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Thread: Les Troupes Coloniales d'Indochine

  1. #1
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    Default Les Troupes Coloniales d'Indochine

    During WWI as most of you know that France used Troops from Indochine (Indochina) in France itself and in Salonika in Greece but most of the time you think of these troops as Labor Service Troops called Bataillons d’étapes of which 15 were raised during the war but there were four battalions that were combatant forces, the 1er, 2e, 7e, and 21e. The 1ère and 2ème served in the Greece and the 7ème and 21ème in France.
    I will focus on the 7ème Bataillon Indochinois today ...

    The 7ème Bataillon Indochinois (7th Indochinese Battalion) which was formed on February 16, 1916 in the Tonkin, at the Seven Pagodas, under the command of Chef de Bataillon Dez. This battalion numbered around 1,000 men. The unit landed in Marseilles and then were directed to Camp de Fréjus, which was located on the Mediterranean coast between Nice and Toulon, where they were to undergo training in military techniques and in a rudimentary soldier's French called parler tirailleur to April 1917. On April 10 the battalion then was attached to the 12ème Division (12th Division) where its companies were divided up within the units of this division:
    1ère Compagnie (1st Company) went to the 54ème Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne at Sept Monts
    2ème Compagnie (2nd Company) went to the 67ème Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne at Ambrief
    3ème Compagnie (3rd Company) went to the 350ème Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne at Sept Monts
    5ème Compagnie (5th Company) went to the divisional depot of the 12ème Division at Rozicie
    4ème Compagnie (4th Company), the Section Hors Rang (Battalion HQ) and the Compagnie de Mitrailleuses (Company of Machine Guns) were assigned to Montramboeuf under the command of Chef de Bataillon Dez
    The battalion was to be engaged in combat with the 12ème Division at 2ème Bataille de l'Aisne and the Chemin des Dames on May 5,6 and 7 of 1917. The men from these companies were basically used following the attack of the main forces in re-provisioning supplies, sweeping of the conquered German trenches of stragglers, called Nettoyers de Tranchée and organizing the conquered land for the follow through units.
    In June of 1918 the battalion was assigned to a “quiet” section of trenches in the sector near Anould in the Vosges where it remained until June 22 and while there they pushed back an enemy attack. After June 22 the unit was assigned to an area north of Munster called Centre de Résistance Clové where they repelled two attacks accompanied by huge bombardments and asphyxiating gasses finally bieng pushed back between the 29 and October 30 1918. The battalion was resting in Lorraine when the Armistice came. The battalion embarked at Marseilles on February 15 1919, to go back to Haïphong where it is dissolved.









    More later on the remaining Bataillons and other interesting tid-bits on these soldiers
    Patrick
    Last edited by 1886lebel; 09-14-2010 at 07:34 PM.
    Vive La République Française, le Lebel et le poilu
    Verdun 1916: "Ils ne Passeront pas" "On les aura!"
    Fusil d'Infanterie Modèle 1886 Modifié 1893 dit "Lebel"

    Vive le Pinard !
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axfM1sFqIK0

  2. #2
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    The 21ème Bataillon Indochinois (21st Indochinese Battalion) was formed at Camp de Saint-Raphaël (Var) on December1, 1916 from men in the various Bataillons d’Étapes already in France at the time under the command of Chef de Bataillon Jenot. This battalion numbered 21 officers, 241 Europeans and 1,200 Indochinese soldiers.
    It was composed of the following:
    1 Compagnie de Marche (Company of March); 1 Compagnie de Dépôt (Company of Depot); 1 Compagnie de Mitrailleuses (Company of Machine Guns) and 1 Section Hors Rang (Battalion HQ).
    On April 5, 1917 the batallion was moved to l’Aisne region where it helped in repairing of the roads, guarding troop movement points and building up defenses in the front-lines. From the end of May to the end of July the battalion was in the Vosges where it engaged in combat with the enemy, they then were moved to Reims in August of that year. It is not known when but they went back to combat in the Vosges near Montigny and later where they worked closely with the 7ème Bataillon Indochinois by swapping front-line duty with them eleven times. The battalion embarked at Marseilles on April 18 1919, to go back to Haïphong where it is dissolved.

    More to follow
    Patrick
    Vive La République Française, le Lebel et le poilu
    Verdun 1916: "Ils ne Passeront pas" "On les aura!"
    Fusil d'Infanterie Modèle 1886 Modifié 1893 dit "Lebel"

    Vive le Pinard !
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axfM1sFqIK0

  3. #3
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    Not even mentioning the war, can you imagine the geographical, and culture shock?

