From his past as a resistance fighter to his political career, four things to know about Philippe de Gaulle

Admiral Philippe de Gaulle died at the age of 102, on the night from Tuesday to Wednesday.The son of General de Gaulle, he was engaged during World War II to liberate France from the Nazi presence.He also had an important political career.

His face resembles his famous father. Admiral Philippe de Gaulle, son of the general, died on the night of Tuesday March 12 to Wednesday March 13, at the age of 102. The soldier, who played an important role during the Second World War, always remained in the shadow of his father, despite a great career in the navy, then as a member of parliament. This Wednesday, the President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron also paid tribute to him on the social network

Who was Philippe de Gaulle? TF1info has selected four things to know about his remarkable career.

A resistance fighter against the Nazi occupation

In 1940, at the age of 18, Philippe de Gaulle joined England to be closer to his father, General de Gaulle, who had gone to London to start a resistance against Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime, which had just invaded much of France. The young man joined the Free French Naval Forces. During the Second World War, his fight against the German invasion was total. During the summer of 1944, he landed at Utah Beach with the 2nd DB (Armored Division) at Utah Beach, two months after the Allies had secured the area.

The troops led by General Leclerc reach Paris. Philippe de Gaulle's main undertaking? After he achieved the surrender of hundreds of German soldiers, who dug in the building of the National Assembly, Palais Bourbon, in the capital. “I was surrounded by 400 Germans with their bazookas, behind sandbags, at that moment I realized that I was going to miss the rest of my life, he recalled in 2019, according to comments reported by The World. They could have made me disappear into the basement.”

After fighting as a marine during World War II, Philippe de Gaulle rose through the ranks in the navy in various areas of operations, until he became an admiral. He ended his military career in 1982.

Politics, its second life

After his military career, Philippe de Gaulle enters politics this time, within Jacques Chirac's RPR. He was elected as a senator from 1986 to 2004. “Even if the cliché that a senator takes a nap after eating is outdated, it was no longer the navy, when I was running everywhere,” he mischievously commented on this topic in Paris Match 2020. Also included in the Paris Council and the Regional Council, however, he will not cause a sensation during his various mandates. At the Luxembourg Palace, he specialized in defense issues.

A life spent in the shadow of the General

From his youth, Philippe de Gaulle had to cope with his father's extraordinary career. The soldier, then the statesman who initiated the creation of the Fifth Republic, maintained a certain distance towards his son. He is harsher with the eldest than with the two daughters. Namely, the general refuses to give his son any reward for his bravery during the war, for fear of being accused of nepotism. As a result, Philippe de Gaulle never became a Companion of the Liberation, nor did he receive the Resistance Medal.

When Charles de Gaulle died in 1970, Philippe de Gaulle used a ready-made formula to define his relationship with his father. “Here is the end of one of the greatest men of France and a father who often gave me the impression that he would sacrifice his son as well as himself for his historical destiny,” he said, according to comments reported by Le Figaro. “I was like him, in a small way,” he added in one of his books, always on the subject of “the great Charles.”

Guardian of the family heritage

After the death of his father, Philippe de Gaulle took the lead in perpetuating the entire family legacy. He is the one who inherits the house of Colombey-les-Deux-Églises (Haute-Marne). He also wrote several books, including Memoirs, in which we find his vision of Golism.

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    Death of Admiral Philippe de Gaulle, son of the general, at the age of 102

With his sister, he also obtained literary copyrights for his father's works and even tried to go further, submitting all the man's handwritten documents from June 18 to the publishing house's collection. Between 2003 and 2004, his book De Gaulle: My Father was also widely acclaimed. Another way of evoking the historical figure of his father, with whom he worked all his life.

Theodore AZOUZE

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