"Advance at all costs... regardless of the enemy's fortifications... we fight the French way... out in the open."
Charles Marie Emmanuel Mangin was a French general, who served as senior staff under General Robert Nivelle at the Battle of Verdun during World War I. He was an outspoken supporter of Nivelle's strategies, part of the strategy to "attack to the utmost". Part of his specific command was aerial reconnaissance.
Biography[edit | edit source]
In September 1916 at the 2nd Army Headquarters in Souilly, Mangin celebrated the promotion of his superior Robert Nivelle to the command of the 2nd Army, after Commander-in-Chief Joseph Joffre had promoted the disagreeing General Philippe Pétain to sector commander. He stood by when Pétain, Joffre, and Nivelle argued over Nivelle's plan to attack Fort Douaumont. Despite Pétain's need for more planning, Joffre authorized the hasty attack. Mangin was at the senior officer's dinner that evening, enjoying fine foods, music and jokes, when Major Marat came in with the casualty reports and results of the failed attack. He tried to steer Pétain back towards dinner, but the general left in disgust over Nivelle blaming the failure on the cowardice of the soldiers.
Two days later, Mangin was present when Colonel Barc and a Belgian courier-turned-spy, Henri Defense (Indiana Jones), reported overhearing that the Germans were bringing in two Big Bertha guns, which would annihilate any attackers. Mangin continued to support Nivelle's plan to attack, and was upset when Pétain ordered his own aerial reconnaissance photography to confirm the intelligence report, normally Mangin's duties. When Joffre arrived, Mangin stood silently as the commander-in-chief questioned why the attack was not happening, and then tried to re-authorize the attack over the phone. Joffre was forced to write a new order to re-start the attack, and it was given to Jones to bring to the front lines. In the end, the attack was not started, as Jones had secretly destroyed the orders and fled from Verdun.
Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]
In real life, Mangin later went on to lead the 10th Army in the crucial Allied counter-attack in the Second Battle of the Marne.
Appearances[edit | edit source]
- The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles – "Verdun, September 1916" → Demons of Deception
- Verdun, September 1916 comic