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The École Spéciale Militaire de Saint-Cyr (the “Special Military School at Saint-Cyr”) is the French military academy established in 1803 and located in Coëtquidan at Guer (Morbihan Department), in the region of Brittany, northwest of France. For more than two centuries it lists, among its over 65,000 graduates (Saint-Cyriens; Cyrards), 11 marshals of France, including three heads of state (Patrice de Mac Mahon [1873–1879], Henri Philippe Pétain [1940–1944], and Charles de Gaulle [1959–1969]), six members of the French Academy (L’Institut), and many distinguished foreigners.

A Brief History

During the French Revolution, 1789 to 1799, all military training facilities in France were closed down as implying aristocratic privilege. When Napoleon took power in November 1799, the officers’ commissions followed the revolutionary law of April 1795: One third were ...

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