Pierre Marie Gallois

Pierre Marie Gallois

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Pierre Marie Gallois was a French
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 air force brigadier general
Brigadier General
Brigadier general is a senior rank in the armed forces. It is the lowest ranking general officer in some countries, usually sitting between the ranks of colonel and major general. When appointed to a field command, a brigadier general is typically in command of a brigade consisting of around 4,000...

 and geopolitician
Geopolitics, from Greek Γη and Πολιτική in broad terms, is a theory that describes the relation between politics and territory whether on local or international scale....

. He was instrumental in the constitution of the French nuclear arsenal. This earned him the nickname of father of the French atom bomb. However, Bruno Tertrais, a research fellow at the Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique, argued in "Destruction Assurée : The Origins and Development of French Nuclear Strategy, 1945-1981," an essay in Henry Sokolski, ed., Getting Mad: Nuclear mutual assured destruction, its origins and practice, that other contemporaries of Gallois in the community of French defense intellectuals deserve a greater share of the credit.


Gallois was born in Torino, Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, in 1911 as his parents were travelling. Gallois grew fond of flying as he watch fighters during his childhood during World War I. After studies at Lycée Janson de Sailly
Lycée Janson de Sailly
Lycée Janson de Sailly is a lycée located in the XVIe arrondissement of Paris, France. It is generally considered as one of the most prestigious lycées in Paris...

 and the War School in Versailles
Versailles , a city renowned for its château, the Palace of Versailles, was the de facto capital of the kingdom of France for over a century, from 1682 to 1789. It is now a wealthy suburb of Paris and remains an important administrative and judicial centre...

, he was made a Sous-Lieutenant
Second Lieutenant
Second lieutenant is a junior commissioned officer military rank in many armed forces.- United Kingdom and Commonwealth :The rank second lieutenant was introduced throughout the British Army in 1871 to replace the rank of ensign , although it had long been used in the Royal Artillery, Royal...

 in 1936 in a Sahara wing at Colomb-Béchar
Béchar , formerly known as Colomb-Béchar, is a capital city of Béchar Province, Algeria. The area is controlled by Algeria, though claims have also been made on it by Morocco. In 1998 the city had a population of 134,954....

, and later promoted to Lieutenant
A lieutenant is a junior commissioned officer in many nations' armed forces. Typically, the rank of lieutenant in naval usage, while still a junior officer rank, is senior to the army rank...

 the same year. In 1939, he was transferred to the General staff of the Fifth air region, in Algiers
' is the capital and largest city of Algeria. According to the 1998 census, the population of the city proper was 1,519,570 and that of the urban agglomeration was 2,135,630. In 2009, the population was about 3,500,000...


In 1943, Gallois reached Great Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

 and joined the Royal Air Force Bomber Command
RAF Bomber Command
RAF Bomber Command controlled the RAF's bomber forces from 1936 to 1968. During World War II the command destroyed a significant proportion of Nazi Germany's industries and many German cities, and in the 1960s stood at the peak of its postwar military power with the V bombers and a supplemental...

 as a bomber crewman. He took part in raids against German
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 industries until March 1945.

After the war, Gallois was detached to civil aviation and took part in conferences of the International Civil Aviation Organisation. He rejoined the Air Force
French Air Force
The French Air Force , literally Army of the Air) is the air force of the French Armed Forces. It was formed in 1909 as the Service Aéronautique, a service arm of the French Army, then was made an independent military arm in 1933...

 in 1948 as an aid in the cabinet of the chief of staff of the Armée de l'air. A specialist of equipment and manufacturing, he wrote the quinquennal plan for aeronautic production, which was accepted by the Parliament in August 1950, and studied production plans at the European level. He took part in discussions regarding the use of US aid in Western Europe.

From 1953 to 1954, Gallois, by then a colonel
Colonel , abbreviated Col or COL, is a military rank of a senior commissioned officer. It or a corresponding rank exists in most armies and in many air forces; the naval equivalent rank is generally "Captain". It is also used in some police forces and other paramilitary rank structures...

, was affected to the cabinet of the minister of Defence
Minister of Defence (France)
The Minister of Defense and Veterans Affairs is the French government cabinet member charged with running the military of France....

. He also worked for the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe
Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe
Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe is the central command of NATO military forces. It is located at Casteau, north of the Belgian city of Mons...

 at the same time, working on the consequences of the existence of weapons of mass destruction
Weapons of mass destruction
A weapon of mass destruction is a weapon that can kill and bring significant harm to a large number of humans and/or cause great damage to man-made structures , natural structures , or the biosphere in general...

 on modern strategy. From 1953, he campaigned for a French nuclear deterrence, stressing the notions of "personal deterrence" and "weak-to-strong deterrence" .

Gallois retired from the Army in 1957.

In 2003, he co-founded the Forum pour la France ("Forum for France"), which supports "sovereignty and independence of France". Gallois campaigned against the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe
Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe
The Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe , , was an unratified international treaty intended to create a consolidated constitution for the European Union...

He was a staunch supporter of Serbia during Balkan clashes, and one of the main critics of NATO and role of NATO in Yugoslav crisis. He was very respected and admired in Serbia due to that fact.

He died 24 August 2010 at the age of 99.

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