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Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Generals into politicians

This portrait photograph is of General George Ernest Boulanger (20 April 1837 - 30 September 1891). He joined the French Army in 1857 and fought in Italy, Cochin China and the Franco-Prussian War. He also took part in the crushing of the Paris Commune in 1871. In the 1880's he joined the Government as Minister of War, almost lead a coup in 1889, fled France and committed suicide in Brussels in 1891.

The second portrait photograph is of General Charles de Gaulle (22 November 1890 - 9 November 1970). He became a professional soldier and joined the French Army before the Great War, joining the staff of Colonel Petain. He was wounded and taken prisoner in March 1916, during the Battle of Verdun. After the War he remained in the Army. He commanded the 4th Armoured Division in June 1940, then escaped to London at the defeat of France. He became President of the French Republic in 1959 at the founding of the 5th Republic.

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