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French Head Quarters 1915-1918

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Length: 271 pages5 hours

Summary

A Journalist in charge of the daily military communiques at French headquarters gives his view of the events as he saw them under the changing French war leadership.
Although information on the early years of Jean de Pierrefeu is sketchy, even in his native France, however it is known that he started his journalistic career in 1905 and by 1908 was working for the political weekly L’Opinion. He career continued, leaning toward nationalist sympathies, until he was mobilized as part of the French Army reserves. Swiftly wounded and invalided out of the line, he began working for the Grand Quartier-Général in 1915 as part of the staff dealing with the evening new bulletins. He would have to use all of his journalistic skill to be as economical with the brutal truth of the losses and reverses at the front suffered by the French during 1915-1918. During this period he met with all of the senior officers of the French High Command of whom he had varied opinions of their skill; it was during this time that he began to become disillusioned with the French leadership. After the First World War ended Pierrefeu sharpened his criticisms and published his damning criticism of the French Army as “French Headquarters, 1915-1918”. He is frequently critical of his superiors and the elegant lifestyle at headquarters and holds back nothing in his vivid depiction of army life.
“The writer of this amusing book had the task of drawing up each evening the communiqué of French General Headquarters. What he writes is military gossip rather than military history, but he gives an interesting insight into the life of the headquarters under Joffre, Nivelle, and Pétain.”— p. 67 Cyril Falls. War Books, London, 1930.

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