Joseph Gallieni


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(1849–1916), French officer, colonial governor, and military theorist. Expert on ‘small wars’, of renewed relevance today. Gallieni graduated from the Saint-Cyr academy at the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian war in 1870, fought at Sedan, was wounded and captured. Released in 1871, he was sent to Senegal, and in the 1880s, to Martinique, the French colony in Sudan, the Ivory Coast, and Vietnam, in French Indochina. He dealt with revolts using what became exemplary counter-insurgency techniques, including ‘hearts and minds’. He was then C-in-C of Madagascar, and understood the interrelationship between government, security, and economic development. In WW I he helped organize the ‘miracle of the Marne’, was made war minister in 1915, but retired through ill health and died on 27 March 1916.

From The Oxford Companion to Military History in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Military History.

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