Décorations du général Salan
Musée des TDM à Fréjus
Great Volunteer Servicemen
Raoul Salan was born on June 10, 1899 at Roquecourbe, Tarn.
On August 2, 1917, he joined the army during the war and was later admitted into Ecole de Saint Cyr. As section leader of the 5th Colonial Infantry Regiment, he fought several battles in the Verdun region for which he was commended.
He volunteered for the Levant, and was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on September 11, 1921. On October 24, during the battle of Accham, he was seriously wounded and was repatriated to France for treatment. In 1924, still as a volunteer, he set out for Indochina where he was sent to the 3rd regiment of the Tonkin infantry. Promoted to the rank of captain on April 28, 1933, he took command of the 6th company of the 19th Combined Colonial Infantry Regiment in October 1934.
When the Second World War broke out, he was battalion commander and embarked on a secret mission to Egypt and Sudan to lend support to the Abyssinian resistance against Fascist occupation. On June 5, 1940, Raoul Salan was at the forefront of the Somme battle, leading a battalion of the 44th Senegalese Combined Colonial Infantry Regiment. He distinguished himself through his delay tactics during fall-back operations on the Loire. On June 25, 1941 he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel and sent again to serve in Africa. On May 30, 1944, Colonel Salan became commander of the 6th RTS regiment in Corsica. On August 19, 1944, his regiment landed at Var where he led fierce battles against German forces for the liberation of Toulon. In just one week, 587 soldiers of the 6th RTS regiment were killed, wounded or reported missing...
In November 1944, Colonel Salan led the 6th RTS regiment, which had become the 6th Colonial Infantry Regiment, to the Doubs where he destroyed German pockets of resistance, and then to Alsace where he liberated several localities. He was promoted to Brigadier General and made commander of the 9th Colonial Infantry Regiment which defeated German forces that occupied Colmar. The war ended with Salan as head of the 14th Infantry Division.
In January 1952, after the death of General de Lattre de Tassigny, General Salan took over as commander of the French forces in Indochina. It was thanks to his military strategy that they won the Na San battle.