Charles de Gaulle born in Lille on 22 November 1890.

At the age of fifteen, he wrote an essay imagining "General de Gaulle" leading the French Army to victory over Germany.

France during de Gaulle's teenage years was a divided society, with many developments which were unwelcome to the de Gaulle family: the growth of socialism and syndicalism, the legal separation of Church and State in 1905.

In July 1906 he worked harder at school as he focused on winning a place to train as an army officer at the military academy, Saint-Cyr.

De Gaulle won a place at St Cyr in 1909. His class ranking was mediocre (119th out of 221 entrants), but he was relatively young and this was his first attempt at the exam.

In October 1909, de Gaulle enlisted (for four years, as required, rather than the normal two-year term for conscripts) in the 33rd Infantry Regiment.

In April 1910 he was promoted to corporal. His company commander declined to promote him to sergeant, the usual rank for a potential officer, commenting that the young man clearly felt that nothing less than Constable of France would be good enough for him.

He was eventually promoted to sergeant in September 1910.

De Gaulle took up his place at St Cyr in October 1910.

Charles de Gaulle graduated from Saint-Cyr in 1912.

In October 1912 he rejoined the 33rd Infantry Regiment as a sous-lieutenant (second lieutenant). The regiment was now commanded by Colonel (and future Marshal) Philippe Pétain, whom de Gaulle would follow for the next 15 years. He later wrote in his memoirs: "My first colonel, Pétain, taught me the art of command".

De Gaulle was promoted to the first lieutenant in October 1913.

De Gaulle was involved in fierce fighting from the outset As a platoon commander, He received his baptism of fire on 15 August and was among the first to be wounded, receiving a bullet in the knee at the Battle of Dinant.

Charles rejoined his regiment in October, as commander of the 7th company. Many of his former comrades were already dead.

In December he became regimental adjutant.

De Gaulle's unit gained recognition for repeatedly crawling out into no man's land to listen to the conversations of the enemy in their trenches, and the information brought back was so valuable that on 18 January 1915 he received the Croix de Guerre.

In August he commanded the 10th company before returning to duty as regimental adjutant.

On 3 September 1915, his rank of the captain became permanent.

In late October, returning from leave, he returned to command of the 10th company again.

De Gaulle was a company commander at Douaumont (during the Battle of Verdun) on 2 March 1916.

On 1 December 1918, three weeks later, he returned to his father's house in the Dordogne to be reunited with his three brothers, who had all served in the army and survived the war.

De Gaulle served with the staff of the French Military Mission to Poland as an instructor of Poland's infantry during its war with communist Russia (1919–1921).

De Gaulle married Yvonne Vendroux on 7 April 1921 in Église Notre-Dame de Calais.

Philippe was born in 1921.

Élisabeth was born in 1924.

He then studied at the École de Guerre (staff college) from November 1922 to October 1924.

De Gaulle disapproved of Pétain's decision to take command in Morocco in 1925.

In 1925 de Gaulle began to cultivate Joseph Paul-Boncour, his first political patron.

From 1 July 1925, he worked for Pétain (as part of the Maison Pétain), largely as a "pen officer" (ghostwriter). De Gaulle disapproved of Pétain's decision to take command in Morocco in 1925 (he was later known to remark that "Marshal Pétain was a great man.

De Gaulle was promoted to commandant (major) on 25 September 1927.

In November 1927 he began a two-year posting as commanding officer of the 19th chasseurs à pied (a battalion of élite light infantry) with the occupation forces at Trier.

Anne de Gaulle was born in 1928. She was born in Trier, Germany.

De Gaulle at this time that although he encouraged young officers, "his ego...glowed from far off". In the winter of 1928–1929, thirty soldiers ("not counting Annamese") from so-called "German flu", seven of them from de Gaulle's battalion.

In 1929 Pétain did not use de Gaulle's draft text for his eulogy for the late Ferdinand Foch, whose seat at the Academie Française he was assuming.

