Henri Philippe Benoni Omer Joseph Pétain (24 April 1856 – 23 July 1951) was a French general who holds the distinction of being seen as one of his country's great heroes and one of its villains. For his superior leadership and efforts to modernize the French Army during World War I, Pétain was made Marshal of France in November 1918. However, he did little to modernize the military during the interwar period. After France fell to Germany during World War II, Petain became Chief of State of the collaborationist government of Vichy France (Chef de l'État Français), a position he held from 1940 to 1944. After the war, he was tried for treason and originally sentenced to death. However, Chairman Charles de Gaulle, in acknowledgment both of Pétain's World War I service and his old age, commuted his sentence to life in prison. He died in 1951 at the age of 95.