Born in Rivesalter on January 12th 1852, Joseph Joffre proved to be a brilliant pupil and entered the Ecole Polytechnique (Polytechnic School) at the age of 17. Taking up the military career, he chose the Engineer Corps, which best corresponded to his engineering capacities. After the war of 1870-71, he contributed in the fortification of Paris, enlarged by Séré de Rivières. From here he will leave on 1874 to the colonies. In 1885 he was captain of Indochina, where he participated in the Tonkin campaign and was decorated with the Legion of Honour on September 1985. In the role of sapper he fortifies the Formose island, which at the time was the fleet base of Admiral Courbet. In 1892 in the French Sudan, he created railways Then in the framework of the operations against sultan Samory he conquers Timbuktu. Later he was appointed colonel, under General Galliéni and fortified the Diego-Suarez harbour in Madagascar.
Source MINDEF/SGA/DMPA Pierre Hervet< Back to the list of personalities