Today’s pictorial paper is the French Sunday supplement La Petit Journal published on the 21st November 1915.
Joseph Simon Gallieni was appointed minister of war for
France in 1915, a position he held until his resignation in March 1916. At the
outbreak of the Great War he was called out of retirement and appointed
Military Governor of Paris. During the battle of the Marne in 1914 he is
remembered as being instrumental in commandering Parisian Taxicabs and rushing
elements of the sixth army to the front and launching an attack on the German
Throughout the early years of the Great War, Gallieni was
constantly at odds with Marshal Joseph Joffre, this culminated in Gallieni’s
public criticism of Joffre’s tactical abilities at the siege of Verdun, the
unseemly falling out of two senior officers was deemed to be disastrous for military
moral and Gallieni resigned his position, but was persuaded to remain in office
until a replacement had been designated and approved.
Joseph Simon Gallieni who was suffering from cancer died on
the 27th May 1916. He was made Marshal of France posthumously in 1921, he is
considered by the French to be their most distinguished soldier, but he is infamous
in Madagascar when as Governor he was the French military leader who exiled
Queen Ranavalona III and abolished the 350-year-old monarchy on the island. Gallieni
wanted the French army to give up the red trousers worn by French soldiers and
adopt a less conspicuous uniform, Gallieni proposed attacking the Turkish
straits in 1914, and was sceptical of Joffre’s plans for a massive
Anglo-French offensive on the Somme.