French Forces of the Interior

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  • #184741
    Enquiring_Mind
    Participant

    Hi everyone,

    after playing as the Germans for quite a while, I was thinking of a change. I’ve always liked the idea of the French Forces of the Interior (the FFI). For the few who haven’t heard of them they were the semi-organised and semi-uniformed partisans who rose up after D-Day. There’s some really great pictures of them, plus film footage of them fighting in Paris in August 1944.

    I’ve two questions: which theatre selector should I be using? There seems to be three choices:

    A). The Maquis selector that I understand will be in the American Sector D-day book.

    B). The Free French Late War selector that’s in the Battle of the Bulge book.

    C). The late war Partisan selector in the Armies of France and the Allies book.

    Also, I’m starting to think about vehicles, so apart from the comandeered trucks and Citroen cars I’m looking at captured tanks. I know the FFI recpatured Char 1Bs plus some Hotchkiss and Somua tanks. Does anyone know if any of the German conversions were ever captured and reused by the FFI? I’m thinking of stuff such as the Panzerjäger 35R etc…

    Thanks in advance for any help you guys can give me.

    #184747
    HellRaiser 7
    Participant

    I use Partisans sometimes to support my Armies. (French and Soviet). Im currently putting  a FFI Partisans list together. With all the research I’ve done, very few Partisans captured Armor. The Yugoslavs did capture some. And the Warsaw Uprising I believe they got two Panzers. Most partisans units did not have Armor. I’m building my FFI Partisan Army with wheeled vehicles and motorcycles. But the list allows for Bazooka and Piats and lots of Panzerfausts for your infantry squads so they have a lot of anti-armor weapons to take on enemy tanks . I want to play them historically correct.

    #184756
    invisible officer
    Participant

    The post D-day local raised French got a lot of German equipment. Including 12 Panther tanks in good condition.

    Two stood long before the Musee de L’armee Invalide dome on exibition. With French markings.

    (Polish had “Pudel”, a Panther and used in in Warsaw rising)

     

    Some 44 Panzer, incl. a tiger,  are used. Main Tank force came from Britain.  150 provided.

    Many Schützenpanzer and Hetzer went into French hands.

     

    The converted old French Beutepanzer got not used by the French, being worn out they had been mechanical nightmares for the Wehrmacht. Spare parts being rare.

    But some in original condition got used. 16th of August 1944, the 13th Regiment of Dragoons formed at Orleans, with the objective to form three squadrons of 15 tanks each; one equipped with B1 Bis, one with S35, and one with Hotchkiss & Renault light tanks. 

    13th Dragoons’s mechanical services, led by an old Renault engineer,  recovered around 40 B1 Bis in Normandy, but  managed to get just  15 operational, mostly by using the others  for parts. The Somua unit got 17 Somua S35s back in working order.

     

    Al these served not long, many broke down on the way east. Some ended as liberation monuments in vilages. Only action was in April 45 against   the Pocket of Royan, a small redoubt of resistance centerred around German Atlantic garrison troops holding out in weak fortifications in the estuary of the river Gironde

    Poorly equipped and with no tanks of their own, two S35s were lost to mines.

     

    A Somua S35 was captured in Saint Ouen, near Paris, but did not have any ammunition. At least one B1 bis and one H39 were also captured. They had only MG amo. The Germans used Hotchkiss H 39 in Paris. But not meeting French ones.

     

    The occupation troops in Germany used some old french tanks fpr years . 10 H39s were sold to the newlty created state of Israel as late as 1948.

     

    But much more US and British tanks got used.

     

     

     

     

     

    #184757
    HellRaiser 7
    Participant

    I made a typo in my earlier post, I meant two “Panther” tanks, not Panzer that were used in the Warsaw Uprising. I believed a Hetze might have been captured too. Invisible Officer, yes you are correct in that France did obtain all those German vehicles. Some were put into action for Allies, but the FFI Partisans groups did not use all those armored vehicles .
    Knipsel Fan, I forgot to answer your question. If your looking at a mainly “Partisan” FFI Army, use the partisan section of the France Book.
    The Free French Army (from the Battle of the Bulge Book) is the for the units that were trained in England for the Invasion of France/Europe. I play the Free French (which is a great list) and starting to build my FFI partisans.
    I hope this helps.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 3 months ago by HellRaiser 7.
    #184763
    invisible officer
    Participant

    “Use” is the problem.    The old FRench tanks had only that one true action mentioned by me. True Resistance units had no tank actions, only the semi regular 13th Dragons p. formed post D Day .

    The resistance got many German armored vehicles but only used them for demonstrations against rearguards. Like the French ones. No true fights.  To use a tank in fight you need a bit more than being able to drive a lorry. But painting a cross de Lorraine on it and make it run towards infantry without AT worked.

     

    A lot of the post war stories about resistance brave fights are……. .   A horrible time of butchering other French (Much more than in Revoluton!) and committing war crimes but rare fighting.  What happened to German Wehrmachtshelferinnen captured in Paris is nothing for peacefull wargaming.

     

    The regulars did the tank fights, all with allied material.   The others are used for staging hero poses. Good in grandperes photo album. But boring in gaming.

    #184764
    HellRaiser 7
    Participant

    Invisible Officer, I agree, the books and stories I’ve read on the French Resistance was there were so many different groups (usually divided by Political Parties) they wouldn’t work with each other , stole from each other, even attacked each other. I felt bad for the British Agents and Commandos who had to trained them, organize them, and get them to do anything. The stories from the British were terrible with what they had to deal with. It’s a wonder any tracks or bridges got blown up.

     

    #184794
    Enquiring_Mind
    Participant

    Hi guys, thanks for the information.

    I think I might wait for the American Sector Normandy book to come out before I make any such decisions.

    After doing some more research, I’ve found more facts. There’s a fairly well known Char B1 that was captured by the FFI in Paris. It got the Cross of Lorraine and the letters FFI painted very prominently on it – it looks cool. Unfortunately they only had MG ammo for it, so no 47mm or 75mm gun.

    I think reality and my initial plans for force composition are starting to look very far apart….

    #184804
    HellRaiser 7
    Participant

    Knispel Fan, that’s what I was saying that pretty much overall not many Partisans had Armor. You could always just play the Free French Army out of the Battle of the Bulge book, build it with as many FFI units you want, and just support it with Free French Armor/units or anything you might need. Like the FFI is taking them to the target but will also assist in the fighting. (Usually the Allies didn’t want them around once the fighting started, but the FFI were prone to do whatever they wanted). Like you, I’m looking forward to the new DDay book so I can see what new rules they have fir them. Make sure you post your Army with Photos when you done. Good Luck.

    #184799
    Greg S
    Participant

    There’s a French website detailing the tanks used by the FFI here:  http://www.chars-francais.net/2015/index.php/liste-chronologique/de-1940-a-1945?task=view&id=1209

    I had to use google translate.

    My late war Partizans have a captured Panzer IV.  Using the the rules in the Partisan book it always does really badly (Green plus extra pins), but it is often a distracts the enemy’s heavy stuff.

     

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