Philippe Pétain

French military and political leader (1856–1951)

Philippe Pétain (1856-1951) was a French General who served as leader of Vichy France between 1940 and 1944.

Philippe Petain
Pétain in 1941
Chief of the French State
In office
11 July 1940 - 20 August 1944
Prime Minister of France
In office
16 June 1940 – 11 July 1940
Deputy Prime Minister of France
In office
18 May 1940 – 16 June 1940
Personal details
Born24 April 1856
Cauchy-à-la-Tour, Pas-de-Calais, Second French Empire
Died23 July 1951(1951-07-23) (aged 95)
Port-Joinville, Vendée, France

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 late 1942, Vichy France was a client state of Nazi Germany. In November 1942 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.