Joseph Simon Gallieni (1849-1916)

African Proconsuls. European Governors in Africa.
L.H. Gann & Peter Duignan, eds.

New York/London/Stanford. The Free Press/Collier Macmillan Publishers & Hoover Institution. 1978. 548 pages

Virgil L. Matthew, Jr.


Marshal Gallieni’s long and varied career was primarily that of an empire builder in the late nineteenth and the early twentieth century, although he is probably best known as the military governor of Paris and the hero of the Marne in 1914. Starting his career as a second lieutenant in the Franco-Prussian war, Gallieni entered the colonial service soon after his release as a prisoner of war; his first overseas post was on the island of Réunion. Subsequent colonial duty included West Africa, Martinique, Indochina, and reached its climax in Madagascar, where he served as governor-general from 1896 to 1905. This tall, spare, bushy eyebrowed, and mustachioed leader spent the last eleven years of his life in France as comwebmander of armies and as a member of the supreme war council. Recalled to active duty as military governor of Paris at the beginning of World War I, Gallieni’s alert, restless, ascetic, and bespectacled figure presented a striking contrast to his portly and placid fellow meridional Joffre. Gallieni’s last service for France was as minister of war, a position from which he resigned for reasons of health shortly before his death.
During his colonial career Gallieni put forth a number of concepts that were important not only for those areas he comwebmanded, but also in the development of French colonial thought—particularly through the application of these concepts by his disciples, the most famous of whom was Hubert Lyautey. Gallieni was an administrator who favored the idea of association, which called for collaboration and cooperation between the French and the native peoples. Two other policies are even more directly associated with him, namely, the tâche d’huile, or “oil spot,” and la politique des races. The oil spot technique was a means of pacifying an ever broader area around a center of control by making use of the native peoples. Gallieni employed this technique in West Africa and Indochina and perfected it in Madagascar. La politique des races, also perfected in Madagascar, called for commonsense administration adjusted to the conditions and the needs of the particular region and its people.

Early Life, 1849-1876

Joseph Simon Gallieni was born at Saint-Béat, just north of the Spanish border, on April 24, 1849, the son of Gaiëtan Gallieni and Françoise Perissé. His father, who left Lombardy to avoid service in the Austrian army, had enlisted in the French army, serving from 1829 until his retirement in 1860. It was while he was in command of a frontier garrison that he met and married Françoise Perissé and, after his retirement, he returned to Saint-Béat to become a wine-grower and local magistrate under the Second Empire and the Third Republic. Joseph was thus a product of sturdy mountaineer, provincial, and military traditions associated with austere morality, hard work, sense of duty, and intense patriotism.
At the age of eleven Gallieni left home to attend the Prytanée de La Flèche, a military school for the sons of soldiers, in preparation for Saint-Cyr. The distance from home and the difficulties and expense of travel meant that the young Gallieni was removed from his family except for the long vacation during the month of October and that the instructors took the place of his parents. These professors tended to be Voltairean rationalists, often critical of the Second Empire, and they influenced their young student not only in his development of a rigid self-discipline but also in his attitude toward religion and politics. It was also here that Gallieni formed a number of lifelong friendships with fellow students who, though sons of soldiers, did not follow a military career. Many schoolmates later entered the theater, the arts, and literature, which may account in part for Gallieni’s wide circle of non-military friends
In 1868 he graduated from La Flèche and entered Saint-Cyr. An indication of Gallieni’s sentiments at the age of nineteen is given by his entrance composition, which was an attack on the ancien régime, especially the period of Louis XV, and a glorification of the patriotism of the revolution. Gallieni was known throughout his career as a republican general, in contrast to many of his monarchist colleagues. When he served on the supreme war council between 1908 and 1914, he was one of only two or three members labeled “republicans.”
A hard-working student at both La Flèche and Saint-Cyr—ranked about in the middle of his classes at both schools—Gallieni chose the colonial infantry, or marines, while at Saint-Cyr. Although love of adventure and, after the Franco-Prussian war, a desire to escape from the humiliation of defeat are the usual reasons given for his choice, the fact that Gallieni was a métis—Italian and Catalan, republican in sympathy, and not at the top of his class—146th in a class of 275—may have had some influence on his choice of the marines, the least highly regarded of the services.
When the “class of Suez” was assigned to duty on July 14, 1870, Gallieni
joined the Third Marine Division as a second lieutenant, and it was in this capacity that he took part in the battle of Sedan, assigned to the so-called Blue Division fighting at Bazeilles against the Bavarians. His regiment held off the enemy for an entire day with such intensity that, when they were finally forced to surrender, the Bavarians threatened reprisals and were deterred only by one of their own officers. Slightly injured, Gallieni claimed that he and his nineteen comrades, all that remained of the regiment, were not a part of the surrender of Sedan . His letters to his family at this period have a sort of “all is lost save honor” quality about them, and he had the painful satisfaction of being received by General von der Tann and congratulated along with his commanding officer, Major Lambert.
As a prisoner, Gallieni was detained at the fortress of Magdeburg and then, after the armistice, was allowed to reside in Neuburg, Bavaria, with the family of a professor. During this period of almost seven months, he set to work studying the German people, their customs and history, a mode of dealing with foreign settings that he adhered to in his colonial career. He also learned German and eventually was able to speak and write the language fluently. This interest in languages is shown by the daily journal he kept between the years 1876 and 1879, written in German, English, Italian, and even some Latin, entitled Erinnerungen of My Life di Ragazzo. He later learned Spanish, and added African and Asian languages during his tours of duty on those continents. Gallieni admired the German people, whom he considered “as good if not superior” to the French and more law-abiding. In this period he was very critical of French politicians and journalists, Napoleon III, and the lack of organization in the French army; and his republicanism was again revealed by his delight at the proclamation of the Third Republic
In March 1871 Gallieni was released to return to France and was reassigned to the marines at Rochefort-sur-Mer, but he was looking forward to service overseas, and in April 1872 he departed for the island of Réunion, where he remained until June 1875. It was while he was on this assignment that he was advanced to the rank of lieutenant in April 1873. Réunion was not an exciting station, but it gave Gallieni time for study and his first contact with the tropics. He also had his first indirect contact with Madagascar since French settlers and missionaries sometimes came to Réunion, especially during periods of trouble on the greater island. But eager for a more active life, Gallieni was able to get a transfer to the tirailleurs sénégalais and returned to France in 1875. After the usual period of rest and service at home, he departed for Dakar in December 1876.
During this stay in France Gallieni began his remarkable daily journal. This record was undoubtedly useful for the perfection of his knowledge of languages and for the organization of his thoughts on various subjects. It reveals the wide range of interests of the young lieutenant—German history, military organization, African geography, music, and poetry—alongside lighter, personal passages. The journal shows Gallieni to have been a warm and friendly young officer, quite in contrast to his deliberately cold and austere manner, a pose enhanced by his physique, which gave him the appearance of a figure from El Greco . A fellow officer who served with Gallieni at this time described his colleague as complex, meditative, withdrawn, serious, and reserved, but with fits of gaiety, unhappy at social gatherings, an untiring worker whose government duties were not enough and who used his free time to study all subjects especially military topics and languages.

West Africa, 1877-1881

The new assignment in Senegal was not immediately demanding or interesting and may explain Gallieni’s journal notations in which he speculated on the possibility of leaving the army for the consular service, where his knowledge of languages would be useful . Illness, such as yellow fever and shingles, did not improve the situation, but Gallieni’s spirits and career were about to take a turn for the better. In April 1878 he was promoted to the rank of captain, but, more important, he came to the attention of the governor of Senegal, Louis Brière de L’Isle, a colonial activist who wanted to complete the expansionist projects envisioned by Louis Faidherbe during his terms as governor in 1854-1861 and 1863-1865.
Brière de L’Isle’s plans called not only for the control of trade between Senegal and the Niger but also for the construction of a railway, which required territorial command of the area ruled by the Sultan Ahmadou of the Tukulor empire. This task was to be given to Gallieni, who was appointed political director of Senegal in January 1879 and in August was sent on a political and topographical mission to the upper Senegal, where French control ended at Médine, a place that Faidherbe had saved from a Tukulor attack in 1857. This first mission was a reconnaissance to establish good relations with the tribes opposed to the Tukulors and to found a post at Bafoulabé. At this period many Frenchmen, including Gallieni, believed that it was necessary to move quickly in order to prevent the British from taking over the Sudan commercially and politically. The French were also faced with the problem of the Tukulor empire-whether to cooperate with it or to encourage its enemies and sow discord among its vassals. In his own account Gallieni shifts from one policy to the other, but his reports show that his original aim was opposition to the Tukulors
By 1880 the railway project was moving forward and it was necessary to take action. In February of that year, about a week after the Gallieni expedition to the Niger left Saint-Louis, Admiral Jean Jauréguiberry, minister of the navy, laid before the French Chamber of Deputies a proposal for a railway from Dakar to the Niger . The survey of the route thus became one of the major objectives of the expedition; but other duties included gaining permission for the construction of forts at Fangala and Kita, and the signing of protectorate treaties with the local tribes. Various treaties were signed with local chiefs culminating in the treaty of Kita, April 25, 1880, which placed considerable emphasis upon commercial operations. Celebration of the signing included native dancing, which the young and somewhat puritanical captain found indecent.
, the capital of Sultan Ahmadou, was Bamako on the Niger, and Gallieni chose the more direct but dangerous route through hostile Bambara country. At Dio the mission—which consisted of 5 French officers, 160 native troops, and over 300 pack animals—was ambushed and suffered serious losses, for the sultan. Under such conditions Gallieni might have been expected to retreat, but he decided to continue. He believed retreat whould have an adverse effect, especially in those areas in which the French had recently come as protectors. The reception of the mission by Ahmadou was perhaps more scornful than hostile. Gallieni’s position was weak and the Tukulor sultan had reason to distrust the French, who were cooperating with his enemies and building forts while attempting to reach an agreement with him. Instead of allowing the mission to enter Ségou, it was stopped a few miles away at the village of Nango in June 1880 and kept waiting there for the next ten months. Despite Gallieni’s repeated complaints and promises of military assistance, the French were held as virtual captives in uncomfortable and unhealthy conditions. Not until late in October did Ahmadou begin negotiations through his minister, Seydou Djeylia, and on November 3 the treaty of Nango was signed. Both sides gained and lost by the agreement. The French got a protectorate to forestall what they believed was a British threat, as well as commercial and navigation rights; the Tukulors got arms for use against their African opponents. Gallieni was pleased With the results of his diplomacy but the treaty was never ratified by the French government because of the arms agreement, although discrepancies between the French and Arabic texts was the reason given
The conclusion of the treaty did not end the ordeal for Gallieni and his group, who continued to be detained at Nango until March 1881. During this period the French engaged in a show of strength to maintain their prestige and avenge the ambush at Dio. This action was carried out by a career artilleryman who had previously served in Indochina, lieutenant colonel Gustave Borgnis-Desbordes, the superior comwebmander of the Upper Senegal, and might have led to reprisals against the Frenchmen at Nango, but Ahmadou wanted to avoid open conflict with France. Actually, Borgnis-Desbordes’s arrival at Kita to begin the construction of a fort and his destruction of the village of Goubanko gave heart to the “captives,” and Gallieni’s letters to Ahmadou, after hearing this news, take on a much firmer tone. There was also a note of desperation about Gallieni’s action as he feared the angry sultan might attack; but on March 10 the latter sent the signed treaty, along with horses and supplies, and the Frenchmen were finally able to depart from Nango on March 21, 1881 10

