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Marshal Joseph Jacques Césaire Joffre (12 January 1852 – 3 January 1931) was a French general who served as Commander-in-Chief of French forces on the Western Front from the start of World War I until the end of 1916. He is best known for regrouping the retreating allied armies to defeat the Germans at the strategically decisive First Battle of the Marne in September 1914.
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- Soldiers of Verdun! It is your valour which has made this possible, for your heroic resistance was the indispensable condition to our success. Upon it still depends our future victory. Upon all the vast theatres of Europe, thanks to you, there now exists a situation out of which will spring the definite triumph of our cause. I make one more appeal to your courage, your ardour, your spirit of sacrifice, your love of country. Hold fast and strive with all your might to shatter the last desperate efforts of an enemy now at bay.
- General Order (12 June 1916), quoted in Joseph Joffre, The Personal Memoirs of Joffre, Field Marshal of the French Army, Volume II (1932), p. 457
- I don't know who won the Battle of the Marne. But if it had been lost, I know who would have lost it.
- As quoted in The Campaign of the Marne (1935) by Sewell Tyng, p. 350.