Jauréguiberry (1896)

French battleship design had a style all of its own, backed up by intensive work and study on ship behaviour, though this was often of a theoretical rather than practical kind. Deck plan: the Jauréguiberry carried eight gun turrets on a cramped deck space that included more than 30 guns of various sizes in total. […]

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CONQUEST OF CORSICA I

The British invasion of Corsica in 1794 resulted in the creation of the British Martello Tower, a corruption of Cape Mortella on Corsica, where an armed tower held a garrison of French troops that put up a spirited resistance to the invasion. As the first year of the war against France drew to a close, […]

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France’s Expeditionary Force in Indochina

France had a long history of fighting colonial wars and saw Indochina as just another inconvenient colonial revolt that needed to be suppressed in the usual manner. This approach was a mistake, but once the Korean War broke out, it was perhaps understandable. In Korea, the communists had very much gone straight for the conventional-warfare […]

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The Causes of “The Hundred Years’ War”

Clockwise, from top left: the Battle of La Rochelle, the Battle of Agincourt, the Battle of Patay, and Joan of Arc at the Siege of Orléans The long conflict between France and England, to which historians have given the name of “The Hundred Years’ War,” interests us chiefly as an illustration on a great scale […]

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The Blitzkrieg of 1494

The Itinerary of Charles VIII in Italy, 1494-1495 One of the most technologically forward-looking military expeditions in history was launched for the most retrograde of reasons. Fourteen ninety-four was a time of momentous change. Less than half a century had passed since the first printed book had appeared. The Moors and Jews had been expelled […]

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Inshore Squadron III

French troops wade through water during an amphibious landing. Official caption on front: “MM-44-1431.” Official caption on reverse: “Sig Corps photo-17-6-44. Elba invaded! French troops wading ashore from landing craft in the invasion of the tiny island of Elba. White smoke billowing from stern of ship caused by smoke pot.” Elba, Italy. 17 June 1944 […]

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The Battle of Wissembourg, 4 August 1870 Part II

There would be no retreat, fighting or otherwise, for the companies of Algerian tirailleurs and the 300 men of the French 74th Regiment still trapped inside Wissembourg. There the fighting sputtered from house to house, though most Prussian and Bavarian infantry simply strolled in through the Landau or Haguenau gates and looked around curiously. A […]

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The Siege of Orleans

The Regent of France, John, Duke of Bedford, returned to France in March 1427, accompanied by a man from the Welsh Marches who was to become one of the most redoubtable soldiers of the War—Lord Talbot. They took with them a pitifully small new army, 300 men-at-arms and 900 archers, though they also brought a […]

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Gazelle Helicopters in Service with the French Army

A total of 340 Gazelles were procured for the Aviation Légère de l’Armée de Terre (ALAT), 171 SA.341Fs with the Turboméca Astazou IIIC turboshaft, which entered service in 1969, and 161 of the later SA.342M that was a dedicated anti-tank variant with the more powerful Turboméca Astazou XIVH engine. The SA.341Fs ended up being modified […]

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The “GUÉPARD” (“CHEETAH”)

The French Minister of the Armed Forces, Florence Parly, has announced that the launch of the Joint Light Helicopter (Hélicoptere Interarmées Léger; HIL) programme has been brought forward to 2021. The HIL programme, for which the Airbus Helicopters’ H160 was selected in 2017, was initially scheduled for launch in 2022 by the current military budget […]

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