Marie Pierre Koenig

Marie Pierre Koenig

Marie Pierre Koenig was born in Caen, France on 10th October 1898. He joined the French Army and was decorated during the First World War. He remained in the army and during the 1930s served in Morocco.

On the outbreak of the Second World War he returned to France and in 1940 was sent to Norway where his troops fought the German Army near Narvik. He also saw action in Normandy before escaping to England from Dunkirk.

Koenig joined General Charles De Gaulle in London and after being promoted to colonel, he was appointed chief of staff of the 1st Free French Division and took part in the campaign in Syria and Lebanon in the summer of 1941.

Promoted to general he was given command of the 1st Free French Brigade in Egypt. He served under General Neil Richie in the summer of 1942 and managed to hold off the Deutsches Afrika Korps at Bir Hacheim until being forced to withdraw on 10th June, 1942.

Koenig returned to London in April 1944 and was given command of the Free French force that took part in the D-Day landings in France. On 21st August 1944, General Charles De Gaulle appointed Koenig military governor of Paris.

After the war Koenig headed the French occupation zone in Germany (1945-49). Elected to the chamber of deputies in 1951, Koenig served as minister of defence under Pierre Mendes-France and Edgar Faure. Marie Pierre Koenig died in Paris on 2nd September 1970.