  4. #4
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    wink2 Vietnam and France and Patrick's Mle 1902...

    I was told in Nam that there was not a common word for snow, until they went to France!! When we showed pix of home to the girls in Nam, they did not have a word for Snow, we had to explain it to them, finally one of them said it....I do not recall the exact word, but most of the girls had never heard of it...

    I am still fondling the Mle 1902.....

    Dale
    "If those sweethearts won't face German bullets, Then they'll face French ones!"

  5. #5
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    The word is Tuyết Dale
    'I am still fondling the Mle 1902' ... BAD WORD, BAD WORD and MORE BAD WORDS ... you are going to hold that over my head forever are you not YOU BA____D.
    (Feel the LOVE everyone)
    Patrick
    Vive La République Française, le Lebel et le poilu
    Verdun 1916: "Ils ne Passeront pas" "On les aura!"
    Fusil d'Infanterie Modèle 1886 Modifié 1893 dit "Lebel"

    Vive le Pinard !
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axfM1sFqIK0

  6. #6
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    Take it away Patrick...............

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Berthier Mle 02 - 0216 - 07 R-1.JPG 
Views:	17 
Size:	247.7 KB 
ID:	353824

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JPS View Post
    Take it away Patrick...............

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Berthier Mle 02 - 0216 - 07 R-1.JPG 
Views:	17 
Size:	247.7 KB 
ID:	353824
    YOU ASKED FOR IT and yee shall recieve .... (Do not blame me for John's mistake of taunting me into another long winded post, BLAME HIM)

    When the various Vietnamese/Cambodian troops called Tirailleurs Indochinois (Annamites, Tonkinois, Cambodgiens) in Indochina were issued the Mousqueton d'Artillerie Modèle 1892 and it was found that it had too much recoil for them, the Gouverneur de l'Indochine asked the Ministre de La Guerre in 1901, after a visit to Paris, to develop a special rifle for them. The Comité de L'Artillerie looked into the problem and determined that as the Berthier was already in production as a carbine, it would be a rather simple task to produce a scaled-down rifle that would be perfect for the smaller stature colonial troops in Indochina. The weapon produced for them was the Fusil de Tirailleur Indochinois Modèle 1902 which was adopted for service on May 22,1902, it was 1,125m (44 1/16") in overall length with a 0,635m (25.0 inch) barrel, weighing 3,600 kg (7.93 pounds). The upper barrel band had a unique curved stacking hook added, a feature not found on any Berthier up until then, which was used for interlocking a small groups of rifles in an upright position like the frame of a teepee when arms were to be stacked for a period in the field. All previous made Berthiers were stacked by interlocking the clearing rod. Like the rest of the Berthiers in service it lacked a top hand guard, had a long brass-tipped clearing rod mounted down the left side of the forearm and used 3-shot en-bloc packet/chargers. The most important feature that this rifle was to have was the addition of a recoil lug to the rear of the receiver to help prevent breakages and cracks in the stock near the wrist. This problem was found to be chronic, over 60%, in all the Mousqueton d'Artillerie Modèle 1892 that were in service in Indochina due to the extreme high humidity conditions encountered there. This problem was later addressed in 1909 for all earlier produced weapons already in service. All of these rifles were manufactured solely by Manufacture Nationale d'Armes de Châtellerault (MAC) for the basic price of 51,58F (51 Francs/58 centimes) and it is believed that only 57,750 were made (see below for numbers). These were delivered to Indochina in zinc-lined cases of 20 rifles in the following numbers:

