Collection

Troupes de marine

History

21st Regiment of marine infantry, Bastille Day 2008 military parade on the Champs-Élysées, Paris.The Troupes de marine, formerly Troupes coloniales, are an arm of the French Army with colonial heritage. The Troupes de marine are dedicated to service overseas. Despite their title they have been a part of the Army since 1958.

Soldiers of the troupes de marine are likely to spend much more of their service overseas, particularly in Africa, than other French soldiers. The troupes de marine include infantry (including light tank units and airborne units) and artillery. The Troupes de marine were founded in 1622 (officially titled compagnies ordinaires de la mer) as land forces under the control of the navy, notably for operations in French Canada. The Troupes de marine were transferred to the army in 1900 and became part of the Troupes Coloniales (Colonial Troops). The nickname la Coloniale or la Colo refers to this heritage.

At their height in 1940, the Troupes Coloniales consisted of nine divisions and several demi-brigades who manned machine gun emplacements on the Maginot Line. They recruited both in France and overseas.

With France divesting itself of its colonies, on 1 December 1958 the title of Troupes de marine was readopted, this time for all the Troupes Coloniales. They became a major component in France's Forces d'Intervention.

The Troupes de marine are one of the "armes" (corps) of the French army, which includes specialties associated with other corps (artillery, cavalry, signals) but with amphibious or airborne specialisations.

Organization and Capabilities

Current Units: - Numbered sequentially whether regiments or battalions

  • Régiment de Marche du Tchad (RMT) in Noyon (infantry). Historically famous under Leclerc. RICM (Régiment d'Infanterie de Chars de Marine) (RICM) 9e BLBMa in Poitiers (light cavalry) The odd acronym was created to keep alive the traditions and honours of its celebrated original designation, the Régiment d'Infanterie Coloniale du Maroc (Regiment of Colonial Infantry of Morocco). It is the most decorated unit in the French Army, famous for its recapture of Fort Douamont at Verdun in 1916.
  • Régiment d'Infanterie de Marine du Pacifique - Nouvelle Calédonie (RIMaP-NC) in Noumea New Caledonia (infantry)
  • Régiment d'Infanterie de Marine du Pacifique - Polynésie (RIMaP-P) in Papeete
  • 1er Régiment d'Artillerie de Marine (1er RAMa) in Laon (artillery)
  • 1er Régiment de Parachutistes d'Infanterie de Marine (1er RPIMA) in Bayonne (airborne commandos). It currently does not fulfill "Marine" roles, but Special Operations, similar to the Special Air Service.
  • 1er Régiment d'Infanterie de Marine (1er RIMa) 9e BLBMa in Angouleme (light cavalry)
  • 2e Régiment de Parachutistes d'Infanterie de Marine (2e RPIMa) in Pierrefonds (Réunion) (airborne)
  • 2e Régiment d'Infanterie de Marine (2e RIMa) 9e BLBMa in Le Mans (infantry)
  • 3e Régiment d'Artillerie de Marine (3e RAMa) in Canjuers (artillery)
  • 3e Régiment de Parachutistes d'Infanterie de Marine (3e RPIMa) in Carcassonne (airborne)
  • 3e Régiment d'Infanterie de Marine (3e RIMa) 9e BLBMa in Vannes (infantry)
  • 5e Régiment interarmes d'outre-mer (5e RIAOM) in Djibouti
  • 6e Bataillon d'Infanterie de Marine (6e BIMa) in Libreville (Gabon)
  • 8e Régiment de Parachutistes d'Infanterie de Marine (8e RPIMa) in Castres (airborne)
  • 9e Régiment d'Infanterie de Marine (9e RIMa) in Cayenne (French guiana) (infantry)
  • 11e Régiment d'Artillerie de Marine (11e RAMa) 9e BLBMa in Saint-Aubin-du-Cormier (artillery)
  • 21e Régiment d'Infanterie de Marine (21e RIMa) in Frejus (infantry)
  • 22e Bataillon d'Infanterie de Marine (22e BIMa) 9e BLBMa in Nantes (command and support)
  • 23e Bataillon d'Infanterie de Marine (23e BIMa) in Dakar (Senegal)
  • 33e Régiment d'Infanterie de Marine (33e RIMa) in Fort-de-France (Martinique)
  • 41e Bataillon d'Infanterie de Marine (41e BIMa) in Pointe-a-Pitre (Guadeloupe)
  • 43e Bataillon d'Infanterie de Marine (43e BIMa) in Port-Bouet (Côte d'Ivoire)
  • 72e Bataillon d'Infanterie de Marine (72e BIMa) in Marseille

Regiments with 9e BLBMa are part of the 9th Marine Light Armour Brigade (9e Brigade Légère Blindée de Marine), other regiments and battalions are integrated in non-Marine brigades