Philippe Pétain - Marshal of France, Family and Life

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Philippe Pétain's Personal Details

Philippe Pétain was a French general who was declared a national hero in World War I but was later discredited and sentenced to death.

InformationDetail
BirthdayApril 24, 1856
Died onJuly 23, 1951
NationalityFrench
FamousMarshal of France, Leaders, Prime Ministers, Military Leaders
SpousesEugénie Hardon Pétain
Known asHenri Philippe Benoni Omer Joseph Pétain, Philippe Pétain, Marshal Pétain
Universities
  • École spéciale militaire de Saint-Cyr
  • École Supérieure de Guerre
Birth PlaceCauchy-à-la-Tour
Height169cm
GenderMale
Sun SignTaurus
Born inCauchy-à-la-Tour
Famous asMarshal of France
Died at Age95

// Famous Marshal of France

Philippe Pétain's photo

Who is Philippe Pétain?

Philippe Pétain was a French general who was declared a national hero in World War I but was later discredited and sentenced to death. Born to a farming family from northern France, he attended the local schools before joining the French army. After a series of World War I commands, Pétain was ordered to stop the massive German attack on the city of Verdun. He motivated his troops and reorganized the front lines as well as the transport systems, transforming a near-defeat situation into a successful defense. He earned much appreciation from the French government and military for this victory and subsequently became a national hero. After serving on a number of posts such as the Marshal of France, Minister of War and Secretary of State, he was appointed the Prime Minister of France at the start of World War II. With France under attack from Germany, Pétain entered a truce with the Germans which gave latter the control over most parts of France but left the remainder as a separate regime under Pétain, with its capital at Vichy. Later, with the Germans invading the unoccupied zone of France and the allied landings in France, Pétain was arrested by Nazis and sent to Germany. Pétain returned to France after the liberation where he was accused of treason and was put on trial. Subsequently, he was sentenced to solitary confinement for life and died at the age of 95 in prison.

// Famous Leaders

Childhood & Early Life

Philippe Pétain, full name Henri-Philippe Benoni Omer Joseph Pétain, was born on April 24, 1856, in Cauchy-à-la-Tour, Pas-de-Calais, Second French Empire. His father, Omer-Venant, was a farmer.

Philippe went to a local village school, followed by a religious secondary school before being admitted to Saint-Cyr military academy in 1876.

In 1887, he was enrolled at the École Supérieure de Guerre, an army war college, in Paris.

Career

Until the age of 58, Philippe Pétain served in various garrisons with different battalions of the Chasseurs à pied. He alternated between staff as well as regimental assignments but did not had any active-duty experience.

In 1914, he was given command of a brigade and after distinguishing himself at the ‘Battle of the Marne’, he was appointed a full general in 1915 and took command of the 11th Army.

In 1916, when the Germans undertook a massive concentrated attack on the fortress city of Verdun, Pétain was ordered to stop them at all costs. Though the situation was practically hopeless, he instilled enthusiasm in his troops, and skillfully reorganized both the front and the transport systems. As a result, the French army was successful in defeating the Germans and Pétain was crowned a national hero.

Subsequently, when serious mutinies erupted in the French army following the ill-considered offensives of General Nivelle, then French commander in chief, Pétain was named his successor. Upon assuming the command, he quickly restored order by combining strict disciplinary measures with a caring attitude towards his troops.

In November 1918, he was named the Marshal of France and later became the Vice president of the Supreme War Council.

In 1922, after being appointed as the inspector general of the army, he used his power to position French military planning along defensive lines.

In 1934, Pétain entered politics as Minister of War and later became an Ambassador to Spain.

At the outbreak of World War II, Pétain was appointed the Deputy Prime Minister in May 1940. Soon, he succeeded Paul Reynaud as the Prime Minister of France and was asked to form a new government, which would negotiate a truce with the Germans.

In June 1940, Pétain concluded an settlement with the Nazis that divided France into two zones; the north and the Atlantic coastline under German military occupation, while the rest of France under Pétain's direct administration with its capital as Vichy.

Later, after obtaining full constituent powers in the national assembly, Pétain became the Chief of State and started constructing an authoritarian regime.

In 1942, following the Allied landings in North Africa and the German occupation of Vichy France, Pétain’s position was reduced to that of merely a figurehead.

In August 1944, after the liberation of France, the Germans transferred Pétain and other members of the French cabinet from Vichy to Germany. The following year, he was taken to the Swiss border and crossed the French frontier.

Upon returning to France, he was brought to trial on charges of treason and was subsequently sentenced to death in August 1945. Soon, his punishment was converted to solitary confinement for life. He was imprisoned in a fortress on the Île d’Yeu off the Atlantic coast, where he died at the age of 95.

Major Works

As General of the French battalion during World War I, he won much fame and respect for his successful defense of Verdun against the Germans in 1916.

He was appointed the commander-in-chief of the French Army and was successful in restoring morale in the French army after a series of mutinies in 1917.

