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Gabriel Auphan file photo [17385]

Gabriel Auphan

Given NameGabriel
Born4 Nov 1894
Died16 Apr 1982


ww2dbaseGabriel Paul Auphan was promoted to the rank of capitaine de vaisseau in 1936 and was attached to the navy ministry in the years leading up to the European War. In 1940, he was placed in charge of French civilian shipping. In 1941, he was made the chief of staff of the naval forces of Vichy France, and shortly after Admiral François Darlan's chief of the cabinet. In 1942, after Darlan turned to the Allies, Auphan became the head of the French Navy. He had anti-German sentiments, and promoted a neutral stance toward the British, even after the British had attacked French warships and bases on several occasions. On 15 Nov 1942, he attempted to convince his operational commanders, particularly Jean de Laborde, to sail the warships out of Toulon, France as the German threat was growing, but the attempt was unsuccessful. In protest, he resigned his position three days later. Auphan's intuition would be correct, as on 19 Nov the Germans had set in motion the operation to capture Toulon, and it was carried out on 27 Nov. In Aug 1944, Vichy French leader Philippe Pétain sent Auphan to Britain to negotiate with Charles de Gaulle for his recognition of the French government, he would not be successful. After the war, he was tried in absentia was and sentenced to life-imprisonment in a labor camp. He surrendered himself in 1955, and he served a reduced sentence of five years imprisonment and five years of dégradation nationale (the latter made him a second-class citizen for that period).

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia

Last Major Revision: Feb 2013


Portrait of Gabriel Auphan, Mar 1927

Gabriel Auphan Timeline

4 Nov 1894 Gabriel Auphan was born in Alès, France.
15 Nov 1942 Gabriel Auphan attempted, in failure, to convince Jean de Laborde to sail the French fleet out of Toulon, France.
18 Nov 1942 Gabriel Auphan resigned from his position as the head of the French Navy.
16 Apr 1982 Gabriel Auphan passed away.

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Portrait of Gabriel Auphan, Mar 1927

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