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Alphonse Pierre Juin
File:Alphonse Pierre Juin.jpg
Born 16 December 1888 (1888-12-16)
Died 27 January 1967 (1967-01-28) (aged 78)
Place of birth Bône, Algeria
Place of death Paris, France
Allegiance
  • France (1912–1940)
  • Vichy France (1941)
  • Free France (1942–45)
Years of service 1912–1962
Rank Général d'Armée
Commands held
Battles/wars
Awards

Alphonse Pierre Juin (French pronunciation: ​[alfɔ̃s ʒɥɛ̃]; 16 December 1888 – 27 January 1967) was a Marshal of France.

Biography

Early years

Juin was born at Bône in French Algeria, and enlisted in the French Army, graduating from the École Spéciale Militaire de Saint-Cyr in 1912.

Military career

World War 1

In 1914 he was in Morocco, in command of native troops there. Upon the outbreak of World War I, he was sent to the Western Front in France where he was gravely wounded in 1915. As a result of this wound, he lost the use of his right arm.

Interwar Period

After the war, he entered the "école de guerre" and had excellent results. He chose to serve in Africa again, first under the orders of Lyautey, then under those of Pétain and Giraud. He served in the different staffs of the African officers. In 1938, Juin was nominated to command a brigade.

World War 2

By the outbreak of World War II, he was in command of a division, the 15th Motorized Infantry Division. The division was encircled at Lille during the Battle of France and Juin was captured. Until 1941 he was kept as a prisoner of war in German custody. However, during that year he was released at the behest of the Vichy Government and was assigned by them to command French forces in North Africa.

After the invasion of Algeria and Morocco by British and American forces in November 1942, Juin changed sides and ordered General Barré's forces in Tunisia to resist against the Germans and the Italians.

His great skills[1] were exhibited during the Italian campaign when he commanded the French Expeditionary Corps in the Fifth U.S. Army. The Corps' expertise in mountain warfare was particularly well used.

The FEC was one of the crucial factors in the breaking of the Winter Line in May 1944. It was Juin who made the plan to break the Gustav line; he took the Belvedere, Monte Majo, attacked the Liri valley, won the battle of the Garigliano, the battle of the East of Rome and played an important part in the battle for Siena. Juin's ability to analyze where things had gone wrong in some initial thrust and to set things right for the new effort earned him great respect among his contemporaries and among historians of the war such as the American, Rick Atkinson. He was also very firm in bringing the wild Moroccan irregulars, the Goumiers, back under discipline and control after several excesses of mass rape and pillage—i.e. the Marocchinate;[2] it has also been alleged, however, that he instigated the Marocchinate, by telling the Goumiers (in order to motivate them) that they would be allowed to rape and pillage if they succeeded in battle.[3]

Following this assignment he was Chief of Staff of French forces and represented France at the San Francisco Conference. He was also in charge of organizing the French Army and had contact both with SHAEF and with General De Lattre de Tassigny, commander of the French First Army.

Cold War

In 1947 he returned to Africa as the Resident General in Morocco. He opposed Moroccan attempts to gain independence. Next came a senior NATO position as he assumed command of CENTAG until 1956. During his NATO command, in 1952, he was promoted to Marshal of France. He was greatly opposed to Charles De Gaulle's decision to grant independence to Algeria, and he retired in 1962 as a result of the incident. (De Gaulle may have demanded Juin's resignation, but publicly announced that he was placing Juin "in the reserve of the Republic.")

On Bastille Day (July 14) of the year 1952, Alphonse Pierre Juin, was made a “Marshal of France,” and in November of that year he was elected to the elite literary Académie française.[2]

Juin was the French Army's last living Marshal of France until his death in Paris in 1967, when he was buried in Les Invalides, Paris.

Decorations

French

Foreign

  • Belgium: Grand Cross of the Order of Léopold; Croix de Guerre 40 with 1 palm.
  • United States: Chief Commander of the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Service Medal
  • Morocco: Grand Cordon of the Order of Ouissam Alaouite Chérifien, Médaille du Mérite Militaire Chérifien.
  • United Kingdom: Honorary Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath (GCB)

Notes

References

External links

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