Charles Mangin
Overview
 
Charles Emmanuel Marie Mangin (6 July 1866, Sarrebourg
Sarrebourg
Sarrebourg is a commune in the Moselle department in Lorraine in north-eastern France. It lies in on the upper course of the river Sarre.It should not be confused with Saarburg in Germany....

, Moselle
Moselle
Moselle is a department in the east of France named after the river Moselle.- History :Moselle is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on March 4, 1790...

 – 12 May 1925, Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

) was a French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 general during World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

.
Charles was born on the 6th July 1866 in Sarrebourg
Sarrebourg
Sarrebourg is a commune in the Moselle department in Lorraine in north-eastern France. It lies in on the upper course of the river Sarre.It should not be confused with Saarburg in Germany....

. After initially failing to gain entrance to Saint-Cyr
École Spéciale Militaire de Saint-Cyr
The École Spéciale Militaire de Saint-Cyr is the foremost French military academy. Its official name is . It is often referred to as Saint-Cyr . Its motto is "Ils s'instruisent pour vaincre": literally "They study to vanquish" or "Training for victory"...

, he joined the 77th Infantry Regiment
77th Infantry Regiment (France)
The 77th Infantry Regiment is a regiment of the French Army. It traces its origins to both the 2nd Light Royal-Italian Regiment and the Kônigsmarck Regiment . It was dissolved in 1940....

 in 1885. He reapplied and was accepted in Saint-Cyr in 1886 attaining the rank of Sub-Lieutenant
Sub-Lieutenant
Sub-lieutenant is a military rank. It is normally a junior officer rank.In many navies, a sub-lieutenant is a naval commissioned or subordinate officer, ranking below a lieutenant. In the Royal Navy the rank of sub-lieutenant is equivalent to the rank of lieutenant in the British Army and of...

 in 1888. He joined the 1st Marine Infantry Regiment
1st Marine Infantry Regiment
The 1st Marine Infantry Regiment is a French regiment, that inherits from Colonial Infantry. It is one of the oldest regiments of the Troupes de Marine with 2e RIMa, 3e RIMa, 4e RIMa and 1er RAMa, forming the Blue Division during Franco-Prussian war....

 based in Cherbourg. Mangin was sent Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

 serving under Jean-Baptiste Marchand
Jean-Baptiste Marchand
Major Jean-Baptiste Marchand was a French military officer and explorer in Africa. Marchand is best known for commanding the French expeditionary force during the Fashoda Incident...

 and gained further experience in Mali
Mali
Mali , officially the Republic of Mali , is a landlocked country in Western Africa. Mali borders Algeria on the north, Niger on the east, Burkina Faso and the Côte d'Ivoire on the south, Guinea on the south-west, and Senegal and Mauritania on the west. Its size is just over 1,240,000 km² with...

, French North Africa.
Encyclopedia
Charles Emmanuel Marie Mangin (6 July 1866, Sarrebourg
Sarrebourg
Sarrebourg is a commune in the Moselle department in Lorraine in north-eastern France. It lies in on the upper course of the river Sarre.It should not be confused with Saarburg in Germany....

, Moselle
Moselle
Moselle is a department in the east of France named after the river Moselle.- History :Moselle is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on March 4, 1790...

 – 12 May 1925, Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

) was a French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 general during World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

.

Early career

Charles was born on the 6th July 1866 in Sarrebourg
Sarrebourg
Sarrebourg is a commune in the Moselle department in Lorraine in north-eastern France. It lies in on the upper course of the river Sarre.It should not be confused with Saarburg in Germany....

. After initially failing to gain entrance to Saint-Cyr
École Spéciale Militaire de Saint-Cyr
The École Spéciale Militaire de Saint-Cyr is the foremost French military academy. Its official name is . It is often referred to as Saint-Cyr . Its motto is "Ils s'instruisent pour vaincre": literally "They study to vanquish" or "Training for victory"...

, he joined the 77th Infantry Regiment
77th Infantry Regiment (France)
The 77th Infantry Regiment is a regiment of the French Army. It traces its origins to both the 2nd Light Royal-Italian Regiment and the Kônigsmarck Regiment . It was dissolved in 1940....

 in 1885. He reapplied and was accepted in Saint-Cyr in 1886 attaining the rank of Sub-Lieutenant
Sub-Lieutenant
Sub-lieutenant is a military rank. It is normally a junior officer rank.In many navies, a sub-lieutenant is a naval commissioned or subordinate officer, ranking below a lieutenant. In the Royal Navy the rank of sub-lieutenant is equivalent to the rank of lieutenant in the British Army and of...

 in 1888. He joined the 1st Marine Infantry Regiment
1st Marine Infantry Regiment
The 1st Marine Infantry Regiment is a French regiment, that inherits from Colonial Infantry. It is one of the oldest regiments of the Troupes de Marine with 2e RIMa, 3e RIMa, 4e RIMa and 1er RAMa, forming the Blue Division during Franco-Prussian war....

