French Navy Admiral. A career naval officer, he became commander of the French navy in 1939 and joined the Vichy government in 1940 as Minister of the Navy. After the fall of Pierre Laval in February of 1941, Darlan was named Vice Premier, foreign minister, and successor-designate to Marshal Henri Petain; he was the actual head of government. When Laval returned to power in April of 1942, he lost his cabinet posts, but was given command of the French armed forces. In Algiers during the Allied landing on November 7, 1942 in North Africa, Darlan ordered the cessation of French resistance to the Allies. Although publicly repudiated by Petain, he assumed control over French North and West Africa in the marshal's name and brought them to the side of the Allies. Darlan was assassinated on December 24, 1942 by Ferdinand Bonnier de la Chapelle, an anti-Nazi royalist. He was succeeded by as high commissioner by General Henri Honore Giraud.
Bio by: Mr. Badger Hawkeye