacques Cesaire Joffre *** Nickname: Papa Joffre *** Occupation: French General during World War I *** Date of Birth: He was born on January 12, 1852 *** Place of Birth: He was born in Rivesaltes, France *** Family background: He was born into a family of vineyard owners *** Early life and childhood: He grew up in France *** Education: Joseph Joffre would have received a local education as boy and youth *** He died on January 3, 1931.
Joseph Joffre Fact 1: Joseph Joffre was born on January 12, 1852 and during the 19th century period in history when many empires across the globe collapsed, the Spanish, first and second French, Holy Roman, Mughal and Chinese but the British and Russian Empires, the United States and German Empire where on the rise.
Joseph Joffre Fact 2: He continued his education by attending the Ecole Polytechnique during 1870 and would become a career officer.
Joseph Joffre Fact 3: The Siege of Paris during the Franco-Prussian War was the first action he saw.
Joseph Joffre Fact 4: He would spend much of his career as a military engineer in the colonies. He also saw active service during the Sino-French War as well as the Keelung Campaign.
Joseph Joffre Fact 5: Having been promoted to major, he took part in the conflict in Mali which saw him recover the remains of Lt Col Bonnier, recently killed on an expedition.
Joseph Joffre Fact 6: He would also serve under Joseph Gallieni while in Madagascar.
Joseph Joffre Fact 7: In 1911 he returned to France and was made Commander-in-Chief of the French Army.
Joseph Joffre Fact 8: As the army underwent a revival and many of the defense minded officers were replaced, the strategy devised by Ferdinand Foch was adopted by Joffre and was known as Plan XVII.
Joseph Joffre Fact 9: Having never before taken command of an army he was awaiting new orders and to be replaced by Maurice Sarrail. Unfortunately, the outbreak of World War I interrupted that process.
Joseph Joffre Fact 10: Joseph Joffre was a defensive rather than offensive officer in battle.
Joseph Joffre Fact 11: He was also exceptionally skilled in organization but he lacked the necessary strategic and tactical skills needed for warfare.
Joseph Joffre Fact 12: He also had a way of reading men and managed to reorganize his senior officers so he had a predominately defensive team behind him. Joffre also gained himself the reputation of someone who never panicked, always maintained an air of calmness which calmed his men.
Joseph Joffre Fact 13: His achievements were eventually credited in January 1465 when he was given the title Hofmann by von Nassau. Hofmann means gentleman of the court. He was awarded with a stipend (a salary), an annual court outfit, 2,000 litres of wine tax-free and 2,180 litres of grain.
Joseph Joffre Fact 14: He was not so successful during the Battle of the Somme.
Joseph Joffre Fact 15: As a result of this downfall he would be toppled from power having fought so hard to attain it.
Joseph Joffre Fact 16: He would be appointed as the first Marshall under the Third Republic.Joseph Joffre Fact 17: Once retired from military duty he service out his remaining working years in the Ministry of War.
Joseph Joffre Fact 18: In 1918 he would become the leader of the Supreme War Council.
Joseph Joffre Fact 19: Joseph Jacques Cesaire Joffre died on January 3, 1931 in Paris aged seventy eight years. His body laid to rest on his estate in Louveciennes.
Joseph Joffre Influence & Legacy: His legacy post war suffered horribly at the hands of military historians but more recently the modern historians have been kinder. Often his decisions overridden by politicians who knew nothing of war he was powerless to overrule them.
List of Awards given to Joseph Joffre: Marshall of France *** Grand cross of the Legion d’honneur *** Medaille Militaire *** Croix de guerre 1914 – 1918 *** Distinguished Service Medal *** Honorary Knight Grand Cross of the Bath (UK) ***
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