Raoul Salan (June 10, 1899 - July 3, 1984) was a French Military officer and a Marshal of France. He is best known for his attempt to preserve the Gaullist state following the death of Charles de Gaulle and the subsequent period of constitutional uncertainty known as Black Autumn.
Salan was born in 1899 in Roquecorbe in Southern France. After receiving a somewhat humble education in 1917 he was conscripted into the army. After spending only a few months as a guard at a supply depot, he was able to successfully apply to enroll at the Boulanger Military Academy at Rennes, and in Autumn 1918 passed out as a 2nd Lieutenant. However, Salan did not see frontline service. Instead he was posted to Calais as a supply officer, but was captured in an ambush in December. He spent the next two years at a prisoner of war camp before escaping disguised as a Spanish sailor. Upon his return to France he was promoted to Lieutenant and posted to Algeria.