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Beaufre, Andre (1902-1973).

French general and military theorist. Principal wars: World War II (1939-1945); French Indochinese War (1946-1954); Suez Canal Expedition (1956). Principal campaigns: Tunisia (1943); Italy (1943-1945); Tonkin (1951-1952); Suez (1956).

Born at Neuilly-sur-Seine (January 25, 1902); at the start of World War II he was attached to Gen. Maxime Weygand's headquarters, and accompanied him as commander of Vichy forces in North Africa after the fall of France (June 1940); remained in Algeria after Weygand was dismissed (November 1941) and served on the staff of Gen. Henri Giraud; sided with the Allies after the TORCH landings (November 1942) and joined the Free French forces; fought in Tunisia (November 1942-May 1943) and Italy (September 1943-May 1945) under Giraud; as colonel, served on the staff of Marshal Jean de Lattre de Tassigny in Indochina (December 1950-September 1952), but also won distinction leading columns in the field in Tonkin; returned to France; as lieutenant general, was deputy Allied land force commander in the Anglo-French assault on the Suez Canal (October 3-November 7, 1956); commander in chief of French forces in NATO and deputy chief of staff for logistics at SHAPE (Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers, Europe) (1956-1960); retired at his own request (1961) and later published his famous Introduction to Strategy (1963), which put forth his concept of total strategy and strictly limited use of nuclear weapons; became a leading advocate for the development of France's own nuclear forces, the Force de Frappe; while in Yugoslavia on a speaking tour, died suddenly in his Belgrade hotel room of heart disease (February 12, 1973).

An experienced and capable soldier; Beaufre's renown rests with his writings on strategy and nuclear weapons; he argued that the use of nuclear weapons can be managed and will not automatically lead to widespread use; he also explored the implications of a wider definition of strategy, embracing a range of commitment from political destabilization up through full-scale war. <BL>

Beaufre, Andre, An Introduction to Strategy. Paris, 1963; London,
Beaufre, Andre, Strategy of Action. Paris, 1966; London, 1967.
London Times obituaries, February 13, 1973.


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Author:Bongard, David L.
Publication:The Harper Encyclopedia of Military Biography
Article Type:Reference Source
Date:Jan 1, 1992
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