Who's Who - Pierre Ruffey

Pierre Ruffey General Pierre Xavier Emmanuel Ruffey (1851-1932) commanded the French Third Army for the first month of the First World War.

Following an education at St. Cyr in 1873 Ruffey was posted to service abroad in Madagascar.  In subsequent years Ruffey taught as a Professor at the Ecole de Guerre.

A Colonel from 1901 Ruffey rose to divisional command four years later.  1913 brought Ruffey an appointment to the French Supreme Council of War.  The outbreak of the First World War a year later saw Ruffey handed command of the French Third Army.

He was charged with the defence of the French line from Montmedy to Recroi but found his force under heavy German pressure from mid-August onwards and suffered a reverse at the Battle of the Ardennes (one of the Battles of the Frontiers).

Ultimately obliged to retreat to Verdun after heavy fighting he was promptly dismissed from command by Commander-in-Chief Joseph Joffre and replaced by Maurice Sarrail.  He held no further active command.

He died in 1932.

Ack Ack was a term used to describe anti-aircraft fire.

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