Émile Paul Amable Guépratte

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Émile Paul Aimable Guépratte
Émile Guépratte 1925.jpg
Émile Guépratte in 1925
Nickname(s)

Point d'honneur (" the British),


Srpska majka ("Serbian mother" by the Serbs)
Born 30 August 1856
Granville
Died 21 November 1939(1939-11-21) (aged 83)
Brest
Allegiance  France
Service/branch  French Navy
Years of service 1874 — 1918
Rank vice-admiral
Battles/wars Battle of Gallipoli
Awards

Legion of Honour
Order of St. George

White Eagle

Émile Paul Aimable Guépratte (30 August 1856 – 21 November 1939) was a French admiral.

Guépratte was born in Granville to a family of naval officers. He studied at the Lycée impérial in Brest from 1868, and joined the École Navale on 1 October 1871.

He was made an officer on 5 October 1874, and promoted to Enseigne de vaisseau on 1 December 1877. He served in Tunisia aboard the Marengo. He studied torpedo operations and served on the Amiral Duperré as a torpedo expert before receiving his first command in 1889.

In 1891, he was second officer of the Forfait. He went on to command the gunboat Caronade in Indochina, the anti-submarine defences of Brest, a destroyer and the cruiser Foudre, rising in rank to capitaine de vaisseau.

In 1905, Guépratte took command of the Jeanne d'Arc.

Guépratte was promoted to contre-amiral on 2 September 1912. At the outbreak of the First World War, he led a squadron of old battleships in the Mediterranean. He was sent to the Dardanelles to back the British Mediterranean Fleet of Admiral Sackville Carden.

On the 3 November 1914, the Suffren, Vérité, Indomitable and Indefatigable started shelling the forts defending the strait, initiating the Naval operations in the Dardanelles Campaign.

The main attack took place on 18 March, Guépratte leading the forwards squadron. The fleet was taken into a well-prepared minefield, under fire from coastal artillery. The Irresistible, Ocean and Bouvet were sunk; the French flagship Suffren was seriously damaged, as well as the Gaulois. Nevertheless, Admiral John de Robeck lauded the spirit of the French line.

Guépratte took part in the naval part of the later joint operation with the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, deploring the lack of first-class French units in the theater. He was eventually promoted to vice-admiral on 10 October 1915, allegedly to bring him away from combat operations, where he was deemed impetuous, to a safer area of activity.

Guépratte was retired on 30 August 1918 and took up a career as a politician. He was elected to the National Assembly of France on 16 November 1919 on a left-wing list. He specialised in parliamentary affairs of the Navy. He retired from political life in 1924. He died in Brest in 1939.

Honours[edit]

Guépratte's tomb is in Les Invalides, where French military heroes are buried.