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Charles De Gaulle Quotes


Charles De Gaulle Charles De Gaulle was the patriot who put pride back into the French nation during WWII after the Philippe Pétain governments capitulation to the Germans in 1940. De Gaulle went to London and set about broadcasting as the leader of the free French and set up a government in exile. At first he gained no traction with his patriotic French speeches but that all changed when the Pétain government under German control started to demonise him. They very publically stripped him of his rank as a general then displayed his name as a traitor on posters around France but in effect all they succeeded in doing was made him the only French leader who was actually trying be anti German, this was something that the French people could associate with. This was the beginning of the making of Charles de Gaulle, although later he admitted to a friend that: "In reality we are on the stage of a theatre where I have been keeping up the illusion since 1940. I am trying to give France the appearance of a solid, firm, confident and expanding country, while it is a worn-out nation.... The whole thing is a perpetual illusion". It was indeed as he had no government, no army and no advisors of his choice, all he had was his uniform and the stage the British gave him to articulate his views. He seized his opportunity not with the ambitions to satisfy personal gains but with the belief in the French republican system and their freedom to self govern. Within 4 years he was marching proudly down the Champ de Elysees as one of the liberators of Paris and his ultimate destiny was set. Post WWII he briefly led France for 2 years before his resignation through bewilderment at the political bickering. In 1958 the Algerian crisis reared its head and plunged France into a crisis that needed a true statesman to lead them out of. De Gaulle rose from his retirement to steady the ship and become president of the 5th French republic where he remained in office from 8th January 1959 until 28th April 1969. Like all true statesmen he was good for a one liner also so here is my compilation of 15 of the best Charles de Gaulle quotes
  • Mini Bio
  • Name: Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle
  • Born: 22nd November 1890, Lille, France
  • Death: 9th November 1970, Colombey-les-Deux-Églises, France
  • Occupation: Soldier, resistance leader and president of the 5th republic of France
  • Alma Mater: École spéciale militaire de Saint-Cyr
  • Books: While serving as a WWI POW he wrote his first book called 'Discorde chez l'ennemi' (The Enemy's House Divided). He went on to write a further 8 books during his lifetime
  • Height: 6' 5" (1.96 m)
  • Nickname: The Great Asparagus, Le Grand Charles and Le Connétable (The Constable)
  • Trivia: He was wounded on 3 occasions during WWI with the last time seeing him dragged away by Germans as a prisoner of war. He never settled in his POW camp and made numerous unsuccessful escape attempts and he saw the war out as a POW having spent much of his time in solitary confinement
  • Quotes about Charles De Gaulle: The British prime minister Edward Heath said of him; "He was sustained by an austere faith; inspired by an unswerving patriotism; and guided by an uncompromising loyalty to the service of France"
  • The journalist and politician Georges Boris who was also in exile during WWII said about him: "De Gaulle gave me back honour, the possibility of being able to look people in the face again.... To a large degree, his unwillingness to bend, his intransigence are willed"
  • Before he became U.S. president Richard Nixon was quoted as saying of him: "He did not try to put on airs but an aura of majesty seemed to envelop him.... his performance, and I do not use that word disparagingly; was breathtaking"

"How can anyone govern a nation that has two hundred and forty-six different kinds of cheese?"

Charles de Gaulle

"Deliberation is the work of many men. Action, of one alone"

Charles de Gaulle

"I have come to the conclusion that politics are too serious a matter to be left to the politicians"

Charles de Gaulle

"Patriotism is when love of your own people comes first; nationalism, when hate for people other than your own comes first"

Charles de Gaulle

"Always choose the hardest way, on it you will not find opponents"

Charles de Gaulle

"The graveyards are full of indispensable men"

Charles de Gaulle

"When I am right, I get angry. Churchill gets angry when he is wrong. We are angry at each other much of the time"

Charles de Gaulle

"I cannot prevent the French from being French"

Charles de Gaulle

"I am a man who belongs to no-one and who belongs to everyone"

Charles de Gaulle

"The sword is the axis of the world and grandeur cannot be divided"

Charles de Gaulle

"France cannot be France without greatness"

Charles de Gaulle

"It is better to have a bad method than to have none"

Charles de Gaulle

"All my life I have had a certain idea of France"

Charles de Gaulle

"France has no friends, only interests"

Charles de Gaulle

"Men can have friends, statesmen cannot"

Charles de Gaulle





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