- D​e Gaulle and his Citroen DS

T​he Time a Citroen DS Saved the French President's Life

Here is a short story about how o​n August 22, 1962, the French president was saved by a Citroen DS!

4w ago

O​n August 22, 1962, a group going by the name OAS ("Secret Army Organization" in English) made a plan to assassinate the French president, which at the time was Charles de Gaulles, who they believed had betrayed France by giving up Algeria to Algerian nationalists.

De Gaulle and his wife were cruising from the Elysee Palace to Orly Airport. As they sped up to 70 miles an hour on Avenue de la Liberation, 12 gunmen from the OAS opened fire on the DS de Gaulle was riding in. The gunmen shot 140 bullets, most of them coming from the back, killing two of the president's motorcycle bodyguards, shattered the back window, and punctured all four tires.

However, thanks to the DS's superior suspension system, which was a hydropneumatic suspension, the driver was able to accelerate and drive away safely. Both de Gaulle and his wife kept their heads down during the incident and came out unharmed.

W​hy Citroen is Now Part of PSA:

I​n 1969, De Gaulle knowing he owed his life to the DS, attempted to overturn the outright sale of Citroen to Fiat by limiting the stake Fiat could buy to 15%. In 1975, to avert potential bankruptcy, the French government funded Citroen's sale to a group that was Citroen's rival: Peugeot. The result was PSA Peugeot Citroen SA, formed in 1976.

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Comments (6)

  • Such an amazing story, and a credit to that fantastic suspension system. They really shouldn't have dropped it, even if their current 'Active cushion' system is apparently very good.

      1 month ago
  • Amazing story, reminds me of when I was little, (3-4) I fell over and hit a metal radiator in my house. I had cut my head open and needed to go hospital. For some reason instead of using the ambulance my dad decided to take me in our Citroen xantia. We were speeding, and my parents tell me that towards the end we were stopped for speeding and had a police escort to the hospital

      1 month ago
  • I love how the president returned the favour to Citroen.

      1 month ago
  • Neat lil story. 👍

      1 month ago
  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Height_adjustable_suspension

    Simply cleaver.

      29 days ago