The Allied occupation of the Rhineland was coming to an end, and de Gaulle's battalion was due to be disbanded, although the decision was later rescinded after he had moved to his next posting. De Gaulle wanted a teaching post at the École de Guerre in 1929.

In 1930; he later wrote that in his youth he had looked forward with somewhat naive anticipation to the inevitable future war with Germany to avenge the French defeat of 1870.

In the spring of 1931, as his posting in Beirut drew to a close, de Gaulle once again asked Pétain for a posting to the École de Guerre.

De Gaulle was posted to SGDN in November 1931, initially as a "drafting officer".

He was promoted to lieutenant-colonel in December 1932 and appointed Head of the Third Section (operations). His service at SGDN gave him six years' experience in the interface between army planning and government.

In 1934 de Gaulle wrote Vers l'Armée de Métier (Towards a Professional Army). He proposed mechanization of the infantry, with stress on an élite force of 100,000 men and 3,000 tanks. The book imagined tanks driving around the country like cavalry.

De Gaulle's views attracted the attention of the maverick politician Paul Reynaud, to whom he wrote frequently, sometimes in obsequious terms. Reynaud first invited him to meet him on 5 December 1934.

Charles approved of the rearmament drive which the Popular Front government began in 1936, although French military doctrine remained that tanks should be used in penny packets for infantry support.

De Gaulle became a disciple of Émile Mayer (1851–1938), a retired lieutenant-colonel (his career had been damaged by the Dreyfus Affair), and a military thinker.

On 5 June, the day the Germans began the second phase of their offensive (Fall Rot), Prime Minister Paul Reynaud appointed de Gaulle a government minister, as Under-Secretary of State for National Defence and War, with particular responsibility for coordination with the British.

At the outbreak of World War II, De Gaulle was put in command of the French Fifth Army's tanks (five scattered battalions, largely equipped with R35 light tanks) in Alsace.

On 12 September 1939, he attacked at Bitche, simultaneously with the Saar Offensive.

At the start of October 1939 Reynaud asked for a staff posting under de Gaulle, but in the event remained at his post as Minister of Finance.

Charles de Gaulle took on ministerial responsibilities in 1940.

In 1940 it would be German panzer units that would be used like what de Gaulle had advocated.

Early in 1940 de Gaulle proposed to Reynaud that he be appointed Secretary-General of the War Council.

In late-February 1940, Reynaud told de Gaulle that he had been earmarked for command of an armored division as soon as one became available.

Reynaud demanded that France be released from the agreement which he had made with Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain in March 1940, so that France could seek an armistice.

The Germans attacked the West on 10 May.

De Gaulle activated his new division on 12 May. which gave him command of the 4th Armoured Division.

In late-March de Gaulle was told by Reynaud that he would be given command of the 4th Armoured Division, due to form by 15 May.

The Germans broke through at Sedan on 15 May 1940.

De Gaulle commandeered some retreating cavalry and artillery units and also received an extra half-brigade, one of whose battalions included some heavy B1 bis tanks. The attack at Montcornet, a key road junction near Laon, began around 04:30 on 17 May.

On 18 May he was reinforced by two fresh regiments of armored cavalry, bringing his strength up to 150 vehicles.

Charles attacked again on 19 May and his forces were once again devastated by German Stukas and artillery. He ignored orders from General Georges to withdraw, and in the early afternoon demanded two more divisions from Touchon, who refused his request.

Charles delayed his retreat until 20 May.

On 21 May, at the request of propaganda officers, he gave a talk on French radio about his recent attack.

In recognition of his efforts de Gaulle was promoted to the rank of temporary (acting, in Anglophone parlance) brigadier-general on 23 May 1940.

On 28–29 May, de Gaulle attacked the German bridgehead south of the Somme at Abbeville, taking around 400 German prisoners in the last attempt to cut an escape route for the Allied forces falling back on Dunkirk.

De Gaulle's rank of brigadier-general became effective on 1 June 1940.UTC (GMT -00:00)

On 2 June he sent a memo to Weygand vainly urging that the French armored divisions be consolidated from four weak divisions into three stronger ones and concentrated into an armored corps under his command. He made the same suggestion to Reynaud.