Ahmadu Segu-Gallieni
Ahmadou Shaykh, sultan de Ségou and Gallieni at Nango

Brière de L’Isle was unstinting in his praise, and Gallieni was promoted to the rank of major and awarded the Cross of the Legion of Honor, but the mission to Ségou could hardly be regarded as a success. However, it was followed by an uneasy, ten-year truce; it opened up the route to the Niger; it arranged treaties with the native chiefs; and it surveyed the route of the future railway to the Niger.
The African climate and the rigors of the virtual captivity at Nango forced Gallieni to take a long rest—two years in France and three years in Martinique. He returned to France in June 1881 and the following summer, August 1882, the recently promoted major was married to Marthe Savelli, a member of a Corsican family. As a result of this marriage, Gallieni became master of a Provengal farmhouse near Saint-Raphaël, La Gabelle, which was to be the Gallienis’ home in France for the rest of their lives. The assignment to Martinique, from April 1883 to May 1886, offered an opportunity to write a book on his recent African experiences, Voyage au Soudan français, and to complete his reports on the topography of the Niger. Gallieni was always firm in the belief that he and others engaged in colonial service should publish accounts of their actions as quickly as possible in order to encourage French interest in the empire.

West Africa, 1886-1888

By the late 1880s French imperial interest seemed to be in a state of decline. The Ferry ministry had been brought down over events in Tonkin, and the Boulanger episode had renewed interest in Alsace-Lorraine. However, French advances continued and the period from 1885 to 1889, especially in Africa, has been called “the loaded pause.” 11. The Berlin conference of 1884 had set the ground rules for the scramble for Africa, where the French were involved with all the old problems—tribal conflicts, Moslem chiefs, difficulties with Great Britain, extension of the area of French control, and completion of the railway. Between 1880 and 1886 Borgnis-Desbordes and his successors had expanded the area of French control and had come into contact with new and powerful Moslem leaders, The most important of these was Samory, who caused trouble for the French for sixteen years, between 1882, when Borgnis-Desbordes collided with him on the Niger, and his capture in 1898. The other major threat came from the religious leader, or marabout, Mahmadu Lamine
This was the situation in the Sudan when Gallieni returned to France in 1886 to be promoted to lieutenant colonel; soon afterward he was summoned from Saint-Raphaël to Paris by the undersecretary of state for the colonies, Jean de La Porte. Together with Faidherbe, Brière de L’Isle, now deputy inspector general of the marine infantry, and Borgnis-Desbordes, now the colonial department’s Sudanese expert, La Porte arranged for Gallieni to be named the new commandant of the French Sudan. Borgnis-Desbordes even drafted the instructions, which called for a “firm, prudent, and peaceful” policy, dealing first with the rebellion of Mahmadu Lamine and then with the rehabilitation of the forts and the resumption of the railway construction 12
The lieutenant colonel who arrived at Dakar in October 1886 was much more mature and experienced than the young captain of five years earlier, and during his term as commandant he was able to initiate a policy of pacification that was the beginning of his famous oil spot technique, used later in Tonkin and Madagascar. Gallieni’s twofold task was both diplomatic and military, negotiating where possible and using force where necessary. The military task consisted of the consolidation and pacification of those areas already taken, sometimes recklessly, by his predecessors. The more fruitful diplomatic task consisted of the extension of French influence in the neighboring states of the Upper Niger. In all this Gallieni’s major concerns were the growth of trade, which was possible only under peaceful conditions, and the provision of effective protection for those who accepted French rule.
The first step was the preparation of an expedition against Mahmadu Lamine, who had embarked upon an independent career as a religious leader against Ahmadou and had taken up his position at Diana between the Senegal and Gambia rivers. Lamine was a former disciple of Umar, the founder of the Tukulor empire, and an unsuccessful claimant to his temporal rule. But before moving against this rebel leader, it was necessary to assure the neutrality of Ahmadou and Samory by initiating negotiations, which, even if unsuccessful, could give the French valuable time. Gallieni wrote a friendly letter and sent gifts to Ahmadou, manifesting his desire to live in peace. As for Samory, he sent an embassy under Captain Etienne Péroz to renegotiate the treaty of March 1886, which had made concessions to the African leader that the French no longer wanted to continue. Among other things, Gallieni regarded French control of the entire left bank of the Niger as essential for the development of commerce and for the diversion of the trade of the empire of Samory to French and away from English territories 13
The first attack against Mahmadu Lamine resulted in the destruction of his fortified village of Diana in November-December 1886; but Lamine was able to escape and the final reckoning with this African leader did not come until the following year 14. However, Gallieni immediately began arranging treaties with the local chieftains, who accepted French protection and agreed to send their sons to French schools. Faidherbe had founded the Ecole des otages at Saint-Louis, which produced the first educated native administrators for Senegal, and Gallieni imitated Faidherbe’s policy in the Sudan since he regarded schools as one of the most important means of extending French civilization and influence. These treaties also show Gallieni’s primary interest in economic considerations and the belief that he was in a race with the English 15. His concern with trade did not imply ruthless exploitation of the natives. He was a convinced imperialist—though a humanistic one—who regarded Africa as potentially vital to the future of France. But he did not view Africans with racial arrogance and he had a high opinion of many of those with whom he worked, especially those who were loyal to the interests of France 16. Gallieni’s later policy of races, which took the interests of the natives into consideration, was, as we have seen, one of his major achievements. Nevertheless, his first concern was the interests of France, and native rulers and institutions that stood in the way were to be eliminated.
While these events were taking place, Captain Péroz was successful in his mission to Samory, who, with some reluctance, accepted the new French demands. These included abandonment by Samory of the left bank of the Niger, acceptance of a French protectorate, and agreement to the construction of a French fort at Siguiri, at the junction of the Niger and Tinkisso rivers. This agreement of March-April 1887 had the effect of extending French control of the Upper Niger as far as Liberia and Sierra Leone 17. Shortly after this event one more adversary was disposed of permanently—with the capture of Soybu, the son of Mahmadu Lamine, who had directed the siege of Bakel the previous year. Soybu had put up a stubborn fight when taken and Gallieni indicated he would have liked to grant him a pardon, but any act of clemency would have been regarded as a sign of weakness. A court-martial returned a verdict of guilty and Gallieni ordered him shot (Soybu is reported to have given thanks for being allowed to die like a soldier).
A new agreement was also reached with Ahmadou, the sultan of Ségou, in May 1887. Like Samory, Ahmadou needed French arms against his African adversaries, and he offered even less objection to the French demands. By the treaty of Gouri the states of the sultan were placed under French protection and opened to French traders, who were also authorized to navigate the Niger and its tributaries. As with the treaty with Samory, this agreement was only temporary so far as Gallieni was concerned. He had no reason to trust the Tukulors and he regarded such agreements as a means of forestalling the spread of British influence but in no way limiting his own freedom of action.
In addition to military campaigns and diplomatic negotiations, Gallieni also directed his attention toward the rebuilding and improvement of the areas under his control. Expeditions were sent into previously unknown territory, new routes were surveyed and roads built, and railway construction was resumed. The Upper
Niger was also divided into six cercles for better protection and administration. Along with the establishment of écoles des otages (“schools for hostages”) Gallieni also established villages de liberté (“freedom villages”) to provide refuges for displaced natives, mostly former slaves, who were either unable or unwilling to return to their old tribal organizations. Whether these villages were simply friendly bases for the French, a means of fighting the slave trade, a part of the oil spot technique, which—like the cercles—was a method of providing centers from which French influence could spread, or simply an attempt to assure a ready supply of laborers for public works is a subject of controversy 18. With these considerable accomplishments behind him and with the approach of the rainy season, Gallieni was able to take a leave of absence in France between June and November 1887.
Upon his return to West Africa he resumed the unfinished business of Mahmadu Lamine, launching a second campaign against this religious leader, who had regained much of his strength and was attacking areas nominally under French protection. Although Lamine had made offers of submission, Gallieni regarded these as ruses and was determined to deal with him once and for all. With his usual care and skill, Gallieni prepared for Lamine’s destruction, something he believed was necessary not only to bring peace to the region but also to remove any possible native threat to the route to the Niger and the construction of the fort at Siguiri. The second campaign against Mahmadu Lamine, under the leadership of Captain Fortin, assisted by African allies, resulted in the capture of Lamine’s stronghold at Tubakuta. Although Lamine escaped, he was wounded and captured by an African rival and died while being taken to the French. The death of the marabout produced the desired effect and the chiefs signed treaties accepting French suzerainty in December 1887 19
While the final expedition against Lamine was taking place, Gallieni was busy organizing the move to Siguiri and the construction of a fort, an undertaking that also involved the construction of roads, bridges, and telegraph lines. Since Samory had forced the people to evacuate when he withdrew from the left bank of the Niger, Gallieni had to make every effort to convince them that the French had come to stay. Although not immediately successful in getting the people to return, he was encouraged by the appearance of Moslem traders and expressed the hope that Siguiri would replace the English posts in Sierra Leone.
Still an ardent expansionist, Gallieni wanted to increase the area of French influence and trade even further and he sent out several missions, especially into Fouta Djallon, which later became part of French Guinea. Gallieni sought to secure the western region against possible British expansion, as well as to extend French authority and commerce northeastward to the middle Niger, to Timbuktu, and to the areas within the great loop of the river. Once again, the presumed threat of British—or even German—interest in the region served as a spur to the French. At the time, Gallieni regarded the area bounded by Saint-Louis, Timbuktu, Siguiri, and Benty as a valuable commercial domain, and by launching a seeond gunboat on the river he made France mistress of the Upper Niger 20
It was on this tour of duty in the Sudan that Gallieni came into his own as a colonial leader, having formulated his own ideas concerning the methods the French should use in order to expand, pacify, and develop their colonial empire. During his first assignment in West Africa he had been under the intellectual influence of Governor Brière de L’Isle, but in the Sudan he became a leader and a man of initiative. He also developed some definite ideas concerning the role of France in West Africa, which were, unfortunately, not followed by his successor as commandant of the Sudan, Major Louis Archinard21
The last chapter of Gallieni’s book on his experience in the Sudan, Deux Campagnes au Soudan français, 1886-1888, gives a careful evaluation of the French position and the potential for the future. It is also an attack on the policies of Archinard. Gallieni noted that the question of the French Sudan was closely related to the overall African situation, especially in connection with the various agreements with Germany, Portugal, and Great Britain. As a result of the agreements, missions of exploration, and treaties with native rulers, the limits of French control had been expanded in all directions, and objectives needed to be reconsidered in this new light. He admitted his error in attempting to expand northward toward Timbuktu. The French had been mistaken about the value of the upper Senegal and Niger and he now considered the regions of Fouta Djallon and Rivières-du-Sud, or French Guinea, as the most important for future development. These areas had large populations, resources, and access to the sea. He had also changed his attitude toward Ahmadou and the Tukulors, and he now believed that the veneer of civilization given by Islam made them the best customers for French goods. He opposed any further military action against the Tukulors or even against Samory since this would serve only to decrease the population of an already underpopulated area. Although Gallieni recognized that administration by the military was necessary until the economy had developed sufficiently, he recommended that Europeans be replaced wherever possible by Africans trained in French schools and also that the military forces should be reduced—or at least the number of European soldiers.
Perhaps Gallieni’s most striking change was in his opinion of the railway, which he now considered of little value. Even if extended to the Niger, it would not link up with either a great navigable river such as the Mississippi or the Amazon or an important commercial route such as the Loire or the Rhine; perhaps worst of all, the Niger flowed into British[-controlled] territory. The area had little commerce—even Timbuktu was only a market for salt and slaves—and France should avoid the acquisition of large areas simply for “map coloring” and should confine itself to coasts and navigable rivers. French efforts and money should be used for the building of roads and schools since this was the best means of assisting the local people to develop commercially. Gallieni’s recommendation that old, expensive, useless forts be abandoned and that new ones of native materials be located to create centers of influence was a forerunner of his oil spot technique, and his proposal that further penetration be carried out in part by indigenous peoples was a beginning of his policy of races 22
Many of the same ideas were expressed in the report of a departmental commission (1889-1890) on future French policy in the Sudan. This commission, on which Gallieni represented the military, was established by the undersecretary of state for the colonies, Eugène Etienne, who was convinced of the need for a reexamination of objectives. It was Gallieni who had encouraged Etienne to convene this body, and its report of January 1890 reflected the views of the commandant. It called for an end to military conquest, major cuts in European troop’s and their replacement by Africans, and evacuation or reduction of forts and posts and it opposed extension of the railway. Gallieni also submitted a special report calling for the occupation of Fouta-Djallon. Unfortunately, only a few minor recommendations were carried out. Any change of policy in the Sudan required the cooperation of the commandant, and Major Archinard’s views were diametrically opposed to those of his predecessor.
Archinard was determined to destroy—not to collaborate with—the Moslem states, and the results were war against both Ahmadou and Samory, greatly increased expenditures, and the destruction of any possiblity of economic development. He was the protégé of Borgnis-Desbordes, who was now military advisor to the colonial department, and they were the victors in this struggle. In spite of efforts by Etienne to name Gallieni, it was Archinard who was reappointed to the position of lieutenant governor of the French Sudan in 1892.
Gallieni returned to France in July 1888 after transferring his office to Archinard and spent the next four years at home until he sailed for Tonkin in 1892. During this period he not only completed a book on his second tour of duty in West Africa and served on the colonial department commission in 1889-1890 but also continued his military studies at the Ecole de guerre; Gallieni received the staffs special congratulations and a commendation, along with his certification. This rare citation came in spite of the attitude of the metropolitan army toward colonial officers 23. While at the Ecole de guerre Gallieni frequented the Latin Quarter and came into contact with various literary and artistic groups. Among those he met were Pierre Gheusi, later director of the Opéra comique and a member of Gallieni’s staff during his term as military governor of Paris (1914-1915), and Maurice Barrès, the nationalist writer, who described Gallieni as “an Italian, a schemer” because of his ability to confound his opponents 24

