Koenig file photo [4276]

Pierre Kœnig

Given NamePierre
Born10 Oct 1898
Died2 Sep 1970


ww2dbaseMarie-Pierre-Joseph-François Kœnig (sometimes Anglicized as "Koenig") was born in Caen, France. He studied at the Collège Sainte Maire. He fought as a junior officer in the infantry in the French Army during WW1 and served with distinction. After WW1, he served with French forces in Morocco. His WW2 tenure began with the fall of France, in which he escaped to Britain via Dunkirk. In London, he joined Charles de Gaulle's Free French organization and was promoted to the rank of colonel and was later assigned to be the chief of staff in the first divisions of Free French forces. In Jun to Jul 1941, he served with the two Free French brigades in the Syria-Lebanon Campaign. In May 1943, he was promoted to the rank of major general and took command of the Free French 1st Brigade in Egypt, participating in the Battle of Bir Hakeim on 19 Jun 1942. Later, Kœnig served as Free French delegate to Dwight D. Eisenhower's Supreme Allied Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Forces. In early 1944, he led Free French forces during the Norway invasion, and in Jun 1944 given the title of the commander-in-chief of all Free French forces, including de Gaulle-aligned French Resistance cells collectively called the French Forces of the Interior. On 21 Aug 1944, he was named the military governor of Paris by de Gaulle with a promotion to the rank of lieutenant general. After WW2, Kœnig was promoted to the rank of full general and sent to Germany as the head of the French occupation forces until 1949 when he was sent to North Africa as the inspector general. In 1950, he was named the vice president of the Supreme War Council. In 1951, he retired from the military and became a Gaullist representative to French National Assembly and served as a minister of defense under Pierre Mendès-France and Edgar Faure between 1954 and 1955. He died in Neuilly-sur-Seine commune in Paris in 1970 and buried at Montmartre in Paris. On 6 Jun 1984, President François Mitterrand posthumously declared Kœnig a Marshal of France.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Jul 2007


US General Dwight Eisenhower, French General Pierre Kœnig, and US Lieutenant General Omar Bradley at the Arc de Triomphe, Paris, France, 27 Aug 1944Omar Bradley, Dwight Eisenhower, Pierre Kœnig, and Arthur Tedder in Paris, France, 1944

Pierre Kœnig Timeline

10 Oct 1898 Pierre Kœnig was born.
25 Jun 1944 General Kœnig was made the head of Free French Forces.
2 Sep 1970 Pierre Kœnig passed away.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed Alan Chanter says:
30 Nov 2014 06:04:24 AM

Ironically, in the run up to Overlord and D-Day, Churchill and Roosevelt were loathe to discuss their plans with the Head of the French Forces of the Interior (FFI) as information relayed to Koenig in Algiers would end up in Paris and because the resistance was heavily infiltrated by the Germans would inevitably reach Hitler. Nonetheless, when the time came, de Gaulle would be able to absorb the resistance into his military command structure thereby strengthening his political ascendancy in post-war France.

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Event(s) Participated:
» Invasion of France and the Low Countries
» Battle of Gabon
» Campaigns in the Middle East
» Battle of Gazala
» Liberation of Paris

Pierre Kœnig Photo Gallery
US General Dwight Eisenhower, French General Pierre Kœnig, and US Lieutenant General Omar Bradley at the Arc de Triomphe, Paris, France, 27 Aug 1944
See all 2 photographs of Pierre Kœnig

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"Goddam it, you'll never get the Purple Heart hiding in a foxhole! Follow me!"

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