Famous Generals of the First World War


Famous Generals of World War One


Biographies of famous generals in the Great War, including Joffre, French, Foch, Haig, Pershing, Pétain, and Curieres de Castelnau. These allied commanders were instrumental in achieving a victorious outcome culminating with the Armistice on 11 November 1918.


General Joffre Commanded the French During the First Seventeen Months of the War, Was Then Retired as Marshal of France, and in April, 1917, Came to America as a Member of the French War Commission.

General "Papa" Joffre: Hero of the Battle of the Marne

Many, many years hence, patriotic Frenchmen will put up a statue to the imperturbable soldier who stood behind the vast lines of battle at the River Marne and watched the gallant Poilus battle with the Prussians to a fair-earned victory.


Commanding the Allies' Left: Field Marshal Sir John D. P French.

Sir John French: The Man Who Led the First British Army

France would not have to fight these blood-thirsty Germans alone, that was certain, and as, standing upon the quarter-deck of the scout Sentinel, Sir John French was recognized, the cheering was deafening.


Marshal Foch, Commander in Chief of the Entire Allied Forces.

Ferdinand Foch: Commander-In-Chief of the Allied Forces

This maxim was seen to be as accurate today as in Napoleon's time, when, after four years of furious fighting, significant losses, and serious sacrifices, the Allies turned to Ferdinand Foch as their leader and accepted the French General as their Chief.


Sir Douglas Haig, Commander in Chief of the British Forces in France and Belgium. Pictorial History of the World Greatest War, 1919.

Sir Douglas Haig: Commander of the British Forces in France

The fierce world conflict, which has brought all nations into the melee, has carried Sir Douglas Haig into prominence and thrust him into the limelight. Before this eventful contest, he was known to be a thoroughly reliable officer in the British army.


Commanding General of the US Army, John J. Pershing at New York City, 9 September 1919.

John J. Pershing: Commander of the Army of the United States

General John Joseph Pershing, known as "Blackjack," was selected to command the American troops. He was the son of a section foreman on one of the western roads. His only advantageous heritage was that of a sound and healthy body.


General Henri Philippe Pétain.

Henri P. Pétain: Defender of Verdun

Like Marshal Foch, this general was little known before the great war. If he had his way, he would be little known today, for like Foch and Haig— he shuns the limelight.


Général Edouard de Curiéres de Castelnau, nd. circa 1918.

Edouard de Curieres de Castelnau: The Defender of Nancy

A grizzled, troubled-looking, sad-eyed French General was dictating dispatches to his Quartermaster near the battlelines at Verdun. Far away roared the great guns, and white wisps of smoke rolled across the pock-marked fields.


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