Marshal Ferdinand Foch

Ken Sanes and
Alex Ying
Western High School
Davie, Florida
Teacher: Mike Mullin
Grade 10

General Information

Ferdinand Foch was born on 2-Oct-1851. He was born in the city of Tarbes, France and was the son of a lawyer. Ferdinand was the commander in chief of the Allied armies in France. In the final stages of World War I he helped to bring about the Allied victory.

Ferdinand was a Roman Catholic with exceptional training. Early in his life he decided to become a soldier and he joined the army in 1871. At the early age of twenty he entered Ecole Polytechnique. Shortly after graduating from there he enrolled at the Ecole de Guerre, France's war college. He was such an inspiration that he was asked to be a teacher there. He went on to teach military tactics and achieved the rank of major. His lectures were so superior that they were made into two works, The Priciples of War, and De la Conduite de la Guerre. He served as a line officer with the French army from 1901 until 1907. He was called back and made director of Ecole de Guerre from 1908 to 1911. This time he was a commandant. Ferdinand was forced out of retirement to command the Eighth and the Twentieth Army Corps. Eventually he became chief of the French general staff in 1917.

At the start of World War I, Ferdinand commanded France's Ninth Army during the battle of Marne, which was the first major engagement of the war. He also commanded an army group in the battle of the Somme in the summer of 1916. Later, his generalship at Ypres saved the channel ports for the Allies. Ferdinand was eventually given unified command of all the Allied troops in France. He halted the German advance during the second battle of Marne in July of 1918. On 18-Jul-1918, Ferdinand mounted the counter attack that turned the tide of the war. Several months later he accepted the German's surrender, which took place in November of 1918. Meanwhile, on 7-Aug-1918, he was made Marshal of France. After the war he served in advisory capacities and later went on to die in Paris on 20-Mar-1929.