Maurice Gamelin

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Maurice Gamelin
Maurice Gamelin
General Maurice Gamelin (1936)
Full name Maurice Gustave Gamelin
Birthday/Birthplace (1872-09-20)20 September 1872
Paris, France
Deceased 18 April 1958(1958-04-18)
Paris, France
Allegiance France
Service/branch French Army
Years of service 1893–1940
Rank Général d’armée
Battles/wars
  • World War I
  • Great Syrian Revolt
  • World War II
    • Battle of France
Awards Won
  • Grand cross of the Légion d’honneur
  • Virtuti Militari (2nd Class)

Maurice Gamelin’s Biography

Gamelin was the son of a soldier who had already fought in the Battle of Solferino. He was raised with a generation that lived in revenge for the French defeat in the Franco-Prussian War that led to the loss of Alsace-Lorraine. Gamelin began his studies at the Military Academy of Saint-Cyr on October 31, 1891, beginning his studies as an officer, and two years later he graduated with the first place in his class. According to some historians, Gamelin suffered from syphilis, during the First World War he distinguished himself under the orders of General Joseph Joffre. He is often credited with being the strategist responsible for designing the 1914 counterattack that led to the French victory during the Battle of the Marne. [Citation & required]

In 1933 Gamelin became Commander in Chief of the French Army, for which he envisioned a modernization and mechanization program that included the completion of the works and defenses of the Maginot Line. Prime Minister Edward Daladier supported Gamelin throughout his career due to his refusal to allow French politics to play an important role in military planning, and his commitment to the republican model of government. He was a respected soldier, even in Germany, for his intelligence and his subtle mentality. But despite his brilliant career during the First World War, in 1939 he hesitated to attack Nazi Germany for fear of possible reprisals against France. On the crucial days of May 1940, during the German offensive on the Western Front, his action was disastrous. The historian and journalist William L. Shirer said that Gamelin used the tactics of the Great War to fight in World War II, as well as a hesitant and barely-responsive performance, and given the incipient German victory, he was dismissed on May 18. his post and replaced by General Maxime Weygand.

After the French defeat and already established the regime of Vichy France, he was arrested and sent to an internment camp in Germany, where the rest of the war would be. With the end of World War II he was released and returned to France.

More Facts about Maurice Gamelin

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