    1902: Décret Ministériel N° 15649 dated 05/22/1902: 10,000 weapons ordered (A1 - A10000), sent to Indochina for a price of 56 francs, the contract was finished in 1903, it was sent and delivered to Tonkin.
    1904: Décret Ministériel N° 6059/2/3 dated 02/21/1904: 4,500 weapons ordered (A 10001 - A 14500), sent to Indochina for a price of 63 francs, the contract was finished in December 1904, it was sent and delivered to Tonkin. 2,500 went to La Direction d'Artillerie de Saigon and 2,000 to La Direction d'Artillerie de Hanoi.
    1906: Décret Ministériel N° 13629/2/3 dated 04/11/1906: 10,000 weapons ordered, 6,000 planed for in 1906 and 4,000 planed for in 1907. These were sold to Établissement Schneider et Cie at the price of 72,15 francs/centimes each for sales to Persia (Iran). These weapons are numbered from 1 to 10,000 and are believed to not have the letter prefixes before the serial number. This order was fulfilled by August 1907, the weapons were then transferred to Établissement Schneider et Cie in March 1908 for delivery. Due to some administrative problems with the Russian Custom Officials, as these were going by via rail through their territory, they finally arrived in Persia in April of 1908.
    1906: Décret Ministerial N° unknown dated 7/16/1906: 3,000 weapons ordered (A14501 - A17500) and 1907: Décret Ministériel N° 26026/2/3 dated 05/13/1907: 200 weapons ordered (A 17501 - A 17700), sent to Indochina for a price of 75,67 francs/centimes, both of these were sent and delivered to Tonkin in December of 1907.
    NOTE: weapons A 154XX which has a barrel date of 7/1907 and A 153XX a barrel date of 8/1907 and as these weapons were the first to receive the up-graded rear sights for Cartouche Modèle 1886 à Balle D this could explain the delay of the 1906 dated Décret Ministerial to 1907. These should have been theoretically marked with the ‘M.D.’ (Modification Désaleux) after the weapons nomenclature indicating that they undergone this new change but were not marked with it.
    Décret Ministériel N° 43508/2/3 dated 12/03/1907: 1,000 weapons ordered (A 17701 - A 18700) and sent to the forces in Annam.
    1910: Décret Ministériel N° 8655/2/3 dated 02/23/1910: 1,300 weapons ordered (A 18701 - A 20000) and sent to the forces in Annam.
    1911: Décret Ministériel N° 7535/2/3 dated 02/14/1911: 2,500 weapons ordered (A 20001 - A 22500) and sent for the forces in Annam.
    NOTE: weapons A 188XX which has a barrel date of 1908 with a 1910 reception date and A 208XX a barrel date of 1911 is marked with ‘M.D.’ after the weapons nomenclature.
    1914: An order was placed for 300 weapons but none were made due to the outbreak of The Great War.

    Starting in 1920 the French military had decided to make some new weapons for the forces in Indochina to help replace losses that had incurred during the war and expansion of the forces there, they decided to pattern them on the latest Berthier system that had been adopted in 1916, the 5 cartridge magazine system called the Modifié 1916 or better known as the ‘M.16’. The new weapons were to be called the Fusil de Tirailleur Indochinois Modèle 1902 Modifié 1916.

    1920: 10,000 (A 22501 - A 32500)
    1921: 2,200 (A 32501 - A 34700)
    1924: 1,000 (A 34701 - A 35700)
    1925: 1,000 (A 35701 - A 36700)
    1926: 4,950 (A 36701 - A 41650)
    1927: 3,000 (A 41651 - A 44650)
    1928: 3,100 (A 44651 - A 47750)

    As you can see that 22,500 Fusil de Tirailleur Indochinois Modèle 1902 were made for the forces in Indochina, 10,000 for Persia (Iran) and 15,250 Fusil de Tirailleur Indochinois Modèle 1902 Modifié 1916 for forces in Indochina, giving a grand total of 57,750 made.

    The bayonet used with these rifles was the Epée-Baïonnette Modèle 1902 which was identical in design to the Gendarmerie bayonet and are interchangeable. The bayonet was found to be too long for these smaller stature soldiers and was shortened in 1912 from 520mm (20.4 inch) to 420mm (16.5 inch) to better accommodate them, this was to be called the Epée-Baïonnette Modèle 1902 Raccourci 1912.

    Patrick
    Vive La République Française, le Lebel et le poilu
    Verdun 1916: "Ils ne Passeront pas" "On les aura!"
    Fusil d'Infanterie Modèle 1886 Modifié 1893 dit "Lebel"

    Vive le Pinard !
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axfM1sFqIK0

  8. #8
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    And before John BLAST me for not talking about the bottom weapon in the picture, well here goes ....

