Maurice Sarrail was born in Carcassonne in 1856. He joined the French Army and by the time of the First World War was one of France’s most senior officers. Sarrail was also a committed socialist and his well-known political views made him popular with certain sections of the French public. After his troops performed well in the invasion of the Ardennes in August 1914 Sarrail was promoted to command the Third Army.
Sarrail was critical of the Joseph Joffre, his Commander-in-Chief, and as a result was removed from the leadership of the Third Army. This provoked a political storm and Joffre was forced to to give him command of the troops deployed at Salonika.
Sarrail, who had overall command of the Allied forces in the East he was instrumental in the overthrow of Constance I of Greece. Sarrail was dismissed by Georges Clemenceau in December 1917. Maurice Sarrail died in 1929.