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Georges Thierry d'Argenlieu Edit Profile

diplomat , military , priest , admiral

Georges Thierry d'Argenlieu was a Discalced Carmelite friar and priest, who was also a diplomat and French Navy officer and admiral; he became one of the major personalities of the Forces navales françaises libres. He was the chancellor of the Ordre de la Libération.

Background

He was born in Brest on 7 August 1889, in a family of Navy officers.

Education

He joined the École navale (Naval Academy) at 17.

Career

After graduating from the naval academy in 1908 and seeing action in the Mediterranean during WWI he entered the Order of Discalced Carmelites in 1920. Fr&re Georges had risen to head the order in France in 1939, the year he was mobilized and assigned to the naval staff at Cherbourg. After becoming a POW in May 1940, he escaped and joined de Gaulle in London as an assistant to Adm MUSEUER. Wounded in the abortive expedition to Dakar, he remained in Equatorial Africa as head of Free French naval forces. In Jan 1941 he was named high commissioner for French Territories in the Pacific and Far East. Promoted to rear admiral, he was involved in organizing bases. In 1943 he took part in the Casablanca Conference, then commanded French naval forces in Britain, succeeding AUBOYNEAU. During the last year of the war he was CinC French Naval Forces in the North. After V-E day he was promoted to full admiral and made IG of naval forces, and he represented France at the San Francisco Conference. Argenlieu was governor general and high commissioner in Indochina until 1947, when he retired from military service to resume his religious life.