Gallieni, Joseph Simon

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Gallieni, Joseph Simon

(zhôzĕf` sēmôN` gälyānē`), 1849–1916, French general and colonial administrator. He served well in the Sudan and Tonkin and, as governor-general (1896–1905), solidly established French administration in Madagascar. Called from retirement in World War I, he served as military governor of Paris and was the crucial figure in the French victory of the Marne (1914). Although credit for the victory went to General Joffre as commander, it seems clear that it was Gallieni who saw the opportunity for counterattack and urged Joffre into action. Gallieni later became (1915) minister of war under Aristide Briand and demanded reorganization of the command and more complete preparation for war. The cabinet refused, and he resigned (1916) on a plea of ill health, dying within the year. His proposals were implemented after his death; in 1921 he was made a marshal posthumously. Gallieni wrote several books on colonial affairs.
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Galliéni, Joseph Simon


Born Apr. 24, 1849, in St. Béat, Haute-Garonne; died May 27, 1916, in Versailles. Marshal of France (title conferred posthumously, 1921).

After completing his studies at the military school at St. Cyr in 1870, Galliéni participated in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71. Subsequently he held administrative posts in French colonies of Africa and Indochina. From 1896 to 1905, Galliéni served as governor-general in Madagascar and then commanded a corps in France. He retired from the military in 1913 but in August 1914 returned to active service and was appointed military governor of Paris. In September 1914, Galliéni proposed that a blow be struck at the flanks of the German armies from the direction of Paris. He organized the transfer of General J. Maunoury’s Sixth Army for an attack that played a significant role in the Battle of the Marne of 1914. From October 1915 to March 1916, Galliéni was minister of war.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.