officier informateur

English translation: information officer/liaison officer

GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
French term or phrase:officier informateur
English translation:information officer/liaison officer
Entered by: Barbara Cochran, MFA

01:48 Jul 14, 2006
French to English translations [PRO]
Military / Defense / Record of Military Service
French term or phrase: officier informateur
World War I Military Record

Context: "...nomme ** officier informateur** aupres des formations americaines en juillet 1918..." "Informant Officer" just seems too awkward, although that was his role at that point.

All input much appreciated!

femme
Barbara Cochran, MFA
United States
Local time: 15:28
information officer/liaison officer
Explanation:
I'm not quite sure this wouldn't be described as a liaison officer, because the "officier informateur" described below is at the surrender, while in July 1918, the tide had not quite turned. In July 1918, the Americans were being hustled off the boats and into combat as fast as possible, not even waiting to receive their own guns and equipment; and they were helpful in August, for example at Chateau-Thierry - Pershing having put his entire force completely at the disposal of Foch and Pétain.

http://www.greatwardifferent.com/Great_War/French/Capitulati...

Le commandant de Bourbon-Busset, chef du 2 bureau de la 1re armée, était à la tête de cette petite délégation: un gentilhomme de la meilleure race de France, au regard vif et clair, au masque fin, de haute et svelte taille, et portant avec une aisance souveraine l'uniforme sombre des chasseurs à pied; on n'aurait su choisir un Français plus « représentatif ». L'accompagnaient le commandant du Fretay, de l'état-major du 31e corps d'armée; le capitaine Pihier, son collaborateur au 2e bureau; le capitaine Brunet, du 3e bureau; le capitaine Taboureau, enfin - en littérature Jean des Vignes-Rouges, le vigoureux auteur de Bourru, soldat de Vauquois - officier informateur et historiographe de la lre armée.



--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 36 mins (2006-07-14 02:24:34 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

So - I'm thinking that while an information officer might very well have been the only person available to detail to the Americans at that time, he was probably fulfilling the function of a liaison officer - on the other hand, the function of "information officer" - which in the American Army is close to that of a journalist - was what "Jean des Vignes-Rouges" was carrying out when he attended the German capitulation.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 hr (2006-07-14 03:31:33 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Well...I've been mulling it over too...

The whole thing about the First World War was that they didn't really have enough liaison officers. That was why the German offensive of 1918 was so successful at first - because they hit the gap between the British-Belgian forces and the French.

However, upon reflection, it makes sense to send an information officer to the American headquarters, because at first the important thing was getting people to believe that help was on the way. The Americans were not known for their military power at that time; they had the 16th largest army in the world. But the Germans were using propaganda techniques to try to make the French people and government lose faith. An information officer with Pershing's troops would have had the important job of communicating to Foch and to the world that American troops, which had been promised, were actually arriving. He might have been involved in taking pictures of them.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 hr (2006-07-14 03:36:04 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

However, if the officer's function was just to PROVIDE information to the Americans - where to go, what to do - then it might be a case of functions and official ranks crossing over each other in military history. Perhaps what this officer actually did as an "officier informateur" prepared him for the rank he would assume immediately after the tide turned - for by September, I believe Paris was out of danger and the German will to fight was ebbing.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 hr (2006-07-14 03:45:03 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

OK, during September and October, with the help of American reinforcements, the French pushed the Germans back to the Hindenburg Line.

On November 11 - Armistice Day for us - the cease-fire was sounded. As the American novelist Kurt Vonnegut later said, the soldiers who were there that day said it was "like the voice of God".

And he continued, "So there were, for a time, men who had heard the voice of God speaking upon the Earth."

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 3 hrs (2006-07-14 04:50:11 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

I've just scanned the link Heirich B has again very helpfully sent - thanks!! - and it lists the "foreign" (non-American) recipients of the D.S.C.

It confirms that there is a rank of "information officer" in the French Army - at least in translation - but then it goes on to descibe his function as that of a liaison!

*MAXWELL, ROGER
First Lieutenant of Infantry, French Army
Information Officer, 369th U.S. Infantry (Attached), 93d Division, A.E.F.
Date of Action: September 26 - 30, 1918
Citation:
The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Roger Maxwell, First Lieutenant of Infantry, French Army, for extraordinary heroism in action at Vaulmy, France, September 26 - 30, 1918. Lieutenant Maxwell accomplished liaison missions under very difficult circumstances and gave valuable help to the general commanding the Army corps during the battle of September 26 - 30, 1918.

So, we're hitting all around it here. "Liaison" was just a guess at first, based on the nature of a soldier's duties - now, we not only have an information officer being re-designated a liaison officer (or promoted to that status), we have an information officer carrying out liaison missions.
Selected response from:

Jeffrey Lewis
United States
Local time: 14:28
Grading comment
I went with "information officer" after considering all of your notes, Jeffrey. Thanks very much!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
3advisor
Anton Baer
2information officer/liaison officer
Jeffrey Lewis


Discussion entries: 1





  

Answers


17 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
advisor


Explanation:
military advisor? No exact term... ? Seems to be the function.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 hr (2006-07-14 03:33:29 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

The problem may be that no military of that time kept officers as 'information officers' -- liaison officers yes (seconded as liaison officers on an ad hoc basis), but the French doesn' say 'officier de liaison'... . 'Informant' definitely not the right word. "Military advisor" still my suggestion,, espec. considering the circumstances. Information officer today means press officer, doesn't it?

