Le dictionnaire



Son of the famous Marshal of the same name and the youngest soldier in the French army in 1944, when Charles de Gaulle authorized his induction. Bernard de Lattre participated in the liberation of southern France and Germany (taking part in intensive fighting at Karlsruhe and Constance). Following the war, he underwent officer training at Coëtquidan and Saumer. Named second lieutenant in late 1946, he left for Indochina in December 1948 to lead a squadron of the 1er régiment des chasseurs. He commanded posts at Yen My and Hung Yen near territories controlled by the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. During this time, he organized and launched a series of audacious operations against and sometimes behind enemy lines. His commitment was even greater when his father took over military and political command of all of Indochina in 1950. Determined to show his mettle, in March 1951 he transferred to the more risky 1er Bataillon de marche du régiment des chasseurs. In late May 1951, on a mission to halt an enemy offensive against Catholic areas in Ninh Binh, his unit was attacked by the adversary and Bernard de Lattre was killed by an artillery shell. He was 23.