Henri Giraud

Jan 18, 1879 - Mar 11, 1949

Henri Honoré Giraud was a French general and a leader of the Free French Forces during the Second World War until he was forced to retire in 1944.
Born to an Alsatian family in Paris, Giraud graduated from the Saint-Cyr military academy and served in French North Africa. He was wounded and captured by the Germans during the First World War, but managed to escape from his prisoner-of-war camp. During the interwar period, Giraud returned to North Africa and fought in the Rif War, for which he was awarded the Légion d'honneur.
Early in the Second World War, Giraud fought in the Netherlands. In May 1940, he was again captured by the Germans, but made another successful escape from captivity in April 1942 after two years of careful planning. From within Vichy France he worked with the Allies in secret, and assumed command of French troops in North Africa after Operation Torch following the assassination of François Darlan. In January 1943, he took part in the Casablanca Conference along with Charles de Gaulle, Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt.
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