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People & Events: Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970)

Charles de Gaulle As the Nazi began their invasion of France in 1940, Charles de Gaulle was promoted to the rank of brigadier general and placed in charge of the hastily-formed 4th Armored Division. With France on the verge of falling to Germany, de Gaulle pledged to never surrender to Nazi rule, even if it meant moving the government to another country. With the Nazis occupying Paris, de Gaulle broadcast appeals from London to his fellow countrymen to resist.

Throughout the war, de Gaulle labored at establishing close ties with the underground Resistance movement in France, while operating from North Africa. As the Allies planned their 1944 invasion of Europe, de Gaulle had come to represent the Free French movement. One week after the Allied victory on D-Day, de Gaulle returned to French soil, and triumphantly accompanied Allied troops as they liberated Paris on August 25, 1944.

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