Free French army in Indochina
October 19, 2022 at 3:47 am #188337Daniel SauerweinParticipant
I wanted to reach out to the community on an idea my Dad is starting to work on and see about how to go about crafting a legal list for Bolt Action. He wants to create a Free French force in Indochina. I have been helping a bit, since I play Bolt. A good possibility is the Corps Léger d’Intervention, or light intervention corps, which appear to be based on the Chindits. What I’d like to know from you all is if you have built a hypothetical Free French list for Indochina, or encountered such a force in play? Also, what suggestions do you have for crafting a legal list and what range of figures would work, given that it appears the Free French were equipped by either the British or Americans? I am just trying to get ideas to help him with his idea. Thanks for your time and I look forward to hearing from you with suggestions.
DanielOctober 19, 2022 at 4:03 am #188338
Since the French in Indochina used a large amount of American equipment in Indochina, it would not be that strange to use the US troops that War Lord makes. There is also an excellent range of French paratroopers (and Viet Minh) for Indochina (Empress Miniatures), but as they are from England the postage can be a bit pricey. As far as making a list, I suggest getting the Korean War campaign book. A French battalion served in Korea and I dare say they used mostly US equipment. The French had their own submachine guns and other small arms, but that would be a very minute detail. Use the lists from the Korea book and call the figures French. Don’t get too bent around the axle as far as prototypical accuracy is concerned, it is after all only a game. Go for it!October 19, 2022 at 3:43 pm #188342Paul NettleParticipant
Wasn’t French Indochina under Vichy control until March 1945 (when it came under Japanese control)? So I didn’t realise there was much Free french activity there. BTW, Perry Miniatures make a range of French WWII colonial figures with varients for Free french or Vichy French. These are mainly in desert uniforms though.October 19, 2022 at 7:16 pm #188343
Whatever the French were called, they returned to take over control in Indochina. Since the conflict in Indochina lasted until 1955, the description “Free French” would not be that historically correct. As far as gaming is concerned, use whatever is available.October 19, 2022 at 8:34 pm #188344GeneralJimbo81Participant
Hi there give it a go.
If you want your guys to look and be armed French. Then Wargames Atlantic do a box or 35 plastic French 1914-40 troops. True a lot of the weapons are older models (no MAS rifles) but colonial troops rarely get the best. Think their more European in appearance but i dont know what the French uniforms in Indo China looked like. Not seen minis up close but look good online. You could also poss fairly easily do arm swaps with US arms & weapons. The box set seems really good value as seems to be £25 for sprues to make 35 (sorry I’m in UK).
Have fun whatever way you decide to go.October 20, 2022 at 1:04 am #188345
For most of the conflict, the helmets were US style. However, many troops wore a headgear that was similar to to an Australian bush hat but with smaller brims. One side was often up and after awhile the hat had somewhat of an irregular shape. Since the continental French did not serve in Indochina (except for the Foreign Legion), much of the fighting was done with colonial units (Algerians, Morrocans, Tunisians, European colonials, and various Asian forces- Laotian, Cambodian, or Vietnamese) Since the Wargames Atlantic figures come with Adrian helmets, they would do only as some type of milita or othr such second line troops. There are a number of videos on line about French operation in Indochina, very interesting- though mostly in French!
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