World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Joseph Darnand

Joseph Darnand
Joseph Darnand
Born (1897-03-19)19 March 1897
Coligny, Ain, Rhône-Alpes, France
Died 10 October 1945(1945-10-10) (aged 48)
Fort de Châtillon
Allegiance  France (to 1940)
 Vichy France (1940-1943)
 Nazi Germany (1943-1945)
Service/branch Schutzstaffel
Years of service 1916-1918
Rank SS-Sturmbannführer (Major)
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
  • Officer of the Legion of Honour (May 1940) (Knight: 7 April 1927)
  • Military Medal (23 July 1918)
  • Cross of War 1914-1918 ( 6 citations, 2 at army level)
  • Belgian Cross of War 1914-1918
  • Cross of War 1939-1945
Relations Antoinette Foucachon (1899-1994; spouse)
Jean-Philippe Darnand (son)

Joseph Darnand (19 March 1897 – 10 October 1945) was a French soldier, leader of the Vichy French collaborators with Nazi Germany and a Waffen-SS officer.


  • Early years and war service 1
  • Vichy collaborator 2
  • SS officer 3
  • Capture, trial and execution 4
  • References 5
  • Sources 6

Early years and war service

Darnand was born at Coligny, Ain, Rhône-Alpes in France.

On 8 January 1916, he enlisted in the 35th Infantry Regiment. He was promoted to corporal in April 1917, sergeant on 1 June 1917 and to adjutant (warrant officer) in 1918. Demobilised after the armistice, he again enlisted for two years in the army in September 1919. After a stint in the army of occupation in Germany, he participated in the campaign against the forces of Kemal Atatürk in Cilicia. He ended his service in July 1921 as a sub-lieutenant (second lieutenant). He worked as a cabinetmaker and later founded his own transportation company in Nice.

Between the wars, Darnand joined a number of right-wing political, paramilitary organizations:

  • Biography in l'Humanité, 23 March 1994
  • escape of Darnand Gerald Steinacher, „Ich mache Sie zum Erzbischof von Paris, wenn Sie uns helfen” Die Flucht der Vichy-Regierung nach Norditalien 1945, in: Der Schlern, Heft 1, 2007, p. 23–35.
  • Max Lagarrigue, 99 questions sur...les Français pendant l'Occupation (The French during German Occupation), Montpellier (France), CNDP, 2007.
  • This article incorporates text translated from the corresponding French WorldHeritage article.


  1. ^ "Joining Right Wing Groups - World At War Biography"
  2. ^ "New Bully".  
  3. ^ World at War Biography, see reference below
  4. ^ Dominique Venner, "Un destin français" in (2010) 47 La Nouvelle Revue d'Histoire at p. 31, citing Colonel Groussard, Service Secret at p. 464 and Henri Frenay, La Nuit finira at p. 267
  5. ^ Venner, at p.31
  6. ^ "Impact of Joseph Darnard on Milice and French Resistance from Spartacus Educational"
  7. ^ "France — The Aftermath of Liberation Timeline". The World at War. Retrieved 29 April 2010. 


In April 1945, he had to flee from Sigmaringen to Meran in Northern Italy. He was captured by the British in Italy on 25 June 1945 and taken back to France, where he was sentenced to death on 3 October 1945 and executed by firing squad on 10 October 1945 at the Fort de Châtillon.[7]

Capture, trial and execution

on 1 November 1944. Sturmbannführer. He received a promotion to Sigmaringen enclave in the puppet government and Allied advance, Darnand fled to Germany in September 1944 and joined Pétain's Normandy Invasion After the [6] In joining the SS, Darnand took a personal oath of loyalty to

After failing to join the Resistance, Darnand definitively turned to Nazi Germany and the next month was made an officer of the SS. Darnand's turn to the SS was also influenced by the fact that miliciens were being targeted for assassination by the Resistance but Vichy and Wehrmacht authorities refused to arm the Milice.[5]

SS officer

The next year, he founded the Milice. Although Pierre Laval was its official president, Darnand was its de facto leader. Darnand's political convictions were of the far right but he was known as a Germanophobe:[3] On three occasions he attempted to join the Resistance or flee to free French territory, but each attempt was rebuffed.[4] The last overture to the Free French was made in July 1943.

At the beginning of Bolshevism.

Vichy collaborator


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.