Bigeard and his barracks mates,
in the Aimé barracks,
in Hagueneau, 1936.
Major Bigeard in Indochina. ECPA
Indochina - 1953
Major Bigeard receiving a new bar on the pennant of the 6 th Colonial Parachutists Battalion. ECPA.
Remise de drapeau
par le colonel Bigeard.
Le Colonel Bigeard donnant
ses instructions de saut,
à Dien Bien
Famous Volunteer Servicemen
BIGEARD Marcel, know as "Bruno"
He was born at Toul, in the Abbaye neighbourhood, in 1916, the year of the Verdun Battle.
During the Second World War, having escaped from Germany , this resistant soldier, officer of the Free French Forces, was parachuted in the Ariège, which he liberated in 1944.
Major Bigeard, nicknamed ''Bruno'', subsequently fought in Indochina, where his incredible bravery, especially during the heroic battle of Dien Bien Phu, coupled with his panache and the veneration he enjoyed from his men made him to become not only so popular in France but a living legend to the entire whole.
“Believe and fear not”
During the Algerian War, Colonel Bigeard’s reputation as an extraordinary warrior soared thanks to his motto of '' BELIEVE AND FEAR NOT '', the exceptional efficiency he exhibited in the way he commanded his paratroopers and commandos, and the triumphs he scored in the execution of daring quasi-impossible missions entrusted to him, as well as during counter-guerrilla warfare in the Djebels and in Algiers.
Despite all sorts of cleavages and tortures, he steered clear of the April 1961 military coup and all along remained steadfast to General de Gaulle till the end.
General Bigeard subsequently served in Central African Republic , Madagascar and France , where he became Commander of the Bordeaux Military District.
Finally, from 1978 to 1988, he served as Minister under President Giscard d'Estaing.
Marcel Bigeard is the author of 14 books, published between 1957 and 2004.
Marcel Bigeard has received 25 military commendations, 17 of which were decorations with bar. In his war history, he was injured 5 times.
He is holder of the Legion of Honour Grand Cross, the Resistance Medal, the D.S.O., the Croix de Guerre et de la Valeur militaire (war and military valour cross) and many other military as well as non-military awards.