De Gaulle, Charles
, born 22-11-1890 in Lille France, 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. While serving during World War I, he reached the rank of captain, commanding a company, and was wounded several times. One wound in the left hand obliged him later to wear his wedding ring on his right hand. He was wounded again and captured at Douaumont
in the Battle of Verdun in March 1916, one of the few survivors of his battalion. After the armistice, de Gaulle continued to serve in the army and was as an instructor of Polish Infantry during its war with Communist Russia. He was promoted to Commandant in the Polish Army and offered a further career in Poland, but chose instead to return to France. At the outbreak of World War II, de Gaulle was only a colonel, having antagonised the leaders of the military through the 1920s and 1930s with his bold views. Initially commanding a tank regiment in the French 5th
Army, de Gaulle implemented many of his theories and tactics for armored warfare against an enemy whose strategies resembled his own. On 17 May, de Gaulle attacked German tank forces at Montcornet with 200 tanks but no air support, on 28 May, de Gaulle’s tanks forced the German infantry to retreat to Caumont, one of the few tactical successes the French enjoyed while suffering defeats across the country.
De Gaulle was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General, which he would hold for the rest of his life. On 5 June, Prime Minister Paul Reynaud
appointed him Under Secretary of State for National Defense and War. De Gaulle strongly denounced the French government’s decision to seek peace with the Nazis and set about building the Free French Forces from the soldiers and officers deployed outside France. on 02-08-1940 de Gaulle was condemned to death for treason against the Vichy regime, under Henry Philippe Petain
. At the liberation of France following Operation Overlord, he quickly established the independent authority of the Free French Forces in France, avoiding an Allied Military Government for Occupied Territories, as well as a communist takeover.
Death and burial ground of De Gaulle, Charles André Joseph Marie.
De Gaulle served as President of the Provisional Government of the French Republic starting in September, 1944, until his death on 09-11-1970, at the age of 79.
on 07-04-1921, she died age 79 on 08-11-1979. They had three children: Philippe
, born 1921, Élisabeth 1924-2013, who married General Alain de Boissieu
he died old age 91, on 05-04-2006 and Anne 1928–1948. Anne had Down’s syndrome and died of pneumonia at the age of 20. De Gaulle always had a particular love for his handicapped daughter; one Colombey resident recalled how he used to walk with her hand-in-hand around the property, caressing her and talking quietly about the things she understood. Like her husband, Yvonne de Gaulle was a conservative Catholic, and campaigned against prostitution, the sale of pornography in newsstands and the televised display of nudity and sex, for which she earned the nickname “Tante (“Auntie”) Yvonne.” Later she unsuccessfully tried to persuade de Gaulle to outlaw miniskirts in France. Charles de Gaulle had an older brother Xavier (1887–1955) and sister Marie-Agnes (1889–1983), and two younger brothers, Jaques (1893–1946) and Pierre (1897–1959). He was particularly close to the youngest, Pierre, who so resembled him that presidential bodyguards often saluted him by mistake when he visited his famous brother or accompanied him on official visits.
One of Charles de Gaulle’s grandsons, also named Charles de Gaulle, was a member of the European Parliament from 1994 to 2004, his last tenure being for the National Front. The younger Charles de Gaulle’s move to the traditionally staunchly anti-gaullist Front National was widely condemned by other family members, in open letters and newspaper interviews. “It was like hearing the pope had converted to Islam”, one said. Another grandson, Jean de Gaulle
, was a member of the French parliament until his retirement in 2007. De Gaulle is buried on the local cemetery of Colombey les deux Églises with his wife Yvonne, his daughter Anne who died much yoo young. He earlier he had refused a state funeral. The General was conveyed to the church on an armoured reconnaissance vehicle and carried to his grave, by eight young men of Colombey. As he was lowered into the ground, the bells of all the churches in France tolled, starting from Notre Dame and spreading out from there. He specified that his tombstone bear the simple inscription of his name and his years of birth and death. Therefore, it simply says: “Charles de Gaulle 1890-1970.
Cemetery and grave location of De Gaulle, Charles André Joseph Marie