Father of the French nuclear deterrent and a former colleague of Marcel Dassault, General Pierre Gallois passed away on August 23, 2010.
Born in 1911, Pierre Gallois initially studied Law and Fine Arts before joining the Army in 1931. He graduated from the Air Academy in 1939. Following the defeat in 1940, he went to the UK and joined the RAF heavy bomber crews. He flew many missions over Germany.
Promoted to the rank of Squadron Leader in 1946, then Wing Commander in 1950, he was appointed senior advisor to the Air Force Chief of Staff in 1952. In this position, he assisted in the implementation of the French aviation five-year modernization plan.
In 1954, he was charged with preparing NATO’s new strategic plans. He became a recognized expert in atomic weapons and campaigned for France to acquire a nuclear strike capability. Along with some other officers, he laid the theoretical foundations for the French nuclear deterrent. He explained the doctrine to General de Gaulle in 1956.
He left the armed forces in 1957 with the rank of Air Commodore and joined Avions Marcel Dassault as Marketing Director. A specialist in geopolitics acknowledged around the world, a professor in several war academies, author of some 30 books on strategy, he opened up many export markets for our aircraft. He also played an important role in the Mirage IV nuclear bomber program. He remained one of Marcel Dassault’s closest advisors until his retirement in December 1982.
Pierre Gallois was a Commander of the Legion of Honor and a recipient of the 1939-1945 Military Cross and the Aeronautics Medal.