|Alphonse Pierre Juin|
16 December 1888|
Annaba, French Algeria
|Died||27 January 1967
|Years of service||1912–1962|
Alphonse Pierre Juin (French pronunciation: [alfɔ̃s ʒɥɛ̃]; 16 December 1888 – 27 January 1967) was a Marshal of France. A graduate of the Saint-Cyr class of 1912, he served in Morocco in 1914 in command of native troops. Upon the outbreak of the First World War, he was sent to the Western Front in France, where he was gravely wounded in 1915. As a result of this wound, he lost the use of his right arm.
After the war, he attended the École Supérieure de Guerre. He chose to serve in North Africa again. After the outbreak of the Second World War, he assumed command of a division, the 15e Division d'Infantrie Motorisée (fr). The division was encircled in the Lille pocket during the Battle of France and Juin was captured. He was a prisoner of war until he was released at the behest of the Vichy Government in 1941, and was assigned to command French forces in North Africa.
After Operation Torch, the invasion of Algeria and Morocco by British and American forces in November 1942, Juin ordered French forces in Tunisia to resist the Germans and the Italians. His great skills were exhibited during the Italian campaign as commander of the French Expeditionary Corps. His expertise in mountain warfare was crucial in breaking the Gustav Line, which had held up the Allied advance for six months. it has also been alleged, however, that he instigated the Marocchinate by telling the Goumiers (in order to motivate them) that they would be allowed to rape and pillage if they succeeded in battle.
Following this assignment he was Chief of Staff of French forces, and represented France at the San Francisco Conference. In 1947 he returned to Africa as the Resident General in Morocco, where he opposed Moroccan attempts to gain independence. Next came a senior NATO position as he assumed command of CENTAG until 1956. During his NATO command, he was promoted to Marshal of France in 1952. He was greatly opposed to Charles De Gaulle's decision to grant independence to Algeria, and was "retired" in 1962 as a result. He was the French Army's last living Marshal of France until his death in Paris in 1967, when he was buried in Les Invalides.
Alphonse Juin was born at Bône in French Algeria on 16 December 1888, the only son of Victor Pierre Juin, a soldier who became a gendarme after 15 years of military service, mostly in Algeria, and his wife Précieuse Salini, the daughter of another soldier and who had become a gendarme. He was named after his paternal grandfather. When he was six, his family moved to Constantine, where he went to primary school, and learnt Arabic from the local boys. In 1902 he was awarded a bursary to study at the Lycée d'Aumale in Constantine.
In 1909 he passed the entrance examination for the École Spéciale Militaire de Saint-Cyr. Back then cadets were required to spend a year in the Army before commencing the course, so he enlisted in an Algerian regiment, the 1er Régiment de Zouaves (fr), quickly rising to corporal and then sergeant. He entered Saint-Cyr in 1910. Classes are named, and his class, the 94th, was known as promotion de Fès after the Moroccan city of Fès that was at the centre of the Agadir Crisis of 1911. Among the class of 223, which included eight foreigners from China, Turkey, Iran and Algeria, were future général d'armée Antoine Béthouart, three future généraux de corps d'armée, four future généraux de division and eighteen future généraux de brigade, including Charles de Gaulle. There would remain a special bond between members of the class, and de Gaulle would always address Juin using the personal pronoun tu. Juin, de Gaulle and Béthouart would give their names to the Saint-Cyr classes of 1966–68, 1970–72 and 2000–03 respectively.
After graduating on 1 October 1912, Juin was commissioned as a sous-lieutenant in an Algerian regiment, the 1er Régiment de Tirailleurs Algériens (fr). He soon saw service in Morocco in the Zaian War, participating in the fighting around Taza.
First World War
Upon the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914, a brigade of five battalions known as the Brigade des Chasseurs Indigènes was formed from Moroccan troops and sent to the Western Front in France. Juin joined Chef de Bataillon Joseph-François Poeymirau's 2e Régiment des Chasseurs Indigènes as a lieutenant. On 5 September, the brigade joined the fighting in the First Battle of the Marne. Juin was wounded in his left hand the following day, but refused evacuation to hospital, remaining at the front with his arm in a sling. He was awarded the Cross of the Legion of Honour. The brigade was withdrawn from the line in January 1915, but committed to battle again in March in the First Battle of Champagne. In this battle Juin was again wounded, this time in his upper right arm. The damage was permanent, and he was given permission to henceforth salute with his left.
