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 (1939-1945) WWII Battles    
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BWilson

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Map depicting garrisons of Vichy French units in France
Posted on: 7/28/2017 3:26:51 AM
 Another practically forgotten aspect of the war.

Cheers

BW


---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

richto90
Bremerton, WA, USA
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E-6 Staff Sergeant
Posts: 396

Re: Map depicting garrisons of Vichy French units in France
Posted on: 7/29/2017 1:12:45 PM
Minor nitpick BW, it doesn't depict the "garrisons" of the Vichy Army, Navy, or Air Forces. It shows the headquarters locations for the two military regions (lit: "groups of military divisions") and the headquarters of its eight subordinate military districts (lit: "military divisions"). The Vichy Army was comprised of 18 infantry, 11 cavalry, and 8 artillery regiments, with 15 battalions of chasseuers (light infantry) without a divisional structure other than in a regional sense.

Mike Johnson
Stafford, VA, USA
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Re: Map depicting garrisons of Vichy French units in France
Posted on: 7/29/2017 6:42:47 PM
I am struck by a couple of things:

The divisions appear to match the French military regions (5 full and 3 in part) even matching the number.

The size of the retained forces strike me as very similar to what the Germans were allowed in the Weimar Republic.

BWilson

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Re: Map depicting garrisons of Vichy French units in France
Posted on: 7/30/2017 4:07:31 AM
 I don't have naval or air unit data at hand, but following are the locations of the army units.

Cheers

BW


Infantry regiments :

- 1er RI : Saint-Amand; Issoudun; Dun-sur-Auron; 9° Division

- 5° RI : Saint-Etienne, Roanne; 13° Division

- 8° RI : Montpellier, Sète; 16° Division

- 18° RI : Pau, Tarbes, Aire-sur-Adour; 17° Division

- 23° RI : Toulouse, Montauban; 17° Division

- 26° RI : Périgueux, Bergerac, Brantôme; 12° Division

- 27° RI : Montmoillon; 9° Division

- 32° RI : Loches, Châteauroux; 9° Division

- 41° RI : Brive, Saint-Yrieix; 12° Division

- 43° RI : Marseille; 15° Division

- 51° RI : Albi, Rodez; 16° Division

- 65° RI : Bourg-en-Bresse, Mâcon, Sathonay; 7° Division

- 92° RI : Clermont-Ferrand, Riom; 13° Division

- 150° RI : Agen, Marmande, Cahors; 17° Division

- 151° RI : Lons-le-Saunier; 7° Division

- 152° RI : Montluçon, La Palisse; 13° Division

- 153° RIA : Lyon; 14° Division

- 159° RIA : Grenoble, Gap; 14° Division

Chasseurs battalions :

- 1er BCP : Belley; 7° Division

- 2° BCP : Jujurieux; 7° Division

- 8° BCP : Magnac-Laval; 12° Division

- 10° BCP : Neuville-sur-Ain; 7° Division

- 16° BCP : Limoges; 12° Division

- 30° BCP : Saint-Laurent-de-Céris; 12° Division

- 6° BCA : Grenoble; 14° Division

- 13° BCA : Chambéry; 14° Division

- 20° BCA : Digne; 15° Division

- 24° BCA : Hyères; 15° Division

- 25° BCA : Hyères; 15° Division

- 27° BCA : Annecy; 14° Division

Infantry battalions :

- 173° BAC : Bastia; 15° Division

Battalion-sized cavalry regiments:

- 6° Cuirassiers : Limoges; 12° Division

- 8° Cuirassiers : Châteauroux, Buzançais; 9° Division

- 1er Chasseurs* : Vienne; 1er Cavalry Brigade (subordinate to 1er GDM)

- 2° Chasseurs* : Nîmes; 1er Cavalry Brigade (subordinate to 1er GDM)

- 2° Hussards* : Tarbes; 2° Cavalry Brigade (subordinate to 2° GDM)

- 3° Hussards* : Montauban; 2° Cavalry Brigade (subordinate to 2° GDM)

