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WWII Patch, Free French Forces FFL BIA CCP CIA Airborne Paratrooper

WWII Patch, Free French Forces FFL BIA CCP CIA Airborne Paratrooper

Product Information
WWII FFL Free French Forces Paratrooper Squadron Patch    
French Airborne Paratroop Unit of the Free French Forces
The Free French Forces (French: Forces Françaises Libres = FFL)
Air Infantry Battalion (French: Bataillon d'Infanterie de l'Air = BIA)
Air Infantry Company (French: Compagnie d'Infanterie de l'Air = CIA)
Airborne Infantry Parachute Company (French: Compagnie de Chasseurs Parachutistes = CCP)
Walt Disney Design - African Hippo wearing a French Adrian helmet, holding an Umbrella and a Gun.
5.25 x 6 inches

Paratroopers are soldiers trained in parachuting and generally operate as part of an airborne force. Paratroopers are used for tactical advantage as they can be inserted into the battlefield from the air, thereby allowing them to be positioned in areas not accessible by land. It is one of the three types of "forced entry" strategic techniques for entering a theater of war; the other two are by land and sea. This ability to enter the battle from different locations allows paratroopers to evade fortifications that are in place to prevent attack from a specific direction, and the possible use of paratroopers forces an army to spread their defenses to protect other areas which would normally be safe by virtue of the geography. Another common use for paratroopers is to establish an airhead for landing other units. In English language parlance, a load of paratroopers is called a "stick", while any load of soldiers gathered for air movement is known as a "chalk". The terms come from the common use of white chalk on the sides of aircraft and vehicles to mark and update numbers of personnel and equipment being emplaned. In World War II paratroopers most often used parachutes of a round design. These parachutes could be steered to a small degree by pulling on the risers (four straps connecting the paratrooper's harness to the connectors) and suspension lines which attach to the parachute canopy itself. Today, paratroopers still use round parachutes, or round parachutes modified as to be more fully controlled with toggles. The parachutes are usually deployed by a static line. Mobility of the parachutes is often deliberately limited to prevent scattering of the troops when a large number parachute together.

The Free French Forces
(French: Forces Françaises Libres, FFL) were French fighters in World War II who decided to continue fighting against Axis forces after the surrender of France and subsequent German occupation and, in the case of Vichy France, collaboration with the Germans. In many sources, Free French describes any French individual or unit that fought against Axis forces after the June 1940 armistice. The reality is more complex as the French forces of the Army of Africa under General Henri Giraud did take part in the fight against the Axis, for example in Tunisia in early 1943, without any relationship with Charles de Gaulle's organization. Historically, an individual became Free French after he enlisted in de Gaulle's Free French organisation located in London. Free French units were units formed by these people. De Gaulle's organization stopped accepting members in mid-1943 as Free French forces were merging with the French forces in North Africa, and the Comité français de libération nationale (CFLN) was set up in Algiers. To settle disputes over the Free French heritage after the war, the French government issued an official definition of the term. Under this "ministerial instruction of July 1953" (instruction ministérielle du 29 juillet 1953), only those who served with the Allies after the Franco-German armistice in 1940 and before 1 August 1943 may correctly be called "Free French". French forces after July 1943 are therefore correctly designated as the "forces of Liberation".  The Free French forces were drawn mostly from the French colonial empire, rather than from metropolitan France. French nationals from the tropical African colonies formed a large part of the forces at the beginning, as were nationals from French Algeria. Later, many combatants were drawn from the native populations of French colonies. Sixty-five percent were conscripts from French West Africa, primarily Senegal. Other contingents were natives of Morocco, Algeria, and Tahiti (the Tahitians served with particular distinction in the western Sahara). The Free French forces also included units of the Foreign Legion.  After the fall of France in 1940, the French colonies of Cameroun and French Equatorial Africa (except for Gabon) joined the Free French while the remainder sided with the Vichy Regime. With the addition of French African colonies came a large number of African colonial troops. From July to November 1940, Free French forces fought French troops loyal to Vichy France during the West African Campaign. The outcome of this campaign was mixed with the Vichy French claiming victory at the Battle of Dakar and the Free French claiming victory at the Battle of Gabon. The French West African colonies remained Vichy French and the French Equatorial African colonies, now including Gabon, remained Free French.

