Weygand, Maxime

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Weygand, Maxime, born 21-01-1867, Brussels, Belgium of unknown parents. He was long suspected of being the illegitimate son of either Empress Carlota of Mexico  (by General Alfred Van der Smissen);  or of her brother Leopold II , King of the Belgians, and Leopold’s Polish mistress. Van der Smissen always seemed a likely candidate for Weygand’s father because of the striking resemblance between the two men. Weygand educated in France, he went in 1886 to Saint-Cyr, the French training school for officers, and graduated with high honours in 1888. He studied and then taught at the cavalry school at Saumur and, by 1914, had attracted the attention of Marshal Ferdinand Foch   who made him his chief of staff.  Syria. Foch died on 20-03-1929, age 77 in Paris. On 20-05-1940, he was recalled to assume command of the armies when France was already being overrun by German forces. He advised capitulation. In December 1941 he was put on a pension and retired to his country place at Grasse, near Cannes. After the Allied invasion of North Africa (1942) he sought to fly to Algiers but was caught by the Germans and imprisoned in an Austrian castle, Schloss Itter,

  where Americans forces and the Germans Wehrmacht fought together against the SS. He was released by these U.S. troops on 05-05-1945, flown to Paris, and again arrested at General Charles de Gaulle’s command. He was “rehabilitated” three years later, and Charles de Gaulle, in his memoirs, would later write, “when on 20-05-1940, Weygand had taken over the supreme command, it was too late, without any doubt, to win the battle of France.”

Death and burial ground of Weygand, Maxime.


After returning to France, he was held as a collaborator at the Val-de Grace but was released in May 1946 and cleared in 1948. He died on 28-01-1965 in Paris at the age of 98. He had married Marie-Renée   the daughter of Brigadier General Viscount de Forsanz, of Brittany. They had a younger son Jacques.

Maxime Weygand is buried on the Cimetiere St-Charles, Morlaix, Departement du Finistère, Bretagne, France.


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