Raoul Salan
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Raoul Salan
Raoul Salan
Maurice Challe (1961).jpg
Birth nameRaoul Albin Louis Salan
Born(1899-06-10)10 June 1899
Roquecourbe, France
Died3 July 1984(1984-07-03) (aged 85)
Paris, France
AllegianceFlag of France.svg France,
Oas logo public.svg Organisation armée secrète
Service/branchFrench Army
Years of service1917-1959
RankGénéral d'Armée
Commands held6th Senegalese Tirailleur Regiment
14th Infantry Division
French Far East Expeditionary Corps
French forces in Algeria
Battles/warsWorld War I
World War II
First Indochina War
Algerian War
Algiers putsch of 1961
AwardsGrand Cross of the Legion of Honor
Other workLeader of the OAS

Raoul Albin Louis Salan (French pronunciation: ​[?aul sal]; 10 June 1899 – 3 July 1984) was a French Army general. He served as the fourth French commanding general during the First Indochina War. He was one of four generals who organized the 1961 Algiers Putsch operation. He was the founder of the Organisation armée secrète. He was the most decorated soldier in the French Army.

Early life

Salan was born on 10 June 1899 in Roquecourbe, Tarn.[1] He graduated from the École spéciale militaire de Saint-Cyr.[1] He served in the French Army during World War I.[1]

Military career

Salan served as the commander of French forces in Vietnam from 1945 to 1947.[2] By 1948, he was commander of all French land forces in East Asia; after the death of Jean de Lattre de Tassigny in 1952, Salan became the commander-in-chief in Indochina.[2]

French General Salan and the Lao Prince Sisavang Vatthana in Luang Prabang, 4 May 1953

Salan served as commander-in-chief of French forces in French Algeria in 1956.[2] In 1958, Salan called for the return to power of Charles De Gaulle, believing that the latter would protect French Algeria.[2] He retired shortly after, first moving to Spain, then to mainland France.[2] He was banned from entering Algeria in 1960.[2]

Nevertheless, Salan returned to Algeria to organize the putsch on 21 April 1961 with André Zeller, Edmond Jouhaud and Maurice Challe.[2] After the failure of the putsch, he became the chief of Organisation armée secrète (OAS), which attempted to disrupt the April 1962 Peace Evian Accords.[2] He was arrested in April 1962.[2]

Salan was charged with treason[3] and condemned in absentia to death. Then, in April 1962, he was arrested[4] in Algiers. The death sentence on him was commuted to life imprisonment. He was pardoned in 1968.[1]

Salan was the most decorated soldier in the French Army.[2]


Salan died on 3 July 1984. Every year, former members of the OAS bring flowers to his tomb on his death anniversary.[5]



  • Mémoires Fin d'un empire (4 volumes), Editions Presses de la Cité, 1970-74
    • Le sens d' un engagement, 1970
    • Le Viêt-minh mon adversaire, 1971
    • Algérie française, 1972
    • L'Algérie de Gaulle et moi, 1974


  1. ^ a b c d Krebs, Albin (July 4, 1984). "RAOUL SALAN DIES; LED ALGERIA PLOT". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Gen. Raoul Salan. France's most decorated soldier dies". Santa Cruz Sentinel. Santa Cruz, California. July 4, 1984. p. 10. Retrieved 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
  3. ^ Silence in the Dock TIME Magazine Friday, 25 May 1962
  4. ^ To the guillotine TIME Magazine Friday, 27 Apr 1962
  5. ^ Cros, Philippe (June 11, 2014). "Les « fidèles » du chef de l'OAS commémorent". La Montagne. Retrieved 2016.

Further reading

  • Alexander, Martin S., and John FV Keiger, eds. France and the Algerian War, 1954-1962: Strategy, Operations and Diplomacy (Routledge, 2013)
  • General Paul Aussaresses, The Battle of the Casbah: Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism in Algeria, 1955-1957. (New York: Enigma Books, 2010) ISBN 978-1-929631-30-8.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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