Régiment Blindé de Fusiliers-Marins

The Régiment Blindé de Fusiliers-Marins (RBFM) was an unique French unit formed during WWII.    A group of French sailors (whose ships were either immobilized or destroyed) interned in Britain volunteered and formed an infantry battalion fought the Axis forces along side the US troops in French North Africa.    Later the battalion was transformed into a Tank Destroyer Regiment which distinguished itself in combat with the French 2nd Armored Division in France.    The Tank Destroyers of the regiment were named after French naval vessels and the crews wore their French naval bachi caps proudly.

 

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On 8 November 1942, Operation Torch landed US forces in French North Africa.   This event prompted a group of French sailors (45 officers – 333 petty officers, quartermasters and sailors) interned at Grizedale Hall in Britian request to be sent to Algiers and fight the Axis forces along side the Allies under the command of French Admiral Jean Darlan but the English refused because they wanted the sailors to join the Free French Forces (FFL) in England.   The Allied invasion of North Africa had provoked the Germans to invade Vichy Southern France violating the Armistice of 22 June 1940.   On 27 November, the French Navy scuttled most of their fleet at the port of Toulon preventing it from being captured by the approaching Germans.   The English finally changed their decision and allowed the French sailors to join the FFL and the volunteers traveling on an English liner arrived in Algiers on 1 February 1943. There they met French Admiral Lemonnier with the intention of creating a battalion of Marine Fusiliers to assault and hold the artillery batteries.   They were given 45 days to prepare themselves, to educate themselves, and to increase their numbers to about 550 men.   The unit was equipped mostly with obsolete US weapons.   On 19 April 1943, the battalion was ready and was incorporated into the “Corps Francs d’Afrique” (CFA). Three battalions of the CFA was attached to the US II Corps under the command of General Omar Bradley for the final assault on the port city of Bizerte, Tunisia.

 

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On 22 April, the US 9th Infantry Division and the Corps Franc d’Afrique held a 28 mile front extending from the sea to a point 5 miles west of Sidi Nsir.   The US 9th Infantry Division at Djebel Abiod and the Corps Franc d’Afrique avoiding the main road advanced through the Sedjenane valley towards Bizerte where they encountered heavy fighting over rough hilly terrain.   Since Bizerte was a French colony,  the French troops were trucked up to the front of the columns and on May 7 at 1600 hours they were the first allied troops to enter Bizerte and aided the US troops in mopping up enemy resistance.   On 12 May 1943, the Axis forces in North Africa surrendered.

After the operation was over, the “Bataillon de Bizerte” (Bizerte Battalion) was used in the reconnaissance role but it quickly became too large for the small force to handle. Corvette Captain Raymond Maggiar (the battalion commander) worked on getting the unit back into combat but in boats.   Some of the volunteers did returned to naval units while the rest were offered to be assigned to existing armored regiments or field artillery units but they declined.   As of 31 December 1943, the unit had 109 officers, 601 Quartermasters and Seamen, 6 NCOs and 200 North African natives.

On 19 September 1943, the battalion was renamed the “Régiment Blindé de Fusiliers Marins” (Armored Regiment of Marine Rifles).   The regiment moved to Casablanca, Morocco to receive equipment and replacements.   Their numbers were increased with the men of the 2nd light squadron (destroyed at Casa), escapees from France, the Corsicans, the Blackfoot and the Algerians.   A few weeks later on 23 October 1943, the first new equipment arrived in extremely small quantities (4 jeeps and 5 Dodge trucks).   US style uniforms arrived a few weeks later on 9 December 1943 but the regiment still had no tanks.   On 1 January 1944, the Regiment was visited by General de Lattre who promised them their vehicles would arrive very soon and would get a fast deployment in Europe.   On January 17, new equipment arrived –  5 Dodge trucks and 21 trailers.   The regiment moved to Camp Verdun next to the Anfa race course and then moved to Berkane to be trained on the US M10 tank Destroyer armed with a 3 Inch (76.2mm) gun along side the 11th Regiment of Chasseurs of Africa (RCA).

