Minister of Defence (France)

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Minister of Defence of the French Republic
Ministre de la Défense
Marque-mindef.jpg
Naval jack for the Minister of Defence
Rennes - 6 mai 2012 JY Le Drian-02 (cropped).JPG
Incumbent
Jean-Yves Le Drian

since 16 May 2012
Ministry of Defence
Member of Cabinet
Reports to President of the Republic
The Prime Minister
Seat Hôtel de Brienne, Paris, France
Nominator The Prime Minister
Appointer President of the Republic
Term length No fixed term
Precursor Secretary of State for War and
Minister of the Navy and Colonies
Formation 1944/1974/2010
Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff
Website www.defense.gouv.fr
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Hôtel de Brienne, current seat until 2014.

The Minister of Defence (French: Ministre de la Défense) is the French cabinet member charged with running the military of France.

A "Secretary of State for War" was one of the four specialised secretaries of state established in France in 1589. This Secretary of State was responsible for the Army. In 1791, the Secretary of State became the "Minister of War". Along with the other ministerial positions, it was abolished in 1794 and restored the next year. In the 1930s, the position was frequently named "Minister of War and of National Defence". After the Second World War, the War Ministry merged with the Ministry of the Navy, absorbing the role of the Minister of the Navy and Colonies, with a Minister of National Defence, and from 1974 a Minister of Defence (except for 2010 to 2012, when the office was styled as Minister of Defence and Veterans Affairs) directing the entire military.

The current Minister of Defence and Veterans Affairs is Jean-Yves Le Drian.

Office holders[edit]

Secretaries of State for War, 1643–1791[edit]

Secretary Began Ended
Michel le Tellier 1643 1666
François Michel le Tellier, marquis de Louvois 1666 16 July 1691
Louis-François le Tellier de Louvois, marquis de Barbezieux 16 July 1691 5 January 1701
Michel Chamillart 5 January 1701 9 June 1709
Daniel Voysin de la Noiraye 9 June 1709 14 September 1715
Claude Louis Hector de Villars 1 October 1715 24 September 1718
Claude le Blanc 24 September 1718 1 July 1723
François Victor le Tonnelier de Breteuil 1 July 1723 19 June 1726
Claude le Blanc 19 June 1726 1728
Nicolas Prosper Bauyn d'Angervilliers July 1728 February 1740
François Victor le Tonnelier de Breteuil February 1740 7 January 1743
Marc Pierre de Voyer de Paulmy, comte d'Argenson 7 January 1743 1 February 1757
Marc-René de Voyer, marquis de Paulmy 1 February 1757 3 March 1758
Charles Louis Auguste Fouquet, duc de Belle-Isle 3 March 1758 27 January 1761
Étienne François, duc de Choiseul 27 January 1761 24 December 1770
Louis François, marquis de Monteynard 26 January 1771 27 January 1774
Emmanuel Armand de Vignerot du Plessis de Richelieu, duc d'Aiguillon 27 January 1774 2 June 1774
Louis Nicolas Victor de Félix d'Ollières, comte du Muy 5 June 1774 10 October 1775
Claude Louis, Comte de Saint-Germain 27 October 1775 27 September 1777
Alexandre Marie Léonor de Saint-Mauris de Montbarrey 27 September 1777 19 December 1780
Philippe Henri, marquis de Ségur 23 December 1780 29 August 1787
Louis Charles-Auguste le Tonnelier, baron de Breteuil 29 August 1787 23 September 1787
Athanase Louis Marie de Loménie, comte de Brienne 23 September 1787 30 November 1788
Louis Pierre de Chastenet, comte de Puységur 30 November 1788 13 July 1789
Victor François, Duc de Broglie 13 July 1789 16 July 1789
Jean-Frédéric de la Tour du Pin-Gouvernet 4 August 1789 16 November 1790
Louis le Bègue du Presle Duportail 16 November 1790 7 December 1791

Ministers of War, 1791–1940[edit]

