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Philippe Erulin

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Philippe Erulin

Philippe Erulin
Born 5 July 1932 (1932-07-05)
Dole, France
Died 26 September 1979 (1979-09-27)
Paris, France
Allegiance France
Service/branch French Army
Years of service 1952-1979
Rank Colonel
Commands held 2 REP
Battles/wars Suez Crisis
Algerian War
Shaba II
Awards Commander of the Légion d'honneur

Philippe Louis Edmé Marie François Erulin (5 July 1932, Dole, Jura – 26 September 1979) was a French Army officer. He gained notoriety in Algeria for allegedly taking part in the torture of Henri Alleg, and in Zaire for leading the Battle of Kolwezi.


Erulin graduated from the ESMIA on 29 September 1952. On 1 February 1953, he was promoted to corporal, and to sergeant on 1 April.

On 1 October 1954, Erulin was promoted to sous-lieutenant, and attended course at the École d'application de l'infanterie, in Saint Maixent.

On 20 January 1955, he was transferred to the 1st Parachute Chasseur Regiment, and rose to full lieutenant on 1 October 1956. On 10 June 1957, he took part in the arrest of Maurice Audin.

On 1 April 1961, Erulin was promoted to Captain. On 1 June 1962, he was put at the head of the 6th company of the 153rd motorised infantry regiment. On July 1968, he rose to major, and to lieutenant-colonel on 1 October 1973.

On 1 July 1976, Erulin was promoted to full colonel, and received command of the 2 REP, in Calvi. In this capacity, he led the regiment during the Battle of Kolwezi. During this period, he had Ante Gotovina as his personal driver.

The battle raised Erulin's mediatic profile and brought back the torture of Alleg to the foreground of public debate, with an article in Le Monde on 18 March 1978, and a television broadcast on Les Dossiers de l'Ecran, where René Andrieu mentioned Alleg's ordeal.[1]


  • Commander of the Légion d'honneur
  • Croix de la Valeur militaire (4 citations)
  • Overseas Medal with "Zaire" clasp
  • Croix de la bravoure militaire with palm (Zaire)
  • Croix du combattant
  • Chevalier dans l'ordre du Mérite agricole
  • Commemorative Medal for the Middle East (1956)
  • North Africa Security and Order Operations Commemorative Medal with "Algérie" clasp (1958)
  • Insigne des blessés militaires (twice)
  • Médaille de bronze de la Jeunesse et des Sports


  • Zaïre : sauver Kolwezi, by Philipe Erulin, Édition Montbel (Photo album)

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