Georges Catroux


Georges Catroux

Georges Catroux (29 January 1877-21 December 1969) was a French military figure and diplomat who served in both World War I and World War II and was awarded the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor.

Catroux was born in Limoges. He was the son of a career officer who had risen through the ranks. He was educated at the Prytanée National Militaire, and entered the École spéciale militaire de Saint-Cyr in 1896.

In the early years of his distinguished military career, Catroux moved from Algeria (where he met Charles de Foucauld and then Lyautey) to Indochina. In 1915, while commanding a battalion, he was taken prisoner by the Germans. During his time in captivity, Catroux met Charles de Gaulle, who was then a captain.

After World War I, he became a member of the French military mission to Arabia, and then served in Morocco, Algeria and the Levant.

In July 1939, Catroux was appointed Governor General of French Indochina, and in August 1939, one month before the declaration of war, took over from a senior civil servant. Paris wanted to send a strong signal to the Far East on the eve of hostilities. However, after the first treaties with Japan in July 1940, and following disagreements with the new Vichy government, Catroux was forced to hand over his post to Admiral Jean Decoux.

He then chose to join de Gaulle, who was by now leader of the Free French movement.Harvard reference
Title=Dictionnaire Encyclopédique
Publisher=Hachette 1980, SPADEM-ADAGP Paris 1980, Alpha 1991, mise à jour
As a five-star general, Catroux the most senior officer of the French Army to transfer allegiance.

in 1943-44.Harvard reference
Title=Dictionnaire Encyclopédique
Publisher=Hachette 1980, SPADEM-ADAGP Paris 1980, Alpha 1991, mise à jour

Officially honored as a French liberation fighter, Catroux was Minister for North Africa in the first government of Charles de Gaulle from 9 September 1944 to 21 October 1945, and became ambassador to the USSR in 1945-48.Harvard reference
Title=Dictionnaire Encyclopédique
Publisher=Hachette 1980, SPADEM-ADAGP Paris 1980, Alpha 1991, mise à jour

After the unrest in Morocco, Catroux negotiated the return of the sultan Mohammed V in 1955.

As Resident Minister in Algeria for the government of Guy Mollet in 1956, he was unable to take up his post because of demonstrations in Algiers by French residents on 6 February.

Catroux was the judge in the military tribunal which tried the generals involved in the seizure of power in Algiers in 1961.

He died in Paris in 1969.

References


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