Who's Who - Marie-Eugene Debeney

Pottery plaque of Marie-Eugene Debeney General Marie-Eugene Debeney (1864-1943) served in numerous active field command positions during the First World War, graduating from corps to army command.

Debeney served his military education at St. Cyr prior to receiving a commission into the French Army as a Lieutenant of Chasseurs in 1886.

The outbreak of war in Europe in August 1914 found Debeney as Deputy Chief of Staff of the French First Army.  Subsequent commands of 33rd and 32nd Corps followed before he was promoted to the head of the French Seventh Army in 1916.

Debeney returned to First Army in December 1917, this time as its commanding officer.  During March and April the following year, during the great German Spring push, Debeney was given responsibility for defending Amiens.

With the German initiative subsequently weakening Debeney brought about the capture of Montdidier before advancing to the River Somme in August and onwards to the stronghold of the Hindenburg Line (shortly afterwards to itself fall).

Following the armistice Debeney served as commandant of St Cyr from June 1919.

He died in 1943.

A sandbag was a sack filled with earth from which defences were built.

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