Raoul Salan

Raoul Albin Louis Salan (10 June 1899 - 3 July 1984) was an officer in the French Army and the fourth French commanding general during the First Indochina War. Salan was one of four generals who organized the 1961 Algiers Putsch operation and then founded the Organisation de l'armée secrète.


Salan was born in Roquecourbe, Tarn. After the Second World War, he became commander of French forces in Tonkin and signed agreements regarding the disposition of French troops within Vietnam. 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. Although he was probably the most experienced officer in Indochina, the new government led up by René Mayer wanted a new policy in Indochina and replaced him in January 1953 with Henri Navarre, who was previously in charge in the intelligence service, not on field operations.

On 16 January 1957, while commander of the 10th military area and interarmy commander in Algiers, Salan was the target of an assassination attempt using a bazooka, resulting in the death of a French major. The attackers were French residents of Algiers who wanted to replace Salan with General René Cogny, whom they saw as a more energetic leader. The group's leader blamed the influence of a group of six prominent French politicians, which included future French Prime Minister Michel Debré (a senator at the time of the incident), as inspiration for the assassination attempt. However, he did not present any evidence to support the claim, and an investigation did not produce any definite answers about their involvement in the attack.

On May 13, 1958 as part of the Résurrection operation, Salan led an insurrection of the French military fighting in Algeria which called for the return to power of Charles De Gaulle. After his successful return to power, Charles De Gaulle appointed him general inspector of the army, forcing him to return to mainland France. After being put in early retirement by Charles De Gaulle, Raoul Salan went to Spain where he met with Ramón Serrano Súñer. He returned to Algeria to organize the putsch on 21 April 1961 with André Zeller, Edmond Jouhaud and Maurice Challe. After the failure of the putsch, he became the chief of OAS under the name Soleil(Sun). He was seconded by Edmond Jouhaud, Soleil-Bis. He was arrested in Algiers and charged with treason



  • 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


External links

Note: the above links are written in French.

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