Vincent Auriol
Historical Figure
Nationality: France
Date of Birth: 1884
Date of Death: 1966
Cause of Death: Natural causes
Religion: Atheist
Occupation: Author of Non-Fiction, Journalist, Lawyer, Politician
Parents: Jacques Auriol,
Angélique Durand
Spouse: Michelle Aucoutuier
Children: Paul
Military Branch: Free France (World War II)
Political Party: French Section of the Workers' International
Political Office(s): Mayor of Muret (1925-1947),
Minister of Finance (1936-1937),
Minister of Justice (1937-1938),
Chairman of the Provisional Government (1946-1947),
President of France and Prince of Andorra (1947-1954)
Fictional Appearances:
The Hot War
POD: November, 1950
Appearance(s): Bombs Away
Type of Appearance: Oblique contemporary references
Date of Death: 1951
Cause of Death: Killed by an atomic bomb
(Death implicitly confirmed in Fallout)

Vincent Jules Auriol (27 August 1884 – 1 January 1966) was a French lawyer and socialist politician who served as the first president of the Fourth Republic from 1947 to 1954. He entered politics as a deputy (representative) for Muret in the Chamber of Deputies in 1914, a position he held until 1942. He also served as Minister of Finance (1936-1937) and as Minister of Justice (1937-1938). After France fell to Nazi Germany, Auriol was one of 80 deputies voted against the extraordinary powers given to Prime Minister Philippe Pétain on 10 July 1940. He was placed under arrest by the Vichy France government until October 1942, when he escaped and joined the French Resistance. He fought with them for a year, until he fled to London.

After World War II, Auriol joined the Provisional Government of Charles de Gaulle. He served as a delegate to the United Nations in 1946, returned to the Chamber of Deputies in 1947, and participated in creating the new constitution for the Fourth Republic. He was elected first president by a wide margin.

Auriol's presidency was marked by turmoil, and exacerbated the weakness built into the office. The economy was weak, and there were strikes on three separate occasions. The French colonial empire began unraveling, and there were eighteen different governments headed by ten different premiers during Auriol's seven years as president.

Auriol opted not to seek re-election, preferring to become an elder statesman in retirement. He campaigned against the creation of the Fifth Republic, and opposed Charles de Gaulle's increasing power. He died of natural causes in January 1966.

Vincent Auriol in The Hot War[]

Vincent Auriol (1884-1951) was the only President of the French Fourth Republic. His term saw the outbreak of World War III, and he was killed by the Soviet atomic attack on Paris in June 1951.

Prior to World War III, France had contributed troops to the UN forces during the Korean War.[1] France also maintained an occupation zone in West Germany.[2] Consequently, when the United States used atomic bombs in Manchuria on 23 January 1951,[3] France was the target of a Soviet retaliatory attack on 1 February, which destroyed Nancy and Rouen. The United Kingdom and West Germany also suffered the loss of two cities each.[4]

President Auriol and British Prime Minister Clement Attlee immediately contacted U.S. President Harry Truman, invoking the NATO treaty.[5] Truman, in the hopes of mollifying his allies, ordered a mission to bomb Pechenga, the base where the Soviet bombers had flown out of. Truman even used flyers from Britain and France.[6]

However, that attack led to a series of tit-for-tat bombings between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. until the Soviet Union and its allies invaded West Germany on 17 February.[7] French troops joined the rest of NATO in fighting the Soviet onslaught. Throughout February and March, the Soviets, using their numerical superiority, made substantial gains in West Germany.[8] As the U.S. was relying heavily on France's shipping and transportation hubs, the Soviets destroyed Bordeaux with an atomic bomb in late April.[9] Even more devastating for France was the atomic attack on Paris in June.[10] Auriol and much of the government was killed, and the Fourth Republic went defunct. Various officials created a Committee of National Salvation with Charles de Gaulle as its head.[11]

Literary comment[]

While Auriol isn't named in the series, he was already in office before the Point of Divergence. While the President is not explicitly said to have been killed in the Paris attack, the fact that a successor government was set up under de Gaulle's leadership suggests that the erstwhile President was no longer among the living.


  1. See, e.g., Bombs Away, pg. 88, ebook.
  2. Ibid. pg. 15.
  3. Ibid., pgs. 53-55.
  4. Ibid., pg. 65-70.
  5. Ibid., pg. 86.
  6. Ibid., pgs. 87-90.
  7. Ibid., pgs. 110-118.
  8. Ibid., pg. 134.
  9. Ibid., pgs. 309-311.
  10. Ibid., pgs. 427-430.
  11. Fallout pg. 5, hc.
Political offices
Preceded by
Léon Blum
as Chairman of the Provisional Government (interim)
President of the French Fourth Republic
Succeeded by
René Coty
Preceded by
Marcel Régnier
Minister of Finance
Succeeded by
Georges Bonnet
Preceded by
Marc Rucart
Minister of Justice
Succeeded by
César Campinchi
Preceded by
Minister of Coordination of Services of the Presidency of the Council
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Félix Gouin
President of the National Assembly
Succeeded by
Édouard Herriot
Royal offices
Preceded by
Georges Bidault and Ramon Iglesias i Navarri
Co-Prince of Andorra
with Ramon Iglesias i Navarri
Succeeded by
René Coty and Ramon Iglesias i Navarri
Political offices
(The Hot War)
Preceded by
Léon Blum
as Chairman of the Provisional Government (interim)
President of the French Fourth Republic
Succeeded by
Charles de Gaulle
as Head of the Committee of National Salvation