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2 hrs (2006-07-14 04:09:33 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

I stand corrected:
See (it's a doc download, American English)
www.homeofheroes.com/valor/books/foreign/02_FOREIGN-DSCwwi....

Maxwell, Roger, First Lieutenant of Infantry, French Army, Information Officer, 369th U.S. Infantry (Attached), 93d Division, A.E.F.

Date of Action: September 26 - 30, 1918
Citation:
The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Roger Maxwell, First Lieutenant of Infantry, French Army, for extraordinary heroism in action at Vaulmy, France, September 26 - 30, 1918. Lieutenant Maxwell accomplished liaison missions under very difficult circumstances and gave valuable help to the general commanding the Army corps during the battle of September 26 - 30, 1918.

Anton Baer
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:28
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

29 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5
information officer/liaison officer


Explanation:
I'm not quite sure this wouldn't be described as a liaison officer, because the "officier informateur" described below is at the surrender, while in July 1918, the tide had not quite turned. In July 1918, the Americans were being hustled off the boats and into combat as fast as possible, not even waiting to receive their own guns and equipment; and they were helpful in August, for example at Chateau-Thierry - Pershing having put his entire force completely at the disposal of Foch and Pétain.

http://www.greatwardifferent.com/Great_War/French/Capitulati...

Le commandant de Bourbon-Busset, chef du 2 bureau de la 1re armée, était à la tête de cette petite délégation: un gentilhomme de la meilleure race de France, au regard vif et clair, au masque fin, de haute et svelte taille, et portant avec une aisance souveraine l'uniforme sombre des chasseurs à pied; on n'aurait su choisir un Français plus « représentatif ». L'accompagnaient le commandant du Fretay, de l'état-major du 31e corps d'armée; le capitaine Pihier, son collaborateur au 2e bureau; le capitaine Brunet, du 3e bureau; le capitaine Taboureau, enfin - en littérature Jean des Vignes-Rouges, le vigoureux auteur de Bourru, soldat de Vauquois - officier informateur et historiographe de la lre armée.



--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 36 mins (2006-07-14 02:24:34 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

So - I'm thinking that while an information officer might very well have been the only person available to detail to the Americans at that time, he was probably fulfilling the function of a liaison officer - on the other hand, the function of "information officer" - which in the American Army is close to that of a journalist - was what "Jean des Vignes-Rouges" was carrying out when he attended the German capitulation.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 hr (2006-07-14 03:31:33 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Well...I've been mulling it over too...

The whole thing about the First World War was that they didn't really have enough liaison officers. That was why the German offensive of 1918 was so successful at first - because they hit the gap between the British-Belgian forces and the French.

However, upon reflection, it makes sense to send an information officer to the American headquarters, because at first the important thing was getting people to believe that help was on the way. The Americans were not known for their military power at that time; they had the 16th largest army in the world. But the Germans were using propaganda techniques to try to make the French people and government lose faith. An information officer with Pershing's troops would have had the important job of communicating to Foch and to the world that American troops, which had been promised, were actually arriving. He might have been involved in taking pictures of them.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 hr (2006-07-14 03:36:04 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

However, if the officer's function was just to PROVIDE information to the Americans - where to go, what to do - then it might be a case of functions and official ranks crossing over each other in military history. Perhaps what this officer actually did as an "officier informateur" prepared him for the rank he would assume immediately after the tide turned - for by September, I believe Paris was out of danger and the German will to fight was ebbing.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 hr (2006-07-14 03:45:03 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

OK, during September and October, with the help of American reinforcements, the French pushed the Germans back to the Hindenburg Line.

On November 11 - Armistice Day for us - the cease-fire was sounded. As the American novelist Kurt Vonnegut later said, the soldiers who were there that day said it was "like the voice of God".

And he continued, "So there were, for a time, men who had heard the voice of God speaking upon the Earth."

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 3 hrs (2006-07-14 04:50:11 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

I've just scanned the link Heirich B has again very helpfully sent - thanks!! - and it lists the "foreign" (non-American) recipients of the D.S.C.

It confirms that there is a rank of "information officer" in the French Army - at least in translation - but then it goes on to descibe his function as that of a liaison!

*MAXWELL, ROGER
First Lieutenant of Infantry, French Army
Information Officer, 369th U.S. Infantry (Attached), 93d Division, A.E.F.
Date of Action: September 26 - 30, 1918
Citation:
The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Roger Maxwell, First Lieutenant of Infantry, French Army, for extraordinary heroism in action at Vaulmy, France, September 26 - 30, 1918. Lieutenant Maxwell accomplished liaison missions under very difficult circumstances and gave valuable help to the general commanding the Army corps during the battle of September 26 - 30, 1918.

So, we're hitting all around it here. "Liaison" was just a guess at first, based on the nature of a soldier's duties - now, we not only have an information officer being re-designated a liaison officer (or promoted to that status), we have an information officer carrying out liaison missions.

Jeffrey Lewis
United States
Local time: 14:28
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 12
Grading comment
I went with "information officer" after considering all of your notes, Jeffrey. Thanks very much!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Anton Baer: Example (brief) of 'Information Officer': www.homeofheroes.com/valor/books/foreign/02_FOREIGN-DSCwwi....
1 hr
  -> Thanks for the link! (Sorry, I didn't see you had pasted it.)
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