- 2° Dragons : Auch; 17° Division

- 3° Dragons : Castres; 16° Division

- 5° Dragons : Macon; 7° Division

- 8° Dragons : Issoire; 13° Division

- 11° Cuirassiers; : Lyon; 14° Division

- 12° Cuirassiers; : Orange; 15° Division

* horse-mounted unit

Artillery regiments :

- 2° RA : Grenoble, Lyon; 14° Division

- 4° RA : Clermont-Ferrand; 13° Division

- 15° RA : Montpellier, Carcassonne, Castre; 16° Division

- 24° RA : Toulouse, Agen, Tarbes; 17° Division

- 35° RA : Périgueux, Limoges; 12° Division

- 61° RA : La Valbonne; 7° Division

- 72° RAA : Issoudun, Dun-sur-Auron, Lisle-Jourdain; 9° Division

Engineer units :

- 1er Bataillon : Bergerac; 12° Division

- 2° Bataillon : Montpellier; 16° Division

- 3° Bataillon : Castelsarrasin; 17° Division

- 4° Bataillon : Grenoble; 14° Division

- 6° Bataillon : Le Blanc; 9° Division

- 7° Bataillon : Avignon; 15° Division

- 9° Bataillon : Roanne; 13° Division

- 10° Bataillon : La Valbonne; 7° Division

Signals units :

- 7° groupe: Bourg-en-Bresse; 7° Division

- 9° groupe: Chateauroux; 9° Division

- 12° groupe: Limoges; 12° Division

- 13° groupe: Clermont-Ferrand; 13° Division

- 14° groupe: Grenoble; 14° Division

- 15° groupe: Avignon; 15° Division

- 16° groupe: Montpellier; 16° Division

- 17° groupe: Toulouse; 17° Division

Trains (transport, quartermaster, etc.) :

- 7° Compagnie : Bourg-en-Bresse; 7° Division

- 9° Compagnie : Chateauroux; 9° Division

- 12° Compagnie : Limoges; 12° Division

- 13° Compagnie : Clermont-Ferrand; 13° Division

- 14° Compagnie : Lyon; 14° Division

- 15° Compagnie : Marseille; 15° Division

- 16° Compagnie : Albi; 16° Division

- 17° Compagnie : Tarbes; 17° Division


AAA units :

- DAT 12 : Lyon; 14° Division

- DAT 13 : Marseille, Hyères, Nimes, Privas; 15° Division

- DAT 14 : Montpellier, Perpignan, Port-Vendres; 16° Division

- DAT 21 : Châteauroux; 9° Division

- DAT 22 : Limoges, Bergerac; 12° Division

- DAT 23 : Clermont-Ferrand, Saint-Etienne; 13° Division

- DAT 24 : Toulouse, Lannemezan; 17° Division

Colonial troops :

- 2° RIC, 16° Division : Perpignan, Carcassonne, Castelnaudary

- 21° RIC, 15° Division : Toulon, Arles

- 10° RAC, 15° Division : Nimes, Tarascon, Draguignan


---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
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E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 2772

Re: Map depicting garrisons of Vichy French units in France
Posted on: 7/30/2017 8:14:01 AM
Just how significant were the Vichy forces in actually aiding the Reich?

MD
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

BWilson

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Posts: 3321

Re: Map depicting garrisons of Vichy French units in France
Posted on: 7/30/2017 8:32:57 AM
 Mostly in an indirect sense. Mostly Great Britain (and friends), but the Free French, and the USA as well expended resources and fought battles to eliminate the Vichy presence in the Levant, in north Africa, and on Madagascar. The presence of overseas Vichy forces was certainly a distraction. In mainland France, the Vichy forces were disbanded by the Germans in late 1942. As far as direct assistance went, there was a small element of French Army engineers who were employed after the armistice repairing railroads, roads, and bridges in the occupied zone.

