Primary Documents - The Abandonment of Paris by the French Government, 3 September 1914

Joseph Gallieni Reproduced below is the text of the proclamation produced by the French Military Commander of Paris, General Joseph Gallieni.

The brief proclamation informed the citizens of Paris that the French government had left the city - to Bordeaux - in order to "give a fresh" impulse to the war against France.  The government's decision to leave the French capital was based upon advice from the French Army Commander-in-Chief, Joseph Joffre, in which he stated that he could not guarantee the safety of the capital and consequently recommended that the government relocate to Bordeaux.

Working with Joffre, Gallieni helped ensure the survival of the city, at one point by rushing French troops to the defensive lines via a stream of Parisian taxi cabs.  Paris was finally saved following the successful First Battle of the Marne in early September 1914.

Click here to read the government's proclamation issued the same day as Gallieni's proclamation.

The Abandonment of Paris and the Withdrawal of the French Government to Bordeaux by General Joseph Gallieni, Military Commander of Paris

September 3rd


The members of the Government of the Republic have left Paris to give a fresh impulse to national defence.

I have been entrusted with the task of defending Paris against the invader.

That task I will fulfil to the end.

Commandant of the Army of Paris

Source: Source Records of the Great War, Vol. II, ed. Charles F. Horne, National Alumni 1923

'Kitchener's Army' comprised Men recruited into the British Army a result of Lord Kitchener's appeal for volunteers.

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