Émile René Lemonnier was a French Army general who served during World War I and World War II. Stationed in French Indochina in 1945, he was beheaded by the Japanese during their March coup d'état. Lemonnier was born to Emile Jean Lemonnier, a saddler by trade, Marie Ernestine Fournier on November 11, 1893, in Chateau-Gontier in the Mayenne, he graduated from the College Chateau-Gontier in 1910 and entered the École Polytechnique in 1912. In 1914 Lemonnier was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the 25th Artillery Regiment and received several citations. In 1918, he transferred to the French Colonial Forces. In 1920 he was made a Knight of the Legion of Honour. From 1925–1936 he served in French West Africa, he left France for the last time in 1937. On March 9, 1945, General Lemonnier while commander of the Lang Son area received an invitation from the Japanese forces to a banquet of the headquarters of the division of the Imperial Japanese Army. Lemonnier declined to attend the event, however he allowed some of his staff to attend the banquet.
The French staff officers present at the banquet were taken prisoner by the Japanese. Lemonnier was subsequently taken prisoner himself and ordered by a Japanese general to sign a document formally surrendering the forces under his command. Lemonnier refused to sign the documents causing the Japanese to take him outside of Lang Son where they forced him to dig graves along with French Resident-superior Camille Auphelle. Again Lemonnier was again refused; the Japanese beheaded him. Lemonnier was re-interred in France on March 1950, at Château-Gontier. Camp Lemonnier, adjacent to Djibouti–Ambouli International Airport is named after him. On March 25, 1957, the former Rue des Tuileries was renamed Avenue Général-Lemonnier in his honor. Gen Émile René Lemonnier at Find a Grave
Mayenne is a department in northwest France named after the Mayenne River. Mayenne is part of the current region of Pays de la Loire and is surrounded by the departments of Manche, Sarthe, Maine-et-Loire, Ille-et-Vilaine. Mayenne is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on March 4, 1790; the northern two thirds correspond to the western part of the former province of Maine. The southern third of Mayenne corresponds to the northern portion of the old province of Anjou; the inhabitants of the department are called Mayennais. Like 82 other departments, Mayenne was created on March 4, 1790 during the early stages of the French Revolution by order of the National Constituent Assembly; the new departments were to be uniformly administered and equal to one another in size and population. The former province of Maine was partitioned into two, Upper Maine, centred on Le Mans, became the new department of Sarthe, Lower Maine, centred on Laval became the new department of Mayenne.
Anjou, to the south, being too big to form a single department, was reduced in size and became Maine-et-Loire. In this partition, Sarthe received the region of La Flèche, Mayenne received Château-Gontier and Craon. Flax was a feature of the Mayenne economy, the southern limit for the cultivation of flax was used to determine the new border between Mayenne and Maine-et-Loire. Mayenne is part of the region of Pays de la Loire; the department does not have a sea coast, but about thirty kilometres to the northwest is Mont Saint-Michel Bay. The capital and largest town is Laval in the centre of the department. To the north lies the department of Orne, to the east lies Sarthe, to the south lies Maine-et-Loire, to the west lies Ille-et-Vilaine and to the northwest lies Manche; the department forms a rectangular shape, being 90 km long by 77 km wide, with a total area of about 5,175 km2. The River Mayenne flows centrally through it from north to south, passing through the towns of Mayenne, Laval and Château-Gontier.
After leaving the department, the river joins the River Sarthe to form the River Maine which joins the River Loire. The department is varied in topography. Much of it is flat, but there are hilly areas, some with steep-sided valleys and ravines. Of the total area of 1,275,532 acres, some 875,000 acres are arable, 170,000 acres are grassland, 65,000 acres are forests and woodland and 50,000 acres are heathland and moorland. To the north lies the Armorican Massif, a plateau, eroded over time, the highest summit of which, the Mont des Avaloirs, is the highest point in the department at 417 m above sea level. A branch range to the south of this plateau forms the ridge that divides the Mayenne Valley from the Vilaine Valley; the department is subdivided into three arrondissements: Mayenne, Château-Gontier. Mayenne has a diversity of habitat types such as forest, heathland and farmland; some 1445 species of plants, 63 species of mammals, 280 species of birds, 16 species of amphibians and 11 species of reptiles have been recorded, as well as thousands of species of invertebrates.