On 9 April 1944, the RBFM was moved to a camp at Sidi Ben Obka, Oran and the regiment received orders to embark for England on the April 29th which gave the unit about 20 days to prepare.   Equipment preparation was quick for only 36 M10s, 25 M3A1 Scout Cars, 6 M2 Half-Tracks, 3 M3 Half-Tracks and some motorcycles.   The US issued sighting devices in the M10 were not suitable for the experience French naval gunners so a French Naval Artillery Engineer Silvère Sevrat provided the regiment 40 naval riflescopes.   They were quickly installed in the M10s and they were able to target a panzer up to 3000 meters (3280 yards).   On April 12th, the RBFM was officially integrated into the French 2nd Armored Division (French: 2e Division Blindée, 2e DB) under the command of General Philippe François Marie Leclerc.   Leclerc originally did not have any faith in the regiment.

On April 29th, the French 2e DB embarked for England on several LSTs, liberty ships ‘Fort Brandon’ and ‘Belgium Sailor’, and other personnel aboard the ‘Cape Town Castle’ from Mers-El-Kebir.   The division landed at the ports of Greenock and Liverpool on 31 May 1944 and assembled around the village of Sledmere in Yorkshire.   The RBFM personnel was brought up to full strength and the son of General de Gaulle, Philippe joined the regiment.   The M3A1 Scout Cars were replaced by US M20 Armored Utility Cars.   On 28 June 1944, General Patton meet the French 2e DB and its leader and on June 30 presented the insignia for the Division.   On July 19th, the French 2e DB received its order that it was attached to the US 3rd Army.   The RBFM left Yorkshire on July 21st and went to Bournemouth for embarkation.

At 0130 hours on 3 August 1944 , the French 2e DB Division disembarked at Saint Martin de Varreville (Utah Beach where the US 4th Infantry Division landed on D-day).   Then the division advanced toward Hague-du-Puit via Saint Sauveur-le-Vicomte and the RBFM regrouped in Lastelle.   During the evening of August 6th, the division departed from Lastelle towards Coutances through the Hague Fresnel, Avranches and Ducey to Saint Laurent de Terregate where it bivouacked.   On August 8 and 9, Saint Aubin, Saint Laurent, Saint James, Autrain, Saint Aubin du Cormier, Vitré, Argentré du Plessis, Cuillé, Cossé-le-Vivier, Grelaines, Chateau-Gontier, Bouessoy, Sablé.   On August 10/11, it crossed the Sarthe River at night on boat decks deployed by US units and the 2nd squadron bivouacked at Souligné.

 

 

On 12 August 1944, the regiment scored its first victory along the Alençon road southeast of Carrouges (Orne).   M10 STRASBOURG and M10 JEAN-BART of 3rd platoon, 3rd Squadron were occupying a position where a lot of traffic was reported. M10 JEAN-BART destroyed a Panther with three rounds at 800 meters (875 yards) after lighting the area by flaming three German trucks carrying infantry.   Note the US helmets hung on the turret and in the lower left edge of the photo the “JE” from the name can be seen.

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Starting at 9:56 in this film, there are several scenes with M10 MISTRAL.

Film:  2ND FRENCH ARMD DIV AT CHATEAU FORTE; ON THEIR WAY TO PARIS

 

M10 MISTRAL was named after a Bourrasque class destroyer (contre-torpilleur), seized by the British in July 1940 and commissioned in the Royal Navy as HMS Mistral.   Later it was transferred to the Free French Naval Forces and was scrapped in 1953.

 

 

This is a screen capture of M10 MISTRAL from the film. Note the “S” in the name.  The radio base has no antenna since it would prevented the turret from rotating 360 degrees.

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This screen from the film shows the name on M10 LYNX.

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This is LYNX’s platoon mate LEOPARD in the film.

