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Served as a general in the French army during World War I, was made Marshall of France in 1918, and supreme commander of the Allied Armies up to November 11, 1918, when he accepted the German armistice request. He argued for tough negotiating terms at the Versailles Treaty, and was the chief postwar advocate for the annexation by France of all territory to the West of the Rhine River, and the establishment of a Rhineland state. He was author of On the Principles of War (1903), On the Conduct of War (1904), and Memoirs of the History of the 1918-1918 War (1931).

Schenker spoke scathingly of him in several places, including "The Mission of German Genius," Der Tonwille 1 (1921).

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