Marshall Ferdinand FOCH, (1851-1929)
On the outbreak of the First
World War Foch used part of the French Second army to block the
German advance on Nancy. Promoted to commander of the Ninth Army,
he led the French counter-attack at the Marne. His success led
to further promotion and in October he was placed in charge of
the French Northern Army on the Western Front. He held this post
during the Battle of the Somme in the summer of 1916. When Robert
Nivelle replaced Joseph Joffre as Commander-in-Chief of the French
Army, Foch was recalled to Army Headquarters.
In 1918 during the German Spring Offensive Foch was promoted
to Allied Supreme Commander on the West Front. Despite clashing
with General John Pershing over the deployment of US forces,
Foch managed to make a success of his role as allied coordinator.
Foch therefore received the credit for masterminding the victory
Foch headed Armistice negotiations and played an important
role at the Paris Peace Conference. Foch took the view that it
was vitality important that the terms made German military recovery
impossible. Ferdinand Foch died in 1929.