Indochina 1892-1896

In March 1891 Gallieni was promoted to the rank of colonel and given command of the Sixth Marine Regiment at Brest, from which he was assigned as chief of staff of the colonial army corps at Paris. By this time he was eager to return to overseas duty, and reports from Indochina encouraged him to become a tonkinois as well as a former soudanais 25. Perhaps his failure to be reappointed to the Sudan in place of Archinard, or his opposition to the policies of the military in that region, encouraged him to seek a new arena. At any rate, he sailed for Tonkin in September 1892.
Although the Ferry cabinet had fallen in 1885 over the attempt to control Tonkin, the French had remained. The result was several years of expensive fighting against the so-called Black Flags, or “pirates” —guerrillas under local warlords whom the French regarded, rightly or wrongly, as agents of Chinese arms and policy. Unquestionably, they were aided by elements in China and it was not until the border was secured that their resistance to French occupation was controlled. It was this protracted conflict that Gallieni lived with from 1892 until 1896. One possible advantage to France of this long struggle was that it provided a laboratory for the rising school of colonial administrators. It was in Tonkin that Gallieni perfected his policy of races in pacifying and organizing the border provinces. This period in his career was also a decisive factor in the elaboration of his techniques of colonial warfare, which he later put to good use in Madagascar.
Gallieni was “aided by a staff of brilliant officers—if they outranked him, he inspired them, if they were subordinates, he taught them.” 26 The most famous of these subordinates as Major Hubert Lyautey who at the age of forty had left the metropolitan army for service in the colonies. Lyautey found his career in colonial administration serving under Gallieni, whom he admired both as a man and as an administrator, and he told his mentor: “I regard myself as the apostle of your ideas, the flag bearer of your method.” 27 The two men were attracted to each other immediately and became lifelong friends and associates. They both disliked bureaucratic red tape, and one of the first “lessons” Gallieni gave to Lyautey on this subject was to take away the latest service manual and similar works the latter had brought from France so that he would not even be tempted to look at them, saying “it is on the spot, in handling men and things that you learn your job.” 28 Gallieni noted that he was careful not to tell Hanoi the full extent of his plans and to describe his “most daring and revolutionary acts” as “mere rectifications of parishes”; yet he also said that one should “violate all the stifling rules” and not be afraid to speak out through books, newspapers, and in public even at the risk of loss of promotion and career 29
Gallieni was able to get so much from his subordinates because he chose the man he felt capable of doing the job and then left him a free hand to carry out the assigned task—at least this was the case with men such as Lyautey. He drove his men, but he left the initiative to them and he was open to suggestions. Lyautey noted with amazement that he once saw Gallieni send an order by telegram “at the suggestion of a mere sergeant.” 30 When Gallieni named Lyautey as his chief of staff during a major military operation against the “pirates” in 1895, he made it clear that he did not want to hear about problems, that his only concern was results. He believed that Lyautey could perform the task, but if not he would drop him “like a hot potato,” that where the service was concerned he had no sentiment 31. It was also Gallieni’s habit to avoid discussion of an operation once it was under way and to divert himself with a book on philosophy or an English novel. As he explained to Lyautey, the leaders understand the orders and, if they do not, nothing more can be done. Above all, messengers should never be sent as they would cause confusion and useless trouble and probably would not arrive in time.
In 1891 Jean de Lanessan had been named governor-general of Indochina and he brought with him a new policy of dealing with the Black Flags. This included division oaf the area of Tonkin along the Chinese border into four military zones headed by comwebmanders with full military and civil authority to destroy the rebels and to pacify and organize the country. Gallieni was assigned to the relatively quiet First Military Territory between Hanoi and the Chinese frontier, and here he put his methods into operation. They included fortification of the frontier, sealing off the Black Flags and preventing them from crossing back and forth from China, and enlistment of the villagers by supplying them with rifles and ammunition, under careful supervision, so that they could provide their own protection against the guerrillas. This was a part of the larger system he developed, known as “progressive occupation,” which put forth the idea that it was not enough to defeat the enemy, that the military comwebmander must look forward to the organization of the country in cooperation with the local population. Lyautey defined progressive occupation by saying that “military occupation consists less in military operation than in an organization on the march.” 32
Gallieni was able to give wider application to these ideas and methods when he was named comwebmander of the Second Military Territory. The situation here was much less settled than in the First Territory and initially more military action was required. Although progressive occupation called for the avoidance of the use of military columns whenever possible, Gallieni was willing to take such action where necessary, as in the reduction of the guerrilla stronghold of Lung Lat. His policy of providing arms for the villagers also paid off in this engagement, as it was they who fatally wounded the guerrilla chief 33
Progressive occupation required men capable of dealing with all types of problems, civilian as well as military. Once the necessary military action had ended, in fact, the duties of his soldiers became essentially civilian in nature, and Gallieni wanted the collaboration of the men as well as the officers in this work 34. He was proud to note that, as in the Sudan under him and in Algeria under Marshal Bugeaud, the comwebmanders of sectors and posts had made themselves into engineers and architects, and the legionnaires, colonial infantry, and native sharpshooters had become bricklayers, carpenters, and blacksmiths—an example of the ability and ingenuity of soldiers when given a job to do. Gallieni believed that it was desirable to have soldiers perform useful tasks as supervisors of construction, teachers, and skilled workers. Unlike many other military men, he did not believe that such work, with its consequent abandonment of the drill field, was prejudicial to military discipline. In fact, he believed that by providing the soldier with interesting work his concern for the colony increased, even to the extent of settlement in the country after the end of’his term of service. He regarded the soldier as the precursor and collaborator of the colonist, not as a conqueror with no consideration for the future. At times Gallieni felt moments of envy for his civilian colleagues but then he concluded that he liked the excitement of the unexpected and the dangers of his task—the challenge of being the first to bring European civilization to other peoples. It was the lot of the military to prepare the way for a civilian authority.
By the time his command was scheduled to end in the summer of 1895, Gallieni was becoming more and more restive under the increasing demands to adhere to bureaucratic regulations. At one time, when he saved provisions worth a million francs by taxing gambling houses to get funds that were not forthcoming from the administrative center at Hanoi, he was informed that it would have been better to have lost the stores rather than to have saved them by “irregular methods.” Governor-general Léon Rousseau, at least originally, was much less sympathetic to Gallieni’s methods than Lanessan had been and there was increasing control from Hanoi; but Gallieni remained until the early part of 1896 in order to lead one more military operation against a powerful guerrilla chief. By the time of his departure, however, he was deeply concerned about the continuation of the system he had established and which had met with such success 35
He returned from Tonkin with his politique des races developed, the policy that he was to apply most successfully in Madagascar. This program included three major points:

  1. The administrative organization of a country must be perfectly in accord with the nature of the country, of its inhabitants, and of the aim that one has in mind.
  2. All administrative organization must go along with the country in its natural development.
  3. Political action must be combined with the use of force and the former is the much more important 36

Political action was, for Galliéni, primarily an ethnographic problem because it consisted of the recognition and the profitable employment of the local usable elements—the people, the workers—and the neutralization, if necessary the destruction, of the nonusable elements—the rebellious or unsubdued chiefs whose prestige must be destroyed and whose forces must be annihilated. As for the use of force, he noted that the purpose of all forward movement is the effective occupation of the conquered territory and that these actions must be joined as soon as possible to economic action. The purpose of the conquest is to restore peace; to assure the social needs of the populace by the establishment of markets, dispensaries, infirmaries, and schools; and to improve the economy by opening channels of communication and transport and by creating outlets for the products of the country.

