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Philippe Pétain

French General Philippe Pétain

Full Name: Henri Philippe Benoni Omer Joseph Pétain
Profession: French General


Biography: Charles de Gaulle once said that Philippe Pétain's life was "successively banal, then glorious, then deplorable, but never mediocre." Pétain was a major French national hero in World War I, when he became known as the 'Lion of Verdun' for his defense against the Germans.

Today however he is primarily known for his decision to lead a collaborationist government with Nazi Germany after France fell. He led the French State (or Vichy France) from 1940 to 1944, until the Allies liberated the country, at which point Pétain was 88 years old.

After the war he was put on trial. His death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment due to his advanced age and he died in prison in 1951, aged 95.

Born: April 24, 1856
Birthplace: Cauchy-à-la-Tour, France
Star Sign: Taurus

Died: July 23, 1951 (aged 95)

Historical Events

  • 1914-12-16 French offensive in Artois, Northern France led by Philippe Pétain
  • 1940-05-31 Winston Churchill flies to Paris to meet with French Marshal Philippe Pétain who announces he is willing to make a separate peace with Germany
  • 1940-07-11 Marshall Philippe Pétain, French hero of World War I, becomes head of the Vichy collaborationist government of France
  • 1940-10-24 Adolf Hitler meets the Head of the French State Marshal Philippe Pétain
  • 1941-08-12 French Marshal Philippe Pétain gives full support to Nazi Germany
  • 1945-04-26 Marshal Philippe Pétain, leader of France's Vichy collaborationist regime during World War II, arrested for treason
  • 1945-07-23 Marshal Philippe Pétain, leader of the French Vichy collaborationist regime during World War II goes on trial

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