Joseph Doumenc

Portrait photo of Joseph Doumenc

Joseph Doumenc (Born Grenoble, 16 November 1880 – Died Massif du Pelvoux, 21 July 1948):


After graduating from the Polytechnique, a prestige engineering school, and then enrolling at the School of Applied Artillery in Fontainebleau, Joseph Édouard Aimé Doumenc joined the École Supérieure de Guerre, a French institution for military higher education, in 1907. A captain in the armed forces staff of the 19th Army Corps, he served at the border between Algeria and Morocco before being posted to the 60th Artillery Regiment in Troyes. During the First World War, as deputy to the director of the automobile section before being promoted to director in 1917, he earned a reputation for arranging the road transportation of supplies and relief troops during the Battle of Verdun in 1916. Furthermore, between November 1916 and March 1917, he, along with General Estienne, was a pioneer in the development of the first tanks. He was appointed commander in 1918. After serving on a military campaign in Morocco in 1925, he was made commander of the 1st Infantry Division then commander of the 1st Military Region. In 1938, he was appointed to the Conseil Supérieur de la Guerre (the Higher War Council or CSG). In 1939, after being promoted to army general, he was sent to Moscow as head of the French delegation tasked with negotiating a military agreement with the USSR, but a German-Soviet was signed and his mission was terminated. When war was declared, he was put in charge of the Anti-Air Defence for the country before holding the post of Major General in January 1940. He left the service in 1942. He died in a mountaineering accident in the Alps in 1948.


General Doumenc was made a Grand Officer of the Legion of Honour. He was also awarded the Croix de Guerre 1914-1918 with nine bronze star attachments, the Croix de Guerre for overseas theatres of operations and several foreign decorations.


Publications: Commandant Doumenc Les transports automobiles sur le front français 1914-1918 (1920).


Commemorative sites