Charles de Gaulle, French general and politician rose to fame in 1940 when he opposed the existing collaborating government and organized "Free French" forces to fight the Nazis.
He became co-chairman of the French Committee of National Liberation in 1943, ousted his coleader Giraud and proclaimed the organization to be the provisional government of France.
De Gaulle was elected President of France in 1945, but resigned in 1946 when he didn't receive the support of the left.
In 1947 he organized a new rightist movement "Reunion of the French People (RPF), which was disbanded in 1953.
Disillusioned, but convinced he was on the right path, De Gaulle temporarily retired from politics.
By 1958 his rightist Gaullist supporters had gained enough popularity and he was elected President.
He was reelected in 1965 and fought to restore French prestige and independent action by building a nuclear force, recognizing Communist China and withdrawing from NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization).
De Gaulle was a gifted writer and completed three brilliant war memoirs.
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Charles de Gaule biography
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