When he arrived in Cilicia, December 2, 1919, General Dufieux was only 46 years.
Julien, Claude, Marie, Sosthene Dufieux was born May 21, 1873 in Mascara, in the department of Oran in Algeria. His father was an officer of Indigenous Affairs. He came out with a good classification of the Special Military School. In 1873, when his son Julian was born, he was 32 years and was a captain after serving against Germany (1870-1871). He was Chevalier of the Legion of Honor in February 1880, and Officier of the Legion of Honor in July 1896. Julien's mother, Genevieve, 20 years in 1873, is a homemaker. The couple will not have another child.
The young Dufieux Julien is a bright child. In 1890, he obtained in Aurillac his Bachelor of Science and Letters. He was admitted to the Military Academy of Saint Cyr which he graduated in 1893. Five years later he was admitted to the Ecole de Guerre. His brilliant classification output allowed him to be selected as member of Staff in the Division of Oran then Algiers, and Morocco.
On September 15, 1911, the Chief of Staff of the Army proposes a military citation:
When end of 1907, operations were taking, in Morocco with General d'Amade, greater extension, a section of Morocco, headed by Commander Dessiaux was created in the General Staff of the Army. Captain Dufieux was the linchpin of it. He continued to spend lavishly and was able to provide in a few weeks the prodigious efforts made necessary by the mobilization of a body of 15 000 men taken from the resources required to Algeria, Tunisia and the metropolis.
[...] In March-April 1911, the march on Fez was decided. This time they were 25 000 men and services commensurate with the magnitude of new operations, which, thanks to his experience, were organized, loaded and discharged at least a month.
Appointed Chief of the 69th Battalion, RI, he received the Certificate of Commander of the Order Hafidien, which translation is as follows (SHD 13Yd 1324)
Praise be to God alone! There is strength and power only in God.
Great Seal of the Sultan of Morocco with the following inscription:
"Abdel Hafid Ben El Hassan bin Mohammed
God is his protector and teacher. O Almighty! O helper! God is the best of protectors. He is the most merciful of merciful.
By his strength and power we bestow to friend Dufieux Battalion Chief of Staff of the Glorious French Government Army, the third rank (Commander) of the Order Hafidien glorified in consideration of his merits. Carries with it the joy and distinction.
Made in our wealthy capital of Fez on 6 Ramadan 1329
For certified translations [in French]
Paris, October 10, 1911
The Honorary Consul of France, interpreter
General Government cherifien
During the winter of 1913-1914, General Gouraud appreciates Dufieux Commander, Chief of Staff of Fez. He faced with intelligence and energy, a serious supply crisis. In the following May, at the junction of both Morocco, Julien Dufieux is initiated to fight where General Gouraud remarks his foresight, hard work, his eye on the ground, his courage, his energy. General appreciates "the character of the happiest, the most amiable first - ardent heart and superior intellect, temperament of iron and benevolent character - (..)" and reported that to achieve high grades" his leaders will always deal with him because to all his qualities, he added a perfect modesty. " Signed Gouraud, August 31, 1914 (SHD 13 Yd 1324)
Only early 1915 Dufieux Julien returned to metropolitan France to participate to the Great War. He was still time in the Staff, and he obtained the rank of colonel.
In 1917, Colonel Dufieux wished to participate in the fighting. And indeed, army needed new men to manage soldiers. Trench warfare kills so many people! And men are not convinced of the usefulness of their sacrifice, particularly in battle of the Chemin des Dames. Riots erupt. Will France lose the war? We'll see the Germans in Paris? Under the leadership of General Guillemot, Colonel Dufieux arrived at the Chemin des Dames and took command of the 88th Infantry Brigade. He regains the confidence of men by explaining, orally or in writing, the objectives of military actions and tactics in case of attack. It gives instructions of discipline that respects the dignity of men (SHD 26N521/6 JMO de la 88ème Brigade d'Infanterie):
The steps to reach the quarters of rest will be executed in a perfect walking discipline. It is important when leaving the trenches, to give the troops immediately a sense of order and cohesion. No held neglected, even during breaks from walk; especially under any pretext, not laggards. It is a matter of attention, example and energy on the part of managers.
The schedule will then be set as follows [...]
The hours indicated are mandatory in their maximum limits, but it is open to chief responsible for shortening a particular meeting if he is particularly pleased with his men. Make clear to everyone that purpose is not "kill time", but to achieve results. When these achievements are reached, it is useless to insist. The enthusiasm and vigor of the effort are more interesting than length.
Remind everyone that it is forbidden to leave the encampment without permission. Any man who is met untitled regular in an encampment that is not his, will be arrested and reported to his unit.
The cleanliness of the men and their food will be constant attention from the officers of Company. I recommend extreme cleanliness of kitchens, their surroundings, the utensils used for preparing food and containers in which they are presented to men. When water is not lacking, these conditions are easy to achieve.
The Commander will ensure that the results referred to in this note are sought by a vigorous executive action, but with patience, all examples and good humor.
General Guillemot is very satisfied with the results. Here's how he notes his collaborator in his personal file:
[...]His assumption of command coincided with entry into a difficult sector, the Chemin des Dames. It has allowed him, from day to give his best and impose himself at all by the influence of his extraordinary energy, his tireless activity and his high intelligence. By his benevolent authority he immediately won the confidence of the battalions under his command and he could show his qualities as an organizer in a sub-sector which is difficult to keep.[...]
QG on 15th november 1917, General Guillemot
(SHD 13 Yd 1324)
After the Great War, General Dufieux takes the head of the 156th Infantry Division, a unit of the army of the East which is in Bessarabia and in Bulgaria and that he reorganizes. On October 29, 1919, General Franchet d'Esperrey, commanding the troops of occupation in Constantinople, appointed him to the Levant.
General Dufieux arrives December 2, 1919 in Adana. Here's how he understood his mission:
The written and verbal instructions which were to guide me when I arrived in Adana, December 2, 1919, could be summarized as follows:
- Loosen as soon as possible the administrative control of Cilicia, which was too strict, too close to the direct administration,
- Progressively establishing administrative control over the Eastern Territories, but more streamlined, seek close cooperation with the Muslim elements, especially with the Turks, arguing the consistency of French interests and the interests Ottomans
- Releasing, at the contrary, the bonds that united the French authorities to Armenian organizations, specially those which the development and the claims were deemed dangerous
- Take in a word, the balance between the various races and religions.
SHD 4 H 226
Adana, 9th march 1920
General Dufieux, Cdt 156th Division
to Mr. High Commissioner General of the French Republic in Syria-Cilicia.
Commander in Chief of the Army of the Levant.
Born in Algeria and trained in Morocco, General Dufieux was familiar with the Muslim world. Modest, he imposes himself by his work, his qualities as an organizer, his respect for men of all conditions, all cultures and religions. He is an effective manager. He is not perceived as a bold conqueror nor as a strategist. His choice to manage the French forces in Cilicia expressed goals of the French government, as part of the mission entrusted by the League.