Friday, August 9, 2013

Specific Veteran Memorial: Charles de Gaulle - Paris, France

Interesting Places I've Photographed
Charles de Gaulle Statue
Paris, France
Topic: Specific Veteran Memorial

GPS: N48° 52.050; E002° 18.815

Quick Description: 

A statue of General and President Charles de Gaulle is located on the west side of the Champs-Élysées in Paris, France.

Long Description:

A larger than life bronze statue of General Charles de Gaulle is striding on top of a 10' stone pedestal. He is wearing a World War II army uniform with four pocket jacket, belt and cap. He is walking with his arms by his side and with is left foot in front of his right.
Each side of the pedestal is inscribed:

CHARLES DE GAULLE
1890 1970

IL Y A UN PACTE
VINGT FOIS SECULAIRE
ENTRE LA GRANDEUR
DE LA FRANCE
ET LA LIBERTE
DU MONDE

and

PARIS
PARIS OUTRAGE
PARIS BRISE
PARIS MARTYRISE
MAIS PARIS LIBERE


Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle was born on November 22, 1890 in Lille in Flanders area of France. He received his military training at the military academy at Saint-Cyr and graduating 13th of 210 cadets in 1912. He joined the 33rd infantry regiment of the French Army commanded by Colonel Philippe Pétain.

During World War I the 33rd Regiment under General Charles Lanrezac attempted to check the German advance at Dinant. Charles de Gaulle was wounded early in the battle and became disillusioned with the outdated tactics being employed against German artillery. In 1916, he was taken prisoner of war at the Battle of Verdun. After the war, de Gaulle served with the staff of the French military mission to Poland in its war against Russia from 1919 to 1921. Here he was awarded the highest Polish military honor, Virtuti Militari, and was promoted to commandant in the Polish Army.

He then served as a major in the French army with the Army of Occupation in the Rhineland. In the 1930's he served as a lieutenant-colonel as a staff officer in France. In order to modernize and antiquated french army, he published Vers l’Armée de Métier ("Toward a Professional Army") in 1934. Ironically. the book turned out to be more widely read in Germany than in France.

At the outbreak of World War II, Colonel de Gaulle commanding a tank regiment in the French Fifth Army. On May 17, 1940, de Gaulle engaged in a tank battle with German tank forces at Montcornet forcing the German tanks to retreat. In recognition for this victory, de Gaulle was promoted to acting brigadier general a week later. Nonetheless, the German army quickly overran France and the French government decided to seek an armistice. De Galle vehemently opposed the arrangement and exhorted the French to resist German occupation and the Vichy regime.

In 1943, De Gaulle and the Free French resistance set up headquarters in Algiers after the Anglo-U.S. invasion of North Africa. De Gaulle gradually gained control of all French colonies except Indochina. By June 1944 he was leading the French government in exile. After the D-Day invasion of Normandy region of France, de Gaulle left the UK hand landed in France. He arrived at the Normandy city of Bayeux and proclaimed it to be the capital of Free France. He was President of the Provisional Government of the French Republic from 1944 to 1946.

At the end of the war de Gaulle founded the Rassemblement du Peuple Francais (RPF) party and retired from politics in the early 1950s after the RPF's failed to rise to power. In May 1958, he was elected President of the Council of Ministers by the French Assembly and was subsequently elected President of France and served from January 8, 1959 to April 28, 1969. He died on November 9, 1970 at the age of 79.







No comments:

Post a Comment