Doullens conference
The Doullens Conference was held in Doullens
Doullens is a commune in the Somme department in Picardie in northern France.Its inhabitants are called Doullennais and Doullennaises.-Geography:...

, France on March 26, 1918 between French and British military leaders. The purpose of the conference was to better coordinate the British and French military operations 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...



On March 21, 1918 the German Armies attacked all along the Western front with the goal of breaking the Allied lines before American forces could land in Europe. Three days later the tactic seemed to be working as General Sir Hubert Gough's Fifth Army was overwhelmed and it seemed quite likely that the Germans would break through the French and British lines. This was made possible largely due to the lack of coordination between French army commander General 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...

 and British commander Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig.

It became quite clear that better coordination between the Allies
Allies of World War I
The Entente Powers were the countries at war with the Central Powers during World War I. The members of the Triple Entente were the United Kingdom, France, and the Russian Empire; Italy entered the war on their side in 1915...

 was needed to prevent a German breakthrough. The Allies decided to meet at Dury
Dury, Somme
Dury is a commune in the Somme department in Picardie in northern France.-Geography:Dury is situated on the N1 road, some south of Amiens town centre.-Population:-External links:* *...

, France on the 26th but moved the meeting to Doullens because Field Marshal Haig had already planned to meet with his commanders there. There was some concern that the advancing Germans may actually overrun the town of Doullens before the conference but the conference was successful. The meeting involved General Petain, French President Raymond Poincaré
Raymond Poincaré
Raymond Poincaré was a French statesman who served as Prime Minister of France on five separate occasions and as President of France from 1913 to 1920. Poincaré was a conservative leader primarily committed to political and social stability...

, Premier Georges 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...

, General 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...

, and General Maxime Weygand
Maxime Weygand
Maxime Weygand was a French military commander in World War I and World War II.Weygand initially fought against the Germans during the invasion of France in 1940, but then surrendered to and collaborated with the Germans as part of the Vichy France regime.-Early years:Weygand was born in Brussels...

; Lord Alfred Milner, Field Marshal Haig, and Generals Henry Wilson, Herbert Lawrence, and Archibald Montgomery were the British representatives.

The conference was somewhat successful in its attempt to form a more unified command. The basic goal was to appoint a ‘commander-in-chief’ with enough authority to manage all Allied operations. The members attending the conference believed that General Ferdinand Foch had shown the best leadership and perseverance and therefore put him in charge of all the Allied armies on the Western Front. One of Foch's more inspiring statements at the conference clearly showing his perseverance was "You aren't fighting? I would fight without a break. I would fight in front of Amiens
Amiens is a city and commune in northern France, north of Paris and south-west of Lille. It is the capital of the Somme department in Picardy...

. I would fight in Amiens. I would fight behind Amiens. I would fight all the time. I would never surrender".

Beauvais Conference

It was at the Beauvais
Beauvais is a city approximately by highway north of central Paris, in the northern French region of Picardie. It currently has a population of over 60,000 inhabitants.- History :...

 Conference on April 3 that Foch was officially given the title of commander-in-chief. General Tasker Bliss, senior U.S. military representative on 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...

, did not attend the Doullens Conference but did attend the Beauvais Conference and he supported Foch's appointment to commander-in-chief.

Abbeville Conference

This conference was held on May 1 & 2 1918 in Abbeville
Abbeville is a commune in the Somme department in Picardie in northern France.-Location:Abbeville is located on the Somme River, from its modern mouth in the English Channel, and northwest of Amiens...

, France. The main purpose of this conference was to deal with the Allies manpower shortage. The French and the British could not meet the requirements and were requesting Americans forces to fill these requirements. Also at this conference Premier Vittorio Orlando of Italy gave General Foch the authority to coordinate the Italian army.


The Doullens Conference was brought about to address the need for one unified Allied command. This goal was ultimately meet with the appointment of General Foch to commander-in-chief or supreme commander of Allied Forces. This unified command would be vital to the Allies victory. Therefore the Doullens Conference can be viewed as having a "momentous importance to the outcome of the fighting".
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