The peat-lands and bogs are fringed with woodlands of alder and ash, in some places carnivorous plants such as sundew and butterwort flourish, marsh cinquefoil and cottongrass grow and butterflies and spiders abound. The woodlands are small with the deciduous trees dominated by oak. Here roe deer, fire salamander, Aesculapian snake, middle spotted woodpecker, little owl and white admiral can be found and uncommon plants present including European columbine and wild russet apple; the dry grasslands, which cover the limestone and sandstone soils, are rich in fauna and flora. They house the snake Vipera aspis, the large blue butterfly, the blue-winged grasshopper and the bee orchid; the heathland in the north of Mayenne is populated by dwarf gorse and cross-leaved heath and there are plenty of spiders and warblers. The old quarries are the refuge of bats, the shining cranesbill and greater butterfly orchid. Rivers and ponds are home to eel, northern crested newt, European otter, grass snake, common moorhen and plants such as spearwort, yellow flag and Isopyrum thalictroides, a small poisonous plant.
The department is rural with about 80% being used for agriculture, 8% being urban area and the remainder forest and plantations. Livestock farming predominates, with the breeding of cattle and pigs, bee-keeping being important; the soil is poor, but it is of better quality around Laval and Château-Gontier. In these parts corn is cultivated and there are plantings of hemp, flax and vines. There are many apple orchards and large quantities of cider are made; the department is rich in mineral resources. Industries include the manufacture of linen and hemp, cider-making is traditionally carried on in the department. Office furniture is manufactured in Château-Gontier, Laval is active in the industrial sector, with dairy products and chemicals in a modern science park. Cantons of the Mayenne department Communes of the Mayenne department Arrondissements of the Mayenne department Duke of Mayenne Prefecture website General council website
Conan II, Duke of Brittany
Conan II of Rennes was Duke of Brittany, from 1040 to his death. Conan was the eldest child and heir of Alan III, Duke of Brittany by his wife Bertha of Blois, member of the House of Rennes, he was the elder brother of Hawise. Conan II faced a daunting series of challenges to assert his rule as Duke of Brittany, his father Duke Alan III had died when Conan was still a minor, his grandfather Duke Geoffrey I's attempts at an alliance with Normandy had been reduced to border skirmishes, his uncle Odo challenged his right to rule and he faced a rebellion from Breton nobles, notably Rivallon I of Dol. Conan's inheritance was usurped by his uncle, who ruled Brittany as regent during Conan's minority. However, by the time Conan reached his majority. By 1057 Conan captured his uncle, whom he had chained and imprisoned. Once enthroned as Duke Conan II of Brittany, he faced numerous threats, including revolts from his nobles sponsored by William, Duke of Normandy, afterwards King of England. Brittany, an independent Celtic duchy, had a traditional rivalry with neighboring Normandy.
The 1064–1065 War between Brittany and Normandy was sparked after Duke William supported Rivallon I of Dol's rebellion against Conan II. In 1065, before his invasion of Anglo-Saxon England, William of Normandy sent word to the surrounding counties, including Brittany, warning them against attacking his lands, on the grounds that his mission bore the papal banner. Conan promptly informed the duke that he would take the opportunity to invade the latter's duchy. In the history of conflicts between Brittany and Anjou, Pouancé had served as the "Breton March" or border town. During Conan's 1066 campaign against Anjou, he took Pouancé and Segré, arrived in Château-Gontier, where he was found dead after donning poisoned riding gloves. Duke William was suspected, he was asked to help William the Conqueror on his 1066 conquest of England, but refused, saying that the Normans poisoned his father in 1040. Conan II died leaving no known issue, it is possible he died because the gloves he was wearing were poisoned, he swallowed the poison when he wiped his mouth with the glove.
He was succeeded by his sister Hawise and brother-in-law, Hoel II, whose marriage may have been a political move to consolidate and stabilize the east and west regions of the duchy following Conan's death
France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona
War of the League of Cambrai
The War of the League of Cambrai, sometimes known as the War of the Holy League and by several other names, was a major conflict in the Italian Wars. The main participants of the war, fought from 1508 to 1516, were France, the Papal States and the Republic of Venice. Pope Julius II, intending to curb Venetian influence in northern Italy, had created the League of Cambrai, an anti-Venetian alliance consisting of himself, Louis XII of France, Ferdinand II of Aragon and Maximilian I, the Holy Roman Emperor. Although the League was successful, friction between Julius and Louis caused it to collapse by 1510; the Veneto–Papal alliance expanded into the Holy League, which drove the French from Italy in 1512. Under the leadership of Francis I, who had succeeded Louis to the throne, the French and Venetians would, through victory at Marignano in 1515, regain the territory they had lost. In the aftermath of the First Italian War, Pope Alexander VI had, with French assistance, moved to consolidate Papal control over central Italy by seizing the Romagna.
