Philippe Pétain

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Philippe Pétain.

Henri Philippe Benoni Omer Pétain (24 April 1856 – 23 July 1951), generally known as Philippe Pétain, was "a brilliant military commander during the First World War made him a national hero. In 1940, in the wake of France's disastrous defeat in its war against Germany, the National Assembly by overwhelming vote (569-80) named him Head of State with sweeping authority. For the next four years, he presided over the French national government headquartered in Vichy. After the war he was put on trial and sentenced to death. This was commuted to life imprisonment, and he died in prison in 1951, at the age of 95."[1]

"For decades it has been customary to castigate Pétain for his wartime policy of collaboration with Third Reich Germany. It is not well known, for example, that the Vichy administration of Marshal Pétain was duly recognized as the legitimate government of France by more than 16 countries, including the United States."[2]

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