Joseph Simon Gallieni was a French soldier, active for most of his career as a military commander and administrator in the French colonies. Gallieni is infamous in Madagascar as the French military leader who exiled Queen Ranavalona III and abolished the 350-year-old monarchy on the island.
He was recalled from retirement at the outbreak of the First World War. As Military Governor of Paris he played an important role in the First Battle of the Marne, when Maunoury's Sixth Army, which was under his command, attacked the German west flank. A small portion of its strength was rushed to the front in commandeered Paris taxicabs.
From October 1915 he served as Minister of War, resigning from that post in March 1916 after criticizing the performance of the French Commander-in-Chief, Joseph Joffre, during the German attack on Verdun. He was made Marshal of France posthumously in 1921.