Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

Groupe Franc de Cavalerie

Discussion in 'What If - European Theater - Western Front & Atlan' started by JCFalkenbergIII, Mar 26, 2009.

  1. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    10,480
    Likes Received:
    425
    Do any of you fellow posters have any info on this type of unit? What equipment or TO&E? Were they effective? Where did they fight? What happened to them?


    Groupe Franc de Cavalerie

    The Groupes Franc de Cavalerie were an improvisation created in the desperate final weeks of the struggle against Germany in 1940. Since most of French Army's armored and mechanized formations were decimated in the initial battles of the war, the French found themselves having to improvise new formations to try to cope with the German advance. The smallest of these was the GFC, a mixed unit of motorcyclists, armored cars, tanks, and motorized anti-tank guns whose role would be to try to delay German armored spearheads or to harrass the Wehrmacht's flanks and supply lines. These formations may be viewed as the successors to the franc-tireurs of the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71 which, although creating a nuisance for the German forces, were unable to make a significant impact on the course of events.

    http://www.geocities.com/pmj6/gfc.html
     
  2. BWilson

    BWilson Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2009
    Messages:
    337
    Likes Received:
    60
    Found this at Combat de Pont-de-l'Arche - Wikipédia

    Note: Order of Battle of the 5 Groupes Franc de Cavalerie on 8 June 1940:


    • GFC n°1 = capitaine de Neuchèze. 1 company of motorized infantry, 1 mortar platoon, 1 25-mm AT gun platoon, 4 Panhard 178 armored cars, 5 Hotchkiss and 7 AMC-35 tanks.
    • GFC n°2 = lieutenant Huot. 1 motorcycle platoon, 2 47-mm AT gun platoons, 2 armored vehicles (unspecified), 2 S-35 tanks.
    • GFC n°3 = ??
    • GFC n°4 = capitaine Huet. 8 officers, 19 NCO's et 150 troopers ; 1 HQ platoon, 1 of motorcycles, 1 of mortars, 1 of machine guns, 2 47-mm and 2 25-mm AT guns, 1 armored car platoon, 2 AMC-35 tanks.
    • GFC n°5 = capitaine Ricaud. 8 officers, 241 NCO's and troopers ; 2 47-mm and 2 25-mm AT guns, 5 Somua S-35 tanks, 5 Panhard 178 armored cars, 6 light and 10 heavy machine guns, 4 command vehicles, 4 halftracks, 14 GMC light trucks, 2 ammo trucks for the AT guns, 4 specialized vehicles (radio, telephone, maintenance and field kitchen), 10 motorcycles, 25 motorcycles with side-cars.
    Article also notes:

    The French high command organized on short notice armored units, five "Groupes Francs Motorisés de Cavalerie" on 1 June 1940 at Montlhéry, the base of COMAM (Organization Center for motorcycle and armored car troops). The independent units were initially intended to reinforce the defense along the Somme, but were finally deployed in the vicinity of Rouen on June 8 to defend the bridges of the lower Seine.

    The 4th Group apparently fought at the Battle of Pont de l'Arche. I don't agree with the quoted comment in your post about these being successors to franc-tireurs as the 1940 troops were regular, uniformed soldiers.

    Cheers

    BW

     
  3. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    10,480
    Likes Received:
    425
    Thanks I actually had found that already. I was hoping for more information in English. Translation programs leave alot to be desired.
     
  4. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    10,480
    Likes Received:
    425
    "The Renault ACG1 equipped several small French units like the "Escadron Audigier" and various "Groupes Francs de Cavalerie". One of these units is the "Groupe Franc de Cavalerie n°1" commanded by Capitaine Neuchèze, which e.g. took part to the defense of Saumur on the Loire River with the cadets of the Cavalry school. This "Groupe France" consisted in a motorized infantry company, a mortar platoon, a single 25mm AT gun and three armored platoons: 4 Panhard 178 armored cars, 5 Hotchkiss tanks and 7 Renault ACG1 light tanks.

    An other example is the "Groupe Franc de Cavalerie n°4", which was formed on May 25, 1940 under capitaine Huet from elements of the 1e GRDI and consisted of a command platoon, a tank platoon (2 Renault ACG1 light tanks), a motorcycle platoon, an infantry platoon with a mortar, two 25mm AT guns and two 47mm SA37 AT guns. A total strength of 8 officers, 19 NCOs and 150 men for this GFC n°4. It was deployed by general Duffour to cover the crossings at Pont de l'Arche. On the 9th of June, the 25mm AT guns under lieutenant Petit reportedly disabled 16 German tanks. The position however was soon overrrun and the groupe franc withdrew. "

    Axis History Forum • View topic - Belgian vehicles in 1940
     

Share This Page