Who's Who - Paul Cambon

Paul Cambon Paul Cambon (1843-1924) served as France's Ambassador to Britain between 1898-1920.

Cambon, who was born on 20 January 1843 in Paris, graduated with a degree in law in 1870.  After a series of minor government posts he was appointed French Ambassador to Spain in 1891, so beginning a long and distinguished diplomatic career.

Following a brief stint as Ambassador to Turkey - where he tried and failed to persuade the British to leave Egypt - he was appointed Ambassador to Great Britain in August 1898 in the midst of the Fashoda Crisis.

Cambon devoted much of his 22 year tenure as Ambassador in London to the improvement of Anglo-French relations, determined to draw French and British diplomatic interests closer together.  The pinnacle of his achievement was the successful conclusion of the Entente Cordiale agreed between France and Britain in April 1904 and the forerunner of the alliance system comprised of Britain, France and Russia set against the Central Powers (Germany and Austria-Hungary).  It was these two alliance systems that went to war in August 1914.

In 1905 Cambon's diplomacy during the Moroccan Crisis were of great assistance in furthering France's diplomatic position with respect to Germany.

During World War One Cambon continued as French Ambassador to Britain, acting in a liaison capacity between the two countries.

Cambon retired in December 1920 and was subsequently elected to the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences.

He died on 29 May 1924 at the age of 81.

A howitzer is any short cannon that delivers its shells in a high trajectory. The word is derived from an old German word for "catapult".

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