Henri Joseph Eugene Gouraud - Encyclopedia




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"HENRI JOSEPH EUGENE GOURAUD (1867-), French general, was born at Paris on Nov. 17 1867. He entered St. Cyr in 1888, and was commissioned to the infantry in 1890. Two years later he was promoted lieutenant. In 1894 he was seconded for duty under the colonial administration; and thereafter he gained much experience of active service in the French Sudan, in which he served almost continuously for two years. In 1904 he was promoted lieutenant-colonel and made commandant of the Chari (Congo) territory. In the same year he was made an Officer of the Legion of Honour - he had already won the cross of Chevalier for distinguished service. In 1907 he was promoted colonel. He next served in Morocco, where he remained until the outbreak of the World War. On Sept. 17 1914 he was promoted temporary general of division, and the following Jan. was appointed commander of the Colonial Army Corps. On Feb. 15 1915 he was made a substantive general of division. In May he replaced D'Amade as commander of the Corps Expeditionnaire d'Orient in the Gallipoli theatre, where he was so badly wounded that his right arm had to be amputated. He was awarded the medaille militaire on July io 1915. On recovering from his wound he went to Italy in charge of a mission, and then in Dec. 1915 he was appointed to command the IV. Army. A year later he was sent temporarily, as commissioner-general, to Morocco; but he again took command of the IV. Army in June 1917. From 1915 to the summer of 1918 the part of the IV. Army was relatively quiet, save for one moment in the spring of 1917 in which it was drawn into the ambit of Nivelle's offensive on the Aisne. At that time Gouraud was in Morocco. Thus, when on July 15 1918 the Germans launched their last offensive on the Champagne front, Gouraud had had little executive experience as an army commander in battle, and before the" zero "day Petain had had some difficulty in convincing him of the necessity of a" coil spring defence. But when the time came Gouraud carried out its principles admirably, and brought the Germans' last effort to a standstill in his battle-zone. The counter-attacks far to the west followed three days later, and the tide was turned for good. In turn the IV. Army, acting in conjunction with the Americans between Meuse and Argonne, assumed the offensive in Sept., and by Nov. II it had reached the Meuse between Sedan and Mezieres. Gouraud was awarded the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour on Dec. 28 1918. In Oct. 1919 he became high commissioner in Syria and commander-in-chief in the Levant.

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