Marcel Carpentier

Marcel Maurice Carpentier (2 March 1895 – 14 September 1977) was a French Army general who served in World War I, World War II and First Indochina War.

Marcel Carpentier
Minister van Oorlog C. Staf met de Franse generaal M. Carpentier, bevelhebber va, Bestanddeelnr 906-0224.jpg
Carpentier (centre, 1953)
Born2 March 1895 (1895-03-02)
Marseille, France
Died14 September 1977(1977-09-14) (aged 82)
Mettray, France
Allegiance France
Service/branchFrench Army
Years of service1914–1956
RankGénéral d'Armée
Commands held2nd Moroccan Infantry Division
French Far East Expeditionary Corps
Battles/warsWorld War I
World War II
First Indochina War
AwardsGrand Cross of the Legion of Honor

Early lifeEdit

Born on 2 March 1895 in Marseille, he was the eldest son in his family. At 18 he entered the French military academy of Saint-Cyr, in August 1914 he was commissioned as a second lieutenant, less than a year later he was the youngest captain in the French Army at only 20, he started training to become a pilot. During the First World War he was wounded multiple times.[1]

Military careerEdit

In 1937 he was Chef d'état-major (chief of staff) of the Commandant supérieur of Levantine Troops. From 1940-1941 he served under Jean de Lattre de Tassigny as chief of staff of the commander in chief of North Africa at the headquarters of Vichy French forces in Tunisia. In 1942 Carpentier joined General Charles de Gaulle's Free French forces, becoming chief of staff of the French Expeditionary Corps in 1943. He continued in this post until 1944, when he became Commander of the 2nd Moroccan Division, with which he served until 1945.[1] After World War II he was in charge of France's 15 military regions and was appointed Commandant supérieur of Tunisian Troops in 1946. He was made Grand Officer of the French Legion of Honor in 1947. In 1949 he was appointed commander-in-chief of French Union forces in Indochina, but in 1950 following the disastrous defeat in the Battle of Route Coloniale 4 he was replaced by de Lattre.[2] Carpentier then returned to Europe to become chief of staff assigned to NATO in 1951, serving there until 1952. In 1956 he was appointed Inspector General of Infantry, eventually retiring as Commander in Chief of NATO for Central Europe.[1]



  1. ^ a b c Spencer C. Tucker 2011, p. 171-172.
  2. ^ Fredrik Logevall 2012, p. 244-245.


  • Fredrik Logevall (2012). Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America's Vietnam. Random House Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-679-64519-1.
  • Spencer C. Tucker (20 May 2011). The Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War: A Political, Social, and Military History, 2nd Edition [4 volumes]: A Political, Social, and Military History. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-1-85109-961-0.

Further readingEdit