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Charles De Gaulle
1890-1970 (Age at death: 80 approx.)

Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle (22 November 1890 - 9 November 1970) was a French general and statesman who led the Free French Forces during World War II. He later founded the French Fifth Republic in 1958 and served as its first President from 1959 to 1969. A veteran of World War I, in the 1920s and 1930s, de Gaulle came to the fore as a proponent of mobile armoured divisions, which he considered would become central in modern warfare. During World War II, he earned the rank of brigadier general (retained throughout his life), leading one of the few successful armoured counter-attacks during the 1940 Battle of France in May in Montcornet, and then briefly served in the French government as France was falling. De Gaulle was the most senior French military officer to reject the June 1940 armistice to Nazi Germany right from the outset.

He escaped to Britain and gave a famous radio address, broadcast by the BBC on 18 June 1940, exhorting the French people to resist Nazi Germany and organised the Free French Forces with exiled French officers in Britain. As the war progressed, de Gaulle gradually gained control of all French colonies except Indochina. By the time of the Allied invasion of France in 1944 he was heading what amounted to a French government in exile. From the very beginning, de Gaulle insisted that France be treated as a great power by the other Allies, despite her initial defeat. De Gaulle became prime minister in the French Provisional Government, resigning in 1946 because of political conflicts.

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2 Quotation(s) Total:

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Greatness is a road leading to the unknown.
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Charles De Gaulle

History does not teach fatalism. There are moments when the will of a handful of free men breaks through determinism and opens up new roads. People get the history they deserve. When you lament a misfortune and fear that worse is to come people will tell you 'It's the law of history. It's the will of evolution.' They will explain it all very lucidly.Stand-up gentlemen, against such clever cowardice. It's worse than stupidity. It's the sin aga...
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Charles De Gaulle

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