On 8 June, de Gaulle visited Weygand, who believed it was "the end" and that after France was defeated Britain would also soon sue for peace. He hoped that after an armistice the Germans would allow him to retain enough of a French Army to "maintain order" in France. He gave a "despairing laugh" when de Gaulle suggested fighting on.

On 9 June, De Gaulle flew to London and met British Prime Minister Winston Churchill for the first time. It was thought that half a million men could be evacuated to French North Africa, provided the British and French navies and air forces coordinated their efforts.

On 11 June, Charles de Gaulle drove to Arcis-Sur-Aube and offered General Hunziger (Commander of the Central Army Group) Weygand's job as Commander-in-Chief.

Later on, 11 June de Gaulle attended the meeting of the Anglo-French Supreme War Council at the Chateau du Muguet at Briare. The British were represented by Churchill, Anthony Eden, John Dill, General Ismay, and Edward Spears, and the French by Reynaud, Pétain, Weygand, and Georges.

it was declared an open city. At around 23:00 Reynaud and de Gaulle left Paris for Tours; the rest of the government left Paris on 11 June.

On 13 June de Gaulle attended another Anglo-French conference at Tours with Churchill, Lord Halifax, Lord Beaverbrook, Spears, Ismay, and Alexander Cadogan. This time few other major French figures were present apart from Reynaud and Baudoin.

De Gaulle arrived at Bordeaux on 14 June and was given a new mission to go to London to discuss the potential evacuation to North Africa.

De Gaulle landed at Bordeaux at around 22:00 to be told that he was no longer a minister, as Reynaud had resigned as prime minister after the Franco-British Union had been rejected by his cabinet.

On the afternoon of Sunday, 16 June de Gaulle was at 10 Downing Street for talks about Jean Monnet's mooted Anglo-French political union. He telephoned Reynaud – they were cut off during the conversation and had to resume later – with the news that the British had agreed.

Charles took off from London on a British aircraft at 18:30 on 16 June (it is unclear whether, as was later claimed, he and Churchill agreed that he would be returning soon)landing at Bordeaux.

At around 09:00 on the morning of 17 June, he flew to London on a British aircraft with Edward Spears. The escape was hair-raising.

De Gaulle landed at Heston Airport soon after 12:30 on 17 June 1940.

Charles saw Churchill at around 15:00 and Churchill offered him broadcast time on BBC. They both knew about Pétain's broadcast earlier that day that stated that "the fighting must end" and that he had approached the Germans for terms.

British Cabinet was reluctant to agree to de Gaulle giving a radio address, as Britain was still in communication with the Pétain government about the fate of the French fleet. Duff Cooper had an advance copy of the text of the address, to which there were no objections.

De Gaulle's Appeal of 18 June exhorted the French people not to be demoralized and to continue to resist the occupation of France. He also – apparently on his own initiative – declared that he would broadcast again the next day.

In his next broadcast on 19 June de Gaulle denied the legitimacy of the government at Bordeaux. He called on the North African troops to live up to the tradition of Bertrand Clausel, Thomas Robert Bugeaud, and Hubert Lyautey by defying orders from Bordeaux. The British Foreign Office protested to Churchill.

The armistice of 22 June 1940 was signed.

De Gaulle spoke at 20:00 on 22 June to denounce it.

The Bordeaux government declared him compulsorily retired from the French Army (with the rank of colonel) on 23 June 1940.

On 23 June the British Government denounced the armistice as a breach of the Anglo-French treaty signed in March and stated that they no longer regarded the Bordeaux Government as a fully independent state. They also "took note" of the plan to establish a French National Committee (FNC) in exile, but did not mention de Gaulle by name.

Jean Monnet broke with de Gaulle on 23 June, as he thought his appeal was "too personal" and went too far, and that French opinion would not rally to a man who was seen to be operating from British soil.

De Gaulle broadcast again on 24 June after Monnet soon resigned as head of the Inter-Allied Commission and departed for the US.

The armistice (Armistice of 22 June 1940) took effect from 00:35 on 25 June.

