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Jean Gilles (Soldier)

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Jean Gilles (Soldier)

Jean Gilles
Born 14 October 1904
Perpignan, France
Died 10 August 1961(1961-08-10) (aged 56)
Mont-Louis, France
Allegiance  France
Service/branch French Army
Years of service 1924-1961
Rank Général de corps d'armée
Commands held 1er DBCCP
GOMRN
25th Airborne Division
Corps d’Armée de Constantine
Battles/wars World War II
First Indochina War
Algerian War
Suez Crisis

Jean Marcellin Joseph Calixte Gilles (14 October 1904 – 10 August 1961) was a French Army general. He was born in Perpignan, France on October 14, 1904. His father, Joseph Gilles, was killed in the First World War.[1]

At age 12, Jean enrolled in a military school and later studied at the renowned Saint-Cyr Military Academy, where he lost an eye in an accident during training, replacing it with one made of glass. He fought in the Battle of France in World War II. He was later arrested in Spain for trying to join the French resistance forces and so spent the rest of the war in a Spanish prison. He commanded all French Airborne forces during the First Indochina War, most notably at Dien Bien Phu (1954). He later commanded the 11th Demi-Brigade Parachutiste de Choc (Shock Demi-Brigade) in the Suez Crisis (1956).[2]

His son, Michel Gilles, died in Algeria on February 2, 1961. Jean died of a heart attack in August of the same year.[3]

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