FFA PARATROOPERS - The French airborne units of the free French forces
were created by General de Gaulle on 29th September 1940, under the command of Captain Georges Bergé (father of the French SAS). The first platoon was Jump certified at Christmas with the first British paratroopers in Central Landing Establishment - Ringway. In March and May 1941, two missions under the control of the SOE were completed in occupied France under the command of G.Bergé. ("Savanah" and "Josephine B"). These two missions were the first realized by allied forces in France. They have shown the ability to introduce a commando in occupied territory and exfiltrate it after the mission completed. In June 1941, the 1st company was cut in three Platoon. The first was assigned to the BCRA - the secret service of Free French - for special missions in occupied France. The two other platoons were the new 1st Air Infantry company (= CIA = Compagnie d'Infanterie de l'Air). In July 1941, the 1st Air Infantry company went in North-Africa. After a time in Lebanon, the company becomes 1st "Compagnie de Chasseurs Parachutistes" (= CCP) and did a para training course in the Kabret Para Training Centre. In September, Bergé obtained the authorization of General de Gaulle to form 3rd Squadron SPECIAL AIR SERVICE BRIGADE. In November the 3rd Squadron - 1st CCP (Compagnie de Chasseurs Parachutistes) began its SAS specialized training. During this time in Great Britain a new Para Unit was created to welcome volunteers in a 2nd CIA. From June to November 1942, a lot of missions were completed successfully by French and British SAS together on airfields and logistic bases on the coast of Lybia and Cyrenaïca. These units were fighting in Crete and Cyrenaica in June 1942 alongside the British 1st SAS Regiment. At the end of December the 1st CCP has finished its operations in middle-east and went back to Great-Britain. At this time, a new 2nd SAS Para Company was created to operate in Tunisia with some officers and veterans of the French SAS Squad. After some successful fights, in January and February the 2nd company went also back to Great-Britain. The French SAS received as a great award and tribute - the famous SAS wings and three gold inscriptions on their battle-honor. In March 1943, the veterans of the 1st and 2nd SAS companies were totally integrated to the French forces in Great-Britain and formed the 1st and 2nd "Bataillon d'Infanterie de l'Air" (= BIA = Air Infantry Battalion).  In November a 3rd BIA was created in Lebanon and Algeria and was sent to Great-Britain.  On 11th January 1944, 1st BIA (renamed 4th BIA) and 3rd BIA were integrated to the new SAS Brigade under the command of General Mac Leod as 4th SAS and 3rd SAS. From February to May the French SAS trained sometimes with the 1st Polish Para Brigade in Largo to prepare the landing in Europe and the operations to liberate occupied territories. As part of the SAS Brigade, two independent French SAS units were also created in addition to the other French Airborne units. They operated until 1945. In May 1943 the 1er Régiment de Chasseurs Parachutistes was created from the 601e Groupe d'Infanterie de l'Air in Morocco and the 3ème and 4ème Bataillons d'Infanterie de l'Air (BIA) in England in the Special Air Service. The 2ème and 3ème Régiment de Chasseurs Parachutistes followed in July 1944.

Free French Forces paratroopers in action in the ETO
During the Invasion of Normandy French Airborne forces fought in Britanny, (operation Dingson, operation Samwest). The first allied soldier to land in France was Free French SAS Captain Pierre Marienne who jumped into Britanny (Plumelec, Morbihan) on June 5 with 17 Free French paratroopers. The first allied soldier killed in the liberation of France was Free French SAS Corporal Emile Bouétard of the 4th Bataillon d’Infanterie de l’Air, also in Britanny in Plumelec : June 6, 0 h 40. Captain Pierre Marienne was killed on July 12 in Plumelec. French SAS paratroopers also fought in the Loire Valley on September 1944, in Belgium on January and in Netherlands on April 1945. The 1er Regiment Parachutiste de Choc carried out operations in Provence.  from wikipedia  South Africa African Air Force

Price: $170.00 $120.00

Product Code: PatchX.FFL.FreeFrenchForces.BIA.CCP.CIA.Airborne.Paratrooper
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