Madagascar, 1896-1899

When he returned to France in 1896, Gallieni had reason to expect a long leave with his family at Saint-Raphaël after three and a half years in Indochina. However, in April the new colonial minister, André Lebon, summoned him to compliment him on his work in Tonkin and to discuss the current situation in Madagascar. Lebon knew of Gallieni’s success in West Africa and Indochina. Lebon also had news of Gallieni from his friends and advisors in various imperialist and colonial organizations, such as the Union coloniale and the Comité de l’Afrique frangaise, and from those who had received glowing letters in his praise from Major Lyautey 37. A few days later Lebon offered Gallieni the command of the Madagascar corps of occupation with full civil and military authority. It was an offer that Gallieni felt he could not refuse although he was aware of the difficulties. Not only was the situation in Madagascar disturbing, but the political situation in France was anything but stable. During the time Gallieni had been in Indochina (1892-1896) there had been ten governments, and the colonial office, which had been separated from the navy only in 1894, had Lebon as its fifth minister. This was disturbing to a man who believed that no work was possible without continuity of action and unity of views. This was also the period of the Panama scandal, the assassination of President Carnot by an anarchist, and the beginning of the Dreyfus affair.
France had a long interest in Madagascar dating back to the days of Richelieu and Louis XIV. Though the French never relinquished their claims, they were of no practical importance until they were willing to support them by force, and there was little reason to do so until France knew something of the prize. This was not revealed until the explorations of Alfred Grandidier between 1865 and 1870. During the course of the nineteenth century the situation was complicated by the appearance of English and other missionaries, especially those of the London Missionary Society. It was not until the 1880s, however, that the Franco-Malagasy conflict became serious, leading to a war (1883-1885) that resulted in the establishment of a French protectorate in 1895. The treaty saved the faces of both sides since the French recognized the Merina kingdom of Madagascar, which controlled, directly or indirectly, about two-thirds of the island.
However, the fall of the Ferry government implied a ban on further colonial ventures and the Malagasy construed the treaty as a victory. The Merina were not content to leave well enough alone and the next decade was one of alone and the next decade was one of conflict involving the French, English, and Malagasy. In 1894 the French sent Charles Le Myre de Vilers to establish a real protectorate, but after his forced withdrawal from the capital the next steps were an ultimatum and war. In 1895 General Jacques Duchesne led an expeditionary force that finally succeeded in taking Tananarive after seven months. But the chief enemies of the French were the terrain, problems of supply, and disease.
Although Queen Ranavalona III was forced to accept a treaty giving France possession of the island in January 1896, this did not meet the problem because it continued the fiction that the Merina kingdom and Madagascar were synonymous. The result was that almost immediately after the conquest practically the whole island was in a state of anarchy, with rebels rising up against the Merina or the French or both. Conditions were made worse by the conflict between General Emile Voyron, the successor to Duchesne, and the new resident general, Hippolyte Laroche. The latter was a cultivated, Protestant freethinker whose only colonial service had been a short term in Algeria, whereas Voyron was an old colonial soldier, undiplomatic, intensely Catholic, and unsympathetic to the Third Republic. All these factors plus the change of ministries in 1895-1896 contributed to the initial failure in Madagascar.
The situation was further complicated by the argument over the method to be used in handling the latest French acquisition. After 1890 the anticolonial spirit in France had begun to lessen but there was division among the colonialists. There were those who still held to the old policy of annexation and assimilation even though assimilation had failed in Indochina. At the other extreme were those who favored the newer idea of the protectorate as exemplified in Tunisia, and there was a third school that held that annexation did not necessarily imply assimilation. Out of this third school developed the new policy of “association,” which was to be best exemplified by Gallieni in Madagascar. As a result of this conflict, Madagascar became a kind of “touchstone of colonial policy.” 38 At the moment, the French ministry and Parliament were generally opposed to assimilation, and in view of the recent success in Tonkin it was only natural that association be applied in Madagascar. Diplomatic disputes, as well as internal difficulties on the island, served to encourage the French government to declare Madagascar a colony rather than a protectorate in August 1896 39. Having adopted this new policy, the next step was to find an experienced man who was both an able soldier and a skilled administrator. The choice for Lebon was obviously limited, but the selection of Gallieni proved to be most fortunate for both France and Madagascar.
Although he was familiar with military events that had been taking place on the island, Gallieni admitted that he had little knowledge of other aspects and he sought advice from Alfred Grandidier, the great explorer and authority on Madagascar. Characteristically, while seeking advice from experts, Gallieni had no interest in cluttering up his mind with official reports and refused the enormous dossiers offered by the minister, saying he preferred to await his arrival at the scene before judging the situation and deciding upon the measures to be taken 40
In July 1896 Gallieni was named comwebmander of the French troops in Madagascar and the following month he was advanced to rank of brigadier greneral and departed for his new assignment, arriving in Tananarive on September 16. Although his first instructions were limited to military powers Gallieni insisted that all powers—military, political, and administrative—must be combined to be effective. After the usual bureaucratic delays, this concentration of powers was effected and Gallieni was now free to take the action he deemed necessary 41. At the time he arrived, all of Imerina was in revolt except the area around Tananarive, communication to the coast was precarious, villages were depopulated, and commerce was paralyzed 42. The situation called for immediate military action and the application of the oil spot technique by the establishment of military cercles. The policy of races had to wait until some semblance of order had been achieved. Imerina was divided into four cercles, with all military and civil authority concentrated in the comwebmander of the cercle, who was responsible only to Gallieni.
Popular resistance against French occupation had broken out at the end of the rainy season in March 1896 and spread throughout the island. Not only were the Merina in revolt, but resistance movements developed among the tribes wholly or partially independent of the Merina monarchy. Since Gallieni believed that opposition to the French conquest was mainly Merina resistance led by members of the old ruling class with the royal court and the queen as the rallying point, he began a policy of appeal to the various tribes, especially those that had been vassals of the Merina. But first he moved against the obstacle of the Merina monarchy. He insisted that Queen Ranavalona III, as a French subject, call upon him when he took over the powers of resident general, and he “twisted the knife” by asking his pro-Malagasy predecessor, Laroche, to convey the message. He replaced the Merina flag with the French tricolor and informed the queen that she was now merely “Queen of Imerina” rather than “Queen of Madagascar.” 43
When the resistance continued, Gallieni moved against the royal officials. The prime minister was forced to resign, and the minister of the interior and an uncle of the queen were condemned and shot, an action that Gallieni later regretted. Events surrounding the national-religious ceremony of the Festival of the Bath, November 20, 1896, convinced Gallieni that the queen must go, but he was not yet ready to move. By February 1897 he was ready, and the queen was suddenly informed that she would depart for Réunion within six hours. Gallieni’s interpretation of the action was that he had “invited the queen to resign her functions and at her request [had] authorized her departure to the island of Réunion.” This fait accompli raised a storm of protest in Parliament, but Gallieni received the support of the cabinet even though Lebon had advised against hasty action 44. Gallieni explained his high-handedness by saying that difficulties of communication did not permit instructions on every decision and that all his acts were guided by three principles essential for the establishment of French control—destruction of the prestige and authority of the Merina, replacement of English influence by French, and development of commerce. The final and most telling argument was that the exile of the queen had been successful.
Destruction of the monarchy had removed the only national symbol from the revolt and had also answered the question of Merina hegemony, but the state of anarchy was still serious. The insurrection might have been suppressed by a massive military action, but Gallieni’s instructions from Lebon had specifically enjoined against this, especially the use of French troops. At any rate, this was not his method of operation and he intended to use the oil spot with its economy of men and money. The central plateau, including Imerina and Betsileo, was the most important part of the island, along with the route from Tananarive to the port of Tamatave. With order restored in this central area, pacification would then spread out from this oil spot, which included efforts to gain support of the non-Merina peoples.
In addition to the centralization of all authority in his own hands and the organization of military cercles a general staff of seven bureaus was set up by Gallieni to control all activities—civil and military—on the island. As pacification progressed, new military cercles were added and old cercles were grouped together into military territories. The native peoples were handled under the policy of races by which the Merina hegemony was suppressed and the former subject peoples were convened to choose their own leaders. When important rebel leaders surrendered, Gallieni made a great show of clemency in order to persuade them to use their influence with those still in rebellion and even restored some to their former positions. This tactic, along with a few executions and deportations, achieved the desired results 45. Madagascar was fortunate in having Gallieni, whose actions compare most favorably with the methods used by the French following the Malagasy rebellion of 1947, which resulted in repression, mass arrests, and a large number of victims.
By the spring of 1897 the center of the island was sufficiently pacified to allow the grouping of the cercles into larger territories with greatly reduced forces. Gallieni also made use of the method he had tried successfully in Tonkin—the arming of loyal partisans so that they could defend their villages against attacks of the insurgents. With the accomplishment of this first state of pacification, he made a triumphal tour of inspection around the island in May and June, much in the style of the Merina rulers, to meet with Merina vassals. Part of the purpose of the tour was to determine the military situation for the second stage of pacification in the coastal regions during the summer and fall of 1897. One of these actions was to be under the command of Lyautey, who had come to Madagascar to serve under his old comwebmander again.
In spite of his success, Gallieni encountered considerable opposition from Parliament that was more concerned with “jokers and charlatans” such as Boulanger than with colonial affairs and from the civil and military authorities in a “France more mandarinized than China.” 46 The second stage of operations was sufficiently successful, however, to enable him to make a second tour of inspection from June to October 1898. Whereas the first tour was primarily military, the second tour was largely political in character.
Before his departure from Tananarive, Gallieni issued his “Instructions of May 22, 1898,” the most complete statement of his doctrines of pacification and administration. In it he emphasized his policy of races, or association, or indirect rule. The objective of this policy was to separate the peoples into their own racial groups without forcing them into a uniform method of organization and administration and always taking into account the manners and customs of the different peoples of the island. In his speeches to the various local groups, Gallieni emphasized that they should learn the French language in order to become “devoted associates” of the French colonists, who came to bring them “wealth and civilization,” but that they were free to preserve their customs, religion, and traditional dances. Before the close of 1899 the entire island seemed to be pacified and, although there was a revolt in the south in 1904, the fact that Madagascar was singularly free from internal violence until the revolt of 1947 was largely the result of the foundations laid by Gallieni 47
Allied with the problem of the monarchy, but not so easily solved by a coup, was the question of religion. There had been a continuing struggle among English, French, American, and Norwegian Protestants and French Catholics, the major contestants being the London Missionary Society and the French Jesuits. The religious conflict was complicated by the fact that education was in the hands of the missionaries, with more than two-thirds of the schools under foreign Protestants, mainly the London Missionary Society. Since Gallieni considered education of the utmost importance in the establishment of French control, it was necessary for him to take action, although he noted “it was not easy to maneuver between Luther and Loyola.” 48 Instructions from Lebon had called for religious neutrality and, so far as religion itself was concerned, Gallieni was in complete agreement. French Protestants and French Catholics could argue over the Malagasy as much as they wished since this did not involve the question of French domination, but Gallieni was not so neutral where foreign missions were concerned. His program in Madagascar has been compared with that of Richelieu “to humble the House of Austria, the nobles, and the Protestants.” For Gallieni the House of Austria was Great Britain, the nobles were the Merina officials and the queen, and the Protestants were, above all, the missionaries of the London Missionary Society. Like Richelieu, Gallieni felt the latter comprised a “state within a state.” 49
Although some of Gallieni’s actions unfavorably affected the Protestant mission schools, such as the decrees that French be the basis of instruction and that no Malagasy who did not speak and write French be employed by the government, he had no desire to destroy such schools and even encouraged French Protestants and Catholic orders other than the Jesuits to establish new missions. He did take over some of the mission schools and hospitals after adequate compensation was given, but he never touched the churches and ordered the return of some that had been confiscated.
Perhaps the most important result of this religious-educational conflict was that Gallieni felt it necessary to establish an official lay system of education, which was the foundation of the program lasting until independence in 1960 and beyond 50. The emphasis was upon practical education in contrast to the traditional literary emphasis in other French colonies. His aim was to train farmers and artisans not savants or a dangerous intellectual proletariat. All three levels of the official schools were directed toward this end. The first (rural) level emphasized handicrafts and agriculture, the second level provided more advanced training for industrial and agricultural apprentices, and the third level continued this process. At this last level the three most important schools were the Ecole de médecine to train medical assistants, the Ecole professionelle to train craftsmen and teachers of crafts, and the Ecole normale Le Myre de Vilers to train interpreters and government administrators. Almost all of Madagascar’s present leaders are products of these institutions established by Gallieni. His interest in education and cultural life extended beyond the schools and, in line with his policy of association, he encouraged the scholarly activities of the Comité de Madagascar, founded the Académie malgache in 1902, and required his subordinates to learn the Malagasy language.

