With more than 70000 French soldiers killed during the conflict Pierre Mendes-France was made Prime Minister with the main objective of ending the war and by July 1954 a ceasefire had been arranged following which French Forces left and the country was partitioned into North Vietnam and South Vietnam. Kennedy who admired his stance against the Soviet Union – particularly when the Berlin Wall was being built – and who called him "a great captain of the western world" their relationship later cooled. Later colonial Senegalese troops were sent in with machine guns and after several days hundreds of Syrians lay dead in the bazaars and narrow streets of the capital with reports of looting by the attacking forces.
He is considered by many to be the most influential leader in modern French history. He escaped to Britain and gave a famous radio address broadcast by the BBC on 18 June 1940 exhorting the French people to resist Nazi Germany and organised the Free French Forces with exiled French officers in Britain. He later founded the French Fifth Republic in 1958 and served as its first President from 1959 to 1969.