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Legentilhomme reviewing military units in Djibouti
March 26, 1884|
|Died||May 23, 1975
Free French Forces
|Years of service||1907–1950|
|Rank||French Army General|
|Battles/wars||World War I
World War II
|Awards||Grand Cross of the Légion of Honor
Compagnon de la Libération
Croix de Guerre 1914–1918
Croix de Guerre 1939–1945
Commander of the Order of the Bath
Commander of the Legion of Merit
|Other work||French Minister Advisor|
Paul Legentilhomme (Paul Louis Le Gentilhomme) (March 26, 1884 – May 23, 1975) was an officer in the French Army during World War I and World War II. After the fall of France in 1940, he joined the forces of the Free French. Legentilhomme was a recipient of the "Order of the Liberation" (Compagnon de la Libération).
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- 1905 to 1907 : Cadet at the École Spéciale Militaire de Saint-Cyr (promotion "la Dernière du vieux Bahut")
- 1907 : Promoted to Sub-Lieutenant
- 1909 : Promoted to Lieutenant
- 1914 : His unit took part in the battle of Neufchâteau in Belgium, on August 22, and was captured by the Germans.
- 1914 to1918 : In German captivity.
- 1918 : Promoted to Captain
- 1924 : Promoted to Major
- 1926 to 1928 : Chief of Staff Madagascar
- 1929 : Promoted to Lieutenant Colonel
- 1929 to 1931 : Chief of Staff 3rd Colonial Division
- 1934 : Promoted to Colonel
- 1937 to 1938 : Commanding Officer 4th Senegalese Tirailleurs Regiment
- 1938 : Promoted to Brigadier-General
- June 18 : In Djibouti, the capital of French Somaliland, Legentilhomme condemned the French armistice and declared his intention to continue the war with the British Empire. He declared this in his "General Order Number 4".
- August 2 : Left French Somaliland (Vichy French until 1942) and went to the United Kingdom.
- October 31 : Legentilhomme stripped of his French citizenship by the Vichy government.
- Legentilhomme promoted to Major General in the Free French Army and returned to East Africa as the Commander-in-Chief of the Free French Forces in the Sudan and Eritrea. As part of Brigadier Harold Rawdon Briggs' Briggsforce, Free French forces participated in the East African Campaign. Legentilhomme worked under the supreme command of Field Marshal Archibald Wavell, 1st Earl Wavell.
- Created the First French light division or 1st Free French Division (in French "1ère Division légère française libre" or "1ère DLFL").
- Commanded the 1st Free French Division and Gentforce during Syria-Lebanon Campaign.
- Commander in Chief of Free French forces in Africa.
- November : Legentilhomme condemned in his absence for treason by the Government of Vichy to the death penalty.
- National Commissioner of War
- Member of the Council of Défense of the Empire,
- Nominated Lieutenant General
- Nominated Commissaire to the French Committee for National Liberation
- 1944 to 1945
- 1945 to 1946 : General Officer Commanding Paris Military Region
- 1946 to 1947 : General Officer Commanding 1st Military Region
- 1947 : Promoted Army General
- 1947 : Retired
- 1950 : Military advisor of the Minister for French overseas departments and territories
- 1952 : Technical advisor of the Minister François Mitterrand (who much later was President of the French Republic between 1981 and 1995)
- 1952 to 1958 : Member of the Assemblée de l'Union française for the UDSR political party (French)
- 23 May 1975 : Paul Legentilhomme died at age 91 in Villefranche-sur-Mer, France. He is buried there.
- Grand Cross of the Légion of Honor
- Compagnon de la Libération
- Médaille militaire
- Croix de guerre 1914–1918
- Croix de guerre 1939–1945
- Knight of the Order of the Dragon of Annam
- Commander of the Order of the Bath (GB)
- Commander of the Legion of Merit (USA)