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

richto90
Bremerton, WA, USA
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E-6 Staff Sergeant
Posts: 396

Re: Map depicting garrisons of Vichy French units in France
Posted on: 7/30/2017 12:41:45 PM

Quote:
 I don't have naval or air unit data at hand, but following are the locations of the army units.


Yep, those be the garrisons.

richto90
Bremerton, WA, USA
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E-6 Staff Sergeant
Posts: 396

Re: Map depicting garrisons of Vichy French units in France
Posted on: 7/30/2017 12:45:18 PM

Quote:
Just how significant were the Vichy forces in actually aiding the Reich?


In a bit of a roundabout way at least...much of the planning for use of the 1st Brigade FMF USMC from the second half of 1940 to early 1942 was centered on an amphibious invasion of French Martinique.

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
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Re: Map depicting garrisons of Vichy French units in France
Posted on: 7/30/2017 1:15:43 PM
When the governor of St. Pierre et Miquelon declared that he recognized the legitimacy of the Vichy government, the Canadian government made plans to occupy the islands. The two islands sit about 30 km off the southern shore of what was then the British colony of Newfoundland.

Negotiations between Canada, the US and the Brits and Newfoundland ensued over what to do with St. Pierre et Miquelon. The US opposed an invasion I believe.

Newfoundland was ready to pounce with an invasion by police but the British told them to wait.

Canada had plans in place to send troops.

Not that there was a garrison of Vichy French troops to oppose any take-over. Only 4400 French citizens and a government in support of Vichy France were there.

The only military presence was an armed sloop called the Ville d'Ys. Still it was a war ship and it would be operating in Newfoundland and Canadian waters as a Vichy French vessel. It would protect the fishing fleet which sent most of its catch to France. That could possibly be viewed as aiding the German war effort as there was no guarantee that the fish would wind up only in French bellies.

There was evidence that intelligence was being sent by radio to u-boats not far away and to France and one presumes, the Germans.

They were largely undefended islands so the concern was whether the Germans could use the islands to their advantage as a place to refuel u-boats for example or as a spy centre.

Charles de Gaulle took care of the concerns of the other allied countries when he sent French ships to take over the islands.

Of course he did it without informing his allies and used a ruse to effect the operation. Love that Charles de Gaulle.

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
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Posts: 2772

Re: Map depicting garrisons of Vichy French units in France
Posted on: 7/30/2017 5:00:55 PM
George

The Canadians should have taken those islands when you had the chance. The hostile Vichy Govt., inessence held them. Take them then and then no more French problem.

Too bad, a missed oppertunity,
MD
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
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Posts: 5313

Re: Map depicting garrisons of Vichy French units in France
Posted on: 7/30/2017 7:48:00 PM
Dave did you mean as a strategic move in war time or an annexation of another country's territory?

Annexation isn't really our style but we have had conflicts with the French over fishing rights in the area. That has been resolved.


When France capitulated and the St. Pierre governor announced that the islands recognized the legitimacy of the Vichy regime, the Canadians and the Newfoundlanders wanted to invade.

The Newfoundlanders, a colony, had to ask permission from the British and the British told them to hold off.

Newfoundland had long been keen to eliminate the St. Pierre et Miquelon fishing fleet as competitors and saw the events that developed in WW2 as an opportunity.

Britain advised the Newfoundlanders to work with the Canadians to develop contingency plans to invade should the need arise.


But the Canadians were hesitant to develop those plans for fear of offending the US. The Canadians believed that an invasion would be perceived as a violation of the Monroe Doctrine by the Americans. The doctrine offends those who aren't Americans but clearly America wasn't going to sit idly while a European power annexed territory in the western hemisphere.

The US, neutral at this time, was worried that any attempts to seize the territory of a foreign power would lead to the belligerents in Europe attempting to seize and annex the territory of the countries that they invaded.

Canada also wanted to invade Greenland and the US opposed that too.

US state dept. said that it preferred that:


Quote:
"no action of this kind be taken by Canada since it might offer an excuse to other large countries for taking over colonial territories of occupied European countries".


