Ferdinand Foch

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Foch, Ferdinand

(fĕrdēnäN` fôsh), 1851–1929, marshal of France. A professor at the École de Guerre, he later served (1908–11) as director of that institute. In World War I, he was responsible, with General Joffre and General Gallieni, for halting the German advance at the Marne (1914). He participated in the first battle of Ypres (1915) and that of the Somme (1916); after a brief eclipse, he was appointed (1917) chief of the French general staff. In Apr., 1918, Foch assumed the unified command of the British, French, and American armies. In this capacity, he was perhaps more responsible than any other one man for the victory in 1918.


See B. H. L. Hart, Foch, the Man of Orléans (1932); C. Bugnet, Foch Speaks (tr. 1929).

Foch, Ferdinand


Born Oct. 2, 1851, in Tarbes; died Mar. 20, 1929, in Paris. Marshal of France (1918), field marshal of Great Britain (1919), and marshal of Poland (1923). Member of the Académie Française (1918).

Foch became an artillery officer in 1873. In 1887 he graduated from the Ecole supérieure de Guerre, where he was a professor from 1895 to 1900 and director from 1908 to 1911. At the beginning of World War I, Foch commanded a corps and later the Ninth Army; in 1915 and 1916 he was commander of the Army Group of the North. In May 1917 he was made chief of the General Staff and in April 1918, supreme commander of the Allied forces. Foch played an important role in the Allies’ victory over the coalition of the Central Powers. From 1918 to 1920 he was one of the active organizers of military intervention in Soviet Russia. Foch was the author of works on military theory, and he wrote his memoirs.


O vedenii voiny, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1937. (Translated from French.)
Vospominaniia (Voina 1914–1918 gg.). Moscow, 1939. (Translated from French.)


Gaquère, C. F. Vie populaire du maréchal Foch. Arras, 1955.
Grasset, A. Foch ou la volonté de vaincre. Paris, 1964.
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