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This is another view of M10 LEOPARD.   Note the hedgerow cutter on the front mounted at an up angle.

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Orders were given to occupy the crossroads at Le Menil-Scelleur, in the direction of Argentan.   On the way, 7 armored cars and a hundred prisoners were captured.   M10 DUNKERQUE destroyed a PzKpfw IV (probably from the 9th Panzer Division) firing seven rounds into it to ensure its destruction.   M10 RICHELIEU which just arrived at the crossroads was hit in the engine and it ignited forcing the crew to abandon it.   Then a German artillery barrage targeted the crossroads destroying two jeeps.   RICHELIEU’s fire was brought under control  by its crew and the internal fire extinguisher and was later recovered.

 

 

M10 DUNKERQUE was named after the 26,500 ton Dunkerque-class French battleship which was scuttled at Toulon in November 1942.

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On August 24, the French 2e DB and the US 4th Infantry Division entered the city of Paris.   Besides the cheering crowds of joyful Parisians, there were some German barricaded strong points, panzers and collaborationist snipers to be contended with before the city was completely liberated.

 

 

M10 CORSAIRE on Raspail Boulevard in Paris.   The crewman with the rifle is looking out for snipers.   It appears that the M10 has travel gun lock bracket on the front hull.

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But my closeup of the front hull shows that they are a pair of the large wrenches bolted to the front hull.

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M10 CORSAIRE is moving along the Rue de Fleurus towards the Seine River with accompanying infantry.   Note the Jerry can rack mounted on the rear hull.

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Film:   VERSAILLES, FRANCE, 08/24/1944; FRENCH 2ND ARMORED DIVISION

 

This is my close up of M10 SIROCO hull side in the film starting at 3:23.

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This is the rear view of SIROCO.   Note the aerial ID panel on the engine deck.

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M10 SIROCO in front of the Arc de Triomphe.   Note the hedgerow cutter mounted on the front hull.   At this time, SIROCO had scored 3 kills and just before arriving at the Arc it destroyed a German truck.

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Film:   Panther Tank Duel Paris 1944

 

A shell exploded near M10 SIMOUN and M10 SIROCO at the Arc de Triomphe.   A second shell misses M10 SIMOUN.   The crews scan the area and spotted a Panther at  the Place de la Concorde near the obelisk.   The Panther fires again and hits the Arc de Triomphe causing minor damage.   The chef-de-char (tank commander) of M10SIMOUN ordered the gunner to load a HE shell and set his gun sight for 1500 meters (1640 yards) but the gunner remembered that the length of the Champs Elysées was 1800 meters (1969 yards) and set his sight to the correct range.   M10 SIMOUN fired two rounds at the Panther and blew off one of its tracks which immobilized it.   At that time, Sherman tanks of the 501eme Régiment de Chars de Combat (RCC) entered the Pl de la Concorde from the rue de Rivoli.   The Leading Sherman DOUAMONT first knocked out a German Renault R-35 from the rear and then the Panther spotted the approaching Shermans.   As the Panther was transvering its turret towards the Sherman, Sherman DOUAMONT fired at the Panther but its shell bounced off the Panther’s thick frontal armor.   Sherman DOUAMONT then blinded the Panther with a white phosphorus (WP) round and then rammed the Panther.   During the confusion, the Panther crew escaped.

Notes:   During this engagement the SIMOUN crew had a rancid dead duck stuck in the shell rack.   Goggle Maps measures the length along the Champs-Elysées from the Arc de Triomphe to the obelisk at the Place de la Concorde as being 2110 meters (2308 yards).

 

 

M10 SIMOUN was named after a Bourrasque-class destroyer ( torpilleur d’escadre) conmissioned in January 1926 and later scrapped in 1950.   This is M10 SIMOUN in 1945 displaying all its kill markings.

