"My center is giving way, my right is in full retreat; situation excellent. I shall attack."
Ferdinand Foch (1851-1929) in a message allegedly sent to General Joffre during Battle of the Marne
, 8 Sept. 1914
This was in all probability apocryphal, based upon Foch's love of repeating his one word maxim of "Attaquez!" wherever possible - but resulted in Foch becoming one of the only cult french personality war students love to analyse due to his incredible military strategy of trying to advance and gain ground whatever the situation - in this case when the German were threatening to encircle the a huge proportion of the active French Army.
According to Liddell Hart, his insistence decimated the companies under his command, but resulted the eventual German withdrawal which both astonished the exhausted French troops and various critics of the French death toll.
Other variations of the message include, "Ma droite est enfoncée, ma gauche cède-tout va bien-j'attaque!" ("My right gives way, my left yields, everything's fine -I shall attack!").