 based in Cherbourg. Mangin was sent Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

 serving under Jean-Baptiste Marchand
Jean-Baptiste Marchand
Major Jean-Baptiste Marchand was a French military officer and explorer in Africa. Marchand is best known for commanding the French expeditionary force during the Fashoda Incident...

 and gained further experience in Mali
Mali
Mali , officially the Republic of Mali , is a landlocked country in Western Africa. Mali borders Algeria on the north, Niger on the east, Burkina Faso and the Côte d'Ivoire on the south, Guinea on the south-west, and Senegal and Mauritania on the west. Its size is just over 1,240,000 km² with...

, French North Africa. During this period he learnt Bambara
Bambara language
Bambara, more correctly known as Bamanankan , its designation in the language itself , is a language spoken in Mali by as many as six million people...

, the lingua-franca of Mali. he was wounded three times and returned to France in 1892. In 1893 he was made a Knight of the Legion d'honneur
Légion d'honneur
The Legion of Honour, or in full the National Order of the Legion of Honour is a French order established by Napoleon Bonaparte, First Consul of the Consulat which succeeded to the First Republic, on 19 May 1802...

. In 1898 he joined Jean-Baptiste Marchand
Jean-Baptiste Marchand
Major Jean-Baptiste Marchand was a French military officer and explorer in Africa. Marchand is best known for commanding the French expeditionary force during the Fashoda Incident...

 on his expedition to Fashoda
Fashoda Incident
The Fashoda Incident was the climax of imperial territorial disputes between Britain and France in Eastern Africa. A French expedition to Fashoda on the White Nile sought to gain control of the Nile River and thereby force Britain out of Egypt. The British held firm as Britain and France were on...

. In 1900 he attained the rank of Officer of the Legion d'honneur and was given the command of a battalion
Battalion
A battalion is a military unit of around 300–1,200 soldiers usually consisting of between two and seven companies and typically commanded by either a Lieutenant Colonel or a Colonel...

 in Tonkin
Tonkin
Tonkin , also spelled Tongkin, Tonquin or Tongking, is the northernmost part of Vietnam, south of China's Yunnan and Guangxi Provinces, east of northern Laos, and west of the Gulf of Tonkin. Locally, it is known as Bắc Kỳ, meaning "Northern Region"...

 from 1901-1904. Then he was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel in 1905 and served in French occupation of Senegal
Senegal
Senegal , officially the Republic of Senegal , is a country in western Africa. It owes its name to the Sénégal River that borders it to the east and north...

 from 1906 to 1908 under General Audéoud. In 1910 he published La force noire,where he called for the use of French Colonial Forces
French Colonial Forces
The French Colonial Forces , commonly called La Coloniale, was a general designation for the military forces that garrisoned in the French colonial empire from the late 17th century until 1960. They were recruited from mainland France or from the French settler and indigenous populations of the...

 in the event of a European war.

First World War

During the war he rose from divisional command to that of the 10th Army for the Second Battle of the Marne
Second Battle of the Marne
The Second Battle of the Marne , or Battle of Reims was the last major German Spring Offensive on the Western Front during the First World War. The German attack failed when an Allied counterattack led by France overwhelmed the Germans, inflicting severe casualties...

 commanding both French and American troops. Nicknamed "the Butcher" for his espousal of la guerre à outrance and his faith in the suitability of North African troops
Tirailleur
Tirailleur literally means a shooting skirmisher in French from tir—shot. The term dates back to the Napoleonic period where it was used to designate light infantry trained to skirmish ahead of the main columns...

 for the attack, there was no doubt in the French Army that Mangin was personally fearless.

During that war, he had notable victories at Charleroi
Charleroi
Charleroi is a city and a municipality of Wallonia, located in the province of Hainaut, Belgium. , the total population of Charleroi was 201,593. The metropolitan area, including the outer commuter zone, covers an area of and had a total population of 522,522 as of 1 January 2008, ranking it as...

 and then at Verdun
Battle of Verdun
The Battle of Verdun was one of the major battles during the First World War on the Western Front. It was fought between the German and French armies, from 21 February – 18 December 1916, on hilly terrain north of the city of Verdun-sur-Meuse in north-eastern France...

, but his reputation suffered following the disastrous Nivelle Offensive
Nivelle offensive
The Nivelle Offensive was a 1917 French attack on the Western Front in the First World War. Promised as the assault that would end the war within 48 hours, with casualties expected of around 10,000 men, it failed on both counts. It was a three-stage plan:...

, (16 April–9 May 1917). This was due partly to the fact that Mangin was one of the few high-ranking French officials who supported Nivelle's strategy.

