(Charles Andre Joseph Marie de Gaulle, Lille, France, 1890-Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises, id., 1970) French political and military. He completed his military career at the Academy of Saint-Cyr, where he graduated in 1912. Finishing his studies, he served under the command of then Colonel Petain in 33 infantry regiment. During World War participated in the Battle of Verdun, where he was wounded and taken prisoner (1916) by the Germans in Fort Douaumont. After the armistice he joined the French military mission in Poland, where he met Marshal Pilsudski and appeared in the Polish-Soviet War (1919 – 1920).
Back in his country, he taught military history at Saint-Cyr (1921) and in subsequent years was part of the Supreme War Council of Petain and the staffs of the army of the Rhine and Beirut. Concerned about the arms race initiated by Hitler’s Germany in 1934 published Towards the Regular Army, A book in which he exposed the importance in future war would have the tanks and aircraft. In this regard, called for the modernization of the military, aviation and promoting the development of armored cars.
Six years later, the army reported the possibility of a German offensive. When this occurred, had some success in front of the isolated 4. Armored Division (Montcornet, Abbeville) in the context of the general collapse of the French defenses. Then, at the request of President Reynaud, took charge of the undersecretary of state for national defense and war.
After the French defeat, went to London, from where he refused Petain signed the surrender and acceptance of the German occupation of their country and, through the microphones of the BBC, called on his countrymen to resist. Despite the rebuffs which he was subjected by Churchill and especially Roosevelt, who saw in him an adventurer, won British government support from the Committee of Free France. Between 1942 and 1943 he managed, not without difficulty, the unity of the French colonies.
Marginalization of the Casablanca conference Allied recognition of the authority of the Vichy government representative in Algiers provoked a strong protest and encouraged the establishment of a French Committee of National Liberation, which assumed the functions of the provisional government. A week after the Allied landing in Normandy returned to France, and the August 25, 1944 triumphantly entered Paris. Two months later, his government was recognized by the Allies, not this time I was invited to attend the conferences of Yalta and Potsdam.
Elected president, promoted the creation of the Fourth Republic, but resigned after failing to strengthen the Constitutional Assembly of presidential authority. The withdrawal of the charge is not meant his departure from politics, and in April 1947 he founded the Rassemblement du Peuple Francais (RPF), party spirit, anti-conservative. During the next eleven years, while writing his memoirs, he remained attentive to political developments.
Awaiting the opportunity was presented in May 1958, following the right-wing revolt in Algeria meant the fall of the Fourth Republic. De Gaulle formed a Government of National Salvation and founded the Fifth Republic. His policy in favor of Algerian independence provoked the reaction of the French settlers and the terrorist activities of the extreme right, but the electoral victory in 1962 was assured the success of your project.
Encouraged European unity and independence from France within NATO, and authorized the creation of a French nuclear deterrent. However, the stiffness of the system led to labor unrest and student, who achieved the status of revolt in May 1968. Concessions made insufficient and, given the adverse results of the referendum in support of its management had called, resigned April 28, 1969.