Catroux, General Georges, 1877-1969

Catroux was DE GAULLE’s right-hand man and the Delegate General of the Free French to Syria and Lebanon from 1941-43. In October 1940 he arrived in the Middle East to build up a propaganda campaign for the Free French. The French in Syria favored the Vichy regime and were unmoved by this so when the British invaded in June 1941 they fought the Free French forces. Catroux tried to retrieve the situation and proclaimed ‘I come to put an end to the mandatory regime and proclaim you free and independent.’ The Free French took over the administration of Syria and Lebanon after bitter fighting but the countries only became independent after the war. From 1943-45 he acted as Commissioner for Moslem Affairs of the FCNL (French Committee of National Liberation) and Governor of Algeria. After the war he became French Ambassador to the USSR.

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