French Liberation Army

(Redirected from Free French Forces)

The French Liberation Army (French: Armée française de la Libération or AFL) was the reunified French Army that arose from the merging of the Armée d'Afrique with the prior Free French Forces (Forces françaises libres or FFL) during World War II. The military force of Free France, it participated in the Italian and Tunisian campaigns before joining in the Liberation of France with other Western Allies of World War II. It went on to join the Western Allied invasion of Germany.

French Liberation Army
Armée française de la Libération
Active8 January 1943 (1943-01-08)–1945 (1945)
Second French Colonial Empire
  • 550,000 (1944)
  • 1,300,000 (1945)
EngagementsItalian campaign
Liberation of Corsica
Battle of Marseille
Operation Overlord
Liberation of Paris
Operation Dragoon
Campaign of France
Colmar Pocket
French West Africa
Henri Giraud
Charles de Gaulle

History Edit

The French Liberation Army was created in 1943 when the Army of Africa (Armée d'Afrique) led by General Giraud was combined with the Free French Forces of General de Gaulle.[1]

The AFL participated in the campaigns of Tunisia and Italy; during the Italian campaign the AFL was known as the French Expeditionary Corps in Italy (Corps Expéditionnaire Français en Italie or CEFI) making a quarter of the troops deployed. The AFL was key in the liberation of Corsica, the first French metropolitan department to be liberated.[1] The troops that landed on D-Day were the 2nd Armored Division under Philippe Leclerc and the 1st Battalion Marine Commando Fusiliers (1er Bataillon de Fusiliers Marins Commandos) better known as Commando Kieffer.[2]

During the Allied invasion of Provence, on 15 August 1944, the AFL made the majority of the troops landing on French shores, capturing the ports of Toulon and Marseille.[3] The French troops in Southern France were now named French First Army and would participate in the Liberation of France and the invasion of south-western Germany in 1944–45. One of the AFL's garrison and second-line formations, which later helped man the French occupation zone in Germany, was the 10th Infantry Division.

References Edit

Citations Edit

Sources Edit

  • Gerd-Rainer Horn (2020). The Moment of Liberation in Western Europe: Power Struggles and Rebellions, 1943–1948. OUP Oxford. ISBN 978-0-19-258286-7.
  • Jean de Lattre (1952). The History of the French First Army. Allen and Unwin.
  • Paul Gaujac (2004). Provence, August 15, 1944: Dragoon, the Other Invasion of France. Histoire & Collections. ISBN 978-2-915239-50-8.
  • Jean-Charles Stasi (2015). Commando Kieffer. Heimdal. ISBN 978-2-84048-387-8.

External links Edit