Maurice Sarrail - History of World War I - WW1 - The Great War

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Maurice Sarrail Information

Maurice Sarrail

Place of birth: Carcassonne, France
Place of death: Paris, France
Allegiance: France
Service/branch: French Army
Years of service: 1877 - 1925
Rank: Général de division
Commands held: Third Army
Battles/wars: World War I
Awards: Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor
Médaille militaire
Croix de guerre 1914-1918

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. On December 10, 1916, Henry Descoin, the commander of the French garrison of Korx§x«, with the approval from Maurice Sarrail, declared the Autonomous Albanian Republic of Korx§x«, and appointed Themistokli Gx«rmenji as prefect.

Here Sarrail demonstrated a 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 he ordered the shelling of Damascus during the Great Druze Revolt.

Haythornthwaite, Philip J. (1994). The World War One Sourcebook. Arms and Armour Press, London. ISBN 1-85409-102-6

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Source: WikiPedia

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