Juin found Poeymirau, who had also been wounded, in the hospital, and Poeymirau arranged for Juin to be sent back to Morocco in December 1915 to convalesce. Promoted to capitaine, Juin joined Moroccan troops preparing to go to France, but he accepted an offer from Général de division Hubert Lyautey, the Resident-General in Morocco, to become his aide-de-camp for six months. Juin returned to France towards the end of 1916 in command of a company of the 1er Régiment de Tirailleurs Marocains (fr), participating in the Nivelle Offensive in April 1917. He was selected for staff training February 1918. Whewn he returned in October 1918, he was initially posted to the staff of his division, but then joined the French Mission to the United States Army, where he was serving when the fighting ended in November 1918.
After the war, Juin returned to the 1er Régiment de Tirailleurs Marocains, but was seconded to Lyautey's staff, and then sent to École Supérieure de Guerre for more staff training. After graduating in 1921, he was posted to the headquarters of the division in Tunisia. He turned down an offer of a staff appointment in Paris to serve under Poeymirau in Morocco, but Poeymirau died suddenly in 1924. Lyautey then divided Morocco into two commands. When Juin arrived at the new headquarters in Fès, he found Captaine Jean de Lattre de Tassigny occupying the position of G-3 (Operations) that Juin had expected. Since Juin was staff trained and de Lattre was not, Juin became G-4 (Logistics). His principal task was supplying the forts in the Ouergha River area. During the Rif War he served on the staff of Colonel Charles Noguès (fr). For his services leading troops in the field, Juin was made an officer of the Légion d'honneur and promoted to commandant.
Lyautey was blamed for the French lack of preparedness for the war and relieved of his command. As a marshal, Lyautey was member of the conseil supérieur de la guerre (fr), and as such was entitled to a small staff of three officers. He asked Juin to be its head, and Juin accepted, even though it was a desk job in Paris for an officer with little influence who refused to even attend the infrequent conseil meetings due to the presence of Maréchal Philippe Pétain. Juin was best man at de Lattre's wedding to Simonne Calary de Lamazière in March 1927. 
Juin returned to North Africa in September 1927 to assume command of a battalion of the 7e Régiment de Tirailleurs Algériens (fr). He married Marie Gabrielle Cécile Bonnefoy, the daughter of an Army veterinary surgeon who had moved to Constantine and become a businessman, in 1928. They had two sons, Pierre and Michel. The following year he became military secretary to Noguès, who was now the Director of Political Affairs in Morocco. Due to an army requirement that officers complete six months in command of a battalion before they could be promoted, Juin spent six months in command of a battalion of the 1er Régiment de Zouaves. He was promoted to lieutenant-colonel in March 1932, returning to his previous post in time for active operations that year. They were successful, and he was posted to the École supérieure de guerre as an instructor in 1933. Once again he chafed under the prevailing linear defence doctrine, and he returned to North Africa in 1935 to become second in command, and then commander, of the 3e Régiment de Zouaves (fr). He was promoted to colonel in June 1935.
Noguès became Resident-General in Morocco in 1937, with the expectation that he would become commander in chief in North Africa in the event Of hostilities with Nazi Germany. If this happened, Noguès wanted Juin for his chief of staff, but since Juin was only a colonel, it was arranged for him to attend a senior officers course at the Centre des hautes études militaires. On graduation he returned to Algiers, where he was promoted to the rank of général de brigade on 26 December 1938.
Second World War
Fall of France
After the Second World War broke out in September 1939, Juin helped arrange the despatch of units from the Armée d'Afrique to help defend metropolitan France. on 4 December, he was given command of the 15e Division d'Infantrie Motorisée (fr) (15e DIM). After the German attack began on 10 May 1940, the 15e DIM was ordered into Belgium to hold the area around Gembloux. This was held against German attacks on 14 and 15 May, before the defenders were compelled to retreat to Valenciennes. The 15e DIM came under heavy German attack on 24 May, and retreated into the Lille pocket, where it covered the British and French forces fighting in the Battle of Dunkirk. Some units of his division managed to escape to Dunkirk; the remainder fought until their ammunition ran out. Juin surrendered on 29 May.
Juin became a prisoner of war, and was held in Oflag IV-B Koenigstein, a prison camp for officers in Königstein Fortress in Saxony. While in prison he was promoted to général de division. He was released in June 1941 at the request of Pétain, now the head of the Vichy Government, in exchange for thirty German sailors, as a specialist in North African affairs. He was promoted to Général de corps d'armée on 16 July, and became commander of the troops in Morocco. Admiral François Darlan offered him the post of Minister for War following the death of Général d'armée Charles Huntziger in November 1941, but Juin turned down the offer, saying that he only wished to serve in North Africa. On 20 November, he was promoted to Général de corps d'armée, replacing Weygand as commander of French land forces in North Africa. In December he led a French mission to Germany that met with Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring to discuss what would happen if the German-Italian Panzerarmee Afrika was driven out of Libya by Operation Crusader. This did not occur, but a dispute over what should be done led to Juin relieving de Lattre of command of the forces in Tunisia, permanently damaging their friendship.
