Paid Advertisement
Historynet/feed historynet feedback facebook link Weider History Group RSS feed Weider Subscriptions Historynet Home page

Honor Roll: Bernard de Lattre de Tassigny

Originally published by MHQ magazine. Published Online: May 07, 2013 
Print Friendly
0 comments FONT +  FONT -

Bernard de Lattre de Tassigny (ECPAD, TONK 51-49 R81)
Bernard de Lattre de Tassigny (ECPAD, TONK 51-49 R81)

THE PHOTO IS OF A GRAVESITE in the spring of 1952. Jean de Lattre de Tassigny, the famed French army general, bends to kiss the flag-draped coffin of his son, Bernard, a 23-year-old lieutenant killed in Indochina. A hero grieves for a hero, the newspapers say.

Bernard de Lattre de Tassigny had first become a hero a few years earlier, during World War II. He was 15, and his father was a prisoner of the Vichy French after fighting valiantly in the Battle of France. Visiting Jean in 1943, Bernard and his mother smuggled in a small saw, tucked in a flower bouquet, as well as a rope.

Subscribe Today

Subscribe to MHQ magazine

The general escaped, joined the Free French, and led the French First Army on its march into Germany in 1944. Though Bernard was too young to join the army, the French leader Charles de Gaulle granted him a waiver to fight in the campaign, where he distinguished himself, becoming the youngest recipient of the Médaille Militaire, an honor established by Napoleon III in 1852.

In 1949, Bernard went to French Indochina to fight the Viet Minh. He earned praise from superiors for his efforts to win over the peasantry with building projects and relief help. He "has captured the hearts of the local population," one report declared. Meanwhile, he urged his father to come to Indochina and take charge as the war ground into its fourth year. "What we need is a leader who leads," he wrote Jean.

The general arrived in December 1950, bolstered morale, won U.S. support and weapons, and improved France's position. In May 1951, he proudly awarded Bernard, now a squadron leader, the Croix de Guerre for his unit's outstanding performance.

A few weeks later, Jean was bragging about his son to reporters when news reached him that Bernard had been killed in a mortar attack, his body riddled with 80 shrapnel wounds.

"Forgive me for not having been able to protect our son," the general wrote his wife. Bernard's death shook the proud general. The war's fortunes soon turned against him, and his health declined. In January 1952, he died of cancer and was buried in a grave next to his warrior son.

Click For More From MHQ!
Click For More From MHQ!



Leave a Reply

Human Verification: In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Related Articles


History Net Images Spacer
Paid Advertisement
Paid Advertisement
History Net Daily Activities
History net Spacer
History net Spacer
Historynet Spacer
HISTORYNET READERS' POLL

Which of these wars resulted in the most surprising underdog upset?

View Results | See previous polls

Loading ... Loading ...
History net Spacer
STAY CONNECTED WITH US
RSS Feed Daily Email Update
History net Spacer History net Spacer
Paid Advertisement

Paid Advertisement
What is HistoryNet?

The HistoryNet.com is brought to you by the Weider History Group, the world's largest publisher of history magazines. HistoryNet.com contains daily features, photo galleries and over 5,000 articles originally published in our various magazines.

If you are interested in a specific history subject, try searching our archives, you are bound to find something to pique your interest.

From Our Magazines
Weider History Group

Weider History Network:  HistoryNet | Armchair General | Achtung Panzer! | StreamHistory.com
Today in History | Ask Mr. History | Picture of the Day | Daily History Quiz | Contact Us

Copyright © 2013 Weider History Group. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.
Advertise With Us | Subscription Help | Privacy Policy