France’s Monstrous Char B1 Tank Ate German Panzers for Breakfast
At five o’clock in the morning on May 16, 1940 a company of the 8th Panzer Regiment lay in an ambush position along a rubble-strewn street of the French town of Stonne. The day before, the unfortunate village had changed hands several times as French troops attempted to stem... Read more
French Mirage 2000s Came to the Rescue of Green Berets in Niger
Around noon on Oct. 4, 2017, a team of 12 U.S. Army Special Forces operators and 30 soldiers from the Nigerien Security and Intelligence Battalion were departing the village of Tongo Tongo, near the Nigerien-Malian border, when they were ambushed by roughly 50 insurgents from an “ISIS-affiliated group” riding... Read more
France Says ‘Oui’ to Armed Reaper Drones
On Sept. 6, 2017, French Defense Minister Florence Parly announced that France’s MQ-9 Reaper drones — used for surveillance and reconnaissance purposes only — would be armed. The soon-to-be lethal drones will give France “endurance, discretion, surveillance, and a strike capability at the right place and the right time,”... Read more
France’s FAMAS Rifle Is Simple and Compact
In 1967 the French army requested a new infantry weapon to replace both the MAS 49/56 rifle and MAT-49 submachine gun. Three years later, the French military standardized on the new 5.56-by-45-millimeter cartridge. With requirement and cartridge in hand, Paul Tellie, Manufacture d’Armes de Saint-Étienne — MAS — began... Read more
The French Army Has a Passion for Rifle Grenades
More than four years ago, French troops dropped into Mali to fight back Islamic militants. While in combat, the French soldiers with their bullpup FAMAS rifles lobbed rifle grenades — a relatively rare weapon in the 21st century and distinguished from modern grenade launchers by being launched from a rifle’s... Read more
The Alarming Story of How French and British Nuclear Submarines Collided
Late at night on Feb. 3, 2009 the crew of the French nuclear submarine Triomphant, experienced something of a shock. The 138-meter-long submarine, the lead boat of four serving today as a key part of France’s nuclear strike force, was returning to port submerged under the heavy seas of the... Read more
France Is Helping Iraq to Kill French Citizens
The Wall Street Journal has revealed that France has been passing intel to the Iraqi armed forces to help the Iraqis to target French citizens fighting on behalf of Islamic State. The stated purpose of this French policy is to prevent those same French citizens from returning to their... Read more
Argentina Wants to Keep This 1970s Jet Fighter Flying
Just one year after France retired its last Super Étendard carrier-based strike planes from service, Argentina announced it is considering buying six of the retired warplanes. The Dassault-Breguet Super Étendard has always been more distinguished by its armaments and technical capabilities than by its performance specifications. While it ably... Read more
Foreign Soldiers Built the French Army
At the end of World War II, the French Army was the fourth largest military force on the European continent, behind the Soviet Union, the United States’s expeditionary forces and Britain. The Free French Forces under Charles de Gaulle had battled fascism alongside the Allied armies and marched straight... Read more
The French MAS-38 Was Weird But Well-Designed
In the early 1930s, France’s Manufacture d’Armes de Saint-Étienne developed the Pistolet Mitrailleur MAS Modèle 38 in a response to the French military’s call for new submachine gun. The French tested the weapon, selected it in 1938 and launched production in 1939, just months before the beginning of World... Read more