On 10 May 1940 the German offensive began by outflanking the Maginot Line in an advance through the Ardennes region, a move totally unexpected by the Allies. 1st Moroccan Division. Assignments - Attachments - Commanders Diagrams - Authorized Strengths - Compositions Selection by Country The backbone of the French Army was the infantry which, apart from increased firepower, was in organization and training, very similar to that of World War I, and still relied on horse transport to a great extent. The 3rd Division carries the traditions of the 3rd Algerian Infantry Division. Subscribe to our newsletter with the latest reports from the war diaries and about World War I & II. In French parlance, "section" is equivalent platoon, while "groupe" is equivalent to squad. All information, figures, specifications and statistics used here had been compiled from a variety of sources and the large, over decades collected, library of the author about military history, WW2 and weapons. The French Char B1 Bis was one of the most numerous French tanks, and tended to be fielded in platoons of 3; Whereas the smaller R35 was fielded in fives; Japanese Armoured Platoons The cavalry divisions (DC) were renamed light divisions (DL) in February 1940 and then light cavalry divisions (DLC) in March 1940. Check your inbox or spam folder to confirm your subscription. Total strength of the French Air Force together with Aviation Colonaile: 1,200 fighters, 800 reconnaissance planes, 1,300 bombers. The Army Light Aviation Command is headquartered in Vélizy-Villacoublay. They included regiments of the French Foreign Legion, Zouaves, and Moroccan, Algerian and Tunisian tirailleurs (light infantry). In addition, a number of metropolitan divisions had been brought up to strength by the addition of non-metropolitan regiments. The Italian Army had suffered heavy losses for only limited gains during World War One and in common with the other combatant nations the Army was drastically reduced in size and influence following the 1918 armistice. Both elements of de Gaulle's Free French, the storied Army of Africa, and later the FFI Resistance troops would create the 1st French Army, and experience the trials of Liberating their homeland while creating an army on the go. On 30 June 1939 the Regular Army numbered 187,893 officers and enlisted men, including Philippine Scouts, and including 22,387 in the Army Air Corps. Between January and May 1940, four reserve armored divisions were formed and placed at the disposal of the General Headquarters. They were mostly peasant farmers with limited literacy. The Organisation Armée Secrète or OAS (meaning Secret Armed Organisation) was a right-wing French dissident paramilitary organisation during the Algerian War.The OAS carried out terrorist attacks, including bombings and assassinations, in an attempt to prevent Algeria's independence from French colonial rule. The Commandement des forces terrestres (CFT) - Land Forces Command has operational command of the army's combat forces and is headquartered in Lille. The six divisions were named after important datesin Fascist's history: 23Marzo, 28Ottobre, 21 Aprile, 3 Gennaio, 1 Febbraio & Trevere. 180 talking about this. World War II Armed Forces — Orders of Battle and Organizations: Last Updated 02.11.2020: WWII Orders of Battle and Organizations. Copyright © 2006-2021 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED - THE OPERATORS OF THIS SITE DISSOCIATE THEMSELVES FROM CONTENTS OF OTHER WEBSITES, WHICH ARE LINKED ON THESE PAGES. The Army General Staff is headquartered in Paris. Strength and organization of the Army Forces and Air Force of France at the beginning of the Western Campaign in May 1940. Basically from the bottom to the top: 2 fireteams per combat group: the 300m team and the 600m team (the numbers describe the engagement distance) Regimental Tank Company (April 1948 — May 1952) Army Air Assault Division Airmobile Infantry Battalion. Moreover there is a lot of difference between theory and what you see in the battlefield. But the development of the fascist corporate state in the 1920s saw a revival of the influence of the Army. In this book, the first of two volumes examining the French Army of World War II (1939-1945), Ian Sumner and François Vauvillier examine the organisation, uniforms and equipment of the army of 1939-40 and Vichy France. When studying World War 2, a common question that arises is what exactly each army group or unit name means? Under the terms of the armistice, in the unoccupied zone of France those forces that remained intact were rapidly demobilized except 100,000 men who were to maintain order (l’armee de l’ armistice). The basic French infantry division had provided a model for those of many other countries, and consisted of a