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Honoré d'ESTIENNE d'ORVES

French Honoré d'ESTIENNE d'ORVES

French Navy officer, reputed "first martyr of Free France" and one of the major heroes of the French Resistance

Source :  Jean Luc de ROBILLARD

Born: on June 06, 1901 in Verrières-le-Buisson, France
Died: on August 29, 1941 in Suresnes, France


Biography

D'Estienne d'Orves was educated in a conservative and very Catholic family, and a remote cousin of Antoine de Saint Exupéry and of Louise de Vilmorin, later companion of André Malraux, d'Estienne d'Orves spent the First World War as a high school student at the prestigious Lycée Louis-le-Grand, and entered the École Polytechnique in 1921. He joined the naval school two years later, becoming an enseigne de vaisseau de 2e classe in October 1923 and joining the school ship Jeanne d'Arc. He was then an officer on the battleship Provence, and several other vessels. In 1929, he married Éliane de Lorgeril, with whom he had five children.

In 1930, he was promoted to lieutenant de vaisseau, and made a chevalier de la Légion d'honneur in 1935. In December 1936, he joined the Naval War School for one year. When World War II broke out in 1939, he was serving aboard the Jaguar, as under-chief of the Headquarter of the 2nd flotilla of torpedo boats in Mediterranean Sea. In December 1939, he was an aid to Admiral Godfroy in the Headquarters of the "Force X" aboard cruiser Duquesne

on June,25th,1940,the day of the Armistice, he was in Alexandria, Egypt; politically, d'Estienne d'Orves was very right-wing, and had sympathies for Charles Maurras and Catholic monarchism; nonetheless, while many far-right wing theoricists welcomed the arrival of Marshal Philippe Pétain, the strongly patriotic d'Estienne d'Orves was unwilling to accept France's final defeat. He deserted, gathered a group of voluntary sailors and officers, took the nom de guerre (undercover name) "Chateauvieux" (name of one of his ancestors) and came into relations with the Free France authorities. He set sail on cargo ship from Aden to London, sailing all around Africa for two months, and rejoined General de Gaulle in London on 27 September 1940.

He met with Admiral Émile Muselier, but was unable to obtain a command at sea. Promoted to capitaine de corvette (lieutenant commander) on 1 October 1940, he joined the Second Office of the Naval Free French Forces Headquarters; requesting to be sent to occupied France, and after having convinced General de Gaulle, he received the mission to organise an intelligence network in Western France, codenamed Nemrod, which had been created in September 1940 by Maurice Barlier and Jan Doornik, but lacked coordination and development. He was officially assigned to this task on 15 December 1940.

Source :  http://www.wikipedia.org/

See Also :

- Category World Wars & Contemporary Wars