It is used by several countries, including the Canadian Army, French, and Norwegian armies. The weapon can also be used against bunkers and pillboxes. It also has some capability in the anti aircraft role to bring down low flying helicopters, due to its wire guided system. An agreement was reached in 1989 between the French and Canadian governments to co-produce the ERYX missile system. It entered service in 1994. The Eryx began as a project in the late 1970s by the French Ministry of defense to replace the short range Luchaire's LRAC F1 STRIM 89mm rocket launcher in the French Army.

Battle of Kolwezi

KolweziBattle of KolwezBonite/Léopard1978 military coup in Kolwezi
A violent firefight ensued in the streets, while French snipers started picking out threatening rebels, killing 10 of them at 300 m with the newly introduced FR F1 sniper rifle. European hostages and those who had been able to hide started to come under the control and protection of the French. At 15:00, rebel armour attempted a counter-attack with three captured Panhard AML armoured cars, which legionnaires met with rocket and small arms fire. The lead AML-60 was knocked out at a range of fifty metres by an LRAC F1; a second AML discharged a single 90mm shell at its assailants before withdrawing. At 18:00, the city was under French control and mostly secured.

Dard 120

The DARD 120 is a shoulder-launched missile launcher of French origin manufactured by Societe Europeenne de Propulsion (SEP). Work on the new grenade launcher przeciwpancernym started in Societe Europeenne de Propulsion in 1978 year. It had a construction similar to that have been operated LRAC F1, but greater penetration. The outcome was a grenade Dard 90, also known as AC 1000. It did przebijalności required, so it was decided to increase the caliber of 95 mm. In 1979, the work was stopped on the AC 1000 and began work on a 120 mm caliber grenade launcher. The result was presented in the 1981 grenade year Dard 120 (presented at the same time competing launchers APILAS and Jupiter 300 ).

French Armed Forces

French militaryFrenchmilitary
* History of French foreign relations * Military history of France * Airborne Units of France * Combined Joint Expeditionary Force (CJEF) * Ranks in the French Army * Ranks in the French Navy * Ranks in the French Air Force * Ranks in the French Gendarmerie * Bastille Day Military Parade * The Lancaster House Treaties (2010) * French Foreign Legion * Official site of the French Ministry of Defence * French Military Strategy and NATO Reintegration—Council on Foreign Relations * French Army rank insignia * The French Army; 111,628 personnel. * The French Air Force; 43,597 personnel. * The French Navy; 36,044 personnel.

French Air Force

Armée de l'AirAir ForceAéronautique Militaire
The French Air Force (Armée de l'Air Française), literally Aerial Army) is the air force of the French Armed Forces. It was formed in 1909 as the Service Aéronautique, a service arm of the French Army, then was made an independent military arm in 1934. The number of aircraft in service with the French Air Force varies depending on source, however sources from the French Ministry of Defence give a figure of 658 aircraft in 2014. The French Air Force has 247 combat aircraft in service, with the majority being 137 Dassault Mirage 2000 and 110 Dassault Rafale. As of early 2017, the French Air Force employs a total of 41,160 regular personnel.

French Foreign Legion

Foreign LegionLegionnairesLegion
Later, a thousand of the rank-and-file of the Vichy Legion unit joined the 13 e D.B.L.E. of the Free French forces which were also part as of September 1944 of Jean de Lattre de Tassigny's successful Amalgam of the French Liberation Army (:fr:Armée française de la Libération), the (400,000 men) amalgam consisted of the Armistice Army, the Free French Forces and the French Forces of the Interior which formed Army B and were later part of the French 1st Army with forces also issued from the French Resistance.

Paris Fire Brigade

Sapeurs-pompiersfire brigade of ParisParis firefighter
The Paris Fire Brigade (French: Brigade des sapeurs-pompiers de Paris, BSPP), is a French Army unit which serves as the primary fire and rescue service for Paris and certain sites of national strategic importance. The brigade's main area of responsibility is the City of Paris and the surrounding départements of Seine-Saint-Denis, Val-de-Marne, and Hauts-de-Seine. It also serves the Centre Spatial Guyanais in Kourou, the Military Rocket Test Centre in Biscarosse, and the gas plant of Lacq-Artix. The brigade is a unit of the French Army's Engineering Arm (l'arme du génie) and the firefighters are therefore sappers (sapeurs, thus sapeurs-pompiers).

Chief of Staff of the French Army

general staff headquarters of the French Armygeneral staff headquarterschef d'état major de l'armée de terre
The Chief of Staff of the French Army (Chef d'état-major de l'Armée de terre (CEMAT) is the highest rank officer in the chain of command of the French Army. The chief of staff (CEMAT) is assisted by the Major General of the French Army (:fr:major général de l'Armée de terre). The CEMAT title has been in use since 1962; prior to that the position for the general in charge of France's army was referred to as Chief of Staff of the Army (Chef d'État-Major de l'Armée, CEMA).

