order of battle of the metropolitan Armée d'Armistice

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Leo Niehorster
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Re: order of battle of the metropolitan Armée d'Armistice

Post by Leo Niehorster » 08 Mar 2021 10:34

Information not passed on is lost.
URL: World War II Armed Forces

Sid Guttridge
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Re: order of battle of the metropolitan Armée d'Armistice

Post by Sid Guttridge » 08 Mar 2021 11:05

Hi Carl,

I recall that this book was useful: https://www.abebooks.fr/servlet/SearchR ... =100121503 It is a popular, rather than academic, work, but it does, from memory, cover a much of what you ask about.

The Deuxieme Bureau's unofficial Vichy successor reportedly fed the British information via Switzerland, including the sticky bomb plans.

The only thing I can tell from the information I have at hand is that over 1940-42 Colonel Jean-Charles Bernis, a retired member of the Deuxieme Bureau (I think he may have written a history of it) living in Beausoleil near Monaco, conducted intelligence gathering in south-eastern France. He also gathered information on north-western Italy, particularly regarding the Italian naval base at La Spezia. He was part of the "Alliance" intelligence network.

Cheers,

Sid
Last edited by Sid Guttridge on 08 Mar 2021 11:41, edited 4 times in total.

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Georges JEROME
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Re: order of battle of the metropolitan Armée d'Armistice

Post by Georges JEROME » 08 Mar 2021 11:07

to complete the master work of Leo
the territorial organisation location was :
1e GDM (Avignon) : 7e Division Militaire (Bourg-en-Bresse), 14e Division Militaire (Lyon), 15e Division Militaire (Marseille), 16e Division Militaire (Montpellier)
2e GDM (Clermont-Ferrand) : 9e D.M. (Chateauroux), 12e D.M. (Limoges) 13e D.M. (Clermont Ferrand), 17e D.M. (Toulouse)
Best regards

Georges

Carl Schwamberger
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Re: order of battle of the metropolitan Armée d'Armistice

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 08 Mar 2021 14:00

Sid Guttridge wrote:
08 Mar 2021 11:05
...
The only thing I can tell from the information I have at hand is that over 1940-42 Colonel Jean-Charles Bernis, a retired member of the Deuxieme Bureau (I think he may have written a history of it) living in Beausoleil near Monaco, conducted intelligence gathering in south-eastern France. He also gathered information on north-western Italy, particularly regarding the Italian naval base at La Spezia. He was part of the "Alliance" intelligence network. ...
Thanks. Does not sound like the same Vichy officer who met with Brit officers in 1942 to discuss Vichy rearmament requirements were a hasty need to emerge.

Carl Schwamberger
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Re: order of battle of the metropolitan Armée d'Armistice

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 08 Mar 2021 14:07

Georges JEROME wrote:
08 Mar 2021 11:07
to complete the master work of Leo
the territorial organisation location was : ...
None of those covering the Italian frontier? I am guessing the Navy had some sort of defense formation at Toulon?

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Re: order of battle of the metropolitan Armée d'Armistice

Post by Sid Guttridge » 08 Mar 2021 14:25

Hi Carl,

Under the Armistice conditions with Italy in 1940, the French were not allowed to deploy armed forces within a demilitarized zone 50 kilometres from the border. This meant they also had to decommission the Ligne Alpine - an extension of the Maginot Line in the Alps that had frustrated the Italian Army over 20-24 June 1940. As a result, the Italians met no more resistance than the Germans when occupying the Vichy Zone in November 1942.

From memory, 15th Division covered Toulon.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: order of battle of the metropolitan Armée d'Armistice

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 08 Mar 2021 16:36

Thanks. I'd assumed the Italians had included the fortifications in their initial occupation zone.

Sid Guttridge
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Re: order of battle of the metropolitan Armée d'Armistice

Post by Sid Guttridge » 08 Mar 2021 17:54

Hi Carl,

No. In June 1940 the Italians had driven in the unfortified French outpost line, but had not captured any of the smaller Advance Post fortifications, let alone reached any of the major works (Grandes Ouvrages) of the main line. The Alpine terrain across almost the whole front and bad weather made life very difficult for the Italians even without taking into account the Ligne Alpine.

The new frontier was formed where the Italian Army had reached at the ceasefire. As part of the Armistice conditions, the French had to disarm the Ligne Alpine fortifications and all older fortifications within the 50-kilometer demilitarized zone.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: order of battle of the metropolitan Armée d'Armistice

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 09 Mar 2021 05:25

Hmm... The only territory I've found so far, that a Italian unit history admits occupying; is the French commune Bourge St Maurice. So, the Italian 1st Alpine Division seizes the ski resort & lives in its hotels a year....

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Re: order of battle of the metropolitan Armée d'Armistice

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 09 Mar 2021 05:36

Hmm.. picking at the division organizations I see two items in the 7th Div. Three "Military Command in Department, and six Military Command of District". What would those be?

Sid Guttridge
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Re: order of battle of the metropolitan Armée d'Armistice

Post by Sid Guttridge » 09 Mar 2021 13:00

Hi Carl,

5th Cosseria Infantry Division also captured the coastal holiday resort of Menton. Lest one gets the impression that the Italians were obsessed with comfy vacation destinations, it should be noted that it suffered nearly 500 casualties in doing so.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: order of battle of the metropolitan Armée d'Armistice

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 09 Mar 2021 14:53

A high price to pay for beachfront properties.

Mori
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Re: order of battle of the metropolitan Armée d'Armistice

Post by Mori » 09 Mar 2021 15:08

Sid Guttridge wrote:
08 Mar 2021 11:05
I recall that this book was useful: https://www.abebooks.fr/servlet/SearchR ... =100121503 It is a popular, rather than academic, work, but it does, from memory, cover a much of what you ask about.
Absolutely not academic a source !

Once popular, Florentin but is largely forgotten now. He mostly worked on Normandy. There is little to save except for occasional interviews of inhabitants and of veterans. His narratives tried to thrust so many details that they clogged. The whole "Stalingrad in Normandy" thesis is also obsolete.

There are tons of serious works on Resistance. Just check there as a starting point: http://francoisverdier-liberationsud.fr ... ccupation/

Sid Guttridge
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Re: order of battle of the metropolitan Armée d'Armistice

Post by Sid Guttridge » 09 Mar 2021 17:35

Hi Mori,

Which on that list cover the Armée Nouvelle, its evasion of the Armistice terms, its secret plans for tripling to 24 divisions, Vichy intelligence and other collaboration with the Allies over 1940-42 and the events of 11 November 1942in the Unoccupied Zone?

Cheers,

Sid

Carl Schwamberger
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Re: order of battle of the metropolitan Armée d'Armistice

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 10 Mar 2021 04:34

I can see trippling the number of rifle companies, but command staff, prepared specialist units, artillery groupements & all the rest that makes up a division are problematic. Kline-Albrandt interviewed some surviving officers of the Reichwehr era & they confirmed how police auxiliaries & similar organizations constituted a pool of 300,000 to 400,000, perhaps a half million trained rifle men. But, they made it clear these added few divisions to the Reichswehr. Little equipment was available. This mass of infantry and machine gunners would add extra rifle companies to each existing Reichswehr rifle battalion, and then be a pool of ready replacements as the casualties occurred.

My guess is it would be the same with the French. 300,000 armed men, but still no more than a strengthening of the existing formations & the rest manning scattered roadblocks or guarding supply depots.

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