Hubert Lyautey was born in Nancy in 1854. He joined the French Army and held administrative posts in Algeria, Tonking and Madagascar.
Lyautey was commissary-general in Morocco during the early stages of the First World War. In December 1916 he was recalled to Paris and became War Minister in the government headed by Aristide Briand. Visits to the Western Front soon convinced him that the Nivelle Offensive was a mistake. Unable to stop the offensive taking place he resigned from office in March 1917.
Lyautey returned to his post in Morocco where he established French authority and successfully developed Casablanca as a seaport. Hubert Lyautey died in 1934.