Order of Battle for the French Expeditionary Corps

This is what I know of the order of battle for the French Expeditionary Corps (FEC).

General commanding the CEFI: Alphonse Juin

2ième Division d’Infanterie Marocaine (2nd DIM or Moroccan Infantry Division)
Gal André Dody
Arrived in Italy in end November 1943

4th RTM Col Lappara succeeded by Col Bridot (Moroccan Skirmisher Rgt)

1/4 Battalion
2/4 Battalion
3/4 Battalion

5th RTM Col Joppé succeeded by Lt-Col Piatte

1/5 Battalion
2/5 Battalion
3/5 Battalion

8th RTM Col Molle succeeded by Col de Berchoux

1/8 Battalion
2/8 Battalion
3/8 Battalion

3rd RSM Col Pique-Aubrun (Moroccan Spahis Rgt, light armor M5)

1st Squadron
2nd Squadron
3rd Squadron
4th Squadron
E.H.R.
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63ème régiment d’artillerie d’AFRIQUE (63rd African Artillery Rgt)

1/63 Squadron
2/63 Squadron
3/63 Squadron
4/63 Squadron

87th Engineers Battalion Lt-Col Berthezne

41ème groupe colonial de DCA (FTA 41st DCA group) Chief Squadron Blanchet/ Juigner/ Bescond

3ème Division d’Infanterie Algérienne (3rd DIA or Algerian Infantry Division)
General Joseph de Goiselard de Monsabert
Arrived in Italy in end december 1943

3rd RTA Col Gonzalès de Linarès (Algerian Skirmisher Rgt)

1/3 Battalion
2/3 Battalion
3/3 Battalion

4th RTT Col Roux KIA 27 junary 44 succeded by Lt-Col Guillebaud
Tunisian Skirmisher Rgt

1/4 Battalion
2/4 Battalion
3/4 Battalion

7th RTA Col Chapuis

1/7 Battalion
2/7 Battalion
3/7 Battalion

3rd RSAR Lt-Col Bonjour (Recon Algerian Spahis Rgt, light armor M5)

1st Squadron
2nd Squadron
3rd Squadron
4th Squadron
E.H.R.
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67ème régiment d’artillerie marocaine (67th African Artillery Rgt)

1/67 Squadron
2/57 Squadron
3/67 Squadron
4/67 Squadron

83rd Engineers Battalion Chief Battalion Vilette / Colin
37ème groupe de FTA (FTA 37th DCA Group) Col Blanchet

4ème division Marocaine de Montagne (4th DMM or Moroccan Mountain Division)
General François Sevez
Arrived in Italy in February 44
The 4ième DMM, was nicknamed the “DeMeMe” (in French over accentuation of the spelling). After the
use of her mules by the British army it became The Royal Brêl – a Brêl is a mule in the Berber
language.

1st RTM Col Brissaud-Desmaillet (Tunisian Skirmisher Rgt)

1/1 Battalion
2/1 Battalion
3/1 Battalion

2nd RTM Col Buot de l’Epine succeeded by Col Deleuze

1/2 Battalion
2/2 Battalion
3/2 Battalion

6th RTM Col Cherrière

1/6 Battalion
2/6 Battalion
3/6 Battalion

4th RSM (Moroccan Spahis Rgt, light armor M5)
Col Lambilly Kia 18 May 44 succeeded by Chief Squadron Dodelier

1st Squadron
2nd Squadron
3rd Squadron
4th Squadron
E.H.R.
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69ème régiment d’artillerie d’Afrique (69th RAM Mountain Artillery Rgt) Lt-Col Cerisier

1/69 Squadron
2/69 Squadron
3/69 Squadron
4/69 Squadron

82nd Engineers Battalion Chief Battalion Labouerie

1ére Division Française Libre (1st DFL or Free French Division)
Gal Diego Brosset
Arrived in Italy in April 1944)
Renamed 1st DMI Motorized Infantry Division

1st Brigade Col Delange

13th DBLE Chief Battalion Bablon (Half Brigade of Foreign Legion)
I believe most of the Spanish fighting in the Foreign Legion were in this unit ??

1 BLE Battalion of Foreign Legion
2 BLE

22nd BMNA Bataillon de Marche Nord Africain (North African Battle Group*)

2nd Brigade Lt-Col Garbay

4th BM Bataillon de Marche
5th BM
11th BM

4th Brigade Col Raynal

21st BM
24th BM
BIMP Bataillon d’Infanterie de Marine du Pacifique (Marine Infantry Battalion of Pacific)

1st RAC Lt-Col Maubert (Colonial Artillery Rgt)

1/1 Squadron
2/1 Squadron
3/1 Squadron
155 Group (Long Tom)

1st RFM Capitaine de Fregate Amyot d’Inville Kia 10 June 44 succeeded by Capitaine de Corvette de Morsier. Light Armor

1st Squadron
2nd Squadron
3rd Squadron
4th Squadron
E.H.R.

21ème groupe colonial antillais de DCA (FTA 21st West Indies AA Group) Chief Battalion Lanlo

Goums Marocains (Moroccan Goum)
Gal Augustin Guillaume
Arrived in Italy between Novenber 43 and April 44.

