First, I would like to thank you for your visit. In Spaceship Harvey you'll find posts and links which interest me and, hopefully, you as well. This blog will mainly - but not always - concentrate on topics of general interest such as current events, sports, national and international political news. I'll also include off the cuff stuff which have nothing to do with anything and stuff that I just make up. This blog will also carry my personal opinion on a variety of subjects of interest to me, ranging from military history to politics, environmental wackos, dangerous animals and religious nuts. As you will see my opinions will sometimes be controversial, but I make a lot of stuff up. Profanity and abusive language will not be tolerated- that includes the use of gratuitous insults but no topic is off limits. Unlike many other blogs Spaceship Harvey will contain my views on the subject, not just a copy and link to a news item - unless I post a lifted article that I liked. This blog encourages feedback by use of the comment link.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Charles de Gaulle

The turmoil of World War II made heroes and household names of many in the military, most of whom were already in positions of military power and whose decisions and actions shaped their countries’ military policies and directions. Charles de Gaulle, however, held a position of relative obscurity within his military. That is, until the Germans invaded his homeland in May of 1940.

In his youth, de Gaulle was interested, above all else, in the fate of France, whether as a subject of history or as it affected his stake in public life. Born in Lille in 1890 and growing up in Paris, he was the son of a traditionalist father and a mother who, in his memoirs, de Gaulle described as having ‘uncompromising passion for her country, equal to her religious piety.’ He joined the army in 1909 and, as then required, served in the ranks for one year. In 1910 he entered the military academy at Saint-Cyr. His first assignment to the 33rd Infantry Regiment brought him in contact with a Colonel Henri Pétain. Pétain would later rise to the rank of marshal of the army and become the savior of France at Verdun during World War I. De Gaulle credited Pétain with teaching him the art of command. During World War I de Gaulle learned firsthand the harsh reality of combat. He was wounded three times and spent the last 32 months of the war as a prisoner.

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