Charles de Gaulle
Charles de Gaulle was born in France in the town of Lile on November 22nd 1890 to well respected parents. His father was a professor and his mother came from wealthy, entrepreneurial family. De Gaulle spent the first years of his childhood in Lille, before moving to Paris with his family at age 11. Well-educated as a child under the tutelage of his father, he was an excellent student and furthered his education at the College Stanislas in Paris. De Gaulle then looked for a way to feed his very ambitious young intentions. Fiercely patriotic, the young de Gaulle decided the best way to further his career was to join the military. He spent one year as a common soldier, as was the practice at the time, and then spent four years at the military academy of Saint-Cyr. He did very well at the academy and developed a sterling reputation even though he was known to clash with superiors. After graduating from the academy in 1912, he spent the years leading up to World War II in Arras with the 33rd regiment.
De Gaulle saw heavy action in the First World War, and was wounded twice in the early days of the war. At the Battle of Verdun, he was yet again wounded, and this time captured and taken as a prisoner of war. He was known among the other captives for his resilient spirit and remained there for the rest of the war, despite many attempts at escape. After the armistice, de Gaulle spent the time in between wars further studying military tactics and helping train the Polish fighting force. By the outbreak of World War II de Gaulle was colonel. In battles against the Germans his forces used his own tactics, and had some of the only success out of all the French forces. In recognition of this, he was promoted to brigadier general and put in charge of coordination with Britain. However, the war effort went very poorly for France and soon it became evident that Germany would take France. De Gaulle refused to back any motion moving towards surrender and urged his countrymen to do the same. However, his former mentor Phillipe Pétain became Prime Minister and decided to seek peace with Germany. De Gaulle along with a few other officers then rebelled and flew to Britain with money given to them by the ex-prime minister looking to continue the opposition against Germany from there.
De Gaulle did his best to coordinate Free French efforts and often clashed with other Allied leaders due to his rather haughty nature. He believed he had a right to power in France and was infuriated that the Allied forces did not accept him as such. President Roosevelt would not accept him until there had been actual elections and this created further tension. Regardless, with the D-Day Invasion he began to plot his return. Eventually on August 26th of 1944 he proceeded into Paris as a liberator with an armed force. As leader of the Free French forces, he assumed power and with little opposition and was made interim Prime Minister. He served for two years, and was again elected before resigning, most likely in the hope that he would be brought back due to his popularity with increased executive power, but no such thing happened. He was out of power from 1946 until 1958 and was even out of politics by the early 1950's. However, when the Fourth Republic began to crumble his services were once again called on. He helped form the constitution for the new Fifth Republic and was shortly after elected Prime Minister in November of 1958. As Prime Minister he relinquished the territory of Algiers and strengthened France in a number of ways. A believer in a powerful and independent France, he helped make the country a nuclear power with greater military and diplomatic relevance and independence. He resigned from office on April 29th 1969 following the failure of a proposed referendum of his that he had a sworn, if not passed, would lead to his resignation. A little over a year and half later he died on November 9th 1970, a true French patriot.
Charles de Gaulle a été un homme de grand courage. Il a combattu por su pays. Il été tres ambitieux et égoiste parfois mais il toujours a fait que a pensé été droit pour la France. Il a fait la France un pays de important encore et a aimé les gens de la France.