Madagascar, 1900-1905

By the spring of 1899, it was possible for Gallieni to return to France for an extended leave (April 1899-August 1900). The combination of force and diplomacy had secured most of the island except for some areas of the west and south. One reason for the return was to secure finances for his expensive public works—the railway from Tananarive to the east coast, roads, telegraph lines, and the naval base at Diégo-Suarez, the construction of which was carried out under Colonel Joseph Joffre of the corps of engineers.
This period during the Dreyfus affair, between the Fashoda crisis and the outbreak of the Boer war, was not opportune for Gallieni’s plans and caused his stay in France to be much longer than he originally intended. It also posed the danger that he and his subordinates might be drawn into the struggle; and Gallieni gave strict orders to his assistants, including Colonel Lyautey, to concern themselves exclusively with Madagascar. Although he claimed that Dreyfus and Zola “left him cold,” there were apparently some rightist leaders and groups who viewed Gallieni as a “man on horseback” and the minister of war, General de Galliffet, is reported to have jested that if he were Gallieni, he would be sleeping at the Elysée within a week 51. However, the delay gave Gallieni and his assistants an opportunity to gain support from various colonial groups, especially the Comité de l’Afrique française. This group included diverse personalities from politics, finance, and industry, such as Joseph Chailley-Bert, secretary-general of the Union coloniale française and founder of the Institut colonial international, and Eugène Etienne, deputy from Oran, former colonial minister, and leader of the colonial group in the Chamber. While avoiding the invitations of the rightist groups, Gallieni spoke to the Union coloniale frangaise, the Comité de Madagascar, the Société de géographie, the chambers of commerce at Marseilles, Lyon, and Rouen, and to educational institutions. He was pleased that his speech at the Sorbonne was so well received that he had to escape from students shouting “Vive Gallieni !” 52 Only after months of work, hopes, disappointments, and anger was he able to get the loan of 60 million francs for the railway and other public works. Once this was achieved, the growing involvement of the ministry in the separation of church and state caused Gallieni to conclude that there was no longer any reason to remain in France.
The return to Madagascar for his second tour of duty (1900-1905) involved celebrations that verged on the regal—an inspection of the naval base at Diégo-Suarez, a review of the troops, and a tour of the northern part of the island before making a triumphal entry into Tananarive with the first automobiles on Madagascar. Gallieni was always interested in the latest technical and mechanical developments and often used them to impress the local peoples. Rebel chiefs who had been exiled to Réunion were allowed to return, and the ashes of Prime Minister Rainilaiarivony, husband of queens Ranavalona II and Ranavalona III, were brought back from Algeria. Although pleased by the reception, Gallieni ordered that it be the last such celebration. In an order to the comwebmanders of territories, cercles, and provinces, he noted that official festivities were formerly necessary as traditional manifestations of submission to authority but that the Malagasy had now freely rallied to the French cause and such celebrations were not in accord with principles of liberalism and democracy.
The second period was largely devoted to the organization and development of the colony, in contrast to the first, which was concerned mainly with pacification—although Gallieni’s program always combined pacification and organization. However, the southern third of the island was still not under French control except for scattered centers, and this task was assigned to Colonel Lyautey as supreme comwebmander of the south. With his most trusted lieutenant in charge, Gallieni felt free to devote himself to primarily non-military matters. Although the pacification of the south was completed by 1902, Lyautey warned of the possibility of future troubles, and in 1904 rebellion broke out 53. The uprising was not especially serious and was suppressed more by the use of tact than by force, but it aroused considerable criticism of Gallieni and his methods. He was charged with levying taxes solely for income without consideration of the needs of the people, and local French officials were accused of gross maladministration. Among the critics was Victor Augagneur, Gallieni’s successor as governor-general 54. Undoubtedly, there were many reasons for the revolt, such as unwise actions by local officials and settlers that aroused native resentment. Gallieni warned against blunders and abuses that have “most regrettable consequences” and he made much of finding the right man for the job, but he was not always able to do so. Although he probably moved around supervising his men more than almost any other colonial official, he could not detect and prevent all abuses. He always professed to be unmoved by the attacks of his critics; yet he was keenly aware of criticism and defended his actions in letters to friends 55
With respect to economic development, one of the major problems in Madagascar—as in the other colonies where Gallieni had served—was that of labor supply. The precipitate abolition of slavery in 1896 complicated the problem of providing the labor needed for the immense task of construction of public works as well as for the development of agricultural and industrial enterprises that would compensate France for the costly military operations of conquest. Gallieni attempted to find a solution in various ways, but his efforts and those of succeeding administrators were generally unsuccessful in supplying labor in sufficient quantity for European enterprise.
In 1896 the Merina corvée system of forced labor was reintroduced for the construction of public works. A head tax was ordered that forced the natives to work in order to obtain money to pay it. Attempts to recruit workers from Asia and Africa were, on the whole, unsuccessful. Although the system of forced labor was abolished by Gallieni in 1900, it was revived by Augagneur, his successor, and lasted until 1946. In spite of the problems with labor, Madagascar experienced an economic boom during most of Gallieni’s term, aided by the public works projects. But there was also the introduction of new crops, and between 1896 and 1905 imports rose from 13.9 million to 31.2 million francs, and exports increased from 3.6 million to 22.5 million francs. Gallieni was pleased to claim that French commerce had grown from nine percent to ninety-two percent of the total trade of Madagascar 56
The long-range plans to increase the labor supply, aside from the educational system with its emphasis upon the training of semiskilled and skilled workers, included such efforts as the encouragement of legal marriages and large families by exempting fathers from forced labor and military service, the fostering of public health, special taxes for single persons, and the institution of the F6te des enfants, an idea that Gallieni got from Indochina. All of these efforts were particularly directed toward the Merina, as Gallieni now considered them to be the only group capable of producing a skilled work force 57. Public health services were vital not only for the future population but also for the existing population. Continuing the work of the missionaries, a school of medicine was inaugurated at Tananarive and a territorial health system was organized. Gallieni believed that the establishment of charitable and benevolent institutions by the state was both a humanitarian obligation and an economic necessity and that no other expenditures could more effectively serve the spread of French influence and colonization.
Gallieni began with high hopes that Madagascar would become a French equivalent of Canada, Australia, or New Zealand as a place for settlers, and he urged his officers to do everything possible to assist the colonists who would develop the colony with their skills and capital. He fostered the publication of a guide for immigrants and sought the support of French colonial organizations. One of the colonization schemes called for the encouragement of soldiers to settle on the land after the expiration of their terms of enlistment, but this also proved to be a disappointment. Gallieni eventually came to the same conclusion as Joseph Chailley-Bert that Madagascar was not a colony for European settlement; but inspite of the difficulties he believed it would not be the last of the French possessions to justify the hopes of the mother country 58
At the time of the resignation of Premier Waldeck-Rousseau in 1902, Gallieni put himself at the disposal of the colonial office to decide whether he should be replaced by a civil governor. Personal reasons may have partly dictated this action. He was then the youngest divisional general in the army, having been raised to that rank in 1899, and he was well aware of the attitude of the metropolitan army toward colonial officers. Gallieni had gone as far as he could possibly go in the colonial service and perhaps it was well to look toward the continuation of his military career in France. Should he return, he was assured of the command of an army corps. However, his desire to oversee the completion of the first stage of the Tamatave-Tananarive railway, and possibly the political situation in France under the anticlerical, antimilitary Combes ministry, encouraged him to remain until 1905. In October 1904 Gallieni presided over the inauguration of the first section of the railway, and he was now eager to return home, feeling that it was necessary only to continue improving upon what had already been accomplished in Madagascar. He expressed the hope that his work and the efforts of his collaborators would bring to France “not only material profits but also the honor of having brought to a new people the benefits of its civilizing influence.” 59 Although he sailed for France in May 1905, he continued in his official position until November, when he was replaced by Victor Augagneur, deputy of the Rhone. Gallieni was then awarded the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor in recognition of his services to France and appointed inspector general of the colonial army.
Madagascar was Gallieni’s last real colonial assignment, the remaining years of his life being spent with military duties in France. His impact upon the island was greater than that of any other individual, “and there is almost no aspect of the island’s development on which [he] did not leave his mark,” 60. He was the man who “really made Madagascar” and his policy of races caused the colony to be “an interesting study, not only in French colonization, but in the wider history of comparative colonial methods.” 61 If anything, his policy may have been too successful. Although it produced generally desirable results, it was “too personal, too rich in experiences and personal reflections” to be followed by other governors who were less aware of the traditions of the country. An indication of the lasting quality of Gallieni’s governorship is that most of the structures laid down by him lasted until political independence in 1960, and many of them were continued by the government of the Malagasy republic.

