Raoul Albin Louis Salan


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(b. 10 June 1899, d. 3 July 1984).

French general A graduate from the Military Academy of Saint-Cyr in 1919, he joined de Gaulle's Free French army in west Africa in 1943, when the defeat of the Vichy government was certain. This earned him a reputation for duplicity, but he was nevertheless appointed the French military commander in Indochina in 1945, though he was withdrawn in 1953 just before the battle of Dien Bien Phu. In Indochina, he had developed very strong political views about the need for French colonies, thus his appointment in 1956 as military commander in Algeria was very controversial. Mistrusted by both the Algerians of European origin and by de Gaulle's followers, de Gaulle ‘promoted’ him to a desk job as Inspector General of Defence almost immediately upon his return to power in 1958. He was dismissed from military service in 1960. He went to Spain and founded the Algerian resistance movement, the Organisation de l'Armée Secrète, which he led in their unsuccessful coup d'état in Algiers. Sentenced to death in absentia, he was captured in Algiers in 1962, but given life imprisonment. He was released in 1982 following a general amnesty by President Mitterrand.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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