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From strong points in Gabriel’s matching palaces, the Hotel Crillon and the French Naval Ministry snipers began firing on the Parisians and Allied troops on the Place de la Concorde.   Around M10 FLIBUSTIER are civilians taking cover watching the French and US troops flush out the snipers.  The commander appears to be waving a signal flag.

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The main victim during this battle was one of Gabriel’s massive Corinthian columns, the fifth one from the right along the facade of the Hotel Crillon.   According to the story, the column was destroyed by the gunner of M10 FLIBUSTIER after he was warned by his commander to “watch out for the fifth column”.   The commander was referring to the collaborationist snipers.   The story probably originated by the civilians who were around M10 FLIBUSTIER which was closest to the column at the time.   But FLIBUSTIER’s cannon was pointed away from the building when the column was destroyed.   One source stated that one of the Shermans on the other side of the Place de la Concorde actually fired and destroyed the column.

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Sometime after the war, the destroyed column was replaced.   This view of the columns today shows the replacement column in the center.    Note the color difference of the 70+ year old column compared to the surrounding original columns.

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This is another view of M10 FLIBUSTIER in Paris.    Note the tread directions of the spare tracks mounted on the rear hull.

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On 25 August 1944, M10 CYCLONE destroyed a panzer at Petit Clamart (southwest of Paris).   M10 CYCLONE was named after a Bourrasque-class destroyer entered service on 25 June 1928.   It saw service in the early months of WWII before being scuttled in June 1940 to prevent her capture by advancing German forces during the Battle of France.

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M10 BOURRASQUE (in English “Snowstorm”) with hedgerow cutter in Enghien (suburb northwest of Paris).   M10 BOURRASQUE was named after a Bourrasque-class destroyer built in September 1926.   It hit a mine and was lost off  Nieuwpoort on 30 May 1940 during Operation Dynamo.

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Today, it is the intersection of Avenue de la Division Leclerc (D928) and Rue du Général de Gaulle (D311).   The buiding on the right today is the restaurant “La Taverne D’Enghien”.   Compare the brick work on the second story of the building above the sign post to the 1944 photo above.

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BATTLE OF DOMPAIRE

 

A crisis developed south of Nancy for the Germans when elements of the French 2e DB broke through and encircled the 16th Volksgrenadier-Division.   The Panzer-Brigade 112 was released from the reserves and supported by elements of 21st Panzer-Division.   On 12 September 1944, the inexperienced Panzer-Brigade 112 headed south in two columns.   The western column consisted of the 1st battalion of Panzer Regiment 29 with 45 Panthers, while Panzer-Battalion 2112 with 46 PzKpfw IVs formed up the eastern column with the bulk of the armored infantry.   They arrived in the area of the reported French infiltration but failed to detect any French units in the area.    The French had 48 Shermans, 5 Stuarts, and 11 M10s (RBFM) approaching the area.

The clash occurred near the village of Dompaire (south of Nancy).   The French controlled all hills around the settlement with the Germans in the lowlands.   First blood was with the French 4th Tank Squadron in a quick engagement where one Panther and one Sherman were lost.   At 1730 hours near the road from Dompaire to Epinal, a French tank column engaged Panthers and German AT guns.   From the column, the French were able to destroy a German AT gun.   M10 SIMOUN snuck up close to the Germans among the trees and burnt out a Befehlspanzer Panther with two shots.   A Sherman also fired on a Panther but its 75mm shells ricocheted off its thick armor and the Panther returned fire setting it ablaze.   Other Shermans engaged the Panthers at a range of 600-800 meters and one Panther was knocked out at the cost of losing a couple of Shermans.   The French retreated and the German panzers continued making their way to the hills southwest of Dompaire.

Darkness fell around 2100 hours.    Both sides exchanged shots blindly and the skirmish continued throughout the night.   The German infantry entrenched on the wooded hills under cover from tanks and tank destroyers and the Panthers held up in Dompaire.   French artillery fired upon all entrances into the village and harassed the Germans all night, and French tanks blocked all possible movement.   The Germans believed they were facing a weak enemy force.   The 112th brigade crews took cover from the rain in the village houses and no sentries were posted.   The villagers contacted the Allies and informed them about the locations and actions of the Germans.   The French requested for air support and received assurance that tactical air cover would be provided after daylight as soon as the weather improved.