France, 1905-1916

Following his return to France, Gallieni completed the editing of his official report Madagascar de 1896 a 1905, to which he later added another work covering the same material for the general public, Neuf Ans à Madagascar. He spent the remainder of 1905 at his home, La Gabelle, near Saint-Raphaël, surrounded by souvenirs of his colonial career, and in 1906 he returned to duty as comwebmander of the Twelfth Corps at Clermont-Ferrand and then of the Fourteenth Corps, with the additional duty of military governor of Lyon. Aware of the fact that his colonial service had left him out of touch with the “higher study of war” and large-scale operations, he asked that a recent Ecole de guerre graduate be assigned to him. The results of his studies and thoughts on military subjects are to be found in a massive, three-volume manuscript 62. He was such an apt pupil of operations that in the maneuvers of 1912, as comwebmander of the “Blues,” he crushed the opposition “Reds,” capturing the comwebmander and his entire staff. In time of war, it would have been a stunning victory 63
In August 1908 Gallieni was appointed to the supreme war council, a position he held until his retirement in April 1914. It was in this capacity that he played a major role in the great crisis in the French command in 1911. Adolphe Messimy, minister of war in the cabinet of Joseph Caillaux, was an advocate of the offensive à outrance and immediately upon taking office began searching for a successor to the cautious, defensive General Victor Michel as vice-president of the supreme war council. Michel’s defensive proposals, envisaging a German attack through Belgium that should be met with an army increased by reserves, were completely contrary to the offensive ideas later embodied in Plan XVII and were rejected by the council. Although Gallieni accepted Michel’s ideas on the German attack and on artillery, he had little faith in vast numbers of reservists because of his belief in the value of training and he did not consider the vice-president the “right man in the right place.” 64
The usual story concerning the appointment of General Joseph Joffre as comwebmander of the French army is the one given by Messimy, who claimed he offered the position to Gallieni, the candidate of Premier Caillaux and an undoubted republican; but Gallieni refused because he had participated in the removal of Michel, was too old, and was a colonial. When asked for suggestions, Gallieni is said to have recommended General Paul Pau or Joffre; but Pau was a reactionary who dewebmanded the right to name generals, whereas Joffre was a reputed republican and former Freemason. The latter was also attractive to Messimy as an advocate of the offensive 65. However, in view of Gallieni’s presumed reasons for refusal, his suggestions appear odd. Pau was a year older and thus had even less time before reitrement; Joffre was a colonial with far less experience in military campaigns or administration and had never comwebmanded an army 66. The appointment of Joffre was regarded as a victory for Colonel de Grandmaison, the “Young Turks,” and the doctrine of the offensive, and Liddell Hart described Gallieni’s recommendation of his former subordinate as “the one disservice he rendered to France and the worst to himself.” 67
By 1913 Gallieni saw war coming to an unprepared France, and by 1914 he was even more concerned. He urged the strengthening of defenses and troops in the north and replacement of the red trousers of French troops, but he was attacked as a general with the Grand Cross and the Military Medal, with nothing more to wish for, reaching the age of retirement, who now wanted to abandon Plan XVII and even change the uniforms 68. Retirement was something Gallieni viewed with mixed emotions. He was under a government he considered heedless of dangers, yet he was displeased with the rapidity with which he was placed on reserve on his sixty-fifth birthday. After some delay, he was retained as president of the council for the defense of the colonies, but the first signs of the illness that was to cause his death and the illness of his wife called for rest at La Gabelle. It was a very short retirement as Marthe Savelli-Gallieni died from a cerebral hemorrhage on July 17, the day he received news of his recall to duty by the minister of war.
Upon his arrival in Paris on August 2, Gallieni was informed by Joffre and Messimy that he had been named as assistant and eventual successor to the comwebmander in chief. But Joffre had no desire to have at headquarters his potential replacement, senior officer, and former comwebmander or even to keep him informed of operations 69. As a result, Gallieni was left at the war ministry as a “fifth wheel,” daily growing more alarmed at the failures of Plan XVII and the battle of the frontiers. These failures forced Premier René Viviani to reshuffle his cabinet and to replace Messimy with Alexandre Millerand on August 26. Messimy’s last act as minister of war was to dismiss General Michel again, this time as military governor of Paris, in favor of General Gallieni. The latter immediately set to work on the neglected defenses of the city. Unlike Joffre, he believed it essential to hold Paris, and when the government departed leaving him with all civil and military powers, his famous proclamation of September 3 made it clear that he intended to defend the city to the end 70
Fortunately, Gallieni did not limit himself to the defense of Paris and “by keeping his eyes on the wider horizon … by exceeding his duty, he perceived and seized the chance to save not merely Paris but France.” 71 When he became aware of the shift of von Kluck’s First Army, he urged an attack on the German flank, but he was faced with the formidable task of getting Joffre and the British under Sir John French to act. His insistence on an attack north of the Marne and his actions on September 4 in getting Joffre’s agreement caused him to remark that the battle of the Marne was won by coups de telephone. Seeing his moment slipping away, he called Joffre, insisted on speaking to him personally, and finally got the comwebmander in chief’s approval of a strike north of the Marne on September 6.
Since Joffre had taken control of the Army of Paris, Gallieni’s major role once the battle began was to supply troops and equipment, especially to the Sixth Army, under General Michel Maunoury. The most famous of these actions was his use of hundreds of taxis to speed troops to the front—one more example of Gallieni’s willingness to employ modern technology and a forerunner of the motorized armies of the future.
Perhaps no battle has caused more controversy or given rise to more legends than that of the Marne. The controversy over the roles played by Joffre and Gallieni was mainly carried on by the partisans of each, but the comwebmander in chief certainly helped to bring it on by his immediate efforts to belittle his rival. The basic argument of the supporters of Joffre is that he gave the final order and bore the ultimate responsibility, but “General Gallieni had sought to suggest the opportune moment” and had been “the inspirer of the hour.” 72 Gallieni believed that he could have had a decisive instead of a limited victory had he been given the troops he requested, and he resented the fact that he was the only major participant not awarded the Croix de guerre. Nevertheless, he believed that history would justify his position 73
The year following the battle of the Marne was a difficult one for Gallieni. Although he remained as military governor, he was once more something of a “fifth wheel,” especially after the return of the government to Paris. There were repeated promises of an active command, but they were always opposed by Joffre, who even wanted to have General Ferdinand Foch designated his successor. Gallieni eventually came to the conclusion that the comwebmander in chief was a “clever peasant.” 74 During this period Gallieni grew more concerned and critical of the military failures and stalemate in the West. By late 1914 or early 1915 he, along with Briand and Franchet d’Esperey in France and Lloyd George, Kitchener, and Churchill in England, was proposing a second front in the Balkans. Joffre, of course, was opposed, claiming he needed every man and would soon achieve victory in the West and that the idea was the result of Gallieni’s personal ambition to have a command 75. Failure of the September 1915 offensive led to the fall of the Viviani cabinet in October and its replacement by one under Aristide Briand, which included Gallieni as minister of war.
The new minister might have been tempted to turn the tables, but he loyally defended Joffre in the Chamber of Deputies and agreed to his elevation to the position of comwebmander in chief of the French armies without any reciprocal action on Joffre’s part. Gallieni’s sense of duty received its greatest test when, in answer to his inquiry concerning reported deficiencies at Verdun, Joffre replied with such “offended grandeur” that Liddell Hart said it “might well be framed and hung in all the bureaus of officialdom the world over—to serve as ‘the mummy at the feast,’” and Winston Churchill described it as “a letter which holds its place in the records of ruffled officialdom.” Gallieni was thoroughly exasperated, but he was prevailed upon by the council of ministers to send a reply of capitulation. Joffre had “been touchy” and Gallieni had been “sat on.” 76
His term as minister of war from October 1915 until March 1916 was not one of Gallieni’s most successful assignments. He had accepted the post with misgivings and they proved to be correct. The promises made to him were not kept and he was unable to carry through his reforms of the ministry and the high command. In a very real sense, he had “missed his hour.” 77 Although some claimed that he had instituted four major reforms during his term-internal reorganization of the ministry, institution of an inter-Allied council, regulation and renovation of the high command, and preparation of the offensive from Salonikaonly the first of these was in any sense accomplished during his lifetime although he can be credited with laying the groundwork for the other three. The explosion of a German shell in the episcopal palace of Verdun on February 21 signaled not only the beginning of the battle of Verdun but also the showdown among Gallieni, the Briand cabinet, and Joffre. The minister had concluded the task was too difficult in view of the timidity of the government and his health and age and that he must accept the advice of his doctors 78. However, before his departure, he presented a written report on the high command. He was sure his ideas would not be accepted, but he believed it to be his duty to express them and then to offer his resignation.
On March 7 Gallieni read his “Note on the Modification of the High Command” to the cabinet. This penetrating analysis of the role of the high command and its relationship with the government concluded with the recommendations that the high command be limited to military operations, that administrative control be restored to the minister of war, and that chiefs who “adhere to anachronistic ideas and outmoded procedures” be eliminated 79. The note created an uproar and he was asked to reconsider his resignation, but Gallieni refused, except to delay his formal resignation until a successor could be named. In spite of his bitterness toward politicians, he refused to make the high command the reason for his departure since that would have caused the fall of the cabinet. On March 10 he left for Versailles, where, after a few weeks of rest, he submitted to two prostate operations. Post-operative hemorrhaging caused his death on May 17, 1916.
Gallieni’s body lay in state at the Invalides and he was given a state funeral. President Poincaré, Premier Briand, and other dignitaries—but none of the top army command—were present. General Pierre Roques, the new minister of war, made effective use of Gallieni’s favorite phrase, jusqu’au bout, in his oration 80. Cardinal Amette, archbishop of Paris, presided over the religious ceremony and it was, perhaps, rather ironic that a man with Gallieni’s attitude of religious neutrality should receive the full treatment of the Roman church. Not until 1921 was he awarded the posthumous dignity of the rank of marshal of France.