On 26 June de Gaulle wrote to Churchill demanding recognition of his French Committee.

On 28 June, after Churchill's envoys had failed to establish contact with the French leaders in North Africa, the British Government recognized de Gaulle as leader of the Free French, despite the reservations of Halifax and Cadogan at the foreign office.

On 30 June 1940 Admiral Muselier joined the Free French.

Prime Minister Pétain moved the government to Vichy (2 July) and had the National Assembly (10 July) vote to dissolve itself and give him dictatorial powers, making the beginning of his Révolution Nationale (National Revolution) intended to "reorient" French society. This was the dawn of the Vichy regime.

De Gaulle initially reacted angrily to news of the Royal Navy's attack on the French fleet (3 July)at Mers El Kébir, at Oran, on the coast of French Algeria.

On Bastille Day (14 July) 1940 de Gaulle led a group of between 200 and 300 sailors to lay a wreath at the statue of Ferdinand Foch at Grosvenor Gardens.

From 22 July 1940 de Gaulle used 4 Carlton Gardens in central London as his London headquarters. His family had left Brittany (the other ship which left at the same time was sunk) and lived for a time at Petts Wood.

The Vichy regime had already sentenced de Gaulle to four years' imprisonment; on 2 August 1940, he was condemned to death by court-martial in absentia, although Pétain commented that he would ensure that the sentence was never carried out.

De Gaulle and Churchill reached an agreement on 7 August 1940, that Britain would fund the Free French, with the bill to be settled after the war (the financial agreement was finalized in March 1941). A separate letter guaranteed the territorial integrity of the French Empire.

Félix Éboué, governor of Chad, switched his support to General de Gaulle in September. Encouraged, de Gaulle traveled to Brazzaville in October, where he announced the formation of an Empire Defense Council in his Brazzaville Manifesto.

In October 1940, after talks between the foreign office and Louis Rougier, de Gaulle was asked to tone down his attacks on Pétain. On average he spoke on BBC radio three times a month.

The financial agreement was finalized in March 1941. A separate letter guaranteed the territorial integrity of the French Empire.

In September 1941 de Gaulle formed the Free French National Council, with himself as president. It was an all-encompassing coalition of resistance forces, ranging from conservative Catholics like himself to communists.

In 1942, de Gaulle created the Normandie-Niemen squadron, a Free French Air Force regiment, to fight on the Eastern Front. It is the only Western allied formation to have fought until the end of the war in the East.

In Algiers in 1943, Eisenhower gave de Gaulle the assurance in person that a French force would liberate Paris and arranged that the army division of French General Philippe Leclerc de Hauteclocque would be transferred from North Africa to the UK to carry out that liberation.

In Casablanca in 1943, Churchill supported de Gaulle as the embodiment of a French Army that was otherwise defeated, stating that "De Gaulle is the spirit of that Army. Perhaps the last survivor of a warrior race.

On 21 April 1943, de Gaulle was scheduled to fly in a Wellington bomber to Scotland to inspect the Free French Navy.

De Gaulle moved his headquarters to Algiers in May 1943, leaving Britain to be on French territory. He became the first joint head.

Churchill on 2 June he sent two passenger aircraft and his representative, Duff Cooper, to Algiers to bring de Gaulle back to Britain.

De Gaulle lived at the Connaught Hotel in London, then from 1942 to 1944, he lived in Hampstead, North London.

Roosevelt to recognize de Gaulle in late 1944.

General de Gaulle giving a speech at the opening of the Brazzaville Conference on 30 January 1944.

On 14 June 1944, Charles left Britain for France for what was supposed to be a one-day trip. Despite an agreement that he would take only two staff, he was accompanied by a large entourage with extensive luggage, and although many rural Normans remained mistrustful of him, he was warmly greeted by the inhabitants of the towns he visited, such as the badly damaged Isigny.

On 16 June and then went on to Rome to meet the Pope and the new Italian government.

De Gaulle flew to Algiers on 16 June.