1st GTM Groupe de Tabors Marocains (Moroccan Tabor Group) Col Leblanc

2nd Tabor Chief Battalion Roussel

51st Goum
61st Goum
62nd Goum

3rd Tabor Chief Battalion Colbert-Turgis

4th Goum
65th Goum
101st Goum

12th Tabor Chief Battalion Leboîteux

12th Goum
63rd Goum
64th Goum

3rd GTM Col Massiet du Biest

9th Tabor Commandant Picardat

81st Goum
82nd Goum
83rd Goum

10th Tabor Commandant Boulet-Desbarreaux

84th Goum
85th Goum
86th Goum

17th Tabor Commandant Alès Kia 5 june 44 / Commandant Parlange

14th Goum
18th Goum
22nd Goum

4th GTM Lt-Col Soulard succeeded by Col Gautier

5th Tabor Captain Parlange / Commandant Villemandy

41st Goum
70th Goum
71st Goum

8th Tabor Commandant Aunis succeeded by Cmdt Pantalacci

78th Goum
79th Goum
80th Goum

11th Tabor Commandant Pejorlas

88th Goum
89th Goum
93th Goum

General Reserve Artillery (ARG)

7th RCA Régiment de Chasseurs d’Afrique (African Light Cavalry Rgt**) Lt-Col Van Hecke Tank Destroyer M10

1st Squadron
2nd Squadron
3rd Squadron
4th Squadron
E.H.R.
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8th RCA Lt-Col Simon Tank Destroyer M10

1st Squadron
2nd Squadron
3rd Squadron
4th Squadron
E.H.R.
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64th RAA Régiment d’Artillerie d’Afrique (African Artillery Rgt) Col Latarse

1/64 Squadron
2/64 Squadron
3/64 Squadron

Régiment d’Artillerie Coloniale du Levant (Colonial Artillery Rgt of the Levant) Col Missonier

1st Group
2nd Group

Groupe de Canonniers Marins (Marine Artillery Group)

1st Battery Capitaine de Frégate Le Coroller equiped with 155mm GPF (long range Fillioux) these are French guns that the Italians had taken from south France between 40/43 and retrieved after the landing of the allied forces.

2nd Battery Lieutenant de Vaisseau Jourden / Capitaine de Corvette Acloque

* a Bataillon de Marche – translated as Battle Group – is a general term use by French for assembling diverse elements from different units it is near the German kampfgruppe but as is name implies it is at most an over strengthen battalion.

** Chasseur literally means Hunter, but historically just represented the equivalent of Light Cavalry in the British army. Given these Chasseurs had Tank Destroyers the designation of Hunter takes on a new meaning.

Regiment equivalent. from 1,500 to 3,000 men.

The CEFI artillery is equipped with 105 HM2, 155 GUN, 40 BOFOR.

All senior officers and most junior officers of the colonial units where “white” French. Junior officers and NCOs were either French or native depending of the area they came from.

FTA is Forces Terrestre Antiaériennes (AA Ground Forces)

EHR is Escadron Hors Rang (Outstanding Squadron). The EHR is the squadron whose function is to run the day to day activities of a unit. It is responsible of the supply and the administration, all but the mechanical duties. In each fighting squadrons there is a PHR, a platoon who had the same functions as the EHR.

I used Chief Battalion but it should be Chief of Battalion it is not a rank it is a position, usually the rank is that of commandant or the equivalent depending of the type of the unit, infantry, colonial unit, artillery, navy and the like (a same rank could have a different name). The position could be held by higher rank, it could be also held by lower rank for an emergency situation. I haven’t translated the rank of the French navy because i don’t know the ranks in the allied navies and the equivalencies between army and navy.

The Goum were from Morocco; a soldier is called a Goumier. The troopers were Moroccans and the officers where French. When created in 1908 the Goumier were “supplétif” or irregulars, however, with time they became regular troops with an exotic uniform. They were well trained and professional fighters, specialising in mountain warfare. The Moroccan organisation was:

Groupe de Tabors (GTM) Maroccains (Moroccan Tabors Group)

3 x Tabors (~ Battalion; 500-800 men)

Command
3-4 x Goum (~ Company)

100-200 men
1 x Platoon of muleteers

2 comments to Order of Battle for the French Expeditionary Corps

  • Peter Berry

    I am researching a Lt George Barrios, who was enlisted with the Worcestershire Regiment but did not serve with them. His portrait shows what appears to be an Africa Star ribbon.
    He had a French mother and Mexican father (who died when he was young) and had been brought up by his step father Sir Esmond Ovey who returned to the UK in 1942 after retiring as Ambassador to Argentina.
    I suspect he may have acted as a liaison officer with the French in Africa.(he was fluent in English, French and Spanish)
    His family are unable to get his war record as they do not have a copy of his death certificate. They only know that he died in the 1980s in Buenos Aires.
    Any help much appreciated

  • Jean-Michel Vray

    Thank you for sharing this orbat and for your interest for those people.

    My oncle was one of them. He served in the 2eme DIM in 63ème RAA (Africa Artillery rgt) in the second squadron He was telefonist and gained the war cross with palm because he saved a comrad after his jeep
    had been blown by a mine. He took him on his back and caried him at camp.

    Regards

    John

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