One of the most influential French politicians of the Twentieth Century, he helped found the Fifth Republic in 1958 and served as its first President from 1959 to 1969. After World War I Pétain married his former girlfriend, Eugénie Hardon (1877–1962), "a particularly beautiful woman", on 14 September 1920; they remained married until the end of Pétain's life. However, after Germany invaded France, Pétain joined the new government of Paul Reynaud on 18 May 1940 as Deputy Prime Minister. that Pétain, as France's most senior soldier after Foch's death, should bear some responsibility for the poor state of French weaponry preparation before World War II. Other causes were pacificism, stimulated by the Russian Revolution and the trade-union movement, and disappointment at the nonarrival of American troops. His great-uncle, a Catholic priest, Father Abbe Lefebvre (1771–1866), had served in Napoleon's Grande Armée and told the young Philippe tales of war and adventure of his campaigns from the peninsulas of Italy to the Alps in Switzerland. The government later transferred him to the Fort de Pierre-Levée citadel on the Île d'Yeu, a small island off the French Atlantic coast. Acting heads of state are denoted by an asterisk. The next day, they went to Lebrun himself. Pétain however remained popular and engaged in a series of visits around France as late as 1944, when he arrived in Paris on 28 April in what Nazi propaganda newsreels described as a "historic" moment for the city. That relationship has changed several times over the years. I could not detect any sign in him of broken morale, of that mental wringing of hands and incipient hysteria noticeable in others." Dressed in the uniform of a Marshal of France, Pétain remained silent through most of the proceedings after an initial statement that denied the right of the High Court, as constituted, to try him. Because of his high prestige as a soldier's soldier, Pétain served briefly as Army Chief of Staff (from the end of April 1917). Plans were made for his death and funeral. The Congress voted 569–80 (with 18 abstentions) to grant the Cabinet the authority to draw up a new constitution, effectively "voting the Third Republic out of existence". In 1940, General Spears, again in a liaison role, brought de Gaulle from France to England to establish the Free French forces. The provisional government, headed by de Gaulle, placed Pétain on trial for treason, which took place from 23 July to 15 August 1945.  By 8 June, Paris was threatened, and the government was preparing to depart, although Pétain was opposed to such a move. (an echoing of Joan of Arc, roughly: "We'll get them! Pétain was sympathetic.  He acquired a reputation as one of the more successful commanders on the Western Front. Lebrun persuaded him to stay until Churchill’s reply had been received. This page was last edited on 16 January 2021, at 10:38. Among a vast number of books and articles about Pétain, the most complete and documented biographies are: French general officer and leader of Vichy France.  Ten ministers wanted to fight on and seven favoured an armistice (but these included the two Deputy Prime Ministers Pétain and Camille Chautemps, and this view was also favoured by the Commander-in-Chief General Weygand).  Now, however, he refused to continue in Flandin's (short-lived) government as Minister of War and stood down – in spite of a direct appeal from Lebrun himself. His journey from military obscurity, to hero of France during World War I, to collaborationist dictator during World War II, led his successor Charles de Gaulle to write that Pétain’s life was "successively banal, then glorious, then deplorable, but never mediocre".  Summer maneuvers in 1932 and 1933 were cancelled due to lack of funds, and recruitment to the armed forces fell off. When Renthe-Fink entered the Marshal's office at the Hôtel du Parc with General von Neubronn "at 7:30 p.m.", the Head of State was supervising the packing up of his suitcases and papers. Spears reported that Pétain did not respond immediately but stood there "perfectly erect, with no sign of panic or emotion. The republican motto of "Liberté, égalité, fraternité" ("Freedom, equality, brotherhood") was replaced with "Travail, famille, patrie" ("Work, family, fatherland"). After the failed Nivelle Offensive and subsequent mutinies he was appointed Commander-in-Chief and succeeded in repairing the army's confidence. He said that France had lost faith in her destiny. A veteran of World War I, de Gaulle unsuccessfully petitioned his country to modernize its armed forces between the wars.After Henri Petain and other French leaders signed an … ("They shall not pass"!) " General de Gaulle, no longer in the Cabinet, had arrived in London on the 17th and made a call for resistance from there, on the 18th, with no legal authority whatsoever from his government, a call that was heeded by comparatively few.  By 8 June, Paris was threatened, and the government was preparing to depart, although Pétain was opposed to such a move. He even allegedly named his eldest son after the Marshal, although it is more likely that he named his son after his family ancestor Jean Baptiste Philippe de Gaulle, before finally falling out over the authorship of a book he had said he had ghost-written for Pétain. As a retired military commander, he ran the country on military lines. The government later transferred him to the Fort de Pierre-Levée citadel on the Île d'Yeu, a small island off the French Atlantic coast. On 26 October 1931, Pétain was honored with a ticker-tape parade down Manhattan's Canyon of Heroes. The provisional government, headed by de Gaulle, placed Pétain on trial for treason, which took place from 23 July to 15 August 1945. Although the French government nominally remained in existence, civilian administration of almost all France being under it, Pétain became nothing more than a figurehead, as the Germans had negated the pretence of an "independent" government at Vichy. De Gaulle was an intelligent, hardworking, and zealous young soldier and, in his military career, a man of original mind, great self-assurance, and outstanding courage. that while Pétain supported the massive use of tanks he saw them mostly as infantry support, leading to the fragmentation of the French tank force into many types of unequal value spread out between mechanised cavalry (such as the SOMUA S35) and infantry support (mostly the Renault R35 tanks and the Char B1 bis). Pétain, instead, held off from major French offensives until the Americans arrived in force on the front lines, which did not happen until the early summer of 1918. The Maginot Line, as it came to be called, (named after André Maginot the former Minister of War) thereafter occupied a good deal of Pétain's attention during 1928, when he also travelled extensively, visiting military installations up and down the country. In 1936 but very few of these MAS-36 rifles had been received at. 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