Charles de Gaulle’s Victory Began in This Central African Nation | Flashback


It was the moment all of France had waited for. Strasbourg, the capital of Alsace, which Germany had historically eyed as its own, was finally free from the Nazis. The 2nd French Armored Division under Gen. Philippe Leclerc de Hauteclocque had liberated the city, burying the ghosts of France’s humiliating defeat four years earlier during the blitzkrieg. And the soldier who climbed to the top of the Strasbourg cathedral to hoist the French flag on Nov. 23, 1944, was from a regiment raised 4,000 miles away: the Régiment de marche du Tchad, or the Marching Regiment of Chad.

Charles de Gaulle, leader of the Free France government in exile, organized the liberation of his nation from headquarters in London. When France’s future president delivered his famous June…

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