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Maxime Weygand

Weygand, Maxime (mäksēmˈ vāgäNˈ) [key], 1867–1965, French general, b. Belgium. A career army officer, he was (1914–23) chief of staff to Marshal Foch, and in 1920 he directed the defense of Warsaw against the Soviet army and turned the tide of the Russo-Polish War in favor of Poland. Weygand subsequently served France as high commissioner in Syria (1923–24), chief of the general staff, and commander in the Middle East (1939–40). In World War II he replaced (May, 1940) General Gamelin as supreme Allied commander, but he could not avert the fall of France. After the Franco-German armistice (June), Weygand served in the Vichy government as minister of defense, delegate general to French Africa, and governor-general of Algeria. Dismissed (1941) as delegate general and arrested (1942) as a hostage for Gen. Henri Giraud (who had gone over to the Allies), Weygand was held by the Germans until 1945. After his return to France he was accused of collaboration with Germany, but was exonerated in 1948.

See his memoirs, Recalled to Service (tr. 1952); study by P. C. F. Bankwitz (1967).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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See more Encyclopedia articles on: French History: Biographies


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