National Guard (France)

National GuardNational GuardsGarde nationale
The National Guard (undefined) is a French gendarmerie that existed from 1789 to 1872, including a period of official dissolution from 1827 to 1830, re-founded in 2016. It was separate from the French Army and existed both for policing and as a military reserve. For most of its history the National Guard, particularly its officers, were widely viewed as loyal to middle-class interests. However, from 1792 to 1795, the National Guard was perceived as revolutionary and the lower ranks were identified with sans-culottes, and soon after the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, the National Guard in Paris became viewed as dangerously revolutionary, contributing to its dissolution.

Army of Africa (France)

Army of AfricaArmée d'AfriqueFrench Army of Africa
The Army of Africa (Armée d’Afrique) was an unofficial but commonly used term for those portions of the French Army recruited from or normally stationed in French North Africa (Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia) from 1830 until the end of the Algerian War in 1962. The Army of Africa included indigenous Arab or Berber volunteers; (spahis, Goumiers and tirailleurs); regiments largely made up of French settlers doing their military service (zouaves and chasseurs d'Afrique); and non-French volunteers (French Foreign Legion).


The Zouaves were a class of light infantry regiments of the French Army serving between 1830 and 1962 and linked to French North Africa, as well as some units of other countries modelled upon them. The zouaves, along with the indigenous Tirailleurs Algeriens, were among the most decorated units of the French Army. It was initially intended in 1830 that the zouaves be a regiment of Berber volunteers from the Zwawa group of tribes in Algeria—thus the French term zouave—who had gained a martial reputation fighting for local rulers under the Ottoman Empire. The regiment was to consist of sixteen hundred Zwawa Berbers, French NCOs and French officers.

Maurice Sarrail

SarrailMaurice Paul Sarai
On 30 August Sarrail was promoted to succeed Ruffey in command of Third Army. In early September IV Corps was removed from his command and sent to Maunoury’s new Sixth Army near Paris. In early September Sarrail, along with Franchet d’Esperey (Fifth Army) and Foch (Ninth Army), was ordered (Instruction Generale No 5) to stop retreating and be ready to counterattack. However, during the Battle of the Marne, unlike those other French generals, Sarrail was ordered simply to pin down German Crown Prince Wilhelm’s Fifth Army opposite him, in the vicinity of Verdun. The Revigny Gap had opened up between the right of de Langle's Fourth Army and the left of Third Army.

Adrian helmet

Adrian helmetFrench helmetsAdrian
The M15 Adrian helmet (Casque Adrian) was a combat helmet issued to the French Army during World War I. It was the first standard helmet of the French Army and was designed when millions of French troops were engaged in trench warfare, and head wounds from the falling shrapnel generated by the new technique of indirect fire became a frequent cause of battlefield casualties. Introduced in 1915, it was the first modern steel helmet and it served as the basic helmet of many armies well into the 1930s. Initially issued to infantry soldiers, in modified form they were also issued to cavalry and tank crews. A subsequent version, the M26, was used during World War II.

French Army in World War I

French ArmyFrenchFirst World War
The First Battle of the Marne: The French 'Miracle' Halts the Germans (Campaign), Osprey Publishing (2010) * Sumner, Ian. The French Army: 1914-18, Osprey Publishing (1995) * Sumner, Ian. The French Army at Verdun (Images of War), Pen & Sword Military (2016) * Sumner, Ian. The French Army in the First World War (Images of War), Pen & Sword Military (2016) * Sumner, Ian. French Poilu 1914-18 (Warrior), Osprey Publishing (2009) * Sumner, Ian. They Shall Not Pass: The French Army on the Western Front 1914-1918, Pen & Sword Military (2012)

Chief of the Defence Staff (France)

Chief of the Defence Staffgeneral staff headquarters of the ArmiesChief of the general staff headquarters of the Armies
The Chief of the general staff headquarters of the Armies (CEMA), is assisted by a Major General of the Armies (Major Général des Armées), a senior ranked officer of the French Armed Forces.


kepiképiCivil War cap
Etymologically, the term is a loanword of the French képi, itself a re-spelled version of the Alemannic Käppi: a diminutive form of Kappe, meaning "cap". In Europe, this headgear is most commonly associated with French military and police uniforms, though versions of it were widely worn by other armies during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In North America, it is usually associated with the American Civil War, as it was worn by soldiers on both sides of the conflict. The kepi was formerly the most common headgear in the French Army.