Joseph Simon Gallieni was a professional soldier to such a degree that he made it difficult to separate the man from the uniform in which he had spent his life from the age of eleven. A “cold meridional,” all his actions were determined by his profound, instinctive belief in “la Patrie et la République. » 81 In an age of anticolonialism and anti-imperialism, Gallieni’s accomplishments in Africa and Asia might be questioned, but he was a product of his time, a nineteenth-century rationalist, a reader of John Stuart Mill, Charles Darwin, and Herbert Spencer. His belief in evolution inspired his methods of association, peaceful penetration, and the oil spot. Although always deeply concerned with the progress and improvement of indigenous peoples, Gallieni saw France was his first duty. He shared the nineteenth-century European belief in white superiority and the struggle for the “survival of the fittest.” Though he undoubtedly held that the French were the “fittest,” Gallieni was not blind to the shortcomings of France, especially its politics and Byzantine bureaucracy. Nor was his patriotism chauvinistic since he preferred peaceful solutions wherever possible. It was his duty to carry French civilization to the “lesser breeds of men”—not to make Frenchmen of them but to introduce the advantages of modern progress.
Whereas the greatest part of Gallieni’s career and his greatest achievements were in the colonial sphere, he became best known for his actions leading to the battle of the Marne, which gained him the title of “Savior of Paris.” This has also been the area of greatest controversy. Decline in health most likely prevented this “most gifted soldier in the French Army” from “enforcing the advice that his genius counselled,” according to David Lloyd George. Winston Churchill characterized Gallieni as a man from whom France and the Allies had “profited by his genius, sagacity and virtue, and might have profited far more.” And on the eve of victory Georges Clemenceau is quoted as saying, “Without Gallieni, victory would have been impossible.” 82

