David Galula

David Galula

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David Galula

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David Galula (1919–1967) was a French military officer and scholar who was influential in developing the theory and practice of counterinsurgency warfare.

Life and career

Born in Sfax, then part of the French colony of Tunisia, Galula obtained his baccalauréat in Casablanca, and graduated from the École spéciale militaire de Saint-Cyr in the number 126 promotion of 1939-1940.

In 1941, he was expelled from the French officer corps, in accordance with the Statute on Jews of the Vichy State. After living as a civilian in North Africa, he joined the I Corps of the Army of the Liberation, and served during the liberation of France, receiving a wound during the battle for Elba in June 1944.

Galula departed for China in 1945 to work as an assistant military attaché at the French embassy in Beijing, where he witnessed the rise to power of the Chinese Communist Party. In 1948, he took part in the United Nations Special Committee on the Balkans (UNSCOB) during the Greek Civil War. From 1952 to February 1956, he served as a military attaché at the French consulate in Hong Kong. He visited the Philippines, and studied the Indochina War without taking part in it.

From August 1956 to April 1958, during the Algerian War, Galula, then a captain, led the 3rd Company of the 45th Bataillon d'Infanterie Coloniale. He distinguished himself by applying personal tactics in counterinsurgency to his sector of Kabylie, at Djebel Mimoun, near...
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