Photos WW2 French Forces


A might have been that was in the works when the Wehrmacht invaded: the heavy Renault G1R tank. Armed with a 75mm (there even were plans for a 105mm-armed version) it would have been used in an offensive role, envisioned after the German forces would have been forced to a standstill in a first, defensive phase.

Dragons Portés - motorized infantry - at the 14 juillet parade. The Laffly truck (small wheels under the engine block were a typical Laffly design) is equipped with a Fusil-Mitrailleur Châtellerault Modèle 24/29.

The Châtellerault was a LMG that could be used by foot infantry as well. Here are Colonial troops (Algerian or Moroccan I'd say) armed with Châtellerault (Châtellerault being the name of the town where the weapon was produced, at the Manufacture d'Armes de Châtellerault, MAC for short).

Next to the knocked-out hulk of his Panhard 178 armored recon car, a solitary tomb for the fallen crew, probably dug and signaled by the advancing German forces. On the tomb, in lieu of flowers, round magazines for the Panhard's Reibel machine-gun. On the cross, the round helmet worn by tank/armored car crews. The sign, IIRC, says something on the line of "Here rest two fallen French soldiers".

The massive Latécoère-631 transatlantic clipper. Can't tell if this is the one, but one Laté-631 was requisitioned by the Luftwaffe during the occupation, and was destroyed by a Mosquito in 1944. These seaplanes could fly from Bordeaux to the Martinique with 50+ passengers.
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French troops en route to Narvik during the Norway campaign. They belong to either the Chasseurs Alpins or the Légion Etrangère's 13th Demi-Brigade. It is said all men of the 13th DBLE lied about their knowing how to use skis, so eager they were to deploy in Norway and face German troops.
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French Curtiss H-75s, bought from the US at the beginning of the war. After France's collapse, some undelivered H-75s slated for French forces were sold to Britain instead.
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A pair of Dewoitine D-520s on patrol. Though an ill-tempered bird, particularly when landing/taking off, the Dewoitine was a good plane, combining good speed and firepower. Due to their good range, a number of Dewoitines managed to leave Metropolitan France during the German onslaught, rallying French possessions in Africa. Some ended up Vichy (and among those some briefly fought American forces during operation Torch), and some went Free French. In late 1944, when there were still German forces holed up along the Atlantic Coast, some Dewoitines flew sorties against Wehrmacht positions.

The two D-520s above belong to the Aéronavale, the French Navy's air force. You can see a black anchor on the tricolor flag on the tail.
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Above, the standard MAS-36 rifle, the French rifleman's weapon of 1940. Below, a special model with a folding stock produced to equip the Infanterie de l'Air (as parachutistes were then called) platoons. The light metallic stock would pivot around its axis, just above the trigger, and fold next to the barrel, reudcing the encumberance for the paratrooper.

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Ian talks about the paratrooper version.

A long 155mm gun towed by a light tracked artillery tractor.

Is it just me or do the wheels of the artillery piece look like they were designed for being pulled by a train on tracks?

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