|Birth Day:||January 21, 1867|
|Death Date:||Jan 28, 1965 (age 98)|
|Height:||in centimeters - N/A|
|Weight:||in kg - N/A|
As per our current Database, Maxime Weygand died on Jan 28, 1965 (age 98).
He was born in Brussels and was orphaned at birth. It was rumored that he was the illegitimate son of either Empress Carlota of Mexico or of the Empress' brother, Leopold II, and his Polish mistress.
Weygand was admitted to the École Spéciale Militaire de Saint-Cyr, under the name of "Maxime de Nimal" as a foreign cadet (Belgian). Graduating in 1887, he was posted to a cavalry regiment. After changing his name to Weygand and receiving French nationality, he became an instructor at Saumur.
Along with Joffre and Foch, Weygand attended the Russian manoeuvres in 1910; his account mentions a great deal of pomp and many gala dinners, but also records Russian reluctance to discuss military details. As a lieutenant colonel Weygand attended the last prewar French grand manoeuvres, in 1913, and commented that it had revealed "intolerable insufficiencies" such as two divisions becoming mixed up.
Weygand was promoted to général de brigade in 1916. He later wrote of the Anglo-French Somme Offensive in 1916, at which Foch commanded French Army Group North, that it had seen "constant mix-ups with an ally [i.e. the British] learning how to run a large operation and whose doctrines and methods were not yet in accordance with ours".
British Prime Minister David Lloyd George pushed for the creation of a Supreme War Council, which was formally established on 7 November 1917. Keen to sideline the British Chief of the Imperial General Staff, General Sir William Robertson, he insisted that, as French Army Chief of the General Staff, Foch could not also be French Permanent Military Representative (PMR) on the SWC. Paul Painlevé, French Prime Minister until 13 November, believed that Lloyd George was already pushing for Foch to be Supreme Allied Commander so wanted him as PMR not French Chief of Staff.
Weygand was the most junior of the PMRs (the others being the Italian Luigi Cadorna, the American Tasker H. Bliss, and the British Henry Wilson, later replaced by Henry Rawlinson). He was promoted général de division (equivalent to the Anglophone rank of major general) in 1918. This promotion was specifically because of his appointment as a PMR.
Weygand drew up the memorandum for the meeting of Foch with the national commanders-in-chief (Haig, Pétain and John J. Pershing) on 24 July 1918, the only such meeting before the autumn, in which Foch urged (successfully) the liberation of the Marne salient captured by the Germans in May (this offensive would become the Second Battle of the Marne, for which Foch was promoted Marshal of France), along with further offensives by the British and by the Americans at St Mihiel. Weygand personally delivered the directive for the Amiens attack to Haig. Foch and Weygand were shown around the liberated St. Mihiel sector by Pershing on 20 September.
Weygand later (in 1922) questioned whether Pétain's planned offensive by twenty-five divisions in Lorraine in November 1918 could have been supplied through a "zone of destruction" through which the Germans were retreating; his own and Foch's doubts about the feasibility of the plans were another factor in the seeking of an armistice. In 1918 Weygand served on the armistice negotiations, and it was Weygand who read out the armistice conditions to the Germans at Compiègne, in the railway carriage. He can be spotted in photographs of the armistice delegates, and also standing behind Foch's shoulder at Pétain's investiture as Marshal of France at the end of 1918.
During the Polish–Soviet War, Weygand was a member of the Interallied Mission to Poland of July and August 1920, supporting the infant Second Polish Republic against Soviet Russia. (He had not been on the 1919 French Military Mission to Poland headed by General Paul Prosper Henrys.) The Interallied Mission, which also included French diplomat Jean Jules Jusserand and the British diplomat Lord Edgar Vincent D'Abernon, achieved little: its report was submitted after the Poles had won the crucial Battle of Warsaw. Nonetheless, the presence of the Allied missions in Poland gave rise to a myth that the timely arrival of Allied forces saved Poland, a myth in which Weygand occupies the central role.
Weygand was unemployed for a time after the military mission to Poland, but in 1923 he was made commander-in-chief Levant, the French mandate in Lebanon and Syria. He was then appointed High Commissioner of Syria the next year, a position he also only kept for a year.
Weygand returned to France in 1925, when he became director of the Center for Higher Military Studies, a position he had for five years. In 1931 he was appointed Chief of Staff of the French Army, Vice President of the Supreme War Council and Inspector of the Army, and was elected a member of the Académie française (seat #35). He remained in the positions, except Inspector of the Army, until his retirement in 1935 at 68.
Weygand was recalled for active service in August 1939 by Prime Minister Édouard Daladier and appointed commander-in-chief for the Orient Theatre of Operation.
The Vichy regime was set up in July 1940. Weygand continued to serve in Pétain's cabinet as Minister for National Defence until September 1940. He was then appointed Delegate-General in French North Africa.
Weygand opposed German bases in French territory not to help the Allies or even to keep France neutral, but rather to preserve the integrity of the French Empire and maintain prestige in the eyes of the natives. Weygand apparently favoured limited collaboration with Germany. The Weygand General Delegation (4th Office) delivered military equipment to the Panzer Armee Afrika: 1,200 French trucks and other French army vehicles (Dankworth contract of 1941), and also heavy artillery with 1,000 shells per gun. However, Adolf Hitler demanded full unconditional collaboration and pressured the Vichy government to dismiss Weygand in November 1941 and recall him from North Africa. A year later, in November 1942, following the Allied invasion of North Africa, the Germans arrested Weygand. He remained in custody in Germany and then in the Itter Castle in North Tyrol with General Gamelin and a few other French Third Republic personalities until May 1945. He was liberated by American troops after the Battle for Castle Itter.
After returning to France, Weygand was held as a collaborator at the Val-de-Grâce but was released in May 1946 and cleared in 1948. He died on 28 January 1965 in Paris at the age of 98. He had married Marie-Renée, the daughter of Brigadier General Viscount de Forsanz, of Brittany. They had two sons, Édouard and Jacques.
Weygand was born in Brussels of unknown parents. He was long suspected of being the illegitimate son of either Empress Carlota of Mexico and General Alfred Van der Smissen; or of her brother Leopold II, King of the Belgians, and Leopold's Polish mistress. Van der Smissen always seemed a likely candidate for Weygand's father because of the striking resemblance between the two men. In 2003, the French journalist Dominique Paoli claimed to have found evidence that Weygand's father was indeed van der Smissen, but the mother was Mélanie Zichy-Metternich, lady-in-waiting to Carlota (and daughter of Prince Metternich, Austrian Chancellor). Paoli further claimed that Weygand had been born in mid-1865, not January 1867 as is generally claimed.
Maxime died in Paris, France.
Currently, Maxime Weygand is 155 years, 6 months and 28 days old. Maxime Weygand will celebrate 156th birthday on a Saturday 21st of January 2023. Below we countdown to Maxime Weygand upcoming birthday.