France has had a strong history and a glorious past when it comes to traditions, culture and heritage. While the country today boasts of having an unfaltering air of luxury and cinematography, things hadn’t been the same as always. The country rose to power during the rule of Louis XIV. Throughout its long history, it has exerted strong influence, culturally, economically and politically. What has stood in its favour and helped the Alpine country become a great power today has been its military. The fifth largest military spender in the world, it has been home to major military industries and has one of the largest aerospace industries of the world. And adding to the fame and glory of French military were its leaders - courageous, resilient, valiant and heroic. Unless you have been living under the rock, names like Napoleon, Joan of Arc, Marquis de Lafayette, William the Conqueror and Louis IX of France wouldn’t be unheard of. While Napoleon is till date regarded as the greatest military commander of all times, Louis IX of France was the most powerful European ruler of his time. Marquis de Lafayette’s contribution before and after the French Revolution was ground-breaking for it was he who helped shape France’s political structure. Check out information on famous French military leaders.
William the ConquerorWilliam the Conqueror
1028 AD
King of England
Charles de GaulleCharles de Gaulle
22 November 1890
Former President of France

Philippe PétainPhilippe Pétain
24 April 1856
Marshal of France

Charles MartelCharles Martel
0686 AD
Military Leader

Napoleon BonaparteNapoleon Bonaparte
15 August 1769
Emperor of the French

Alfred DreyfusAlfred Dreyfus
09 October 1859
Artillery Officer
Marquis de LafayetteMarquis de Lafayette
06 September 1757
French Aristocrat and Military Leader

Joachim MuratJoachim Murat
25 March 1767
Marshal of France

Michel NeyMichel Ney
10 January 1769
Soldier
Charles I, Duke of BrittanyCharles I, Duke of Brittany
1319 AD
Medieval Breton Leaders

RolloRollo
0846 AD
King
Gilad ShalitGilad Shalit
28 August 1986
Sports columnist, Soldier, Journalist, Investment

Louis Antoine, Duke of AngoulêmeLouis Antoine, Duke of Angoulême
06 August 1775
King

Prince Eugene of SavoyPrince Eugene of Savoy
18 October 1663
Officer

François DarlanFrançois Darlan
07 August 1881
Politician, Military personnel

Alan Brooke, 1st Viscount AlanbrookeAlan Brooke, 1st Viscount Alanbrooke
23 July 1883
Military Officer
Maxime WeygandMaxime Weygand
21 January 1867
Military personnel, Officer

Louis-Nicolas DavoutLouis-Nicolas Davout
10 May 1770
General

Hugues de PayensHugues de Payens
1070 AD
knight

Philippe Leclerc de HauteclocquePhilippe Leclerc de Hauteclocque
22 November 1902
Military Personnel
Maurice GamelinMaurice Gamelin
20 September 1872
military personnel

Jean LannesJean Lannes
10 April 1769
War General
Gnaeus Julius AgricolaGnaeus Julius Agricola
13 June 0040
General

Louis Antoine de BougainvilleLouis Antoine de Bougainville
12 November 1729
Explorer

André MassénaAndré Masséna
06 May 1758
French military commander
Louis-Joseph de MontcalmLouis-Joseph de Montcalm
28 February 1712
Military personnel

Robert, 1st Earl of GloucesterRobert, 1st Earl of Gloucester
1090 AD
Military chief
Jean-de-Dieu SoultJean-de-Dieu Soult
29 March 1769
Politician, Military personnel

Henry I, Duke of GuiseHenry I, Duke of Guise
31 December 1550
Noblemen

Louis-Alexandre BerthierLouis-Alexandre Berthier
20 November 1753
Military chief
Pierre-Charles VilleneuvePierre-Charles Villeneuve
31 December 1763
Naval Officer

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James FitzJames, 1st Duke of BerwickJames FitzJames, 1st Duke of Berwick
21 August 1670
Duke
Alexandre de BeauharnaisAlexandre de Beauharnais
28 May 1760
Political figure

Simon de Montfort, 5th Earl of LeicesterSimon de Montfort, 5th Earl of Leicester
1160 AD
Nobleman

Louis, Grand CondéLouis, Grand Condé
08 September 1621
General

Georges Ernest BoulangerGeorges Ernest Boulanger
29 April 1837
Politician
Francis, Duke of GuiseFrancis, Duke of Guise
17 February 1519
General
Ante GotovinaAnte Gotovina
12 October 1955
General

Robert NivelleRobert Nivelle
15 October 1856
Military personnel

Alphonse JuinAlphonse Juin
16 December 1888
Officer, Military personnel

Raymond IV, Count of ToulouseRaymond IV, Count of Toulouse
1041 AD
Leader
Bertrand du GuesclinBertrand du Guesclin
1320 AD
Military Commander