Battle of France

fall of FranceFranceinvasion of France
Guderian's XIX Korps was to advance to the French border with Switzerland and trap the French forces in the Vosges Mountains while the XVI Korps attacked the Maginot Line from the west, into its vulnerable rear to take the cities of Verdun, Toul and Metz. The French, meanwhile, had moved the French 2nd Army Group from the Alsace and Lorraine to the 'Weygand line' on the Somme, leaving only small forces guarding the Maginot line. After Army Group B had begun its offensive against Paris and into Normandy, Army Group A began its advance into the rear of the Maginot line. On 15 June, Army Group C launched Operation Tiger, a frontal assault across the Rhine and into France.

Ferdinand Foch

FochMarshal FochMaréchal Foch
The Anglo-French leadership agreed in early September to send 100 heavy guns to Italy, 50 of them from the French army on the left of Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig, C-in-C of the BEF, rather than the 300 which Lloyd George wanted. As the guns reached Italy, Cadorna called off his offensive (21 September). Until the end of 1916 the French under Joffre had been the dominant allied army; after 1917 this was no longer the case, due to the vast number of casualties France's armies had suffered in the now three and a half year old struggle with Germany.

Joseph Joffre

JoffreGeneral JoffreMarshal Joffre
On 21 August the French Second Army was pressed by a German counterattack. Édouard de Castelnau asked for permission to abandon Nancy and its fortified heights, but Joffre forbade him to do so. With the French Third and Fourth Armies now attacking into the Ardennes, and the infantry outpacing their horsedrawn artillery, von Bülow's German Second Army attacked Lanrezac and forced bridgeheads across the Meuse. The Fifth Army was also now attacked on its right by Max von Hausen's German Third Army; although these attacks were held, Lanrezac asked Joffre for permission to retreat. On 23 August the Fifth Army was attacked again.

Philippe Pétain

Philippe PétainMarshal PétainPétain
Pétain joined the French Army in 1876 and attended the St Cyr Military Academy in 1887 and the École Supérieure de Guerre (army war college) in Paris. Between 1878 and 1899, he served in various garrisons with different battalions of the Chasseurs à pied, the elite light infantry of the French Army. Thereafter, he alternated between staff and regimental assignments. Pétain's career progressed slowly, as he rejected the French Army philosophy of the furious infantry assault, arguing instead that "firepower kills". His views were later proved to be correct during the First World War. He was promoted to captain in 1890 and major (Chef de Bataillon) in 1900.


Spahis were light cavalry regiments of the French army recruited primarily from the indigenous populations of Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco. The modern French Army retains one regiment of Spahis as an armoured unit, with personnel now recruited in mainland France. Senegal also maintains a mounted unit with spahi origins as a presidential escort: the Red Guard. The name is the French form of the Ottoman Turkish word Sipahi, a word derived from New Persian sepâh, سپاه meaning "army", or "horsemen". Following the French occupation of Algiers in 1830, detachments of locally recruited irregular horsemen were attached to the regiments of light cavalry assigned to North African service.


mitrailleusemachine-gunReffye mitrailleuse
Willbanks argues that the weapon's ineffectiveness in the Franco-Prussian War resulted in long-standing opposition among European armies to adopting machine gun weapons, particularly in Continental Europe. It is true that the French Army did not adopt an automatic machine gun until 1897, when they chose the Hotchkiss machine gun, later to be followed by the Hotchkiss M1914 machine gun. The French armed forces also adopted another automatic machine gun, the St. Étienne Mle 1907. It has been suggested that the relative slowness displayed by the French services to adopt machine guns was the result of wariness occasioned by the failure of the mitrailleuse.

Western Front (World War I)

Western FrontFranceWestern
The French deployed five armies on the frontier. The French Plan XVII was intended to bring about the capture of Alsace-Lorraine. On 7 August, the VII Corps attacked Alsace to capture Mulhouse and Colmar. The main offensive was launched on 14 August with the First and Second Armies attacking toward Sarrebourg-Morhange in Lorraine. In keeping with the Schlieffen Plan, the Germans withdrew slowly while inflicting severe losses upon the French. The French Third and Fourth Armies advanced toward the Saar River and attempted to capture Saarburg, attacking Briey and Neufchateau but were repulsed.

Algiers putsch of 1961

Algiers putschGenerals' putsch1961 Generals' putsch
The Algiers putsch (Putsch d'Alger or Coup d'État d'Alger), also known as the Generals' putsch (Putsch des généraux), was a failed coup d'état to press French President Charles de Gaulle to not abandon French Algeria, along with French people and pro-French Arabs living there. Organised in French Algeria by retired French army generals Maurice Challe (former commander-in-chief in French Algeria), Edmond Jouhaud (former Inspector General of the French Air Force), André Zeller (former Chief of staff of the French Army) and Raoul Salan (former commander-in-chief in French Algeria), it took place from the afternoon of 21 April to 26 April 1961 in the midst of the Algerian War (1954–62).

10th Parachute Division (France)

10th Parachute Division10th Parachute Division (France)10 e D.P
The French Army Insignia of Marine Infantry Paratroopers is backgrounded by a Marine Anchor.