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- 09 -222015

In Honour and by Victory, twentieth episode : the 1st/3rd Colonial Artillery Regiment

General Leclerc embarked on his African epic-making journey in Kufra in March 1941, with only one French 75 mm field gun. His small unit was progressively reinforced in 1942 by six sections and, later on, by two batteries in 1943.

Un automoteur du 1/3 RAC traverse Karlsruhe (Allemagne) en ruines en mai 1945  Crédits photos : © musée de l’ordre de la Libération / DRThe artillery of General Leclerc’s forces became the 1st Group of the 3rd Colonial Artillery Regiment (1/3 RAC) once the Second Armoured Division was created. It became one of the three artillery groups of the Second Armoured Division and was equipped with 105 mm SP guns. It was incorporated into the “Dio” Tactical Group and sent to Normandy where it took an active part in combats, Batterie du 1/3 RAC lors du défilé de la victoire sur les Champs-Elysées, le 18 juin 1945 © musée de l’ordre de la Libération / DR and liberated Paris in August 1944.

Strasbourg, 23 novembre 1944, batterie du 1er groupe du 3e RAC devant le palais du Rhin © musée de l’ordre de la Libération / DRFollowing the Lorraine Campaign, it entered Strasbourg. Then, it took part in the Battle of the Colmar Pocket, fighting under harsh climatic conditions. In April 1945, the regiment assaulted the German-held port of Royan by firing a record breaking number of shells. The regiment finished the war in Berchtesgaden, Germany, in May 1945.

5 Companion of the Liberation served in the 1st/3rd Colonial Artillery Regiment.

Credits : © the Musée de l’Ordre de la Liberation / All rights reserved

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