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About The Book

The complete war memoirs of the resistance leader Charles de Gaulle, who led France out of its darkest hour during the Nazi occupation during World War II.

“Faced with the political disaster, I had to become France.” This was how Charles de Gaulle answered the call of history. One of the few French battlefield leaders to have distinguished himself in May 1940, he had become the undersecretary of state for national defense. But when the government rejected his calls to fight on and prepared to capitulate to Hitler, he escaped to London. There he instigated a resistance calling on “all the French who want to remain free to listen to me and follow me” in the legendary radio address of June 22. He was sentenced to death in absentia as his country made a disgraceful peace, but his Free France movement rallied people around the world to resist German occupation and fight for the liberation of Europe.

Originally published in three volumes, The War Memoirs of Charles de Gaulle is the story of the resurrection of France from its darkest hour collaborating with Hitler and the Nazi empire. The first section, “The Call,” examines the years leading up to France’s defeat and the confusion and despair triggered by Hitler’s blitzkrieg. The second section, “Unity,” describes de Gaulle’s struggles to rally the French in both Africa and underground movements throughout Europe, and often bitter conflicts with the Allied leaders as he sought legitimacy and resources. “Salvation,” the final installment, chronicles the turning of the tide of war against Nazi Germany, de Gaulle’s triumphant return to France, and the reincarnation of the French Republic as a major international presence. De Gaulle’s great prophecy of 1940 had been fulfilled: France had lost a battle, but she did not lose the war.

About The Author

Office of War Information

Charles de Gaulle (1890­–1970) was wounded three times in World War I and the leading French advocate of armored warfare between the wars. Following the defeat of France in May 1940, he escaped to London and raised the Free French forces. After liberation he became the provisional head of the French government. He was the founding father of the Fifth Republic, president of France from 1959 to 1969, and one of the leading statesmen of the 20th century.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (November 19, 2024)
  • Length: 992 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781668061220

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