Monday, March 22, 2010

French Army Groupe de Combat (Squad), 1939-40

A recent foray into Force on Force (FoF) rules (re)inspired me to find my 15mm Peter Pig and Battlefront minis for the France `40 campaign. Of course, I had to (re)familiarize myself with the arcana of French organization and armament from the period, so I thought I’d layout the groupe de combat (squad) as I understand it. This is the basic “type unit” for FoF.

1 x Squad Leader (SGT) w/MAS36 Rifle

1 x Assistant Squad Leader (CPL) w/MAS36 Rifle

1 x Machine Gunner w/FM 24/29

1 x LMG Loader w/Ruby Pistol

3 x Ammunition Carriers w/MAS36 Carbine

4 x Riflemen w/MAS36 Rifle

Rifle Grenadier w/MAS36 or Lebel 86M93 fitted w/Grenade Launcher Cup Tromblon VB

So, there were 12 EM in the squad, which could cover a front of about 50 meters on the offensive. Generally, as I understand it, the squad would be divided in two for combat, as follows:

Fire Element

Assistant Squad Leader

LMG Gunner

LMG Loader

3 Ammunition Carriers

Shock Element

Squad Leader

4 Riflemen

Rifle Grenadier

So, theoretically, you’ve got the typical base of fire and maneuver element of the interwar squad.


Borsarello, J.-F. L'Armée française de 39 à 41, ou, Le conflit deux ans trop tôt--. [Colmar]: Jérome/Do Bentzinger, 1998.

Sumner, Ian, François Vauvillier, and Mike Chappell. The French Army 1939-45 (1): The Army of 1939-40 & Vichy France. London: Osprey Publishing, 1998. (See cover illustration above.)

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