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Charles Mast
Birth name Emmanuel Charles Mast
Born 7 January 1889 (1889-01-07)
Died 30 September 1977(1977-09-30) (aged 88)
Place of birth Paris, France
Place of death Clamart, France
Allegiance  French Third Republic
Service/branch French Army
Years of service –1950
Rank Général d'Armée
Commands held 3rd North African Infantry Division
10th Army Corps
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Légion d'honneur

Emmanuel Charles Mast (January 7, 1889 in Paris - 30 September 1977 Clamart) was a major general who participated in the liberation of North Africa in 1942 and was Resident General of France in Tunisia between 1943 and 1947.

Prewar[edit | edit source]

He was the son of Michel-Edmond Mast, officer, and Jeanne Gouat, from Brumath, Alsace. Among his ancestors Protestant pastors Palatinate or Baden-Wuerttemberg who sought refuge in France in the seventeenth century, including Andreas Cellarius.

Before World War II, Colonel Mast is the French military attaché in Tokyo in 1937.

Beginning of World War II[edit | edit source]

Charles Mast is chief of staff of the 10th Army Corps, on 1 June 1940, Brigadier temporarily, then brigadier general. Taken prisoner by the Nazis in the same month, he was imprisoned in the Königstein Fortress. On 20 September 1941, while he plotted his escape, he learns that he will be liberated.

Mast was then appointed Head of the Algiers Division, then head of the 3rd North African Infantry Division. Suspected of being an opponent of the Vichy regime, he was imprisoned in 1941. His friend, Colonel Numata, Japanese military attache to the Vichy regime, demand his release and gets it. Charles Mast is leaving prison chief of staff of the 19th corps in 1942 in North Africa.

Allied landings in North Africa[edit | edit source]

General Charles Mast, who commanded instead of Algiers, is prominent in the physical preparation of landings. It is one of the earliest and most important collaborators of American services to prepare the operation. He meets at a clandestine meeting in Cherchell, October 23, 1942, on the coast, not far from Algiers, in the Teyssier villa, General Mark Wayne Clark, assistant and Dwight Eisenhower came secretly meet with various military and civilian representatives of the resistance, including Colonel Jousse, Charles Mast, and Bernard Karsenty, Deputy José Aboulker.

General Mark Wayne Clark, considered Charles Mast as spokesman for Henri Giraud and the head of the French armies in North Africa.

Henri Giraud, contacted by an American envoy and Jacques Lemaigre Dubreuil, agreed to participate in the operation. Mast, Chief of Staff of the Army Corps of Algiers, mediated between Giraud and Charles de Gaulle especially for militairy questions. They were opposed to Darlan and Alphonse Juin.

Charles Mast took command of the division march in Casablanca in 1942 and was appointed chief of military missions in Syria and Egypt in 1943.

On May 10, 1943, days after the capture of Tunis, General de Gaulle called Mast General resident in Tunisia. It begins on the field a strong recovery in the Protectorate hand. Moncef Bey was deposed on the grounds of collusion with the Germans but actually because of his refusal to separate the nationalists. Nationalist movements, including the Neo Destour are prohibited. Bourguiba, who had returned to Tunis in April, is under close supervision and is finally forced to flee to Cairo.

Charles Mast General remains resident until February 22, 1947, when he was replaced by Jean Mons.

French Indochina[edit | edit source]

General Mast is not initially a supporter of decolonization. His friend, General Georges Revers, intrigued to make him appointed High Commissioner of French Indochina instead of Leo Pignon. The government ended their projects, especially as they are involved in the Piastres affair.

As of February 20, 1947, he was major general with the rank of army commander and army general appellation. Back in France, Charles Mast between the Supreme Council of War. He is also director of the Institut des hautes études de défense nationale (IHEDN). In 1947, he became a Grand Officer of the Legion of Honor

Following the scandal born of the general case in 1950, he was in the general reserve, he did not remain inactive. He wrote books like The Story of a rebellion, November 8, 1942, and answered questions from journalists. He remained until his death very pessimistic about the capabilities of Western defense in case of attack on Western Europe by the armies of communist countries.

Family[edit | edit source]

Charles Mast married in 1913 to Suzanne Bigault of Casanove; they had a son, George Mast (1914-1978), Ecole Polytechnique, promoting, 1936.

He divorced and remarried 14 May 1935. His second wife, Marie-Madeleine Leroy, is a very close friend of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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