The World at War


General Maurice Gamelin

Maurice Gustave Gamelin commanded the Allied forces at the beginning of World War Two. He was born in Paris in 1872 and educated at Saint Cyr, France´s preeminent military school. Gamelin rose in rank from Major to Brigadier General during the First World War. Named Chief of the General Staff in 1931, he directed the extension of the Maginot Line. In 1935 he became Inspector General of the French Army and vice president of the Higher Council of War. During the initial period of inactivity in World War Two, Gamelin was commander in Chief of the French and British Armies on the western front. When the Germans broke through in May 1940, he was removed from command.. After France´s defeat the pro-German Vichy government charged him with responsibility for France´s entry into the war and the resulting disaster. Later interned by the Germans in Northern Italy, he was released and repatriated in 1945.

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