In the early hours of September 13th, French infantry supported by five Shermans took the village of Lavieville, northwest of Dompaire, and advanced towards Dompaire where the Panthers bivouacked.    Six P-47D fighters of the 405th Fighter Group attacked identified targets, firing rockets, dropped bombs and strafed them.   The surviving Panthers tried to retreat to the southeast towards the village of Damas but their route was blocked by four M10s.   M10 TEMPÊTE (in English “Storm”) knocked out a Panther from a kilometer away with three shots.  A second Panther noticed TEMPÊTE and approached it to 300 meters to fire.   M10 ORAGE (in English “Thunderstorm”) rescued its platoon mate by setting the Panther ablaze with two shots.    At 1530 hours, US aircraft strike the German panzers again and when the planes left, the remaining Panthers tried to break out east from Dompaire.   The north and eastern outskirts of Dompaire were covered by three M10s and two Shermans concealed in a cemetery.   The Shermans fired first. One panzer’s turret was hit and was engulfed in smoke, the crew of another panicked and abandoned their still functional panzer.   M10 MISTRAL knocked out a Panther and burnt out another one. A third panzer tried to hide behind some trees but took two hits and rolled into a ditch. Soon afterwards the Panthers attempted another breakout eastward.   The gunner of M10 SIROCO fired four rounds and knocked out two panzers while a third panzer escaped behind a smokescreen.

The Panzer-Battalion 2112 infantry and PzKpfw IVs attacked the town of Ville-surIllon, south of Dompaire.    In the early afternoon, a group of  M10s and Shermans was sent from the Dompaire area to Ville-sur-Illon to counter the new threat.    Two Shermans took up positions in the fruit orchard south-west of the town.   One Sherman was knocked out while changing positions.  The French was left with two Shermans, the same number of M10s, and a couple of Jeeps with machine guns.   A shot was fired from 3000 meters and hit a PzKpfw IV right as it was leaving the forest.   Over a dozen panzers advanced across the field and the hidden M10s opened fire.   The panzers fired back but not one hit their target.   After losing seven panzers, the Germans retreated and grenadiers with AT weapons covered the withdrawal.   As darkness descended on Dompaire, the French infantry scoured the town capturing intact tanks with surviving crews and grenadiers.

 

 

M10 TEMPÊTE with its three kills displayed in 1945.

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The RBFM regrouped for an assault on Strasbourg.   The regiment attacked at Baccarat and Phalsbourg, ending their assault at Pont de Kehl.

Film:   WW2 – French-American liberation of Alsace, January 1945

 

 

The city of Baccarat was liberated by the French 2e DB on 31 October 1944.   The next day,  November 1st,  M10 LE MALIN the leading tank of a clearance mission approached the village of Bertrichamps (Vosges) which was still occupied by the enemy.   The Germans were entrenched to the north of the village on farms near a railroad crossing.   Concealed in a barn, a PzKpfw IV fired at point blank range and its shell penetrated the LE MALIN’s transmission housing.   The shell passed between the co-driver and driver, twisting a gun on the thigh of the driver and by a miracle became lodged between the legs of the three men in the turret.   Only the commander received a slight foot injury and the crew were able to evacuate safely before a second shell finished off the tank destroyer.   LE MALIN II was acquired from a US unit and was “frenchized” with equipment stripped from its destroyed predecessor.   Later at the regimental workshop, it was possible to test the replacement M10 in particular the welding, gun sight, engine, etc…

 

Film:   Des Vosges au pont de Kehl

 

 

The crew are stowing their gear on LE MALIN.

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M10 LE MALIN II with US serial number on the hull side.   Note the tactical marking positioned at the front of the hull.