North African campaign
Operation Torch, the invasion of Algeria and Morocco by British and American forces, came as a complete surprise to Juin, who had not been brought into secret discussions concerning the operation. He was informed of the landings by Robert Daniel Murphy, the American consul-general in Algiers, on the morning of on 8 November 1942 as the first waves were heading toward the beaches. Juin had previously told Murphy that his orders were to resist an invasion of North Africa, but he agreed to immediately consult with Darlan, who arrived at Juin's villa within minutes. Darlan, in turn, sent a message to Pétain in Vichy.Murphy was placed under house arrest in Juin's villa, the pro-Allied troops who had surrounded the villa were driven away, and Général de division Charles Mast, who had collaborated with the Allies, was relieved by Général de division Louis Koeltz (fr).
Juin did not want Algeria occupied by the Americans any more than he wanted France occupied by the Germans, but he recognised the reality of the situation. Darlan authorised Juin to negotiate a local ceasefire in Algiers, so Juin met with American Major General Charles W. Ryder, and the two arranged for an end to the fighting. Algiers was handed over to the Americans, French troops were confined to barracks but retained their weapons, and French police maintained law and order. French resistance to the Allies continued elsewhere in North Africa until Darlan issued a ceasefire on 10 November, and directed Juin to order French forces in Tunisia to resist the Germans and the Italians. Juin's orders were not always obeyed by his subordinates in Tunisia, many of whom believed that Darlan and Juin were being held prisoner by the Americans, but he was able to personally persuade Noguès to work with the Allies.
In the reorganisation of French forces in North Africa on 13 November, Juin became commander of the Eastern Sector. His command, known as the Détachement d'armée Français, held two distinct sectors on the Tunisian front, one in the north under Général de brigade Fernand Barré, and one in the south under Koeltz. His forces were poorly equipped, and when the Germans and Italians counter-attacked, he had to call on the British and Americans for assistance. In January, Juin agreed to a more regular command arrangement, with French forces being concentrated in Koeltz's XIX Corps, which was placed under Lieutenant-General Kenneth Anderson's British First Army.
Juin was promoted to Général d'armée. He was given a tumultuous welcome from the populace when he entered Tunis after the Allies captured the city in May. De Gaulle appointed Mast as Resident-General in Tunisia, but Mast was injured in an air crash, and Juin was asked to fill in for him. In this role, Juin joined General Dwight Eisenhower, Général d'armée Henri Giraud, Admiral Sir Andrew Cunningham, Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Tedder and Lieutenant-General Kenneth Anderson on the review stand for the victory parade on 20 May. A less savoury part of the job was informing the Muhammad VII al-Munsif, the Bey of Tunisia, that he was being deposed. When Juin was informed that Pétain had stripped him of his French nationality and membership in the legion of honour, he merely noted that he was grateful he had not been sentenced to death.
In July 1943, Eisenhower raised the possibility of French troops being used in the upcoming Italian campaign with Juin, who accepted on behalf of Giraud, who was in Washington. Juin was placed in charge of a force known as Détachement d'armée A, which was intended to eventually grow into an army headquarters. Since it would form part of the Fifth United States Army, under the lower-ranking American Lieutenant General Mark W. Clark, Juin styled his command the Corps Expéditionnaire Français (CEF), and took a reduction in rank to Général de corps d'armée. When the first division of the CEF, the 2nd Moroccan Infantry Division (fr) (2e DIM), arrived in November 1943, it was placed under Major General John P. Lucas's VI Corps. In his diary Lucas noted that Juin "turned out to be not only a splendid soldier but a fine and courteous gentleman as well."
Juin's CEF relieved Lucas's VI Corps in the line when the CEF's second division, the 3rd Algerian Infantry Division (3e DIA) arrived in December. For the CEF, the First Battle of Monte Cassino began on 12 January, with the CEF advancing four miles to the upper Rapido River and the main defences of the German Gustav Line. After the Allied landing at Anzio, he began an attack on Monte Belvedere, about 5 miles (8.0 km) north of Cassino. On 29 January, he reported to Clark that "At the cost of unbelievable efforts and great losses," the 3d Algerian Infantry Division had "accomplished the mission which you gave them."