Upon his arrival at RAF Northolt on 4 June 1944 he received an official welcome, and a letter reading "My dear general! Welcome to these shores, very great military events are about to take place!.

General Charles de Gaulle and his entourage set off from the Arc de Triomphe down the Champs Elysees to Notre Dame for a service of thanksgiving following the city's liberation in August 1944.

On 20 August; it allowed him to enter Paris as a liberator in the midst of the general euphoria. After the Germans had forcibly removed members of the Vichy government and taken them to Germany a few days earlier.

On 21 August, de Gaulle had appointed his military advisor General Marie-Pierre Koenig as Governor of Paris.

On Saturday 26 August, it came under machine-gun fire by the Vichy militia and fifth columnists. Later, on entering the Notre Dame Cathedral to be received as head of the provisional government by the Committee of Liberation.

On 10 September 1944, the Provisional Government of the French Republic or Government of National Unanimity formed. It included many of de Gaulle's Free French associates.

On 10 November 1944, Churchill flew to Paris to a reception by de Gaulle, and the two together were greeted by thousands of cheering Parisians on the next day.

On Armistice Day in 1945, Winston Churchill made his first visit to France since the liberation and received a good reception in Paris where he laid a wreath to Georges Clemenceau.

On 12 April 1945, Roosevelt died, and despite their uneasy relationship de Gaulle declared a week of mourning in France and forwarded an emotional and conciliatory letter to the new American president, Harry S. Truman, in which he said of Roosevelt, "all of France loved him".

On VE Day, there were also serious riots in French Tunisia.

In May 1945 the German armies surrendered to the Americans and British at Rheims, and a separate armistice was signed with France in Berlin. De Gaulle refused to allow any British participation in the victory parade in Paris.

On 20 May, French artillery and warplanes fired on demonstrators in Damascus. After several days, upwards of 800 Syrians lay dead.

On 31 May, Churchill told de Gaulle "immediately to order French troops to cease fire and withdraw to their barracks". British forces moved in and forced the French to withdraw from the city; they were then escorted and confined to barracks.

Charles visited New York City on 27 August 1945 to great welcome by thousands of people of the city and its mayor Fiorello LaGuardia.

In October 1945, elections were held for a new Constituent Assembly whose main task was to provide a new constitution for the Fourth Republic. De Gaulle favored a strong executive for the nation.

In the election, the second option was approved by 13 million of the 21 million voters. The big three parties won 75% of the vote, with the Communists winning 158 seats, the MRP 152 seats, the Socialists 142 seats, and the remaining seats going to the various far-right parties.

On 13 November 1945, the new assembly unanimously elected Charles de Gaulle head of the government.

The new cabinet was finalized on 21 November, with the Communists receiving five out of the twenty-two ministries.

Barely two months after forming the new government, de Gaulle abruptly resigned on 20 January 1946.

In April 1947, de Gaulle made a renewed attempt to transform the political scene by creating a Rassemblement du Peuple Français (Rally of the French People, or RPF), which he hoped would be able to move above the familiar party squabbles of the parliamentary system.

Marshal Pétain died in 1951, but he did not know it. De Gaulle was later known to remark that "Marshal Pétain was a great man.

In May 1953, he withdrew again from active politics.

As early as April 1954 while out of power, de Gaulle argued that France must have its own nuclear arsenal; at the time nuclear weapons were seen as a national status symbol and a way of maintaining international prestige with a place at the 'top table' of the United Nations.

In 1958 Charles de Gaulle took the view that the organization was too dominated by the US and UK and that America would not fulfill its promise to defend Europe in the event of a Soviet invasion.

At a 19 May press conference, de Gaulle asserted again that he was at the disposal of the country.

On 1 June 1958, de Gaulle became Prime Minister and was given emergency powers for six months by the National Assembly.

In the November 1958 election, Charles de Gaulle and his supporters (initially organized in the Union pour la Nouvelle République-Union Démocratique du Travail, then the Union des Démocrates pour la Vème République, later still the Union des Démocrates pour la République, UDR) won a comfortable majority.

Charles was inaugurated in January 1959. As head of state, he also became ex officio the Co-Prince of Andorra.