Canada's alliances were shifting more toward the US and away from Great Britain. FDR had announced that an attack on Canadian would be resisted by the US in assistance. So it was important to cultivate this relationship and not to offend.


There was no unanimity in Canada.


Quote:
Commander F.L. Houghton, Director of Plans Division, explained in a memorandum: "These islands would be of little use to Canada or the enemy; better submarine or surface craft bases existed on the south coast of Newfoundland and could easily be occupied by the enemy"


And the opposing view:


Quote:
C.G. Power, Canada’s Minister of National Defence for Air, told Jay Pierrepont Moffat, American Minister to Canada, that "if he had his way, Canadian troops would occupy it [St. Pierre and Miquelon]"



The Canadians sent a delegation to St. Pierre et Miquelon and found a despondent population who expected to be invaded by Canada, NFLD or the US. The Canadians came away feeling the if the people had their way, they would choose to join the US for financial reasons.

They also said that they would rather fight than be forced to join their arch enemy, Newfoundland.

Despite what their governor said, the people of the islands were not fully behind the Vichy. When De Gaulle sent the French navy to seize the islands, the troops were welcomed by the people.

So the Canadians decided that a combined invasion with NFLD of St. Pierre could drive the islands into the hands of the Americans.


The Brits had asked Canada to be responsible for British territory in North America and indeed the Canadian forces were performing garrison duty in Bermuda and Jamaica and British Guiana. Canadians were also assisting the Brits in Iceland.

The US was Ok with all of that so long as the Canadians didn't land on territory that wasn't British. The Brits wanted Canada to garrison Aruba to protect the oil refineries there. The US wasn't keen on that.

A deal was worked out with St. Pierre, and it agreed not to participate in any way in the war effort. The RCN wanted the Vichy French sloop to join the RCN but the French didn't want that.


The US did broker an agreement in Havana in 1940 with 20 other western hemisphere states at the Organization of American States Conference.

At the behest of the US, those states agreed that territorial ownership in the western hemisphere should maintain the status quo. In other words, no invasions of any territory by a foreign power.

The countries all agreed that military action would be justified to prevent the take-over of a territory by a foreign power.

The Act of Havana of 1940 stated:


Quote:
that one or more American countries, subject to the overriding control of an Inter-American Committee for Territorial Administration composed of representatives of each of the twenty-one American republics, could intervene in European colonies whenever necessary to prevent changes in sovereignty.


Canada wasn't invited to the conference as a belligerent in WW2 but the Canadian government was pleased with the actions of the US in brokering this deal. It took that pressure off of the Canadian government to comply with British requests for assistance in the western hemisphere.

So Dave, there really was no opportunity and today there is peace and co-operation between St. Pierre et Miquelon and Canada. There are cultural exchanges and the French government pays for necessary health care for the people of the islands which is delivered in Newfoundland.

That wasn't the end of the St. Pierre incident. The Brits were still poking their noses in, because as soon as the Canadians reached the deal that guaranteed the neutrality of St. Pierre, the fishing fleet left the island for Vichy ports. Many went to Martinique. Some went to France where they were seized by the Germans. So the Brits were ticked off.

Tensions rose again in 1941 when Vichy France began to co-operate more fully with the Germans and so the Canadian invasion plans were resurrected once again.

Most of the above is a précis of this article:

[Read More]

As I said, De Gaulle settled the issue by sneaking ships into the St. Pierre port and seizing the islands. In doing so, he made all of his allies angry, and would make a habit of it throughout the war.





Cheers,

George

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
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E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 2772

Re: Map depicting garrisons of Vichy French units in France
Posted on: 7/31/2017 7:51:43 AM
George,

Why do those French Islands consider Newfoundland the enemy???

Also this is how I remember the Vichy Government!

[Read More]

From a negative point of view, the Vichy Regime!

[Read More]

Regards,
MD

And yes half kiddingly, I insinuated that Imperial Canada should have confiscated those French possessions on "your coast"!

