Victor Cordonnier
Victor Louis Émilien Cordonnier,(1858–1936), was born in Surgy, France
Surgy is a commune in the Nièvre department in central France.-Demographics:At the 1999 census, the population was 437. On 1 January 2005, the estimate was 455.-References:*...

 on March 23, 1858. After finishing in the military academy of St. 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"...

 in 1879, he was assigned as a sub-lieutenant in the infantry. He graduated from the École de Guerre
École Militaire
The École Militaire is a vast complex of buildings housing various military training facilities located in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, France, southeast of the Champ de Mars....

 eight years later. He alternated between staff and regimental service, serving in Algeria and the Alps. In 1905, he was chosen to be an instructor at École de Guerre, after serving as director of studies and commander of the cadet battalion at St. Cyr. During this time he wrote Les Japonais des Mandchourie(The Japanese in Manchuria), one of the most critical works on the Russo-Japanese war. He served France during World War I as a general and was called "one of France's finest generals" by Geoffrey Blainey.

World War I

In 1910, he was promoted to colonel and was given the command of an infantry regiment. In 1913, he was given command of the new 87th Brigade and made general of brigade. His brigade distinguished itself at the battle of the Mangiennes, 10 August 1914 and the battle of the Ardennes
Battle of the Ardennes
The Battle of the Ardennes was one of the opening battles of World War I. It took place from August 21–23, 1914, part of the Battle of the Frontiers.-Background:...

. He directed the 3rd Division at the battle of the Marne
First Battle of the Marne
The Battle of the Marne was a First World War battle fought between 5 and 12 September 1914. It resulted in an Allied victory against the German Army under Chief of Staff Helmuth von Moltke the Younger. The battle effectively ended the month long German offensive that opened the war and had...

 and the advance to Sainte-Menehould
Sainte-Menehould is a commune in the Marne department in north-eastern France.The town and its several restaurants pride themselves on serving a local specialty called pied de cochon or pig's trotters....

 and the Argonne, being wounded on 15 September 1914.

By December 1914, after being made an officer of the Legion of Honour, he led his division in bitter trench warfare in the Argonne, later being in command of a group of divisions at Alsace in January 1914.

He was made a commander in the Legion of Honour and in July 1916 was given command of the French troops of the Salonika
Macedonian front (World War I)
The Macedonian Front resulted from an attempt by the Allied Powers to aid Serbia, in the autumn of 1915, against the combined attack of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Bulgaria. The expedition came too late and in insufficient force to prevent the fall of Serbia, and was complicated by the internal...

 armies under Maurice Sarrail
Maurice Sarrail
Maurice-Paul-Emmanuel Sarrail was a French general of the First World War. Sarrail endeared himself to the political elite of the Third Republic through his openly socialist views, all the more conspicuous in contrast to the Catholics, conservatives and monarchists who dominated the French Army...

, later referred to as Armée française d'Orient. Commanding the left wing of the Entente's autumn offensive, he saw action at Ostrovo, Florina, Armenohor and Kenali. However, his and Sarrail's differences led him to be reassigned.

Post war

After arriving back in France, Cordonnier, being terribly ill, was taken to hospital and underwent surgery for cancer. He was unable to return to active duty due to his health and instead went into retirement. In 1921, he published Une Brigade au feu:Potins de Guerre, a tribute to the 87th brigade which he commanded.

His works

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