Maurice-Paul-Emmanuel Sarrail

Discussion in 'Military Biographies' started by liverpool annie, Aug 30, 2009.

  1. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    Maurice-Paul-Emmanuel Sarrail (1856-1929) was a French general of the First World War. Sarrail endeared himself to the political elite of the Third Republic through his openly socialist views, all the more conspicuous in contrast to the Catholics, conservatives and monarchists who dominated the French Army in the years prior to the war. Historians hold this, as much as—if not more than—any natural aptitude, as the reason for his rise to high command.

    In 1914 he commanded the Third Army in the Ardennes, but when mounting losses soured his early successes, Joseph Joffre, who personally disliked him, took the opportunity to dismiss him. The political uproar this caused on the Left led to him receiving command of the French Army of the Orient, which was despatched to Salonika in October 1915. In January 1916 he was granted command of all Allied forces in the Macedonian theatre.

    Here Sarrail demonstrated an alarming tendency toward interfering in politics, encouraging the Venizelist coup against King Constantine of Greece. His only major offensive ended in failure, and only his political contacts saved his command. In December 1917, however, the new French premier, Georges Clemenceau, relieved him of command, and he took no further part in the war. When his political allies returned to power in 1924 he was despatched to Syria as high commissioner. He was recalled a year later, however, after the Druze Revolt.

    He is interred in the vaults of Les Invalides in Paris

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  2. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    Maurice (Paul-Emmanuel) Sarrail was born in Carcassonne on 6 April 1856, entered Saint-Cyr military academy in 1875, chose the infantry and served in Algeria and southern Tunisia, where he took part in many campaigns. He was admitted to the War Academy in 1883 and trained with the general staffs from 1885.
    In 1900, as the passions stirred by the Dreyfus affair were still running high, General Andre, the minister of war, choose him as aide-de-camp: that is when he began developing friendships in leftist political circles, which often furthered his career as well as earned him enemies.
    He was commander of the Saint-Maixent school, where he championed democratic ideas. He was commander of the Chamber of Deputies for several years before being called from 1907 to 1911 to the position of director of infantry at the War Ministry.
    In 1911 he was a major general, commanding the 6th army corps early in the war. On 2 September he replaced General Ruffey as head of the 3rd army and took a glorious part in the Battle of the Marne. His army, which was located between the fortress of Verdun and Sainte-Menehould gorge, led a successful push against the German forces.

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