Mangin's Sixth Army bore the brunt of the main attack during the Second Battle of the Aisne
Second Battle of the Aisne
The Second Battle of the Aisne , was the massive main assault of the French military's Nivelle Offensive or Chemin des Dames Offensive in 1917 during World War I....

, the main component of Robert Nivelle
Robert Nivelle
Robert Georges Nivelle was a French artillery officer who served in the Boxer Rebellion, and the First World War. In May 1916, he was given command of the French Third Army in the Battle of Verdun, leading counter-offensives that rolled back the German forces in late 1916...

's costly assault. After the failed operation was abandoned, both Mangin and Nivelle were removed from effective command. However, following Ferdinand Foch
Ferdinand Foch
Ferdinand Foch , GCB, OM, DSO was a French soldier, war hero, military theorist, and writer credited with possessing "the most original and subtle mind in the French army" in the early 20th century. He served as general in the French army during World War I and was made Marshal of France in its...

's promotion to Allied Supreme Commander (over Philippe Pétain
Philippe Pétain
Henri Philippe Benoni Omer Joseph Pétain , generally known as Philippe Pétain or Marshal Pétain , was a French general who reached the distinction of Marshal of France, and was later Chief of State of Vichy France , from 1940 to 1944...

), Mangin was recalled upon the orders of Prime Minister Clemenceau
Georges Clemenceau
Georges Benjamin Clemenceau was a French statesman, physician and journalist. He served as the Prime Minister of France from 1906 to 1909, and again from 1917 to 1920. For nearly the final year of World War I he led France, and was one of the major voices behind the Treaty of Versailles at the...

 and given command initially of a corps and then of the French Tenth Army on the Western Front
Western Front (World War I)
Following the outbreak of World War I in 1914, the German Army opened the Western Front by first invading Luxembourg and Belgium, then gaining military control of important industrial regions in France. The tide of the advance was dramatically turned with the Battle of the Marne...

.

Although he was despised by some of his troops (who gave him the nickname "The Butcher"), Mangin's 10th Army was responsible for the crucial Allied counter-attack at the Second Battle of the Marne
Second Battle of the Marne
The Second Battle of the Marne , or Battle of Reims was the last major German Spring Offensive on the Western Front during the First World War. The German attack failed when an Allied counterattack led by France overwhelmed the Germans, inflicting severe casualties...

. It was this that largely promoted his military reputation. Mangin also became known for the observation: "Quoi qu'on fasse, on perd beaucoup de monde." ("Whatever you do," (i.e. attack or defend) "you lose a lot of men."). In the closing months of the war, he served as part of General Castelnau
Noël Édouard, vicomte de Curières de Castelnau
Noël Marie Joseph Édouard, Vicomte de Curières de Castelnau was a French general in World War I, one of the leading proponents of the philosophy of attaque à outrance that dominated French military thinking in the early part of the war.Born in Gascony to a family with a long history of military...

's Army Group East, advancing towards Metz
Metz
Metz is a city in the northeast of France located at the confluence of the Moselle and the Seille rivers.Metz is the capital of the Lorraine region and prefecture of the Moselle department. Located near the tripoint along the junction of France, Germany, and Luxembourg, Metz forms a central place...

.

Occupation of the Rhineland

After the Allied victory, Mangin's 10th Army was sent to occupy
Occupation of the Rhineland
The Occupation of the Rhineland took place following the armistice and brought the fighting of World War I to a close on 11 November 1918. The occupying armies consisted of American, Belgian, British and French forces...

 the Rhineland
Rhineland
Historically, the Rhinelands refers to a loosely-defined region embracing the land on either bank of the River Rhine in central Europe....

. There, Mangin became the focus of controversy due to his attempts to foster the establishment of a pro-French Rhenish Republic
Rhenish Republic
The Rhenish Republic was proclaimed at Aachen in October 1923 during the Occupation of the Ruhr by troops from France and Belgium between January 1923 and 1925...

 with the aim of separating it from Germany and thus denying Germany the West bank of the Rhine. Mangin became a member of the Supreme War Council
Supreme War Council
The Supreme War Council was a central command created by British Prime Minister David Lloyd George to coordinate Allied military strategy during World War I. It was founded in 1917, and was based in Versailles...

 and inspector general of French colonial troops. He fell seriously ill at his Paris home on the 9 March 1925, suffering from incredible pain. He became incoherent and partly paralysed. On the 10th he was diagnosed as suffering from appendicitis
Appendicitis
Appendicitis is a condition characterized by inflammation of the appendix. It is classified as a medical emergency and many cases require removal of the inflamed appendix, either by laparotomy or laparoscopy. Untreated, mortality is high, mainly because of the risk of rupture leading to...

 and as having suffered a stroke
Stroke
A stroke, previously known medically as a cerebrovascular accident , is the rapidly developing loss of brain function due to disturbance in the blood supply to the brain. This can be due to ischemia caused by blockage , or a hemorrhage...