1. Jean Charbonneau, La jeunesse passionnée de Gallieni (Bourg-en-Bresse, 1952), pp. 15-17.
2. In 1911 General Joffre was the only other “republican” on the supreme war council; by 1913 General Sordets was included in this category—this in contrast to eight members labeled “reactionaries” in 1911 and nine in 1913. André Morizet, Le Plan 17: Etude sur l’incapacité de 1’Etat-major avant et pendant la guerre (Paris, 1919), pp. 63-65.
3. Joseph Gallieni to Gaétan Gallieni, quoted in Jean d’Esmenard [Jean d’Esme], Gallieni : Destin hors série (Paris, 1965), pp, 31-32.
4. Gallieni to his parents, quoted in Pierre Lyautey, Gallieni, 4th ed. (Paris, 1959), pp. 23-25.
5. Charbonneau, La jeunesse, pp. 35-45; Lyautey, Gallieni, p. 27; Pierre B. Gheusi, Gallieni, 1849-1916 (Paris, 1922), p. 12.
6. Charbonneau, La Jeunesse, pp. 48-50.
7. John D. Hargreaves, Prelude to the Partition of West Africa (London, 1963), p. 257; A. S. Kanya-Forstner, The Conquest of the Western Sudan: A Study in French Military Imperialism (London, 1969), pp. 72-75.
8. Admiral Jauréguiberry had been governor of Senegal, 1861-1863, between the two terms of Louis Faidherbe.
9. See Kanya-Forstner, Conquest, pp. 72-83, for a discussion of the mission to Ségou, 1880-1881. Both Kanya-Forstner and Hargreaves, Prelude, pp. 257-265, accuse Gallieni of duplicity and indecision.
10. Joseph Simon Gallieni, Voyage au Soudan français (Haut-Niger et pays de Ségou), 1879-1881 (Paris, 1885), pp, 455-472. One story told was that Ahmadou had ordered the execution of all foreigners soon after stopping Gallieni and his group at Nango. They were presumably saved by the mother of the sultan, who pleaded for their lives as they were guests of Allah.
11. John D. Hargreaves, West Africa Partitioned, vol. 1: The Loaded Pause, 1885-1889 (Madison, 1974).
12. Kanya-Forstner, Conquest, pp. 143-144.
13. Joseph Simon Gallieni, Deux Campagnes au Soudan francais, 1886-1888 (Paris, 1891), pp. 14-15, 36-37; Auguste L. C. Gatelet, Histoire de la conquete du Soudan français, 1878-1899 (Paris, 1901), pp. 97-98.
14. The details of this campaign are to be found in Gallieni, Deux Campagnes, pp. 4-120.
15. Ibid., pp. 110-122; idem, Gallieni pacificateur : Ecrits coloniaux de Gallieni, ed. Hubert Deschamps and Paul Chauvet (Paris, 1949), p. 79, n. 1; P. Lyautey, Gallieni, pp. 64-67.
16. Yves Person, Samori, 2:699-702, quoted in Hargreaves, West Africa, 1:71-72; Gallieni, Deux Campagnes, pp. 146-148.
17. Marie Etienne Péroz, “Mission du capitaine Péroz dans le Ouassoulou,” in Gallieni, Deux Campagnes, pp. 223-291.
18. Ibid., pp. 295-297; Joseph Emile Froelicher, Trois Colonisateurs: Bugeaud, Faidherbe, Gallieni (Paris, 1902), pp. 223-228; Gatelet, Histoire, pp. 106-107; D. Bouche, “Les Villages de liberté en A.O.F.,” Bulletin de l’I.F.A.N. 1, B, no. 9 (1949):526-540, quoted in Kanya-Forstner, Conquest, pp.272-273.
19. Gallieni, Deux Campagnes, pp. 323-339, 349-371; Gatelet, Histoire, pp. 107-114; Charles André Julien, “Gallieni,” in Les Constructeurs de la France d’outre-mer, ed. Robert Delavignette and Charles André Julien (Paris, 1946), pp. 392-394.
20. Gallieni, Deux Campagnes, pp. 192-221, 422-603; Hargreaves, West Africa, 1:78-85; Joseph Simon Gallieni, “Voyage de la canonnière Niger à Koriumé, port de Tombouctou,” Compte rendu des séances de la Société de géographie [Paris] et de la Commission centrale (1881), pp. 68-78.
21. Archinard was commandant of the Upper River, 1888-1891, and lieutenant governor of the Sudan, 1892-1893.
22. Gallieni, Deux Campagnes, pp. 626-631; Froelicher, Trois Colonisateurs, pp. 244-249; Raymond F. Betts, Assimilation and Association in French Colonial Theory, 1890-1914 (New York, 1961), pp.112-113.
23. Jean Charbormeau, Gallieni à Madagascar, d’après la documentation rassemblée par Mme Gaetan Gallieni (Paris, 1950), p. 19.
24. Gheusi, Gallieni, pp. 33-34; Maurice Barrès, Scènes et doctrines du nationalisme (Paris, 1902), pp. 377-378,383.
25. Joseph Simon Gallieni, Gallieni au Tonkin, 1892-1896, 2d ed. rev. (Paris, 1948), p. 1.
26. Jean Gottmann, “Bugeaud, Gallieni, Lyautey: The Development of French Colonial Warfare,” in Makers of Modern Strategy: Military Thought from Machiavelli to Hitler, ed. Edward Mead Earle (Princeton, 1952), p. 39.
27. Gallieni, “Principes de pacification et d’organisation,” Gallieni au Tonkin, p. 215.
28. Louis Hubert Gonsalve Lyautey, Intimate Letters from Tonquin, trans. Aubrey Le Blond (London, 1932), pp. 89, 98-100, 106, 113-115. For the influence of this antibureacratic attitude on other colonial administrators see William B. Cohen, Rulers of Empire: The French Colonial Service in Africa (Stanford, 1971), pp. 64-65.
29. Lyautey, Intimate Letters, pp. 118-119.
30. Ibid., p. 138.
31. Ibid., pp. 173-174.
32. Louis Hubert Gonsalve Lyautey, “Du rôle colonial de l’armée,” Revue des deux mondes 157 (January 15, 1900):310-311; Gottmann, “Bugeaud, Gallieni, Lyautey,” pp. 241-242.
33. Gallieni, Gallieni au Tonkin, pp. 9-20; Emmanuel Pierre Gabriel Chabrol, Opérations militaires au Tonkin, 4th ed. (Paris, 1897), pp. 229-233.
34. Lyautey, “Du rôle colonial,” pp. 309-311; Louis de Grandmaison, L’Expansion française au Tonkin: En territoire militaire (Paris, 1898), p. 101.
35. Gallieni to Louis Hubert Lyautey, Long Son, 1895, quoted in P. Lyautey, Gallieni, pp. 133-136.
36. Gallieni, Gallieni au Tonkin, pp. 215-216.
37. Joseph Simon Gallieni, Neuf Ans à Madagascar (Paris, 1908), pp. 1-2; F. Charles-Roux and Guillaume Grandidier, eds., “Avant-propos,” in Joseph Simon Gallieni, Lettres de Madagascar, 1896-1906 (Paris, 1928), pp. 5-8.
38. Betts, Assimilation and Association, pp. 106-109.
39. L’Afrique française: Bulletin mensuel du Comité de l’Afrique et du Comité du Maroc 6 (1896):245; Louis Brunet, L’Oeuvre de la France a Madagascar: La Conquête—l’organisation—le général Gallieni (Paris, 1903), pp. 227-232.
40. Gallieni, Lettres de Madagascar, pp. 11-12; idem, Neuf Ans, pp. 3-4.
41. Gallieni, Neuf Ans, pp. 31-33; André Lebon, La Pacification de Madagascar, 1896-1898, avec des lettres inédites adressées par Hipp. Laroche, Paul Bourde, et Gallieni au ministre des colonies (Paris, 1928), pp. 137-150.
42. Joseph Simon Gallieni, Rapport d’ensemble sur la pacification, l’organisation, et la colonisation de Madagascar (octobre 1896 a mars 1899) (Paris, 1900), pp. 5-7.
43. Gallieni, Neuf Ans, pp. 36-37; idem, La Pacification de Madagascar (opérations d’octobre 1896 à mars 1899), ed. P. Hellot (Paris, 1900), pp. 30-35.
44. Gallieni, “Instructions pour monsieur le sous-lieutenant Durand,” quoted in Alfred Durand, Les Derniers Jours de la cour hova; l’exil de la reine Ranavalo (Paris, 1933), pp. 109-118; Gallieni, Gallieni pacificateur, pp. 204-205; André Lebon, “La Pacification de Madagascar,” Revue des deux mondes 159 (15 June 1900):812. Queen Ranavalona III was later transferred to Algiers, where she lived until her death in 1917. Her remains were brought back to the royal tomb in Tananarive in 1938.
45. Gallieni, Neuf Ans, pp. 29-31; idem, Madagascar de 1896 à 1905. Rapport du général Gallieni, gouverneur général, au ministre des colonies (30 avril 1905) (Tananarive, 1905), pp. 24-27; idem, Pacification de Madagascar, p. 29; idem, Gallieni pacifcateur, pp. 213-214; Louis Hubert Gonsalve Lyautey, Lettres de Tonkin et de Madagascar, 1894-1899 (Paris, 1920), 2:190-192, 200-201.
For a brief discussion of the methods of pacification see an anonymous work (the author is identified as le capitaine P.) entitled “L’Oeuvre du général Gallieni à Madagascar: Principes de pacification et de colonisation,” Revue de géographie 50 (May 1902):424-440.
46. Lyautey, Lettres de Tonkin, 2:175, 209.
47. Virginia Thompson and Richard Adloff, The Malagasy Republic: Madagascar Today (Stanford, 1965), p. 16.
48. Gallieni, Gallieni pacificateur, p. 203, n. 2.
49. Ibid., pp. 179-182, 200-202; Charbonneau, Gallieni à Madagascar, pp. 66-68. For the London Missionary Society side see Thomas T. Matthews, Thirty Years in Madagascar, 2d ed. (London, 1904), and James Sibree, Fifty Years in Madagascar (London, 1924). For the Jesuit side see J. B. Piolet, Douze Leçons à la Sorbonne sur Madagascar (Paris, 1898).
50. Nigel Heseltine, Madagascar (New York, 1971), p. 84.
51. Lyautey, Lettres de Tonkin, 2:270-71; P. Lyautey, Gallieni, pp. 178-179; Charbonneau, Gallieni à Madagascar, pp. 138-139; Gheusi, Gallieni, pp. 68-70.
52. P. Lyautey, Gallieni, p. 179; Hubert Deschamps, “Introduction,” in Gallieni, Gallieni pacificateur, p. 16; Charbormeau, Gallieni à Madagascar, p. 144.
53. Louis Hubert Gonsalve Lyautey, Lettres du sud de Madagascar, 1900-1902 (Paris, 1935), pp. 16-21, 246-251; idem, Dans le sud de Madagascar: Pénétration militaire, situation politique et économique, 1900-1902 (Paris, 1903), pp. 11-15; idem, Les plus belles lettres de Lyautey, ed. Pierre Lyautey (Paris, 1962), pp. 57-60.
54. Victor Augagneur, Erreurs et brutalités coloniales (Paris, 1927), pp. 131-140.
55. Lyautey, Lettres du sud de Madagascar, p. 15; Gallieni, Lettres de Madagascar, pp. 40-52, 125-140,149-156.
56. Joseph Simon Gallieni, “Allocution,” Bulletin de la Société de géographie et d’études coloniales de Marseille 39 (April-June 1905):139.
57. Gallieni, Gallieni pacificateur, pp. 247-255; idem, “Mesures à prendre pour favoriser l’accroissement de la population en Emyrne,” Revue scientifique 24 (4 March 1899):261-269. The 1905 census estimated the population of Madagascar at 2,664,000.
58. Gallieni, Madagascar de 1896 à 1905, pp. 564, 739-740; F. Martin-Ginouvier, “Mise en valeur de notre empire colonial: Par le soldat laboureur marié faisant souche,” Questions coloniales (Paris, 1898), vol. 2, no. 8; Gallieni, Lettres de Madagascar, pp. 86-87, 121.
59. Gallieni, Lettres de Madagascar, pp. 162-163, 169-193; idem, Madagascar de 1896 à 1905, pp. 739-740.
60. Thompson and Adloff, Malagasy Republic, p. 15.
61. Stephen Henry Roberts, The History of French Colonial Policy, 1870-1925 (Hamden, 1963), pp. 390,418.
62. Basil Henry Lidell Hart, Reputations Ten Years After (Boston, 1928), p. 76; Joseph Simon Gallieni, “Notes militaires,” 3 vols., unpublished manuscript in the Gallieni family archives, quoted in Lyautey, Gallieni, pp. 206-208.
63. Henri Charbonnel, De Madagascar à Verdun: Vingt ans à l’ombre de Gallieni (Paris, 1962), p. 244; Gheusi, Gallieni, pp. 87-88. Joffre passed it off by stating that “protection was badly carried out, imprudence in maneuver led to surprises.” See The Personal Memoirs of Joffre, trans T. Bentley Mott (New York, 1932), 1:33.
64. France, Ministère de la guerre, Etat-major de l’armée, Service historique, Les Armées françaises dans la grande guerre (Paris, 1922), 1, annexes 3:7-11; Joseph Simon Gallieni, Mémoires du général Gallieni: Défense de Paris, 25 août-11 septembre 1914 (Paris, 1920), pp. 7-9; Emile Mayer, Trois Maréchaux: Joffre, Gallieni, Foch (Paris, 1928), pp. 69-70.
65. Adolphe Messimy, Mes Souvenirs (Paris, 1937), pp. 74-80; Charbonnel, Madagascar à Verdun, p. 243, states that General Edouard de Castelnau was Gallieni’s first choice.
66. Alexandre Percin, 1914: Les erreurs du haut commandement (Paris, 1919), p. 54; Morizet, Le Plan 17, pp. 55-57; Messimy, Mes Souvenirs, p. 78.
67. Liddell Hart, Reputations, p. 78.
68. Joseph Simon Gallieni, Les carnets de Gallieni, ed. Gaëtan Gallieni and Pierre B. Cheusi (Paris, 1932), pp. 17-19; Charbonnel, Madagascar à Verdun, pp. 246-247. On August 5, 1914, Gallieni wrote to General Weick, “Note that the Germans are making the maneuver that I studied last March,” quoted in Marius-Ary Leblond, Gallieni parle (Paris, 1920), 1:25. Generals Gallieni, Lanrezac, and Ruffey criticized the conceptions of Joffre and Plan XVII but to no avail. Paul Pilant, “Août 1914: L’Armée française en face de l’armée allemande,” Les Archives de la grande guerre de l’histoire contemporaine (Paris, 1926), 17:181.
69. Gallieni, Carnets, pp. 31-32; idem, Mémoires, pp. 11- 12; Messimy, Mes souvenirs, p. 207; Joffre, Personal Memoirs, 1: 134.
70. Gallieni, Mémoires, p. 65.
71. Liddell Hart, Reputations, p. 81.
72. Emile E. Herbillon, Souvenirs dun officier de liaison pendant la guerre mondiale (Paris, 1930), 1:82. Two British military historians illustrate the extremes. Liddell Hart, Reputations, gives the credit to Gallieni, whereas Edward L. Spears, Liaison, 1914: A Narrative of the Great Retreat (Garden City, 1931), gives all the credit to Joffre.
73. Lallier du Coudray, quoted in Jean de Pierrefeu, Nouveaux mensonges de Plutarque (Paris, 1931) p. 32; Gallieni, Carnets, pp. 198-199, 201202; Leblond, Gallieni parle, 1:58; Gallieni Mémoires, p. 197.
74. Raymond Poincaré, The Memoirs of Raymond Poincaré, trans. Sir George Arthur (New York 1926), 3:181-183, 197-198; Gallieni, Carnets, p. 188.
75. Leblond, Gallieni parle, 1:78-79, 2-57-58; Joseph Paul-Boncour, Entre deux guerres: Souvenirs sur la IIIe République (Paris, 1945), 1:253-254; Georges Suarez, Briand: Sa Vie-son oeuvre (Paris, 1939), 3:87-91; Gallieni, Carnets, pp. 148-149. The idea of a second front has been attributed to various individuals, but Lloyd George gave the credit to Gallieni. David Lloyd George, War Memoirs of David Lloyd George (Boston, 1933), 1:333-334.
76. Liddell Hart, Reputations, p. 35; Winston S. Churchill, The World Crisis (New York, 1923), 3:89-91; Gallieni, Carnets, pp. 235-239. See Jere C. King, Generals and Politicians; Conflict between France’s High Command, Parliament, and Government, 1914-1918 (Berkeley, 1951), pp. 89-95.
77. Charles Bugnet, Rue St. Dominique et C. Q. G. ou les trois dictatures de la guerre (Paris, 1937), p. 131.
78. Gallieni, Carnets, pp. 267-270; Edouard Charles Laval, La maladie et la mort du général Gallieni (Paris, 1920), pp. 33-34.
79. Gallieni, Carnets, pp. 277-278; Gabriel Terrail [Gabriel Mermeix], Sarrail et les armées d’Orient (Paris, 1920), pp. 231-246; King, Generals and politicians, pp. 103-106.
80. Henry Bordeaux, Histoire d’une vie (Paris, 1951-1963), 5:128-129.
81. Deschamps, “Introduction,” pp. 20-21.
82. Lloyd George, War Memoirs, 2:6, 13; Churchill, World Crisis, 3:99; Gallieni, Carnets, p. 306, note.



Bienvenue dans mon monde d'exploration et de découverte ! Je suis Ingrid Allain, une voyageuse passionnée avec une curiosité insatiable pour la riche tapisserie de la culture africaine. Pour moi, l'Afrique n'est pas juste une destination ; c'est une fascination de toute une vie et une source d'inspiration. Des rythmes vibrants des cercles de tambours d'Afrique de l'Ouest à la perlerie complexe des artisans Maasaï, chaque coin de ce continent détient un trésor de traditions à découvrir. À travers mes écrits, je vise à partager la beauté, la diversité et la résilience des cultures africaines avec le monde. E-mail: [email protected] / Linkedin
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