After three unsuccessful attempts to break the Gustav Line, British General Sir Harold Alexander, the commander of the Allied Armies in Italy, decided to make a coordinated attack with both the United States Fifth Army and the British Eighth Army, codenamed Operation Diadem. As was the British custom, Alexander gave his subordinates considerable latitude in how they went about implementing his orders. This allowed Juin to put forward a major modification to the plan. He proposed that the CEF, now increased to four divisions, advance through the rugged Aurunci Mountains and outflank the German positions. He was aware of the difficulty of trying to advance, much less exploit a breakthrough over the mountain trails, but felt that the 4th Moroccan Mountain Division (fr) and Moroccan Goumiers could do it.
Juin told them that:
Beyond the mountain, beyond the enemies that you will kill this night, there is a land abundant and rich with women, with wine, with houses. If you succeed in passing through this line without leaving a single enemy alive, your general promises you, this day, I proclaim: these women, these houses, this wine, all that you find there is yours, for your pleasure and your will. For fifty hours. And you can have everything, do everything, take everything, destroy everything, if you have overcome, if you've earned it. Your general will keep his promise, if you obey for the last time until victory.
According to Clark:
Meantime, the French forces had crossed the Garigliano (River) and moved forward into the mountainous terrain lying south of the Liri River. It was not easy. As always, the German veterans reacted strongly and there was bitter fighting. The French surprised the enemy and quickly seized key terrain including Mounts Faito Cerasola and high ground near Castelforte. The 1st Motorized Division helped the 2nd Moroccan division take key Mount Girofano and then advanced rapidly north to S. Apollinare and S. Ambrogio. In spite of the stiffening enemy resistance, the 2nd Moroccan Division penetrated the Gustav Line in less than two day’s fighting.
The next 48 hours on the French front were decisive. The knife-wielding Goumiers swarmed over the hills, particularly at night, and General Juin’s entire force showed an aggressiveness hour after hour that the Germans could not withstand. Cerasola, San Giogrio, Mt. D’Oro, Ausonia and Esperia were seized in one of the most brilliant and daring advances of the war in Italy, and by May 16 the French Expeditionary Corps had thrust forward some ten miles on their left flank to Mount Revole, with the remainder of their front slanting back somewhat to keep contact with the British Eighth Army.
Only the most careful preparations and the utmost determination made this attack possible, but Juin was that kind of a fighter. Mule pack trains, skilled mountain fighters, and men with the strength to make long night marches through treacherous terrain were needed to succeed in the all-but-impregnable mountain ranges. The French displayed that ability during their sensational advance which Lieutenant General Siegfried Westphal, the chief of staff to Kesselring, later described as a major surprise both in timing and in aggressiveness. For this performance, which was to be a key to the success of the entire drive on Rome, I shall always be a grateful admirer of General Juin and his magnificent FEC.
Clark made a triumphal entry into Rome, with Juin sitting next to him. For Juin, the experience was bittersweet. He felt that the fruits of his victory had been lost through British caution, and the American obsession with Rome. His support for continuing the campaign in Italy now that the Allies were winning was rejected by the French command. On 4 July, the CEF captured Siena, where it celebrated Bastille Day, and then was withdrawn to participate in the liberation of Southern France. In the wake of allegations of raping and pillaging by his North African troops in the Marocchinate, he took steps to curtail the abuses, with drastic measures, including the death penalty, that were not entirely successful owing to the animosity between the French and Italian people over the events of 1940.
Chief of Staff
Following this assignment Juin was appointed Chief of Staff of French forces ("Chef d'État-Major de la Défense Nationale"). He helped persuade Eisenhower to allow Philippe Leclerc's 2nd Armoured Division to carry out the liberation of Paris, and he entered the city with de Gaulle on 25 August 1944. He restored order to the liberated areas, suppressing elements of the French Forces of the Interior (FFI) that refused to disband with Spahis that he brought in from North Africa. He arranged with Eisenhower for FFI personnel to be absorbed into four new divisions that guarded the German forces that remained in bypassed garrisons along the Atlantic coast, and the frontier with Italy. 
During the German Operation Northwind in January 1945, he clashed with Eisenhower's chief of staff, Lieutenant General Walter B. Smith, over a proposed Allied withdrawal from Alsace and Lorraine. In the event, Eisenhower gave way to political pressure from the British and the French, and the withdrawal was not carried out. Juin also opposed the attack on Royan in April 1945, but it was carried out anyway over his objections.
At the time of the end of the war in Europe, Juin was in the United States, where he represented France at the San Francisco Conference. In the immediate post-war period he continued with his task of rebuilding France's armed forces. This was made difficult by the ending of American Lend-Lease aid, and the military commitments to the Allied occupation of Germany, and in North Africa, Syria and Italy, where the 1947 Paris Peace Treaties made some adjustments to the border. The major looming crisis, though, was the Indochina War. Juin lost his direct access to the President when de Gaulle left office in 1946, and his plans for an Army large enough to handle France's commitments had to be scaled back.