, though the rumour had it he may have been poisoned. He died at 9am two days later, 12 March. His remains were interred in Les Invalides
Les Invalides
Les Invalides , officially known as L'Hôtel national des Invalides , is a complex of buildings in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, France, containing museums and monuments, all relating to the military history of France, as well as a hospital and a retirement home for war veterans, the building's...

 in 1932, and a statue erected in his honour in 1928.

The statue of Mangin was destroyed in 1940 after the armistice. During his tour of Paris, Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

 visited Napoleon's tomb and the statue, being a reminder of Mangin's machinations in the Rhineland, was one of two he ordered dynamited. (The other was of Edith Cavell
Edith Cavell
Edith Louisa Cavell was a British nurse and spy. She is celebrated for saving the lives of soldiers from all sides without distinction and in helping some 200 Allied soldiers escape from German-occupied Belgium during World War I, for which she was arrested...

.) In 1957 a new statue was erected on the avenue de Breteuil.

Decorations

  • Légion d'honneur
    Légion d'honneur
    The Legion of Honour, or in full the National Order of the Legion of Honour is a French order established by Napoleon Bonaparte, First Consul of the Consulat which succeeded to the First Republic, on 19 May 1802...

    • Knight (30 December 1891)
    • Officer (1 October 1899)
    • Commander (13 September 1912)
    • Grand Officer (2 November 1916)
    • Grand Cross (6 July1919)
  • Médaille militaire
    Médaille militaire
    The Médaille militaire is a decoration of the French Republic which was first instituted in 1852.-History:The creator of the médaille was the emperor Napoléon III, who may have taken his inspiration in a medal issued by his father, Louis Bonaparte, King of Holland...

     (12 May 1925)
  • Croix de guerre 1914-1918
    Croix de guerre 1914-1918 (France)
    The Croix de guerre 1914–1918 is a French military decoration.-Creation:Soon after the outbreak of World War I, French military officials felt that a new military award had to be created...

  • Médaille Interalliée de la Victoire
  • Médaille Commémorative de la Grande Guerre
  • Médaille Coloniale with "Sénégal et Soudan" clasp
  • Grand Officer of the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus
    Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus
    The Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus is an order of chivalry awarded by the House of Savoy, the heads of which were formerly Kings of Italy...

     (Italy)
  • Distinguished Service Medal
    Distinguished Service Medal (Army)
    The Distinguished Service Medal is a military award of the United States Army that is presented to any person who, while serving in any capacity with the United States military, has distinguished himself or herself by exceptionally meritorious service to the Government in a duty of great...

     (US)
  • Companion of the Order of the Bath
    Order of the Bath
    The Most Honourable Order of the Bath is a British order of chivalry founded by George I on 18 May 1725. The name derives from the elaborate mediæval ceremony for creating a knight, which involved bathing as one of its elements. The knights so created were known as Knights of the Bath...

    (UK)

His Publications

  • La force noire, Hachette, Paris, 1910 (in this book Mangin predicted the quick and massive use of colonial troops, his so-called "Black Force", in the event of a war in Europe)
  • La Mission des troupes noires. Compte-rendu fait devant le comité de l'Afrique française, Comité de l'Afrique française, 1911, 44 p.
  • Comment finit la guerre, Plon-Nourrit, Paris, 1920, 330 p.
  • Des Hommes et des faits. I. Hoche. Marceau. Napoléon. Gallieni. La Marne. Laon. La Victoire. Le Chef. La Discipline. Le Problème des races. Paul Adam : A la jeunesse. Réponse à M. P. Painlevé, Plon-Nourrit, 1923, 275 p.
  • Autour du continent latin avec le "Jules-Michelet", J. Dumoulin, Paris, 1923, 381 p.
  • Regards sur la France d'Afrique, Plon-Nourrit, Paris, 1924, 315 p.
  • Lettres du Soudan, Les Éditions des portiques, Paris, 1930, 253 p.
  • Un Régiment lorrain. Le 7-9. Verdun. La Somme, Floch, Mayenne ; Payot, Paris, 1935, 254 p.
  • Souvenirs d'Afrique : Lettres et carnets de route, Denoël et Steele, Paris, 1936, 267 p.
  • Les Chasseurs dans la bataille de France. 47e division (juillet-novembre 1918), Floch, Mayenne ; Payot, Paris, 1935, 212 p.
  • Histoire de la nation française (publ. sous la direction de Gabriel Hanotaux), 8, Histoire militaire et navale, 2e partie, De la Constituante au Directoire, Plon, Paris, 1937
  • Lettres de guerre : [à sa femme] 1914-1918, Fayard, 1950, 323 p.
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