De Gaulle, Charles (France)

Reference work entry


Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle, army general, statesman and writer, was the head of the Free French during World War II, the head of the Provisional French Government in 1944, president between 1959–69 and founder of the Fifth Republic. De Gaulle is considered by many to be the creator of modern France.

Early Life

Born in Lille on 22 Nov. 1890, de Gaulle, the son of a schoolteacher, was from a traditional, middle-class, Catholic family. He studied at the military academy in Saint-Cyr before serving under Maréchal Philippe Pétain in 1913. De Gaulle was captured in 1916 and spent the rest of the War as a prisoner despite attempts to escape. During the interwar years, he served in the Rhine (1927–29) and in the Middle East. In 1923 de Gaulle lectured at the Saint-Cyr academy before Pétain promoted de Gaulle to the Conseil Supérieur de la Guerre (Supreme War Council) in 1925. Later, he was a member of the Conseil Supérieur de la Défense Nationale (National Defence...

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