Philippe Pétain

French military and political leader (1856-1951)

Philippe Pétain was a French General who served as leader of Vichy France between 1940 and 1944.

During World War I Pétain was the hero of the Battle of Verdun and led the French Army until the end of the war in 1918.

In 1940 during the Battle of France the French government asked him to govern the country. He surrendered to the Germans. From 1940 to the end of 1942, Vichy France was a puppet state of Nazi Germany. Pétain became a puppet of Nazi Germany as they fully occupied and disarmed Vichy France.

After the war, Pétain was tried and convicted for treason. He was originally sentenced to death, but due to his age and World War I service his sentence was commuted to life in prison. He died in 1951.