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.


The French Armed Forces (Forces armées françaises) are the military and paramilitary forces of France, under the President of the Republic as supreme commander. They consist of the French Army (Armée de Terre), French Navy (Marine Nationale, formerly called Armée de Mer), the French Air Force (Armée de l'Air), the French Strategic Nuclear Force (Force Nucléaire Stratégique, nicknamed Force de Frappe or "Strike Force") and the Military Police called National Gendarmerie (Gendarmerie nationale), which also fulfils civil police duties in the rural areas of France. Together they are among the largest armed forces in the world and the largest in the EU.

Battle of Kolwezi

KolweziBonite/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
Provost Gendarmerie – provides military police services to French Armed Forces personnel in deployments outside France. 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.

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 (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 brigade is commanded by a Brigade General as part of the French Army's engineering arm.

Chief of Staff of the French Army

general staff headquarters of the French Armygeneral staff headquarterschef d'état major de l'armée de terre
On the outbreak of war the Chief of Staff of the French Army again became the Chief of the general staff headquarters of the French Armies. Chief of the general staff headquarters of the French Army Chief of the General Staff Headquarters of the Armies (French: Chef d'État-Major des Armées, CEMA) (official designation). Chief of Staff of the French Air Force (French: Chef d'État-Major de l'Armée de l'Air, CEMAA). Chief of Staff of the French Navy (French: Chef d'État-Major de la Marine, CEMM). French Special Operations Command (French: Commandement des Opérations Spéciales (COS)).

National Guard (France)

National GuardNational GuardsGarde nationale
The National Guard (la Garde nationale) 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).


Zouaveszuavos1st Zouaves
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

French helmetsAdrian" helmetAdrian" steel helmet
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 French Army and Politics, 1870-1970, Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1984. Porch, Douglas. The March to the Marne: The French Army 1871-1914, Cambridge University Press (2003) ISBN: 978-0521545921. Sumner, Ian. The First Battle of the Marne: The French 'Miracle' Halts the Germans (Campaign), Osprey Publishing (2010) ISBN: 978-1846035029. Sumner, Ian. The French Army: 1914-18, Osprey Publishing (1995) ISBN: 1-85532-516-0. Sumner, Ian. The French Army at Verdun (Images of War), Pen & Sword Military (2016) ISBN: 978-1473856158. Sumner, Ian. The French Army in the First World War (Images of War), Pen & Sword Military (2016) ISBN: 978-1473856196. Sumner, Ian.

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.

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.

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.

Philippe Pétain

Marshal PétainPétainPetain
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.


machine-gunReffye mitrailleusegrapeshot cannon
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.

10th Parachute Division (France)

10th Parachute Division10 e D.P10th Parachtue Division
The Archangel Saint Michael, patron of the French paratroopers is celebrated on September 29. The prière du Para (Prayer of the Paratrooper) was written by André Zirnheld in 1938. Just like the paratrooper Brevet of the French Army; the Insignia of French Paratroopers was created in 1946. The French Army Insignia of metropolitan Paratroopers represents a closed < >, meaning a "right winged arm" armed with a sword pointing upwards. The Insignia makes reference to the Patron of Paratroopers. In fact, the Insignia represents , the Archangel which according to Liturgy is the .


tirailleursAlgerian Tirailleurs22nd Algerian Tirailleurs
In Morocco, Tunisia and the new African states the majority of serving tirailleurs transferred direct from the French service to their new national armies. This was not the case in Algeria where locally recruited tirailleurs who remained loyal to France were given the option of transferring to units in France at the end of the Algerian War in 1962. The last Moroccan regiment in the French Army was the 5th RTM (Regiment de Tirailleurs Marocain) which was stationed at Dijon until it was disbanded in 1965. There is still one tirailleur regiment in the modern French Army, which is descended from the Algerian tirailleurs.


The Philippines build up a new army, under general Douglas MacArthur, who took leave from his U.S. Army position to take command of the new army reporting to Quezon. The Japanese occupation 1942 to 1945 disrupted but did not delay the transition. It took place on schedule in 1946 as Manuel Roxas took office as president. Although a small, poor country, Portugal had one of the oldest and largest of the empires. The British had long protected it, and by 1945 it regained possessions it had lost to the Japanese. Portugal was an authoritarian state, with no taste for democracy at home or in its colonies.

5th Armored Division (France)

5th Armored Division5th Armoured DivisionFrench 5th Armored Division
In 1961 the division comprised: The division was recreated in 1978 at Landau, Germany as a part of the 2nd Army Corps (Baden-Baden). The French Army in Germany was drastically reduced after the end of the Cold War; the 5th was dissolved on 31 June 1992. 1st Armored Regiment. 6th African Chasseur Regiment. 11th African Chasseur Regiment. 19th Chasseur Battalion. 20th Chasseur Battalion. 21st Algerian Rifles Regiment. 1st/64th Artillery Regiment. 2nd/64th Artillery Regiment.