Louis-Eugène CavaignacLouis-Eugène Cavaignac
15 October 1802
General

Johann de KalbJohann de Kalb
19 June 1721
Military officer

Charles François DumouriezCharles François Dumouriez
26 January 1739
General

Jean BartJean Bart
21 October 1650
Military officer
Claude, Duke of GuiseClaude, Duke of Guise
20 October 1496
Nobleman

Jean Victor Marie MoreauJean Victor Marie Moreau
14 February 1763
General
François Joseph Paul de GrasseFrançois Joseph Paul de Grasse
13 September 1722
Comte de Grasse

Charles III, Duke of BourbonCharles III, Duke of Bourbon
17 February 1490
Military Leader

Jean-Baptiste JourdanJean-Baptiste Jourdan
29 April 1762
Commander
Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of SavoyEmmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy
08 July 1528
Duke Of Savoy

Christian de CastriesChristian de Castries
11 August 1902
Military Commander
Claude Joseph Rouget de LisleClaude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
10 May 1760
Army Officer

Jean-Baptiste KléberJean-Baptiste Kléber
09 March 1753
Military General

Marcel BigeardMarcel Bigeard
14 February 1916
Military Officer

Jean-Baptiste BessièresJean-Baptiste Bessières
06 August 1768
General

Georges GuynemerGeorges Guynemer
24 December 1894
French Pilot
Pierre AugereauPierre Augereau
21 October 1757
Military commander

Hubert LyauteyHubert Lyautey
17 November 1854
French General

François Achille BazaineFrançois Achille Bazaine
13 February 1811
Army Officer

MagnentiusMagnentius
0303 AD
commander
Pierre André de SuffrenPierre André de Suffren
17 July 1729
Admiral

Louis DesaixLouis Desaix
17 August 1768
General
Jean de DunoisJean de Dunois
23 November 1402
Military commander

François de La RocqueFrançois de La Rocque
06 October 1885
Political Leader

Frederick Schomberg, 1st Duke of SchombergFrederick Schomberg, 1st Duke of Schomberg
06 December 1615
Marshal
Jean-Andoche JunotJean-Andoche Junot
24 September 1771
General

Louis Charles DelescluzeLouis Charles Delescluze
02 October 1809
Revolutionary leader
Louis Joseph, Duke of VendômeLouis Joseph, Duke of Vendôme
01 July 1654
General

François Joseph LefebvreFrançois Joseph Lefebvre
25 October 1755
Military Commander

Olivier de ClissonOlivier de Clisson
23 April 1336
Soldier
Louis Alexandre, Count of ToulouseLouis Alexandre, Count of Toulouse
06 June 1678
Admiral

Arthur III, Duke of BrittanyArthur III, Duke of Brittany
24 August 1393
Military commander
François de CharetteFrançois de Charette
02 May 1763
Soldier

Henri Rol-TanguyHenri Rol-Tanguy
12 June 1908
Military Leader

William Iron ArmWilliam Iron Arm
1010 AD
Adventurer

François Christophe de KellermannFrançois Christophe de Kellermann
28 May 1735
General
Thierry, Count of FlandersThierry, Count of Flanders
1099 AD
Count of Flanders
Claude Victor-Perrin, Duc de BellunoClaude Victor-Perrin, Duc de Belluno
07 December 1764
Soldier

Édouard Mortier, Duke of TréviseÉdouard Mortier, Duke of Trévise
13 February 1768
General

Louis I de Bourbon, prince de CondéLouis I de Bourbon, prince de Condé
07 May 1530
General

Émile GentilÉmile Gentil
04 April 1866
Military Leader
Thomas Robert BugeaudThomas Robert Bugeaud
15 October 1784
Marshal of France

François-Henri de Montmorency, duc de LuxembourgFrançois-Henri de Montmorency, duc de Luxembourg
08 January 1628
General

Thomas Arthur, comte de LallyThomas Arthur, comte de Lally
13 January 1702
Military general

Charles LanrezacCharles Lanrezac
30 July 1852
French general

Patrice de Mac-Mahon, Duke of MagentaPatrice de Mac-Mahon, Duke of Magenta
13 July 1808
 
Edmond JouhaudEdmond Jouhaud
02 April 1905
General

Armand-Augustin-Louis de CaulaincourtArmand-Augustin-Louis de Caulaincourt
09 December 1773
Soldier
Marcellin MarbotMarcellin Marbot
18 August 1782
General

Charles, Duke of MayenneCharles, Duke of Mayenne
26 March 1554
Military leader
Jean DecouxJean Decoux
05 May 1884
French Admiral
André BeaufreAndré Beaufre
25 January 1902
General