Weygand, Maxime

Weygand, Maxime

(mäksēm` vāgäN`), 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).

Weygand, Maxime


Born Jan. 21, 1867, in Brussels; died Jan. 28, 1965, in Paris. French general, member of the Academy of Sciences of France (1931).

Weygand graduated from the military school of St. Cyr in 1887. He fought in World War I; in November 1917 he became a member of the Superior Council of War and in March 1918 chief of staff of the supreme commander in chief. In 1920-22 he was chief of a military mission in Poland for the training and supply of the Polish Army. From 1930 to 1935, Weygand was chief of the General Staff, vice-president of the Superior Council of War, and inspector of the armies. In 1937 he participated in the fascist movement of the Cagoulards. In early 1939 he was appointed commander in chief of the French troops in Syria and Lebanon. On May 19, 1940, he became chief of staff of national defense and supreme commander in chief and was one of the organizers of the capitulation of France. From July to September 1940 Weygand was minister of national defense of the Vichy government and then general representative of the government in French Africa. He concluded an agreement with the USA in 1941. In November 1942 he was arrested by the Germans and detained in a camp until 1945. After the liberation Weygand faced a military tribunal but was acquitted in 1948.


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