Darlan - Darlan, Jean François Darlan, Jean François...

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Unformatted text preview: Darlan, Jean François Darlan, Jean François (zhäN fräNswä' därläN') [key], 1881–1942, French admiral. A career naval officer, he became commander of the French navy in 1939 and joined the Vichy government (see under Vichy) in 1940 as minister of the navy. After the fall of Pierre Laval, Darlan was made (Feb., 1941) vice premier, foreign minister, and successor-designate to Marshal Pétain; he was the actual head of government. Laval returned to power in Apr., 1942; Darlan lost his cabinet posts but was given command of the French armed forces. In Algiers during the Allied landing (Nov. 7, 1942) in North Africa, Darlan ordered the cessation of French resistance to the Allies. Although publicly repudiated by Pétain, he assumed control over French N and W Africa in the marshal's name and brought them to the side of the Allies. He was assassinated in December. He was succeeded as high commissioner by Gen. H. H. Giraud. Giraud, Henri Honoré Giraud, Henri Honoré 1879–1949, French general. He served in World War I and in the campaign in Morocco (1925–26). A commander in World War II, he was captured by the Germans in May, 1940, but made a dramatic escape (1942) to unoccupied France and from there to Gibraltar. He took part in the Allied landing in North Africa, where he was given command of all French armed forces. On the assassination (Dec., 1942) of Admiral Darlan, Giraud succeeded as high commissioner of French North and West Africa. His conservatism earned him the opposition of the Free French Committee of General de Gaulle. He and de Gaulle met fruitlessly at the Casablanca Conference, but in June, 1943, a semblance of union was effected by the formation at Algiers of the French Committee of National Liberation, with the two generals as co-presidents. Despite strong backing by the United States, Giraud was soon removed (November) from the co-presidency. In Apr., 1944, he was virtually forced by de Gaulle to retire as commander in chief. ...
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