Cesare Borgia, acting as Gonfalonier of the Papal armies, had expelled the Bentivoglio family from Bologna, which they had ruled as a fief, was well on his way towards establishing a permanent Borgia state in the region when Alexander died on 18 August 1503. Although Cesare managed to seize the remnants of the Papal treasury for his own use, he was unable to secure Rome itself, as French and Spanish armies converged on the city in an attempt to influence the Papal conclave. Sensing Cesare's weakness, the dispossessed lords of the Romagna offered to submit to the Republic of Venice in exchange for aid in regaining their dominions. Julius II, having secured his own control of the Papal armies by arresting and imprisoning Cesare, first in Rome and in Madrid moved to re-establish Papal control over the Romagna by demanding that Venice return the cities she had seized; the Republic of Venice, although willing to acknowledge Papal sovereignty over these port cities along the Adriatic coast and willing to pay Julius II an annual tribute, refused to surrender the cities themselves.
In response, Julius concluded an alliance with the Holy Roman Empire against Venice. Julius, although unsatisfied with his gains, did not himself possess sufficient forces to fight the Republic. In 1507, Julius returned to the question of the cities in Venetian hands. Maximilian, using his journey to Rome for the Imperial coronation as a pretext, entered Venetian territory with a large army in February 1508 and advanced on Vicenza, but was defeated by a Venetian army under Bartolomeo d'Alviano. A second assault by a Tyrolean force several weeks was an greater failure. Julius, humiliated by the failure of the Imperial invasion, turned to Louis XII of France with an offer of alliance. In mid-March, the Republic provided a pretext for an attack on itself by appointing her own candidate to the vacant bishopric of Vicenza. On 10 December 1508, representatives of the Papacy, the Holy Roman Empire and Ferdinand I of Spain concluded the League of Cambrai against the Republic; the agreement provided for the complete dismemberment of Venice's territory in Italy and for its partition among the signatories: Maximilian, in addition to regaining Istria, would receive Verona, Vicenza and the Friuli.
On 15 April 1509, Louis left Milan at the head of a French army and moved into Venetian territory. To oppose him, Venice had hired a condottiere army under the command of the Orsini cousins – Bartolomeo d'Alviano and Niccolò di Pitigliano – but had failed to account for their disagreement on how best to stop the French advance; when Louis crossed the Adda River in early May and Alviano advanced to meet him, believing it best to avoid a pitched battle, moved away to the south. On 14 May, Alviano confronted the French at the Battle of Agnadello.
Claude Jacqueline Pompidou was the wife of President of France Georges Pompidou. She was a philanthropist and a patron of modern art through the Centre Georges Pompidou, she was born Claude Jacqueline Cahour in Château-Gontier, one of two daughters of a doctor. Her mother died, she moved to Paris to study law. She met her future husband, during the first year of her studies; the couple married in 1935. Their adopted son, Alain Pompidou, was born in 1942. Georges Pompidou fought in the Battle of France in the Second World War, before resuming his career as a teacher, he joined the staff of Charles de Gaulle. He joined de Rothschild Frères as a banker in 1953, became general manager of a bank in 1956. De Gaulle appointed Georges Pompidou as Prime Minister of France in 1962 and he served until 1968; the couple did not move to the Prime Minister's official residence at the Hôtel Matignon, staying instead in their apartment in Quai de Béthune on Île Saint-Louis. Pompidou won public acclaim for his handling of the May 1968 strike but it caused friction with De Gaulle, leading to his resignation as Prime Minister once the crisis had passed.
Meanwhile, Mme Pompidou was noted for her interest in fashion. Pompidou ran for the Presidency in 1969 and was elected, but Mme Pompidou did not enjoy political life, once calling the Élysée Palace a "house of sadness"; the couple redecorated rooms in the Élysée Palace in modern style, with painted aluminium walls and colourful carpets by Yaacov Agam, soft furnishings by Pierre Paulin. Her husband died in office in 1974; the daring decorations were removed by Valéry Giscard d'Estaing. In 1970, Mme Pompidou set up the Claude Pompidou Foundation to help disabled children, the elderly and hospitalised. Jacques Chirac served as the Treasurer of the Foundation for over three decades, his wife Bernadette Chirac became the president of the Foundation, following the death of Mme Pompidou. Pompidou played a key role in establishing the Centre Georges Pompidou; the building was designed by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers and the choice of artwork for the Centre was based of her knowledge of her husband's tastes.
She was inspired by the work of Yves Klein. Pompidou continued to play an active role in French artistic life in subsequent decades, she played an active role in the foundation. She published her memoirs, L’Élan du Coeur, in 1997, she died in Paris. The funeral service was held in church Saint-Louis-en-l'Île in presence of president Nicolas Sarkozy, former president Jacques Chirac, Farah Pahlavi, Princess Caroline of Monaco, Maurice Druon and business woman Liliane Bettencourt. Fondation Claude Pompidou