Military History |
World War II | French Expeditionary Corps
Order of Battle for the French Expeditionary Corps
Posted 7 Jun 2003
This is what I know of the order of battle for the French Expeditionary Corps (FEC).
General commanding the CEFI: Alphonse Juin
2ième Division d'Infanterie Marocaine (2nd DIM or Moroccan Infantry Division)
Gal André Dody
Arrived in Italy in end November 1943
4th RTM Col Lappara succeeded by Col Bridot (Moroccan Skirmisher Rgt)
5th RTM Col Joppé succeeded by Lt-Col Piatte
8th RTM Col Molle succeeded by Col de Berchoux
3rd RSM Col Pique-Aubrun (Moroccan Spahis Rgt, light armor M5)
63ème régiment d'artillerie d'AFRIQUE (63rd African Artillery Rgt)
87th Engineers Battalion Lt-Col Berthezne
41ème groupe colonial de DCA (FTA 41st DCA group) Chief Squadron Blanchet/ Juigner/ Bescond
3ème Division d'Infanterie Algérienne (3rd DIA or Algerian Infantry Division)
General Joseph de Goiselard de Monsabert
Arrived in Italy in end december 1943
3rd RTA Col Gonzalès de Linarès (Algerian Skirmisher Rgt)
4th RTT Col Roux KIA 27 junary 44 succeded by Lt-Col Guillebaud
Tunisian Skirmisher Rgt
7th RTA Col Chapuis
3rd RSAR Lt-Col Bonjour (Recon Algerian Spahis Rgt, light armor M5)
67ème régiment d'artillerie marocaine (67th African Artillery Rgt)
83rd Engineers Battalion Chief Battalion Vilette / Colin
37ème groupe de FTA (FTA 37th DCA Group) Col Blanchet
4ème division Marocaine de Montagne (4th DMM or Moroccan Mountain Division)
General François Sevez
Arrived in Italy in February 44
The 4ième DMM, was nicknamed the "DeMeMe" (in French over accentuation of the spelling). After the use of her mules by the British army it became The Royal Brêl - a Brêl is a mule in the Berber language.
1st RTM Col Brissaud-Desmaillet (Tunisian Skirmisher Rgt)
2nd RTM Col Buot de l'Epine succeeded by Col Deleuze
6th RTM Col Cherrière
4th RSM (Moroccan Spahis Rgt, light armor M5)
Col Lambilly Kia 18 May 44 succeeded by Chief Squadron Dodelier
69ème régiment d'artillerie d'Afrique (69th RAM Mountain Artillery Rgt) Lt-Col Cerisier
82nd Engineers Battalion Chief Battalion Labouerie
1ére Division Française Libre (1st DFL or Free French Division)
Gal Diego Brosset
Arrived in Italy in April 1944)
Renamed 1st DMI Motorized Infantry Division
1st Brigade Col Delange
13th DBLE Chief Battalion Bablon (Half Brigade of Foreign Legion)
I believe most of the Spanish fighting in the Foreign Legion were in this unit ??
1 BLE Battalion of Foreign Legion
22nd BMNA Bataillon de Marche Nord Africain (North African Battle Group*)
2nd Brigade Lt-Col Garbay
4th BM Bataillon de Marche
4th Brigade Col Raynal
BIMP Bataillon d'Infanterie de Marine du Pacifique (Marine Infantry Battalion of Pacific)
1st RAC Lt-Col Maubert (Colonial Artillery Rgt)
155 Group (Long Tom)
1st RFM Capitaine de Fregate Amyot d'Inville Kia 10 June 44 succeeded by Capitaine de Corvette de Morsier. Light Armor
21ème groupe colonial antillais de DCA (FTA 21st West Indies AA Group) Chief Battalion Lanlo
Goums Marocains (Moroccan Goum)
Gal Augustin Guillaume
Arrived in Italy between Novenber 43 and April 44.
1st GTM Groupe de Tabors Marocains (Moroccan Tabor Group) Col Leblanc
2nd Tabor Chief Battalion Roussel
3rd Tabor Chief Battalion Colbert-Turgis
12th Tabor Chief Battalion Leboîteux
3rd GTM Col Massiet du Biest
9th Tabor Commandant Picardat
10th Tabor Commandant Boulet-Desbarreaux
17th Tabor Commandant Alès Kia 5 june 44 / Commandant Parlange
4th GTM Lt-Col Soulard succeeded by Col Gautier
5th Tabor Captain Parlange / Commandant Villemandy
8th Tabor Commandant Aunis succeeded by Cmdt Pantalacci
11th Tabor Commandant Pejorlas
General Reserve Artillery (ARG)
7th RCA Régiment de Chasseurs d'Afrique (African Light Cavalry Rgt**) Lt-Col Van Hecke Tank Destroyer M10
8th RCA Lt-Col Simon Tank Destroyer M10
64th RAA Régiment d'Artillerie d'Afrique (African Artillery Rgt) Col Latarse
Régiment d'Artillerie Coloniale du Levant (Colonial Artillery Rgt of the Levant) Col Missonier
Groupe de Canonniers Marins (Marine Artillery Group)
1st Battery Capitaine de Frégate Le Coroller equiped with 155mm GPF (long range Fillioux) these are French guns that the Italians had taken from south France between 40/43 and retrieved after the landing of the allied forces.
2nd Battery Lieutenant de Vaisseau Jourden / Capitaine de Corvette Acloque
* a Bataillon de Marche - translated as Battle Group - is a general term use by French for assembling diverse elements from different units it is near the German kampfgruppe but as is name implies it is at most an over strengthen battalion.
** Chasseur literally means Hunter, but historically just represented the equivalent of Light Cavalry in the British army. Given these Chasseurs had Tank Destroyers the designation of Hunter takes on a new meaning.
Regiment equivalent. from 1,500 to 3,000 men.
The CEFI artillery is equipped with 105 HM2, 155 GUN, 40 BOFOR.
All senior officers and most junior officers of the colonial units where "white" French. Junior officers and NCOs were either French or native depending of the area they came from.
FTA is Forces Terrestre Antiaériennes (AA Ground Forces)
EHR is Escadron Hors Rang (Outstanding Squadron). The EHR is the squadron whose function is to run the day to day activities of a unit. It is responsible of the supply and the administration, all but the mechanical duties. In each fighting squadrons there is a PHR, a platoon who had the same functions as the EHR.
I used Chief Battalion but it should be Chief of Battalion it is not a rank it is a position, usually the rank is that of commandant or the equivalent depending of the type of the unit, infantry, colonial unit, artillery, navy and the like (a same rank could have a different name). The position could be held by higher rank, it could be also held by lower rank for an emergency situation. I haven't translated the rank of the French navy because i don't know the ranks in the allied navies and the equivalencies between army and navy.
The Goum were from Morocco; a soldier is called a Goumier. The troopers were Moroccans and the officers where French. When created in 1908 the Goumier were "supplétif" or irregulars, however, with time they became regular troops with an exotic uniform. They were well trained and professional fighters, specialising in mountain warfare. The Moroccan organisation was:
Groupe de Tabors (GTM) Maroccains (Moroccan Tabors Group)
3 x Tabors (~ Battalion; 500-800 men)
3-4 x Goum (~ Company)
1 x Platoon of muleteers