Gaulle made more visits and sidestepped them. For the long term, he devised a plan to modernize Algeria's traditional economy, deescalated the war, and offered Algeria self-determination in 1959.

On 13 February 1960, France became the world's fourth nuclear power when a high-powered nuclear device was exploded in the Sahara some 700 miles south-south-west of Algiers.

De Gaulle hosted a superpower summit on 17 May 1960 for arms limitation talks and détente efforts in the wake of the 1960 U-2 incident between United States President Dwight Eisenhower, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, and United Kingdom Prime Minister Harold Macmillan.

French voters approved his course in a 1961 referendum on Algerian self-determination.

De Gaulle's prime minister from 1962 to 1968, putting in place the reforms which provided the impetus for the economic growth which followed.

France recognized Algerian independence on 3 July 1962.

De Gaulle was targeted for death by the Organisation armée secrète (OAS), in retaliation for his Algerian initiatives. Several assassination attempts were made on him; the most famous took place on 22 August 1962.

In September 1962, de Gaulle sought a constitutional amendment to allow the president to be directly elected by the people and issued another referendum to this end.

On 4 October 1962, de Gaulle dissolved the National Assembly and held new elections.

De Gaulle's proposal to change the election procedure for the French presidency was approved at the referendum on 28 October 1962 by more than three-fifths of voters despite a broad "coalition of no" formed by most of the parties, opposed to a presidential regime.

In January 1963, Germany and France signed a treaty of friendship, the Élysée Treaty.

In August 1963 France decided against signing the Partial Test Ban Treaty designed to slow the arms race because it would have prohibited it from testing nuclear weapons above ground.

In 1964, de Gaulle visited the Soviet Union, where he hoped to establish France as an alternative influence in the Cold War.

In 1965, de Gaulle pulled France out of SEATO, the southeast Asian equivalent of NATO, and refused to participate in any future NATO maneuvers.

In June 1965, after France and the other five members could not agree, de Gaulle withdrew France's representatives from the EC.

In December 1965, de Gaulle returned as president for a second seven-year term.

In February 1966, France withdrew from the NATO Military Command Structure but remained within the organization.

In September 1966, in a famous speech in Phnom Penh in Cambodia, he expressed France's disapproval of the US involvement in the Vietnam War, calling for a US withdrawal from Vietnam as the only way to ensure peace.

In 1967, de Gaulle decreed a law that obliged all firms over certain sizes to distribute a small portion of their profits to their employees.

De Gaulle on 2 June declared an arms embargo against Israel, just three days before the outbreak of the Six-Day War.

Charles vetoed Britain's entry into the EEC a second time, in June 1967.

General de Gaulle paid an official visit to Poland on 6 September 1967 and spent an entire week there.De Gaulle announced that France officially recognized the new Polish western border.

In November 1967, an article by the French Chief of the General Staff (but inspired by de Gaulle) in the Revue de la Défense Nationale caused international consternation. It was stated that the French nuclear force should be capable of firing "in all directions".

On 27 November 1967, De Gaulle described the Jewish people as "this elite person, sure of themselves and domineering.

Claiming continental European solidarity, de Gaulle again rejected British entry when they next applied to join the community in December 1967 under the Labour leadership of Harold Wilson.

In 1968, shortly before leaving office, de Gaulle refused to devalue the Franc on grounds of national prestige, but upon taking over Pompidou reversed the decision almost straight away.

The mass demonstrations and strikes in France in May 1968 severely challenged De Gaulle's legitimacy.

On 29 May, De Gaulle disappeared without notifying Prime Minister Pompidou or anyone else in the government, stunning the country.

On 30 May, Pompidou persuaded him to dissolve parliament (in which the government had all but lost its majority in the March 1967 elections) and hold new elections instead.

Elections were a major success for the Gaullists and their allies; when shown the specter of revolution or civil war, the majority of the country rallied to him.

De Gaulle resigned the presidency at noon, 28 April 1969.

On 9 November 1970, less than two weeks short of what would have been his 80th birthday.