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M10 MORSE is camouflaged with netting, boards and other materials.  The two stripes on the barrel indicate two kills.   M10 MORSE was named after a Requin-class submarine built that was commissioned in February 1928 and on 16 June 1940 struck a mine and sank.

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M10 PHOQUE (in English “Seal”) was named after a Requin-class submarine that was commissioned in May 1928.    In April 1941, it was disarmed at Bizerte, Tunisia and the Italians captured it there on 8 December 1942 and renamed it FR 111.   It was sunk on 28 February 1943 ten miles off Murro di Porco, Sicily by Allied aircraft.

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M10 PHOQUE entering Strasbourg.   This is probably the natural environment for PHOQUE.

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M10 MISTRAL (on the left) covered with white bed sheets as winter camouflage in January 1945.   Note the track grousers fitted.

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M10 SIROCO also covered with white bed sheets as winter camouflage.    The name can barely be seen on the hull side.

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Battle of Grussenheim, 26-29 January 1945

 

On 28 January around 0900-1000 hours, a column of Shermans and M10s advanced towards a bridge that led to Grussenheim (Bas-Rhin).   It was a Bailey bridge thrown across the river by engineers which was just a little wider than a tank.    Just as the leading tank moved onto the bridge a German shell hit it and damaged its track.   The disabled tank halted the column and closely behind it was the next victim M10 PHOQUE which was destroyed.

On 29 January, M10 SOUFFLEUR (in English “Blower”) was destroyed at the crossroads 177 near Grussenheim.   SOUFFLEUR was located at the north exit of the village and was ordered to open fire at 1200 meters (1323 yards) on a Jagdpanther that came into view.    Several rounds were fired at it with no results.   In return, the Jagdpanther fired a 88mm shell at SOUFFLEUR and the blast hurled the commander Le Goff and Petty Officer Gonidec from the M10.   Le Goff was wounded in the leg and Gonidec was
unharmed.   SOUFFLEUR’s engine stalled and could not maneuver then it was hit by two more 88mm shells and caught on fire.

 

Crossroads is “Carrefour” in French.
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JEAN GABIN

 

In the early 1940’s, French film actor Jean Gabin (real name Jean Alexis Moncorgé) made a couple of films in Hollywood that flopped and was romancing actress Marlene Dietrich.    In 1943 at the age of 39, he joined the Free French Naval Forces and left the US on the convoy escort ELORN to Algiers as a commander of a 40mm AA gun crew.   In Aligers, he wanted to join a combat unit but was denied.   Instead he became a rifle instructor for training young recruits.   Moncorgé learnt of the RBFM and wanted to join the regiment but his orders did not arrive in time when the RBFM left for England. He finally joined the RBFM in France and trained as a tank driver.   In late January 1945, he became commander (rank:’second maître’ = sargent) of M10 SOUFFLEUR II and was later awarded the Médaille Militaire and a Croix de Guerre for his service.

 

 

M10 SOUFFLEUR II was obtained from an US unit indicated by the circled white stars.   Jean Moncorgé (Gabin) is the middle crew member in this photo.

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The crewman standing next to the turret appears to be loosing or tightening a bolt.

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Moncorgé is inspecting a track link on SOUFFLEUR II.    He is probably not acting.

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In April 1945, while the Allies launched a major offensive on the Rhine (Operations Plunder and Airborne Operation Varsity), the RBFM was sent to the west front in the Charente to liberate the fortified city of Royan, France.

 

 

M10 TERRIBLE II advancing through the ruins of Royan. Barely seen on the front hull is a white circled star indicating the M10 came from an US unit.   Note that the driver and co-driver are wearing their naval bachi caps.

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This is another RBFM M10 advancing into Royan with accompanying infantry.    Note the sandbags on the front hull and the crewman in the turret wearing his naval bachi cap.

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M10 FLIBUSTIER was detracked by tellermines on 16 April 1945 in Royan.

