Lucien Poirier
Born1918 (1918)
Died10 January 2013 (2013-01-11)
Allegiance France
Service/branchFrench Army
Years of service1939-1974
UnitFrench Foreign Legion
Battles/warsWorld War II
First Indochina War
Algerian War
Alma materEcole Spéciale Militaire de Saint-Cyr
Other workmilitary strategist

Lucien Poirier (1918 – 10 January 2013) was a general of the French Army and a theoretician of nuclear deterrence.[1]

Military career

Poirier began his military service at the beginning of World War II, after graduating from Special Military School of Saint-Cyr, and he was imprisoned in Germany until 1945. After the war, Poirier continued in the military with the French Foreign Legion (beginning as a Captain) in conflicts in Indochina (First Indochina War) and Algeria (Algerian War).[2]

Poirier took part in the design of the French doctrine for use of nuclear weapons, the so-called "weak-to-strong strategy" (statégie du faible au fort), intended to deter the much stronger Soviet Union from invading France and Europe.

Academic career

Poirier began to write while in the French Army in 1968. After being promoted to General in 1974, he retired to become an academic specializing in military strategy at Université de Paris (now Pantheon-Sorbonne University l’Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), Pantheon-Sorbonne University à l’Ecole normale supérieure (ENS) and École nationale d'administration (ENA).[3]

Poirier authored several books on the subject of military strategy and nuclear deterrence:

Later life

Porier remained active into his 90s and died on 9 or 10 January 2013. He was 94.


  1. ^ Lucien POIRIER. ", revue geopolitique, articles, cartes, relations internationales". Retrieved 2013-01-12.
  2. ^ "Décès du stratégiste français Lucien POIRIER, un des théoriciens de la dissuasion nucléaire : THEATRUM BELLI". Archived from the original on 2013-02-16. Retrieved 2013-01-14.
  3. ^ "Décès du général Lucien Poirier, l'un des théoriciens de la doctrine de dissuasion française". 12 January 2013.