A convoy of cars traveling at high speed moved along the Avenue de la Liberation in Paris. French President Charles de Gaulle was sitting in one of the cars heading towards Orly Airport. None of them noticed the van waiting by the roadside whose rear door suddenly burst open and gunmen opened fire on the convoy passing by. The Citroen DS-19 carrying de Gaulle, nicknamed “Goddess”, was shot several times and its tires punctured. Despite the hair-raising situation, the chauffeur had the presence of mind to keep the car on the road and shook off the pursuers due to the Citroen’s stunning suspension system. Although one of the bullets sprayed on the car missed de Gaulle’s head only by an inch, the French head of state survived the attack unscathed.
After many failed military offensives, Charles de Gaulle realized that the independence of the former North African French colony of Algeria could not be restrained any more. On August 22, 1962, members of the OAS (Organisation de l’armée secréte, literally Secret Armed Organization) tried to assassinate the president considering this to be a betrayal and a surrender of Algeria.
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