Pierre Garbay

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Pierre Garbay
Born 4 October 1903
Gray, France
Died 17 July 1980(1980-07-17) (aged 76)
Montluçon, France
Allegiance France
Service/branch French Army
Years of service 1924-1961
Rank Général d'Armée
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Grand Cross of the Légion d'honneur
Companion of the Liberation
Médaille militaire
Croix de Guerre 1939-1945

Pierre Garbay (4 October 1903 – 17 July 1980) was a French Army General.[1]


Of modest origins, after completing high school, Garbay was admitted to Saint-Cyr military academy and graduated as a sub-lieutenant in 1924. He then followed a distinguished military career which led from Morocco to China.

He refused to accept the Armistice in 1940 and played an active role in August 1940 in rallying Chad to France libre. Involved in the Free French Forces, he commanded the Free French 4th and 2nd Brigades. In April 1945, on the orders of General Charles de Gaulle, General Garbay took the 1st Free French Division to the Alpes-Maritimes, where, after 3 days of fierce fighting, they cleared the fortified massif of the Authion, the key to the enemy's defensive system in the Southern Alps.

After the end of the war, Garbay's military career continued in Madagascar, Indochina, Tunisia and Senegal, and he achieved the rank of lieutenant general. In 1955 he became Assistant Chief of Staff of the French Army and, in 1958, he was promoted to the rank of Army General and was appointed military governor of Paris. In 1959, he was appointed as Inspector of Overseas Forces.

On 1 April 1961, at his request, he relinquished control of the active army and he was placed in reserve. Pierre Garbay died on 17 July 1980 in Montluçon (Allier) and he was buried in Velesmes-Échevanne in Haute-Saône.