Corps Léger d'Intervention
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|Corps Léger d'Intervention (C.L.I.)|
|Active||1943 – 1946|
|Country||France, French Indochina (Laos)|
|Allegiance||Free France, GPRF|
|Branch||Far East French Expeditionary Forces (FEFEO)|
|Size||500 (1943) ~ 1,700 (1945)|
|Garrison/HQ||Jijel (French Algeria), India, Ceylon, Australia|
|Engagements||Second French Indochina Campaign of World War II|
|Decorations||Four unit citations à l'ordre de l'Armée|
|Roger Blaizot, Paul Huard, Albert Lacroix|
The Corps Léger d'Intervention (CLI) (French for "light intervention corps") was a Pacific War interarm corps of the Far East French Expeditionary Forces commanded by Général de corps d'armée Roger Blaizot and using guerrilla warfare against the Imperial Japanese Army who occupied French Indochina since 1941. It was created by General Charles de Gaulle in 1943 and modeled after the British Chindits Special Forces who fought in the Burma Campaign.
The CLI was created on November 4, 1943 in Jijel, Kabylie (French Algeria) with 500 volunteer commandos under Lieutenant-Colonel Paul Huard. Its purpose was to reinforce the resistance in Japanese occupied French Indochina. Local resistance was led by General Mordant (a.k.a. Narcisse) who came from mainland France in 1941.
While the commandos trained in Jijel, Commandant de Crevècoeur arrived at Meerut, North West India on November 10, 1943 to introduce the CLI to British Special Operations Executive (SOE) Force 136's Colin Hercules Mackenzie. The first CLI trainees were sent to Poona (100 km from Bombay) for jungle warfare instruction under the British.
On March 15, 1944 the French Indochina guerrillas numbered 1,349 (993 locals and 356 Europeans) including 242 in Laos (195 locals and 47 Europeans).
Lieutenant-Colonel Albert Lacroix, Saint-Cyr 1930-32 Joseph Joffre promotion, was in charge of CLI recruitment and training as Chief of staff in French Algeria. He later returned to French Indochina leading Commando Léger N°1 ("light commando n.1") in operations.
- Pierre Guinet (2007). "C.L.I.". Amicale des Anciens Commandos du CLI. Retrieved 2010-01-03.
- L'Indochine face au Japon: 1940-1945 : Decoux-de Gaulle, un malentendu fatal, by Philippe Grandjean, Editions L'Harmattan, 2004