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From the fall of France until 1943, Leclerc dovetailed his operations w But for his early death, many Frenchmen believe Leclerc would have been their greatest figure to emerge from World War II.

From the fall of France until 1943, Leclerc dovetailed his operations with the British effort in North Africa, establishing himself as a dynamic combat leader in the battles against Rommel.

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He could also be difficult, prickly, and verging on the insubordinate.

In the rush to close the Falaise pocket, his tanks impeded the Americans by blundering out of their own designated areas - something a more efficient commander might have avoided, and which perhaps allowed the allied victory to be less overwhelmingly successful than it would otherwise have been.

With a fast-paced narrative covering combat at all levels of command and a foreword by Martin Windrow, author of The Last Valley: Dien Bien Phu and the French Defeat in Vietnam, Free France's Lion will make fascinating reading for any serious student of the full scope of World War II. It is highly entertaining and helps bring to light apart of World War II that many readers know little about French Africa.

REVIEWS a solid biography of the man who was a hero in France during and after the war, second only to- or even exceeding-Charles de Gaulle in popularity and respect does a good job, in particular, of allowing readers to feel sand in the nostrils when Leclerc is raiding with his tiny band of Gaullists in the desert, and also allowing readers to feel the swelling sense of pride, excitement, and drama when the veterans of Chad and the Fezzan race into the boulevards of Paris in 1944 Moore demonstrates conclusively that Leclerc served as a lion of Free France. Portland Book Review a must read for any serious student of World War II in Europe. It would be an excellent addition to any community, college or personal library.

But once the conflict shifted to European soil he became even more prominent as the commander of the 2nd French Armored Division (the famous 2e DB).

For the next two years he was under the operational control of either Patton's Third Army, as in the Normandy breakout, Hodges' First Army, at the Westwall, or Patch's Seventh Army in the south.Leclerc rallied much of France's African Empire to de Gaulle, and conducted brilliant operations against the Italians in the difficult conditions of the Sahara desert - operations which are almost always overlooked in Anglocentric accounts of the North African campaign. His hatred of the Pétainists was understandable; less so his continuing distrust of those who joined the cause only after disillusion with Vichy had set in.Later, his brilliant lightning dash to liberate Paris rightly became the stuff of legend. Some of his actions seem petty, such as refusing permission to the ex-Vichy sailors who manned his tank destroyers to wear their coveted red lanyards, a battle honour dating from the first world war.I loved Moore's description of these shipless sailors in their tank destroyers, and their brilliant combat record in many beautifully described combat operations.Eventually, Leclerc comes to love and appreciate them too, and gives them back their red lanyards.By the German surrender in May 1945, Leclerc is one of very few Frenchmen of whom it can be said that he never stopped fighting to regain France's freedom, from the debacle of 1940 right through to the end.


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