топик Charles de Gaulle



Charles de Gaulle was an important political leader in France during and after World War II. He was the president of France from 1958 to 1969. Born in 1890, he grew up in Paris. He attended a military academy, and was an officer in the French army in World War I. Wounded three times and captured by the Germans at Verdun in 1916, he was admired greatly for his courage. During the 1930s, de Gaulle wrote books and articles on military subjects. He became known as a talented writer and creative thinker. He was very interested in military strategy and, in 1932, published his ideas in a book called ‘The Army of the Future’.

Nazis used the war strategy he outlined as a model for “Blitzkrieg”, the strategy that helped Germany take control of much of mainland Europe in the early stages of World War II. In June 1940, German forces easily entered France. As Under-Secretary of National Defense and War, General de Gaulle refused to accept the truce that the French Government wanted to sign with the Germans. He left for England and, while living there in exile, founded the Free French Army, a group that played an important part in the French Resistance.

General de Gaulle was given a hero’s welcome when he returned to Paris in August 1944. After the war, he founded the party, Rally of the French People, and remained the leader until 1953. From 1954-59, he published three volumes of his memoirs called ‘Memoires de Guerre’. De Gaulle became the president of France in 1958, and was so popular that he was re-elected in 1965 and in 1968, times of great political change. He was confident and devoted to his country, and worked to improve France’s armed forces and its economy.

Some countries questioned his actions. He allowed the development of nuclear weapons, withdrew French forces from NATO, and opposed the entry of Britain into the Common Market. In 1969, voters rejected some of his proposed changes and he resigned as president. He died in 1970.

 

Pre-Reading Warm Up Questions

  1. Do you know when Charles de Gaulle was president of France?
  2. What is a military strategist?
  3. What does it mean to go into exile?
  4. What does it mean to write one’s memoirs?
  5. Have you ever heard of “Blitzkrieg”, the war strategy used by the Germans in World War II?
  6. What kind of war strategy do you think this was?
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