You said during WWll Newfoundland was a British Colony? Elaborate, how did Canada get it??
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

BWilson

top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3321

Re: Map depicting garrisons of Vichy French units in France
Posted on: 7/31/2017 8:40:24 AM
MD,

 Just a brief observation. You mention the Vichy "government" and "regime". One should bear in mind the French troops of that regime were not the authors of that regime's policies. Once those orders changed to support the Allies again, they complied and proved good troops in the subsequent campaigns. Many of the men in the "Vichy Army" in mainland France organized resistance groups after the Germans took over the rest of France in 1942 ... and when the Allies landed in France, these men were brought into the French Army to again fight the Germans.

 I like straightforward accounts as much as anyone, but the story of France in the war is anything but simple.

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

BWilson

top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3321

Re: Map depicting garrisons of Vichy French units in France
Posted on: 7/31/2017 8:49:34 AM
The size of the retained forces strike me as very similar to what the Germans were allowed in the Weimar Republic.

 Apparently a lot of politics and symbolic import involved. One account I read mentioned Germans in the armistice commission getting upset because of a particular regiment the French had chosen to be part of the Vichy Army. The regiment's original garrison was in Colmar, prompting the Germans to angrily "inform" the French that Alsace-Lorraine was not part of France.

 Considering the area involved, the Vichy Army in France seems a large force.

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

richto90
Bremerton, WA, USA
top 25
E-6 Staff Sergeant
Posts: 396

Re: Map depicting garrisons of Vichy French units in France
Posted on: 7/31/2017 12:31:00 PM

Quote:
I like straightforward accounts as much as anyone, but the story of France in the war is anything but simple.

Cheers

BW
--BWilson


Indeed, and a strong indicator of that was that the French archives on Vichy were closed to research for fifty years.

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5313

Re: Map depicting garrisons of Vichy French units in France
Posted on: 7/31/2017 12:55:32 PM

Quote:
And yes half kiddingly, I insinuated that Imperial Canada should have confiscated those French possessions on "your coast"!

You said during WWll Newfoundland was a British Colony? Elaborate, how did Canada get it??


I don't think that there is an imperial Canada. . Canada consisted of a number of colonies prior to confederation in 1867, much the same as your 13 colonies that rebelled.

St. Pierre et Miquelon has exchanged hands between Great Britain and France a number of times.

After the French lost most of their territory in North America, in 1763, they asked for maintenance of control of the two islands. And during the negotiations for the Treaty of Paris, the British agreed to this. French fishermen who had been fishing off the Grand Banks for a long time needed a safe harbour for the fishing fleet. The British said OK.

So they have a right to be French if they wish. But the islands are right off the coast of NFLD which was also a colony of Great Britain and was so during both world wars.

Canadian and American forces were stationed on NFLD during WW2. NFLD did quite well economically during the war but ran into financial trouble after the war.

The people were compelled to make a decision. By 1948 their financial plight caused them to hold two referenda to decide:

1. Whether to remain an autonomous Dominion of NFLD as they were in 1948

2. To revert to colonial status with decisions made by a commission led by the British government

3. To join the Dominion of Canada.


Canada had been pushing for NFLD to join with it in the Canadian Confederation and the result was that they chose to join Canada in 1949.

Thus the dreams of the Fathers of Confederation to create a country from coast to coast to coast was finally realized.

It was by the narrowest of margins however and the political battles in NFLD over the choices offered were bitter.

Cheers,

George


scoucer
Berlin, Germany
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Posts: 1924

Re: Map depicting garrisons of Vichy French units in France
Posted on: 7/31/2017 2:09:57 PM

Quote:
 I like straightforward accounts as much as anyone, but the story of France in the war is anything but simple.

Cheers BW--BWilson


And that is an understatement. Post-1945, the level of collaberation (sp?), not to mention the long history of anti-semitism, in France was something conveniently swept under the carpet and France has lived in a denial. The roots of the Le Pen family and the Front National are clearly here to be seen.

I believe a friend of Phil`s did some research.

Trevor
---------------
`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie

Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.

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