Minister Began Ended
Louis, comte de Narbonne-Lara 7 December 1791 9 March 1792
Pierre Marie de Grave 9 March 1792 9 May 1792
Joseph Marie Servan de Gerbey 9 May 1792 13 June 1792
Charles Dumouriez 13 June 1792 18 June 1792
Pierre August Lajard 18 June 1792 23 July 1792
Charles Franqueville d'Abancourt 23 July 1792 10 August 1792
Joseph Marie Servan de Gerbey 10 August 1792 3 October 1792
Pierre Henri Hélène Marie Lebrun-Tondu 3 October 1792 18 October 1792
Jean-Nicolas Pache 18 October 1792 4 February 1793
Pierre Riel de Beurnonville 4 February 1793 1 April 1793
Pierre Henri Hélène Marie Lebrun-Tondu 1 April 1793 4 April 1793
Jean Baptiste Noël Bouchotte 4 April 1793 20 April 1794
none 20 April 1794 3 November 1795
Jean-Baptiste Aubert-Dubayet 3 November 1795 8 February 1796
Claude Louis Petiet 8 February 1796 15 July 1797
Lazare Hoche 15 July 1797 22 July 1797
Barthélemy Louis Joseph Scherer 22 July 1797 21 February 1799
Louis Marie de Milet de Mureau 21 February 1799 2 July 1799
Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte 2 July 1799 14 September 1799
Edmond Louis Alexis Dubois-Crancé 14 September 1799 10 November 1799
Louis-Alexandre Berthier 11 November 1799 2 April 1800
Lazare Carnot 2 April 1800 8 October 1800
Louis-Alexandre Berthier, prince de Neuchâtel 8 October 1800 19 August 1807
Henri Clarke, duc de Feltre 19 August 1807 1 April 1814
Pierre-Antoine, comte Dupont de l'Étang 3 April 1814 3 December 1814
Nicolas Jean de Dieu Soult, duc de Dalmatie 3 December 1814 11 March 1815
Henri Clarke, duc de Feltre 11 March 1815 20 March 1815
Louis Nicolas Davout, duc d'Auerstadt 20 March 1815 7 July 1815
Laurent, comte de Gouvion de Saint-Cyr 7 July 1815 26 September 1815
Henri Clarke, duc de Feltre 26 September 1815 12 September 1817
Laurent, marquis de Gouvion de Saint-Cyr 12 September 1817 19 November 1819
Marie Victor Nicolas de Fay, marquis de La Tour-Maubourg 19 November 1819 14 December 1821
Claude Victor, duc de Bellune 14 December 1821 23 March 1823
Alexandre, vicomte Digeon 23 March 1823 15 April 1823
Claude Victor, duc de Bellune 15 April 1823 19 October 1823
Ange Hyacinthe Maxence, baron de Damas 19 October 1823 4 August 1824
Aimé, duc de Clermont-Tonnerre 4 August 1824 4 January 1828
Louis Victor de Blacquetot de Caux 4 January 1828 8 August 1829
Louis-Auguste-Victor, Count de Ghaisnes de Bourmont 8 August 1829 31 July 1830
Étienne Maurice, comte Gérard 31 July 1830 17 November 1830
Nicolas Jean de Dieu Soult, duc de Dalmatie 17 November 1830 18 July 1834
Étienne Maurice, comte Gérard 18 July 1834 10 November 1834
Simon Bernard 10 November 1834 18 November 1834
Édouard Adolphe Casimir Joseph Mortier, duc de Trévise 18 November 1834 12 March 1835
Henri Gauthier, comte de Rigny 12 March 1835 30 April 1835
Nicolas Joseph, marquis Maison 30 April 1835 6 September 1836
Simon Bernard 6 September 1836 31 March 1839
Amédée Louis Despans-Cubières 31 March 1839 12 May 1839
Antoine Virgile Schneider 12 May 1839 1 March 1840
Amédée Louis Despans-Cubières 1 March 1840 29 October 1840
Nicolas Jean de Dieu Soult, duc de Dalmatie 29 October 1840 10 November 1845
Alexandre Pierre Chevalier Moline de Saint-Yon 10 November 1845 9 May 1847
Camille Alphonse Trézel 9 May 1847 24 February 1848
Marie Alphonse Bedeau 24 February 1848 25 February 1848
Jacques Gervais, baron Subervie 25 February 1848 20 March 1848
Louis Eugène Cavaignac 20 March 1848 5 April 1848
François Arago 5 April 1848 11 May 1848
Jean-Baptiste Adolphe Charras 11 May 1848 17 May 1848
Louis Eugène Cavaignac 17 May 1848 28 June 1848
Louis Juchault de Lamoricière 28 June 1848 20 December 1848
Joseph Marcellin Rulhières 20 December 1848 31 October 1849
Alphonse Henri, comte d'Hautpoul 31 October 1849 22 October 1850
Jean-Paul, comte de Schramm 22 October 1850 9 January 1851
Auguste Étienne, comte Régnault de Saint-Jean d'Angély 9 January 1851 24 January 1851
Jacques Louis Randon 24 January 1851 26 October 1851
Jacques Leroy de Saint Arnaud 26 October 1851 11 March 1854
Jean-Baptiste Philibert Vaillant 11 March 1854 5 May 1859
Jacques Louis Randon 5 May 1859 20 January 1867
Adolphe Niel 20 January 1867 13 August 1869
Charles Rigault de Genouilly 13 August 1869 21 August 1869
