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- 04 -242018

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« A dedicated life », episode 24: 1st Colonial Artillery Regiment

Companion of the Liberation – Decree of 1st August 1945

During the Battle of the Marne in August 1914, the 1st RAC distinguished itself particularly thanks to the famous 75 mm field gun. By repelling waves of attacks, it helped to foil the German plan for a quick invasion of France. It was then deployed in Champagne, in the Somme and on the Chemin des Dames. In summer 1918, the regiment fought hard and was victorious in front of Reims, against an enemy that sought in vain to break through the Allied front.

Dissolved after the armistice in June 1940, the 1st RAC was reborn in the sands of the Free France battles, becoming the 1st RAFFL in June 1941. In Libya in 1942, it covered itself with glory at Bir-Hakeim, where the 75 mm “king of guns” once more inflicted heavy losses on the enemy, defending the French position against the Axis forces, which were ten times more numerous. The regiment once more fought the Afrikakorps at El Alamein and in Tunisia in 1943. It took part in the Italy campaign and in the liberation of France, from the Provence landings to the last attacks in the Authion massif.

Credits: 75 mm gun near Aspach-le-Haut (Haut-Rhin), 23 June 1915. © BDIC

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