    With the successful adoption of the Fusil de Tirailleur Indochinois Modèle 1902 for its troops in Indochina, the French military decided to replace the Fusil d'Infanterie Modèle 1886 Modifié 1893 "Lebel" that were in service with the French West, Central and East African colonies, particularly Senegal, all of whom were tall in stature, with a full-scale rifle. In 1904 l’Inspection Permanente des Fabrications d’Artillerie along with Manufacture Nationale d'Armes de Châtellerault got together with the Section Technique de L'Armement to develop this new rifle. What they came up with was the Fusil de Tirailleur Sénégalais Modèle 1907 as it was named in Décret Ministerial 34117/2/3 dated August 9, 1907 but in 1908 it was then decided to widen the issuance of the weapon to other colonial troops, except those in Indochina, and Décret Ministerial 22859/2/3 of June 6, 1908 re-named the rifle to Fusil Colonial Modèle 1907 which was adopted for service on June 19,1908. With the introduction of this rifle the Berthier finally came of age as a full-length infantry rifle. This rifle had an overall length of 1,305m (51 3/16") with a 0,800m (31 1/2") barrel and weighing 3,800kg (8.37 pounds). Again like all previous Berthiers it lacked a top hand guard, used the 3-shot en-bloc packet/charger, had the curved stacking hook on the upper barrel band but one feature that was completely eliminated was the brass-tipped clearing rod. The barrel of this weapon had a larger muzzle diameter and the sight, front and rear, follow the pattern of those used on Fusil d'Infanterie Modèle 1886 Modifié 1893 "Lebel". The bayonet this rifle used, which was called the Epée-Baïonnette Modèle 1907, was of a peculiar type, following the lines of the Gendarmerie and Indochinois, but due to the diameter of the muzzle ring required to fit the larger muzzle diameter of the rifle barrel it was not interchangeable with them. This bayonet did not have the groove that extends down the left side of the bayonet handle as it did not have to go by the clearing rod which was now eliminated. Once again all there rifles were built solely by Manufacture Nationale d'Armes de Châtellerault (MAC).
    This model was plagued with a number of faults and breakage of parts due to the various weather conditions this rifle encountered such as high humidity and desert conditions mixed together, which caused a number of high ranking officers and officials to cease issuing them until the problem could be resolved, which never happened though. This problem was finally solved sometime in 1914/1915 utilizing better metallurgy and heat treatment procedures.
    It is believed that only less than 25,000 of these weapons were made (see below for numbers). The only production numbers know are as follows:

    1907: From May 5, 1907 which terminated in 1908: 12,500 weapons made (A 1 - A 12500), 10,000 rifles were dispatched to Afrique Occidentale Française (AOF) and 2,500 to the Congo which was part of Afrique Équatoriale Française (AEF).
    1908 : 10 weapons made (A 12501 - A 12510), these were held in storage for eventual distribution to wherever needed.
    1909 : 818 weapons made (A 12511 - A 13328), 500 went to the Congo, 263 to the Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), 15 held in storage for eventual distribution to wherever needed, 40 for other unknown destinations.
    1910 : 2,416 weapons made (A 13329 - A 15744), unknown where these were sent to.
    NOTE: These weapons were the first to receive the up-graded rear sights for Cartouche Modèle 1886 à Balle D and should have been theoretically marked with the ‘M.D.’ (Modification Désaleux) after the weapons nomenclature indicating that they undergone this new change but were not marked with it.
    1911: 1,000 weapons made (A 15745 - A 16744), these were held in reserve.
    1912: 1,000 weapons made (A 16745 - A 17744), the order was terminated in 1913. 240 delivered to Dahomey, 200 to Guinée, and 158 to the AEF.
    1913: 6,103 weapons made (A 17745 - A 23847), unknown where these were sent to.
    NOTE: These are marked with ‘M.D.’ after the weapons nomenclature.
    1914: An order was placed for 2,400 weapons but due to the outbreak of The Great War in August only 722 were completed (A 23848 - A 24569). The rest of the 1,678 weapons were made after the war had started but were converted to use an upper barrel band that had a semi-circular base and adding a one piece bayonet guide under the barrel allowed the standard Epée-Baïonnette Modèle 1886 to be utilized, this modification was to become the basis for the latter produced Fusil de Infanterie Modèle 1907-1915.
    NOTE: Some of these weapons utilized the standard serial number range found after A 24569 but it is not known to what number they went to as many of the remaining ones started with a new serial number range of it own with adoption of the produced Fusil de Infanterie Modèle 1907-1915 on February 26, 1915. There is also possibility that the 722 weapons were converted to the 1915 pattern in January of 1916, the records are very sketchy on these details though.
    Vive La République Française, le Lebel et le poilu
    Verdun 1916: "Ils ne Passeront pas" "On les aura!"
    Fusil d'Infanterie Modèle 1886 Modifié 1893 dit "Lebel"

    Vive le Pinard !
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axfM1sFqIK0

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