Edmond Leboeuf 21 August 1869 20 July 1870
Pierre Charles Dejean 20 July 1870 10 August 1870
Charles Cousin-Montauban, Comte de Palikao 10 August 1870 4 September 1870
Adolphe Charles Le Flô 4 September 1870 5 June 1871
Ernest Courtot de Cissey 5 June 1871 25 May 1873
François Claude du Barail 29 May 1873 22 May 1874
Ernest Courtot de Cissey 22 May 1874 15 August 1876
Jean Auguste Berthaut 15 August 1876 23 November 1877
Gaétan de Grimaudet de Rochebouët 23 November 1877 13 December 1877
Jean-Louis Borel 13 December 1877 16 May 1878
Henri François Xavier Gresley 16 May 1878 28 December 1879
Jean Joseph Frédéric Adolphe Farre 28 December 1879 14 November 1881
Jean-Baptiste Campenon 14 November 1881 26 January 1882
Jean-Baptiste Billot 30 January 1882 29 January 1883
Jean Thibaudin 31 January 1883 9 October 1883
Jean-Baptiste Campenon 9 October 1883 3 January 1885
Jules Louis Lewal 3 January 1885 6 April 1885
Jean-Baptiste Campenon 6 April 1885 7 January 1886
Georges Boulanger 7 January 1886 30 May 1887
Théophile Adrien Ferron 30 May 1887 12 December 1887
François Auguste Logerot 12 December 1887 3 April 1888
Charles de Freycinet 3 April 1888 11 January 1893
Julien Léon Loizillon 11 January 1893 3 December 1893
Auguste Mercier 3 December 1893 24 January 1895
Émile Zurlinden 28 January 1895 1 November 1895
Godefroy Cavaignac 1 November 1895 29 April 1896
Jean-Baptiste Billot 29 April 1896 28 June 1898
Godefroy Cavaignac 28 June 1898 5 September 1898
Émile Zurlinden 5 September 1898 17 September 1898
Charles Chanoine 17 September 1898 25 October 1898
Édouard Locroy 25 October 1898 1 November 1898
Charles de Freycinet 1 November 1898 6 May 1899
Camille Krantz 6 May 1899 22 June 1899
Gaston, marquis de Gallifet 22 June 1899 20 May 1900
Louis André 20 May 1900 14 November 1904
Maurice Berteaux 14 November 1904 12 November 1905
Eugène Étienne 12 November 1905 25 October 1906
Georges Picquart 25 October 1906 24 July 1909
Jean Brun 24 July 1909 23 February 1911
Aristide Briand 23 February 1911 2 March 1911
Maurice Berteaux 2 March 1911 21 May 1911
François Louis Auguste Goiran 27 May 1911 27 June 1911
Adolphe Messimy 27 June 1911 14 January 1912
Alexandre Millerand 14 January 1912 12 January 1913
Albert Lebrun 12 January 1913 21 January 1913
Eugène Étienne 21 January 1913 9 December 1913
Joseph Noulens 9 December 1913 9 June 1914
Théophile Delcassé 9 June 1914 13 June 1914
Adolphe Messimy 13 June 1914 26 August 1914
Alexandre Millerand 26 August 1914 29 October 1915
Joseph Gallieni 29 October 1915 16 March 1916
Pierre Roques 16 March 1916 12 December 1916
Hubert Lyautey 12 December 1916 14 March 1917
Lucien Lacaze 14 March 1917 20 March 1917
Paul Painlevé 20 March 1917 16 November 1917
Georges Clemenceau 16 November 1917 20 January 1920
André Lefèvre 20 January 1920 16 December 1920
Flaminius Raiberti 16 December 1920 16 January 1921
Louis Barthou 16 January 1921 15 January 1922
André Maginot 15 January 1922 14 June 1924
Charles Nollet 14 June 1924 17 April 1925
Paul Painlevé 17 April 1925 29 October 1925
Édouard Daladier 29 October 1925 28 November 1925
Paul Painlevé 28 November 1925 23 June 1926
Adolphe Guillaumat 23 June 1926 19 July 1926
Paul Painlevé 19 July 1926 3 November 1929
André Maginot 3 November 1929 21 February 1930
René Besnard 21 February 1930 2 March 1930
André Maginot 2 March 1930 13 December 1930
Louis Barthou 13 December 1930 27 January 1931
André Maginot 27 January 1931 6 January 1932
André Tardieu 14 January 1932 20 February 1932
François Piétri 20 February 1932 3 June 1932
Joseph Paul-Boncour 3 June 1932 18 December 1932
Édouard Daladier 18 December 1932 30 January 1934
Jean Fabry 30 January 1934 4 February 1934
Joseph Paul-Boncour 4 February 1934 9 February 1934
Philippe Pétain 9 February 1934 8 November 1934
Louis Maurin 8 November 1934 7 June 1935
Jean Fabry 7 June 1935 24 January 1936
Louis Maurin 24 January 1936 4 June 1936
Édouard Daladier 4 June 1936 18 May 1940
Paul Reynaud 18 May 1940 16 June 1940
Maxime Weygand (National Defence)
and Louis Colson (War)
16 June 1940 6 September 1940
Charles Huntziger 6 September 1940 11 August 1941
François Darlan 11 August 1941 18 April 1942
Eugène Bridoux 18 April 1942 20 August 1944