After the Royan pocket was reduced, the RBFM left for Château-Salins in the direction of Germany and headed for Berchtesgaden, Hitler’s Eagle nest.    On 4 May 1945, the RBFM arrived but the M10s were too heavy and too wide to climb up to Hitler’s Eagle nest.  The RBFM stayed behind as forward elements of the 7th Infantry Regiment of the US 3rd Infantry Division received the town’s surrender.   Two days later, hostilities ended and on May 8 the Germans surrendered.   The next day, the RBFM paraded before de Gaulle, before returning to France.

 

 


M10 SIROCO

 

M10 SIROCO achieved the highest number of kills (9) in the regiment.  Serial Number 629 was built by Fisher in January 1943.   The name Siroco refers to a Mediterranean wind which comes from the Sahara and can reach hurricane speeds in Southern Europe, especially during the summer season.  M10 SIROCO was named after a Bourrasque-class destroyer (torpilleur d’escadre) built in 1928.  The Siroco was torpedoed and sunk by German S-boats S-23 and S-26 near the West Hinder light vessel on 31 May 1940 while participating in the Dunkirk evacuation.

 

 

M10 SIROCO with 9 kill silhouettes painted on the hull side for the 1945 parades in Paris  after VE day.   Note the hedgerow cutter has been removed.  

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This view shows the front hull. Just below the driver’s position is the Bridge classification of number 28 on a yellow disc.    Below the co-driver position is the marking for the 4th Squadron, 3rd Platoon.

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This photo shows the kill silhouettes on the hull side close up.   All are for panther kills except for the one under the “S” on the left edge of the photo.   It appears to be a Stug or a SP kill.

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Today,  M10 GMC “SIROCO” is in running condition at the Saumur Tank Museum in France and the museum has demonstrations and shows over the years.

 

Video:    LE SIROCO

Video:    M10 Destroyer Siroco Saumur 2012

Video:    Tank Destroyer M10 in action – Saumur 2016

Video:    Chasseur de char TD M10 du Musée des Blindés de Saumur 2016

Video:    TD m10 gmc wolverine Le Faou

 

 


UNIT MARKINGS & NAMES

 

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There were 12 M10s in a Squadron and 4 Squadrons in the regiment but the RBFM did managed to acquire up to 54 M10s creating an additional platoon of 4 M10s for reconnaissance duties and in December 1944 created another platoon of only 2 M10s.   Most of the additional and replacement M10s were obtained from other US Tank Destroyer units which probably were re-equipping with the  90mm M36 Tank Destroyer.

Each platoon of M10s were protected by four jeeps occupied by voltigeurs whose role was to defend against enemy infantry armed with panzerfaust, panzerschrek and other AT weapons because the M10 had an open top turret.

In addition a female ambulance platoon, the Marinettes, part of the 13th Medical Battalion commanded by a female Enseigne de vaisseau was attached to the regiment.

 

 

Dodge WC54 Ambulance “LE CANCER” number 412 022

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Other medical vehicles:   Jeep BADIN 429 423, Dodge WC51 MOUCHE (In English “Fly”) 400 000, and an Austin Ambulance (English) 405 764.

 

 

RBFM M10 INFORMATION

 