Awards & Achievements

He was awarded the ‘Legion of Honor’, a French order established by Napoleon Bonaparte which is of the highest decoration in France.

He also received the prestigious Military Medal (Spain), a high military award of Spain, in recognition of his battlefield bravery.

Personal Life & Legacy

On September 14, 1920, Pétain married an old lover, Eugénie Hardon, who had been divorced from François de Hérain. The couple had no children together and remained married until Pétain's death.

Philippe Petain died on July 23, 1951, while serving his sentence on the Ile d'Yeu, an island off the coast of Brittany, at the age of 95. He was buried in a Marine cemetery near the prison.

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Philippe Pétain awards

YearNameAward

Other

Marshal of France
Legion of Honour
Military Medal

Philippe Pétain biography timelines

  • // 24th Apr 1856
    Philippe Pétain, full name Henri-Philippe Benoni Omer Joseph Pétain, was born on April 24, 1856, in Cauchy-à-la-Tour, Pas-de-Calais, Second French Empire. His father, Omer-Venant, was a farmer.
  • // 1876
    Philippe went to a local village school, followed by a religious secondary school before being admitted to Saint-Cyr military academy in 1876.
  • // 1887
    In 1887, he was enrolled at the École Supérieure de Guerre, an army war college, in Paris.
  • // 1914 To 1915
    In 1914, he was given command of a brigade and after distinguishing himself at the ‘Battle of the Marne’, he was appointed a full general in 1915 and took command of the 11th Army.
  • // 1916
    In 1916, when the Germans undertook a massive concentrated attack on the fortress city of Verdun, Pétain was ordered to stop them at all costs. Though the situation was practically hopeless, he instilled enthusiasm in his troops, and skillfully reorganized both the front and the transport systems. As a result, the French army was successful in defeating the Germans and Pétain was crowned a national hero.
  • // 1916
    As General of the French battalion during World War I, he won much fame and respect for his successful defense of Verdun against the Germans in 1916.
  • // 1917
    He was appointed the commander-in-chief of the French Army and was successful in restoring morale in the French army after a series of mutinies in 1917.
  • // Nov 1918
    In November 1918, he was named the Marshal of France and later became the Vice president of the Supreme War Council.
  • // 14th Sep 1920
    On September 14, 1920, Pétain married an old lover, Eugénie Hardon, who had been divorced from François de Hérain. The couple had no children together and remained married until Pétain's death.
  • // 1922
    In 1922, after being appointed as the inspector general of the army, he used his power to position French military planning along defensive lines.
  • // 1934
    In 1934, Pétain entered politics as Minister of War and later became an Ambassador to Spain.
  • // May 1940
    At the outbreak of World War II, Pétain was appointed the Deputy Prime Minister in May 1940. Soon, he succeeded Paul Reynaud as the Prime Minister of France and was asked to form a new government, which would negotiate a truce with the Germans.
  • // Jun 1940
    In June 1940, Pétain concluded an settlement with the Nazis that divided France into two zones; the north and the Atlantic coastline under German military occupation, while the rest of France under Pétain's direct administration with its capital as Vichy.
  • // 1942
    In 1942, following the Allied landings in North Africa and the German occupation of Vichy France, Pétain’s position was reduced to that of merely a figurehead.
  • // Aug 1944
    In August 1944, after the liberation of France, the Germans transferred Pétain and other members of the French cabinet from Vichy to Germany. The following year, he was taken to the Swiss border and crossed the French frontier.
  • // Aug 1945
    Upon returning to France, he was brought to trial on charges of treason and was subsequently sentenced to death in August 1945. Soon, his punishment was converted to solitary confinement for life. He was imprisoned in a fortress on the Île d’Yeu off the Atlantic coast, where he died at the age of 95.
  • // 23rd Jul 1951
    Philippe Petain died on July 23, 1951, while serving his sentence on the Ile d'Yeu, an island off the coast of Brittany, at the age of 95. He was buried in a Marine cemetery near the prison.

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Philippe Pétain's FAQ

  • What is Philippe Pétain birthday?

    Philippe Pétain was born at 1856-04-24

  • When was Philippe Pétain died?

    Philippe Pétain was died at 1951-07-23

  • Where was Philippe Pétain died?

    Philippe Pétain was died in Île d'Yeu

  • Which age was Philippe Pétain died?

    Philippe Pétain was died at age 95

  • Where is Philippe Pétain's birth place?

    Philippe Pétain was born in Cauchy-à-la-Tour

  • What is Philippe Pétain nationalities?

    Philippe Pétain's nationalities is French

  • Who is Philippe Pétain spouses?

    Philippe Pétain's spouses is Eugénie Hardon Pétain

  • What was Philippe Pétain universities?

    Philippe Pétain studied at École spéciale militaire de Saint-Cyr, École Supérieure de Guerre

  • How tall is Philippe Pétain?

    Philippe Pétain's height is 169

  • What is Philippe Pétain's sun sign?

    Philippe Pétain is Taurus

  • How famous is Philippe Pétain?

    Philippe Pétain is famouse as Marshal of France