Commissioners for War, 1941–1944[edit]

Commissioner Began Ended
Paul Legentilhomme 24 September 1941 9 November 1943
André Le Troquet 9 November 1943 4 April 1944
André Diethelm 4 April 1944 10 September 1944

Ministers of National Defence, 1944–1974[edit]

Minister Began Ended
André Diethelm 10 September 1944 21 November 1945
Edmond Michelet 21 November 1945 24 June 1946
Félix Gouin 24 June 1946 16 December 1946
André Le Troquer 16 December 1946 22 January 1947
François Billoux 22 January 1947 4 May 1947
Yvon Delbos 4 May 1947 22 October 1947
Pierre-Henri Teitgen 22 October 1947 26 July 1948
René Mayer 26 July 1948 11 September 1948
Paul Ramadier 11 September 1948 28 October 1949
René Pleven 29 October 1949 12 July 1950
Jules Moch 12 July 1950 11 August 1951
Georges Bidault 11 August 1951 8 March 1952
René Pleven 8 March 1952 19 June 1954
Marie Pierre Koenig 19 June 1954 14 August 1954
Emmanuel Temple 14 August 1954 20 January 1955
Jacques Chevallier (National Defence)
and Maurice Bourgès-Maunoury (Armed Forces)
20 January 1955 23 February 1955
Marie Pierre Koenig 23 February 1955 6 October 1955
Pierre Billotte 6 October 1955 1 February 1956
Maurice Bourgès-Maunoury 1 February 1956 13 June 1957
André Morice 13 June 1957 6 November 1957
Jacques Chaban-Delmas 6 November 1957 14 May 1958
Pierre de Chevigné 14 May 1958 1 June 1958
Charles de Gaulle (National Defence)
and Pierre Guillaumat (Armies)
1 June 1958 8 January 1959
Pierre Guillaumat 1 June 1958 5 February 1960
Pierre Messmer 5 February 1960 22 June 1969
Michel Debré 22 June 1969 4 April 1973
Robert Galley 4 April 1973 28 May 1974

Ministers of Defence, 1974–2010[edit]

Minister Began Ended
Jacques Soufflet 28 May 1974 1 February 1975
Yvon Bourges 1 February 1975 2 October 1980
Joël Le Theule 2 October 1980 14 December 1980
Robert Galley 22 December 1980 22 May 1981
Charles Hernu 22 May 1981 20 September 1985
Paul Quilès 20 September 1985 20 March 1986
André Giraud 20 March 1986 12 May 1988
Jean-Pierre Chevènement 12 May 1988 29 January 1991
Pierre Joxe 29 January 1991 9 March 1993
Pierre Bérégovoy 9 March 1993 29 March 1993
François Léotard 29 March 1993 18 May 1995
Charles Millon 18 May 1995 4 June 1997
Alain Richard 4 June 1997 7 May 2002
Michèle Alliot-Marie 7 May 2002 15 May 2007
Hervé Morin 18 May 2007 14 November 2010

Ministers of Defence and Veterans Affairs, 2010–present[edit]

Minister Began Ended
Alain Juppé 14 November 2010 27 February 2011
Gérard Longuet 27 February 2011 May 2012
Jean-Yves Le Drian May 2012 Present

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]