Charles André Marie Joseph de Gaulle was born on 22nd November 1890 to a patriotic, Catholic family in Lille. His father, Henri de Gaulle, a professor for literature and history, had a strong influence on him. Young Charles received a solid classical education from the Jesuits and Augustinians and decided upon a military career. In 1908, he was admitted to the officers’ school of Saint-Cyr, which he left in 13th place in 1912.
Shortly after the declaration of war on 2nd August 1914, Lieutenant de Gaulle fought in the French Fifth Army. In 1916, he was injured and captured by the Germans. He used his time in captivity to deepen his knowledge of Germany and read German authors.