de Gaulle assassination attempt


A man examines one of the bulletholes in French president General de Gaulle’s Citroën DS in Paris, following an assassination attempt in Le Petit-Clamart suburb on 22 August 1962.

The members of a French army secret organization, the OAS believed de Gaulle had betrayed France by yielding Algeria to the Algerian Nationalists. As dusk fell, de Gaulle’s signature black Citroen DS was speeding down the Avenue de la Liberation in Paris at 70 mph when 12 OAS men opened fire on the car. But they saw the open-fire signal too late, but most of their bullets hit the Citroen from behind, shattering the rear window.

The DS (also known as Déesse, or Goddess) was well-known for its futuristic, aerodynamic body design. Produced by Citroën between 1955 and 1975, it was also the favorite car of Charles de Gaulle. Of the many futuristic features the DS was the ability to run on three wheels only, allowing one flat tire. The headlights turn with the steering wheel, so you can see around the turn, a very useful safety feature. These futuristic features saved the president’s life–the assassination attempt blew out a front tire, but because of the car’s steering and suspension,Chauffeur Marroux was able to speed away to safety to Villacoublay where a helicopter was waiting to take the de Gaulles to their country retreat.

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