divisional headquarters, three infantry regiments, two artillery regiments, and a reconnaissance group of 4 squadrons: headquarters, motor-cycle, horse and weapons. The U.S. Army spills the words "Mission Command" everywhere from its literature, PowerPoint briefings, doctrine manuals, and professional journals that now seem to include an article on "Mission Command" in every issue. Operationally the command falls under the Special Operations Command. These divisions absorbed a number of the above-mentioned tank battalions and companies. Only the observation tower is visible ! These forces comprised: 63 infantry divisions (of which 30 were regular) ; 7 motorized infantry divisions; 3 armored divisions; 3 light mechanized divisions; Strength, organization, equipment and divisions of the French Army and aircraft of the l’Army de l’Air in September 1939. The Foreign Legion Command manages French Foreign Legion-related issues (recruitment, traditions, employment, training, security) and is headquartered in Aubagne. While a full orbat for 10 may 1940 shouldn't be too difficult to puttogether, it's not quite as straightforward as it first seems. For the most part the army was composed of poorly trained conscripts, as odds would have it, there was a better than 50% chance that he was a reservist recalled to the colors. 123 (30 were regular, 9 motorized, 13 fortress, 12 North African, 9 colonial divisions), 3 + 5 cavalry divisions in process of motorisation, 1 battalion motorised rifles (c. 1,000 men), 180 - 240 (90-120 heavy Char B1, 90-120 light Hotchkiss H-39). [amazon_link asins=’0802125131,0785812075,1591142954′ template=’ProductGrid’ store=’wwto-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’7cc78131-ff43-11e6-b2a1-9f7abcb4359c’]. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Organization chart of the French intelligence community DGSE: Directorate-General for External Security – Direction générale de la sécurité extérieure . An active division at the start of the war, mobilized 2 September 1939 in Meknes, Algeria. A battalion consisted of 20officersand 650 men. Your email address will not be published. Once knocked off-balance France never recovered and despite brave and sometimes effective counter-attacks, German tactics, troop training, morale and much military equipment proved decisively superior. Total casualties amounted to 290,000 men killed or wounded and 1,900,000 taken prisoners. I'm in the fortunate position to combine all my interests with my work and to live on a place of my choice, on Crete. It includes orders of battle and formation charts as well as many illustration and colour uniform artworks. Required fields are marked *. 365 Char B1 were built until the surrender.Armour: In May 1940 France had over 3,000 tanks, and in terms of numbers, quality and firepower they were generally superior to those employed by the Germans. There were 39 tank battalions in 1940 and for tactical purposes they were twinned to form tank battalion groups. The Maginot Line was constructed from the Swiss border to Longwy from 1929 onward for 2.9 Billion Francs. Only the French units of the Franco-German Brigade are listed below. France is divided into six Defense and Security zones, which provide territorial services to military and civil authorities in their area. The following is the organization of the Armored Infantry Section (Section d'infanterie blindée) of the French Army as per the 1999 "Manuel d'emploi de la section d'infanterie". The structure of the French Army is fixed by Chapter 2 of Title II of Book II of the Third Part of the Code of Defense, notably resulting in the codification of Decree 2000-559 of 21 June 2000.[1]. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. From 1939 until 1940, the French Third Republic was at war with Germany. In May 1940 there were 9 divisions of colonial infantry, while in the 102nd Fortress Division there was a demi-brigade each of Indochinese and Malagasy machine gunners helping to man the Maginot Line. command of 1st French Army in 1987. Total French front line strength on 10 May 1940 was 1,604 aircraft (764 fighters, 260 bombers, 180 reconnaissance planes, 400 liaison aircraft). Your email address will not be published. Rifle Company (Nov 1970 — 1975) Infantry Regiment. US Uniforms. The Frencharmy's historical branch still … Numerous men had succeeded in escaping to the colonies, however, and many had been evacuated to England. Organization: In May 1940, the French Army on the north-east front, which stretched from Switzerland to the North Sea, was divided into the 1st and 2nd Army Groups and the 7th Army. Rifle Company (June 1965 — 1966) Army Special Forces We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website.

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