Gaston Billotte

Gaston Billotte was born in Sommeval, France in 1875. After graduating from St. Cyr in 1896 he joined the naval infantry. He made steady progress in the French Army and in 1930 became commander of all troops in Indochina.

In 1937 Billotte was appointed as military governor of Paris and on the outbreak of the Second World War was given the command of the 1st French Army Group. After protecting the Maginot Line his troops into Belgium during the Western Offensive. On 12th June he was made head of all Allied troops in Holland. When the Dutch surrendered two days later, Billotte ordered all Allied troops to withdraw to the Escaut River.

Soon after leaving a conference with General Maxime Weygand at Ypres on 21st May 1940, Billotte was involved in a car accident. Gaston Billotte died after two days in a coma.