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
Joseph Joffre Fact 2:
He continued his education by
attending the Ecole Polytechnique
during 1870 and would become a
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
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
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
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
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.
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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