Henri Joseph Eugène Gouraud
(17 November 1867 – 16 September 1946) was a French general, best known for his leadership of the French Fourth Army
at the end of the First World War
Henri Gouraud was born on Rue de Grenelle in Paris on 17 November 1867 to Doctor Xavier Gouraud and Mary Portal, the first of six children. The Gouraud family originally came from Vendée
, but had left during the French Revolution for Angers
, then Paris. Gouraud was educated at home and at the Collège Stanislas de Paris
. His decision for a military career was, like many Frenchmen of his generation, motivated by the French defeat in the Franco-Prussian War
Gouraud entered the Saint Cyr Military Academy
in 1888 as part of the "Grand Triomphe" promotion, a well chosen name as it included sixty future generals. He graduated in 1890 and joined the Troupes de marine
. He expected to be posted overseas as the Troupes de marine served in the French colonial empire
, but his father objected because he feared that the marines would be a bad influence on his son. Gouraud respected his father's wish and was instead posted to the 21st Foot Chasseur Regiment at Montbéliard
Henri Gouraud was assigned in 1894 to French Sudan
. He developed a reputation as an effective if lucky commander. In 1898, he was ordered to head one of a number of units fighting Samori
, the resistance leader who had been fighting the French for more than a decade. Driven into the highlands south of Niger River
valley by a series of previous defeats, Samori's forces were defeated within the year. On 29 September 1898, Gouraud's unit stumbled upon Samori's encampment and captured him.
More importantly, it marked the end of the last large state opposing French colonialism in the West.
The capture of Samori made Henri Gouraud a celebrated figure in France, at the same time as nationalists were recovering from the setback against the British at Fashoda
. The young captain was feted in the highest political circles of Paris, where he was introduced to powerful businessmen and politicians with interests in the colonial project. Among them were Auguste d'Arenberg
and Eugène Étienne
, future founders of what was called the "parti colonial
". Thanks to the patronage of the "parti colonial", Henri Gouraud pursued a career across French Africa for the next fifteen years, with postings in Niger
, Chad and Mauritania
. In 1907, he was promoted to colonel and commissaire du Gouvernement général
of Mauritania, where he led a campaign against Bedouin tribes who threatened transport between the colonies of Morocco
and French West Africa
In 1911, after attending the centre des Hautes études militaires
in France, colonel Gouraud was stationed in Morocco
, where he was promoted to général de brigade
, serving under Lyautey
. He was placed in command of the Fez
military region, and from 1914 to 1915 in command of all French colonial troops in western Morocco.
World War I
French Mandate of Syria and Lebanon
Proclamation of the state of Greater Lebanon, Gouraud with Grand Mufti of Beirut Sheikh Mustafa Naja, and on his right is the Maronite Patriarch Elias Peter Hoayek.
After the war, Gouraud served from 1919 to 1923 as representative of the French Government in the Middle East and commander of the French Army of the Levant
. As commander of French forces during Franco-Turkish war
, he presided over the creation of the French Mandates in Syria and Lebanon. Following the implementation of the 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement
, which divided the occupied remnants of the Ottoman Empire
between France and Britain, Gouraud was commander of forces sent to enforce the French division of the Levant.
General Gouraud crossing through al-Khandaq street on 13 September 1920, Aleppo
There, Gouraud's ongoing attempt to control King Faisal
came to a head. Gouraud led French forces which crushed King Faisal
's short-lived monarchy at the Battle of Maysalun
on 23 July 1920, occupied Damascus
, defeated the forces of the Syrian Revolution
and established the French Mandate of Syria
. These territories were reorganised a number of times by Gouraud's decrees, the most famous being the creation of the State of Greater Lebanon
on 1 September 1920. Gouraud became the French High Commissioner in Syria and Lebanon, effective head of the colonial government there.
He is remembered in the Levant
primarily for this role, and for an attributed anecdote which portrays him as the epitome of Western triumphalism in the Middle East. Following the Battle of Maysalun
, Gouraud reportedly went to the Tomb of Saladin
, kicked it, and said: Awake, Saladin. We have returned. My presence here consecrates the victory of the Cross over the Crescent
Gouraud's administration in Syria borrowed much from his time as a young man working under Lyautey
in Morocco, where colonial policy focused on control of the country through manipulation of tribes, Sufis, and the rural Berber populations.
In Syria, this took the form of separate administrations for Druze
communities, with the aim of dividing their interests from those of urban nationalists.
Particularly unpopular following the French taking of Damascus, the folk hero Adham Khanjar
of Southern Lebanon
staged a failed attempt on Gouraud's life on 23 June 1921.
In 1923, he returned to France, where he was the Military Governor of Paris from 1923 to 1937. He also served on the Supreme Allied War Council from 1927 until his retirement in 1937. General Gouraud died in Paris in 1946.
La Pacification de Mauritanie. Journal des marches et opérations de la colonne de l'Adrar, 1910; Souvenirs d'un Africain, Au Soudan, 1939; Zinder-Tchad. Souvenirs d'un Africain, 1944; Mauritanie-Adrar, 1945; Au Maroc, 1946
- ^ M'Baye Gueye, Albert Adu Boahen. West Africa; the fight for survival – a continent resists colonization[permanent dead link]. UNESCO Courier, May, 1984.
- ^ Martin Klein. Slavery and Colonial Rule in French West Africa. Cambridge (1998) ISBN 0-521-59324-7. pp.119–121.
- ^ Haythornthwaite, Philip (2004) . Gallipoli 1915: Frontal Assault on Turkey. Campaign Series #8. London: Osprey. pp. 15–16. ISBN 0-275-98288-2.
- ^ GOURAUD 1867–1946 (in French)
- ^ Ballade strasbourgeoise Archived 25 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine, INA.fr (in French)
- ^ Meyer, Karl Ernest; Brysac, Shareen Blair (2008). Kingmakers: The Invention of the Modern Middle East. W. W. Norton & Company. p. 359. ISBN 9780393061994. Awake, Saladin. We have returned.
- ^ Rogan, Eugene (2011). The Arabs: A History. Penguin. pp. 220, 225.
- ^ Rogan, Eugene (2011). The Arabs: A History. Penguin. p. 226.
- ^ Acović, Dragomir (2012). Slava i čast: Odlikovanja među Srbima, Srbi među odlikovanjima. Belgrade: Službeni Glasnik. p. 144.
- ^ chleuhs.com, Histoires : L'agonie du cèdre dit Gouraud Archived 8 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine, 3 June 2006.
- ^ C. Michael Hogan, (2008) Barbary Macaque: Macaca sylvanus, Globaltwitcher.com, ed. Nicklas Stromberg Archived 19 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine
On his time in the Levant
- Philippe Gouraud. Le general Henri Gouraud au Liban et en Syrie (1919–1923) (Comprendre le Moyen-Orient). L'Harmattan (1993). ISBN 978-2-7384-2073-2
- Elizabeth Thompson. Colonial Citizens: Republican Rights, Paternal Privilege, and Gender in French Syria and Lebanon. Columbia University Press, (2000) ISBN 978-0-231-10661-0
Last edited on 15 February 2021, at 23:11
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