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10th Parachute Division (France)

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10th Parachute Division (France)

10th Parachute Division
10th DP Shoulder Arm Insignia
Active 1956–1961
Country  France
Branch French army
Type French Parachute Division
Anniversaries Saint Michael, September 29
Engagements Suez Crisis
Algerian War
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Jacques Massu (1956–1959)
Jean Gracieux (1959–1960)
Bernard Saint-Hillier (1960–1961)
Insignia
Circled Winged Armed Dextrochere Insignia of the 10th Parachute Division worn on French Army Berets of French Foreign Legion Paratroopers and Berets of Metropolitan Paratroopers. Anchored Winged Armed Dextrochere Insignia worn on Berets of French Army Colonial Marine Infantry Paratroopers

Abbreviation 10 DP

The 10th Parachute Division (French: 10e division parachutiste or 10e D.P.) was a formation of the French Army, part of the French Airborne Units. It consisted predominantly of infantry troops. It specialized in airborne combat and air assault. Established in 1956, it fought primarily in the Suez Crisis and the Algerian War. It was dissolved immediately after the Algiers putsch of 1961.

Contents

  • Composition 1
  • History 2
    • Operation Musketeer 2.1
    • Battle of Algiers 2.2
    • Battle of the Frontiers 2.3
    • Algiers Putsch 2.4
  • Traditions 3
    • Insignias 3.1
    • Flags 3.2
    • Regimental Songs 3.3
    • Decorations 3.4
    • Honours 3.5
      • Battle honours 3.5.1
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6
  • Sources 7

Composition

Organizational chart of the 10e D.P.

On July 1, 1956, the 10e D.P. is created with the following units:

  • Support:
    • 60th Headquarters company (60e CGQ)
    • 60th Transmission company of (60e CT)
    • Platoon of Army Light Aviation (ALAT)
    • Transport group n°507 (GT 507)
    • 60th Airborne engineers company (60e CGAP)
    • 60th Divisional Maintenance company (60e CRD)
    • 405th Medical company (405e CM)
    • 60th Military logistics section (60e SRI)
  • Airborne artillery
    • 20th Parachute artillery group (20e GAP)

Note: On the 1 December 1958, the "Colonial infantry" was renamed "Marine infantry".

History

Operation Musketeer

Barely created, the 10e D.P. took part in the Suez Crisis in Egypt, in an operation named "Operation Musketeer". The 10 D.P. was reinforced for this purpose with:

On the 5 November 1956, elements of the 10e D.P. were dropped on Port Fuad and Port Said, completed the next morning by amphibious assaults on both towns. Although the battle was a military success, allied troops had to withdrawn due to pressure from the United States.

Battle of Algiers

In Algiers, the National Liberation Front (FLN) was carrying out a wave of terrorist attacks an urban guerilla which made many casualties, mostly Muslim civilians.[1] In January 1957, Robert Lacoste, Minister Resident in Algeria, reacted by giving full powers to General Massu over the Algiers area. Massu sent the 10 D.P. to search out, arrest and question FLN members. The battle of Algiers proved to be a clear success for the French military, with most prominent FLN leaders killed or arrested and terrorist attacks effectively stopped.[2] However, the use of torture against some FLN members led to an increasing opposition to war in France and internationally.

Battle of the Frontiers

In 1956, the newly independent Republic of Tunisia was helping the FLN by smuggling weapons and men through its territory. The electrified fence known as the Morice Line was built up to prevent Algerian FLN guerrillas from entering the French colony of Algeria from Tunisia. The 10 D.P. was assigned to the surveillance of a portion of the electrified border, in order to intercept rebel bands that have managed to cross it. The Morice Line had a significant impact of the reduction of guerrillas activities by forces that originated from Tunisia. However, general Massu, the commanding officer of the 10 D.P. was relieved of his command as he criticized president Charles de Gaulle's actions.

Algiers Putsch

Despite the military successes, French 3e RPIMa, the rest of the 10e D.P. supported the coup. When the putsch failed the 25e D.P. along with the 10e D.P. were dissolved and the 1er REP was the only regiment disbanded.

Traditions

The Archangel Michael featured in Mont Saint-Michel and the Insignia of the 9th Parachute Chasseur Regiment.

Except for the Legionnaires of the 1e REP that conserve the Green Beret; the remainder of the French army metropolitan and marine paratroopers forming the 11th Parachute Brigade wear the Red Beret.

The Archangel Saint Michael, patron of the French paratroopers is celebrated on September 29.

The prière du Para (Prayer of the Paratrooper) was written by André Zirnheld in 1938.

Insignias

Just like the paratrooper Brevet of the French Army; the Insignia of French Paratroopers was created in 1946. The French Army Insignia of metropolitan Paratroopers represents a closed <>, meaning a "right winged arm" armed with a sword pointing upwards. The Insignia makes reference to the Patron of Paratroopers. In fact, the Insignia represents <>, the Archangel which according to Liturgy is the <>. This Insignia is the symbol of righteous combat and fidelity to superior missions. The French Army Insignia of Marine Infantry Paratroopers is backgrounded by a Marine Anchor.

Flags

Regimental Songs

Decorations

Honours

Battle honours

See also

References

  1. ^ In Le livre blanc de l'armée française en Algérie, p.37, between November 1954 et May 1957, 16,932 attacks were perpetrated against civilians and 9,134 against police and military forces, it resulted in the death of 6,325 Muslims and 1,035 Europeans.
  2. ^ Bernard Droz, Evelyne Lever, Histoire de la guerre d'Algérie, Points Histoire, éd.du Seuil, 1982 p. 129-130

External links

  • History of the 1st Parachute Chasseur Regiment, 9th Parachute Chasseur Regiment, 14th Parachute Chasseur Regiment and 18th Parachute Chasseur Regiment

Sources

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