Henri Philippe Petain Marshal (1856-1951)

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Petain had been commander-in-chief of the French Army during the First World War. Right-wing in his beliefs, he embarked on a political career in 1934 when he was made Minister for War. In March 1939 he was sent to Fascist Spain as the French ambassador. He was recalled and made Prime Minister in June 1940, signing the armistice with Germany on 22 June. The National assembly convened in Vichy in the unoccupied sector on July 10 and Petain declared himself Head of State. By November 1942 German forces occupied all of France and he became a puppet leader. Petain was tried for treason in July 1945, deprived of his military rank and sentenced to death, although this penalty was commuted to life imprisonment