1st Armored Division (France)

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1re Division Blindée
Insigne 1° DB.JPG
Active 1943-1946
Country Flag of France.svg France
Allegiance Free France Free French Forces
France French Army
Branch French Army
Type Armored division
Engagements Invasion of France
Major General Jean Touzet du Vigier

The 1st Armored Division (French: 1re Division Blindée, 1re DB) was an armored unit of the French Army. The division fought during World War II as a part of the First French Army and was active during the Cold War. It was disbanded in 1999, but its honors and traditions are carried on by the 1st Mechanized Brigade.


World War II[edit]

For more details on this topic, see 1_Army_Corps_(France) § World_War_2.

The 1st Armored Division was created 1 May 1943 in Mascara, French Algeria, under the command of Major General Jean Touzet du Vigier.

The division landed in Provence on 15 August 1944, as part of the "Garbo Force", itself a part of French First Army commanded by General de Lattre de Tassigny's. It took part in the liberation of Toulon and Marseille. It was the first western Allied unit to reach the Rhone (25 August 1944), the Rhine (19 November 1944) and the Danube (21 April 1945). The division was mentioned in dispatches three times, but was disbanded on 31 March in 1946.

Cold War[edit]

The division was recreated in 1948 and stationed in Trier, Germany in 1951.

Post-Cold War[edit]

Units of the division took part in the Gulf War, and it sent units to Bosnia under the framework of UNPROFOR from 1992, as part of the IFOR from 1995 and provided the HQ in Mostar for the Multi-National Division South between August and November 1997.

When the French Army was reorganized in 1999 the division was dissolved and its honors and traditions are carried on by the 1st Mechanized Brigade created on 1 July 1999.