The Works of Charles de Gaulle

La discorde chez l'ennemi

(Discord among the enemy)

Berger-Levrault, 1924 (1st edition),

Plon, 1971

La discorde chez l'ennemi was a short work which met with no success on its publication. Only a handful of copies were sold, most of which were purchased by the German  Embassy. Consisting of five chapters, the book described in detail the attitudes of the German army…

Le Fil de l'épée

(translated as: The Edge of the Sword)

Berger-Levrault, 1932 (1st edition),

Plon, 1971

Le Fil de l'épée, first published in 1932, is one of De Gaulle's most famous works. Long before his rendezvous with history, the future General de Gaulle sets out the ideas to which he was to                   adhere throughout his life: on the contingency proper to each action, on the attitude of  the man of character, on the role of prestige in the art of command, or on the relations between the politician and the soldier.

Vers l'armée de métier

(translated as: The Army of the Future)

Berger-Levrault, 1934 (1st edition),

Plon, 1971

This extraordinary book enjoyed only a brief initial success in France but, by his own account, inspired General Guderian, the founder of Germany's mechanized armed forces.

La France et son armée

(translated as: France and her Army)

Plon, 1938 (1st edition), and 1971

France's historic destiny is, to a very great extent, identified with her military destiny. In this scholarly yet lively work, General de Gaulle retraces the history of her armies and her heroes, her victories and her reverses, but always with the same concern to bring out the human significance of so much military history

Trois études

(Three studies)

Berger-Levrault, 1945 (1st edition),

Plon, 1971

Containing:

The historic role of France's squares (1 December 1925)

Economic mobilisation abroad (1 January 1934)

How to create a professional army (12 January 1935)

Memorandum sent by Colonel de Gaulle to Generals Gamelin, Weygand and Georges and to Messrs. Daladier and Paul Reynaud (26 January 1940)

Mémoires de guerre

(translated as: War Memoirs)

Written during the years in the desert, the Mémoires de guerre are divided into three volumes, each covering a particular period of the Second World War:

* L'Appel (The Call to Honour) 1940-1942, Plon, 1954

** L'Unité (Unity) 1942-1944, Plon, 1956

*** Le Salut (Salvation) 1944-1946, Plon, 1959

Written in the first person, the memoirs give a detailed account of the progress of the Second World War as seen from the Gaullist point of view, i.e. from the standpoint of a man who incarnated the values of an eternal France, despite collapse and capitulation. Supporting his argument with annexed documents – telegrams, maps, figures – General de Gaulle emphasises certain themes such as the Empire or refusal to collaborate with the enemy. 

From behind this masterly depiction of the war, executed with dazzling style – "All my life, I have had a certain idea of France"; "For four years, Paris had been the remorse of the free world. Suddenly, she became its magnet…" – emerges the personality of the General. His joys, his disappointments and his philosophy of life are an underlying theme throughout the entire work.

Discours et messages

(Speeches and messages)

Plon, 1970

* Pendant la Guerre (During the war) (June 1940-January 1946)

** Dans l'Attente (In waiting) (February 1946-April 1958)

*** Avec le Renouveau (With the renewal) (May 1958-July 1962)

**** Pour l'Effort (On behalf of endeavour) (August 1962- December 1965)

***** Vers le Terme (Drawing to a term) (January 1966-April 1969).

These 5 volumes contain all the scheduled speeches made by General de Gaulle, from 18 June 1940 to 28 April 1969 and, as a result, the exact text has been preserved, either in the General's own handwriting in the case of his radio and television speeches, or in shorthand by the official recorder in the case of his speeches in public or to the National Assembly. The collection does not contain the (very many) impromptu speeches given by the General over the same period, to a wide variety of audiences, most of which cannot be reconstituted with any great accuracy.

Mémoires d'espoir

(translated as: Memoirs of Hope)

Written after de Gaulle stepped down from power, the Mémoires d'Espoir consist of only two volumes – the General never had time to write the third:

* Le Renouveau (Renewal) (1958-1962), Plon, 1970

** L'effort (Endeavour) (1962 ... ), Plon, 1971

The first volume sets out the various issues the General had to deal with as President of the Republic: institutions, France overseas, Algeria, the economy, Europe, relations with the rest of the world… The author again speaks in the first person, on a sober, factual note. The second volume contains only two chapters, "those fit for printing on 9 November 1970", according to an editor's note. 

The Mémoires d'Espoir, "which borrow a fine name from the Gospels, from Péguy and Malraux only to conceal a certain disenchanted serenity" (Stanley Hoffmann), are less exalted in tone than the Mémoires de guerre. They are the memoirs of a man aware of having completed his task: "After having steered the ship through stormy seas, I believe I can now, for some time, set her course on a calmer ocean".

Lettres, Notes et Carnets:

(Letters, notes and notebooks)

Introduction by Philippe de Gaulle

Plon, 1980-1988, 1997

The Lettres, Notes et Carnets set out in chronological order a selection of personal and official letters, personal and governmental telegrams, work, minutes, directives, notes, accounts and various jottings written by General de Gaulle. The selection was made by his son, Admiral Philippe de Gaulle.

Many of these writings are previously unpublished.

  • Volume 1 : 1905-1918, Plon, 1980
  • Volume 2 : 1919-June 1940, Plon, 1980
  • Volume 3 : June 1940-July 1941, Plon, 1981
  • Volume 4 : July 1941-May 1943, Plon, 1982
  • Volume 5 : June 1943-May 1945, Plon, 1983
  • Volume 6 : May1945-June 1951, Plon, 1984
  • Volume 7 : June 1951-May 1958, Plon, 1985
  • Volume 8 : June 1958-December 1960, Plon, 1985
  • Volume 9 : January 1961-December 1963, Plon, 1986
  • Volume 10 : January 1964-June 1966, Plon, 1986
  • Volume 11 : July 1966-April 1969, Plon, 1987
  • Volume 12 : May 1969-November 1970, Plon, 1988
  • Volume 13 : supplements 1924 to 1970, Plon, 1997