Name  Number Squadron   Platoon      Kills   Loss Date
ALBATROS   420 142      2nd      3rd        –          –
AUDACIEUX   420 091      3rd      1st        –          –
BOURRASQUE   420 139      4th      1st        4          –
CORSAIRE   420 095      3rd      2nd        –          –
CYCLONE   420 155      4th      3rd        1  12 Sept 1944
DUNKERQUE   420 097      3rd      3rd        1          –
ECLAIR    95 290      1st      1st        –          –
EPERVIER   420 193      2nd      3rd        –          –
FLAMME    95 287      1st      1st        –          –
FLIBUSTIER   420 094      3rd      2nd        –   16 Apr 1945
FOUDRE    95 288      1st      1st        –          –
FOUGUEUX        ?       ?       ?        –          –
JAGUAR   420 201      2nd      1st        –          –
JEAN-BART   420 098      3rd      3rd        1          –
LANSQUENET   420 200      3rd      2nd        –          –
LE FANTASQUE   420 086      3rd      1st        –   23 Nov 1944
LE FANTASQUE II    93 369      3rd      1st        –          –
LE MALIN   420 093      3rd      1st        –    1 Nov 1944
LE MALIN II    95 284      3rd      1st        –          –
LEOPARD   420 199      2nd      1st        –          –
LE TERRIBLE   420 194      3rd      1st        –   23 Nov 1944
LE TERRIBLE II    93 368      3rd      1st        4*          –
LION   420 202      2nd      1st        –   12 Aug 1944
LION II    95 275      2nd      1st        –          –
LYNX   420 198      2nd      1st        –          –
MAMELUCK   420 135      3rd      2nd        –          –
MARSOUIN   420 196      2nd      2nd        –   26 Jan 1945
MILAN   420 191      2nd      3rd        –          –
MISTRAL   420 158      4th      3rd        6    6 Feb 1945
MISTRAL II        ?      4th      3rd        *          –
MOGADOR        ?      3rd       ?        –          –
MORSE   420 192      2nd      2nd        2          –
NARVAL 1 001 054      1st      2nd        –          –
ORAGE   420 137      4th      1st        1          –
OURAGAN   420 190      4th      1st        –          –
PHOQUE   420 195      2nd      2nd        –          –
RICHELIEU   420 096      3rd      3rd        –  15 Sept 1944
RICHELIEU II    95 276      3rd      3rd        –          –
SIMOUN   420 157      4th      3rd        3          –
SIROCO   420 154      4th      3rd        9          –
SOUFFLEUR   420 197      2nd      2nd        –   29 Jan 1945
SOUFFLEUR II 1 001 055      2nd      2nd        –          –
STRASBOURG   432 618      3rd      3rd        –          –
SUFFREN    96 371      1st      2nd        –          –
TEMPÊTE   420 141      4th      1st        3          –
TONNERRE    95 289      1st      1st        –          –
TORNADE   420 144      4th      2nd        2          –
TOURVILLE    96 370      1st      2nd        –          –
TRAMONTANE   420 156      4th      2nd        –          –
TROMBE   420 203      4th      2nd        –          –
TYPHON   420 140      4th      2nd        –          –
VAUTOUR   420 092      2nd      3rd        –          –

 

 

Name Notes
CYCLONE Destroyed on 12 Sept 1944 near Vittel (Vosges).
LE FANTASQUE Destroyed on 23 Nov 1944 in Strasbourg.
LE TERRIBLE Destroyed by 75mm on 23 Nov 1944 in Strasbourg.
LE TERRIBLE II * Late Nov 1944 along the Rhine, LE TERRIBLE II avenged LE TERRIBLE by knocking out 1 panzer and 3 armoured cars.
LION Destroyed on 12 Aug 1944.
MARSOUIN Destroyed on 26 Jan 1945 (Maggiar indicates on 26 Nov 1944 at the crossroads of Erstein).
MISTRAL Destroyed on 6 Feb 1945.
MISTRAL II * A photo shows MISTRAL II with 6 kills in a parade which could be MISTRAL’s 6 kills.
RICHELIEU M10 replaced on 15 Sept 1944.

 

 


 

1/48 DECALS & FIGURES
Peddinghaus 1436 French Tank & Vehicle Markings Normandy & Germany WWII #1   –      This decal sheet has markings for M10 PHOQUE (“Seal”).

 

Gasoline GAS50361 US tank Destroyer M-10 crew
RBFM-42

 

Gasoline GAS50352 German POW with French soldier RBFM
RBFM-43

 

Gasoline GAS50379 US armoured car M8 / M20 crew
RBFM-44

 

 

 

 

Thats_all_Folks

 

 

 

 

 

 

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