In January 1947 Juin returned to Africa as the Resident-General in Morocco. He opposed Moroccan attempts to gain independence, and worked uneasily with Mohammed V, the Sultan of Morocco, whom Juin correctly suspected of harbouring nationalist sympathies. Juin forbade religious schools and certain gatherings, which he felt were being taken over by nationalists. During his tenure he instituted many administrative reforms, and greatly expanded opportunities for Moroccans, but it was overshadowed by the growing drift to independence.
Although Juin visited Indochina in April 1946, and met with Ho Chi Minh, he was not interested in a command there. He likewise turned down an offer in 1948 to command the Western European Union land forces. He returned to Indochina in October 1950, when he was sent to report on the state of France's efforts there. He produced a damning report, in which he criticised both the strategy and tactics being employed. But he again turned down an offer to command the French forces in Indochina, being far more concerned about the situation in North Africa.
In 1952 Juin took up a senior NATO position as he assumed command of CENTAG. Once again he served under Eisenhower. He also got along well with his successors, Generals Matthew Ridgway and Alfred Gruenther, whom he had known from the campaign in Italy. During his NATO command, he was made a Marshal of France in May 1952, the only living holder of that rank. After the French defeat in Indochina in the Battle of Dien Bien Phu in 1954, Juin was again asked if he would take over command in Indochina. He was greatly moved by the disaster, in which his former aide was killed, but in the end turned the job down again. He retired on 1 October 1956, coinciding with Gruenther's retirement, as he did not wish to serve under any other American general.
Juin was greatly opposed to de Gaulle's decision to grant independence to Algeria, although he remained steadfastly loyal to de Gaulle. In the wake of the Algiers putsch of 1961 and the Organisation Armée Secrète terrorist campaign, he was placed under house arrest. He was "retired" and his special privileges as a marshal were taken away. In December 1963, he suffered a thrombosis and was hospitalised in the Val-de-Grâce, where he was visited by de Gaulle. Delirious, Juin spoke of "Constantine, Algeria, my country", to which de Gaulle embraced him and replied "Yes, I know, your country is there".
In the event, Juin did not die, but remained frail for the rest of his life. He suffered a heart attack November 1966, and was again taken to the Val-de-Grâce, where he died on 22 January 1967. A funeral was held at Notre Dame de Paris, which was attended by old comrades including Alexander, Ridgway, Béthouart, Marcel Carpentier and de Gaulle, after which Juin was interred in Les Invalides with full military honours.
- Légion d'honneur
- Knight: 10 December 1914
- Officer: 28 December 1924
- Commander: 1 October 1940
- Grand Officer: 25 June 1944
- Grand Cross: 8 May 1945
- Médaille Militaire 
- Croix de guerre 1914–1918 (with 1 palm, 2 silver stars and 1 bronze star)
- Croix de guerre 1939–1945 (with 5 palms)
- Croix de guerre des Théatres d'Opérations Exterieures
- Médaille Interalliée de la Victoire
- Médaille commémorative de la guerre 1914-1918
- Médaille Coloniale avec agrafes "Maroc" "Tunisie".
- Malta: Frand Cross of the Order of Malta 
- Belgium: Grand Cross of the Order of Léopold; Croix de Guerre 40 with 1 palm.
- United States: Chief Commander of the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Service Medal 
- Morocco: Grand Cordon of the Order of Ouissam Alaouite Chérifien, Médaille du Mérite Militaire Chérifien.
- United Kingdom: Honorary Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath (GCB) 
- Poland: Order of the Cross of Grunwald 1st class (16 July 1946) 
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- « Au-delà des monts, au-delà des ennemis que cette nuit vous tuerez, il y a une terre abondante et riche de femmes, de vin, de maisons. Si vous réussissez à passer outre cette ligne sans laisser un seul ennemi vivant, votre général vous le promet, vous le jure, vous le proclame : ces femmes, ces maisons, ce vin, tout ce que vous trouverez sera à vous, à votre bon plaisir et votre volonté. Pour cinquante heures. Et vous pourrez avoir tout, faire tout, prendre tout, tout détruire ou tout emmener, si vous avez vaincu, si vous l’avez mérité. Votre général tiendra sa promesse, si vous obéissez pour la dernière fois jusqu’à la victoire.»Baris 2007, p. 51
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Alphonse Juin.|
- Video: Allies Liberate Island of Elba Etc. (1944). Universal Newsreel. 1944. Retrieved 21 February 2012.