2nd Infantry Division (France)
This article needs additional citations for verification. (February 2013) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
|2e Division d'Infanterie|
|Active||1815 - 1940|
First World War
Second World War
Heads of the 2nd Infantry Division
- 22 March 1815: Division General Donzelot
- 1870: General Martineau des Chenez
- 18 October 1873: General Bellecourt
- 18 November 1878 – 10 January 1880: General Blot
- 28 February 1880 – 14 September 1880: General de Courcy
- 11 November 1880: General Vilmette
- 11 January 1882: General Bardin
- 17 July 1887 – 24 February 1891: General Mathelin
- 4 April 1891 – 4 November 1891: General Swiney
- 11 November 1891 – 9 January 1892: General Peting de Vaulgrenant
- 24 May 1894 – 26 October 1899: General Strohl
- 28 October 1899 – 11 May 1905: General de Germiny
- 17 June 1905: General Bertrand
- 30 September 1905: General de Chomer
- 25 March 1906: General Durand
- 20 July 1907 – 31 May 1908: General de Chomer
- 17 June 1908 – 18 July 1911: General Cramezel de Kerhué
- 28 July 1911 – 20 March 1914: General Bizart
- 2 August 1914: General Deligny
- 8 September 1914: Colonel Garnier-Duplessix
- 21 September 1914: General Brulard
- 16 July 1915: General Guignadaudet
- 17 June 1917 – 15 July 1920: General Mignot
- 27 August 1940 – 10 November 1940: General Etcheberrigarray
The Hundred Days
- 13th Light Infantry Regiment
- 17th Line Infantry Regiment
Aulard brigade, commanded by Brigade General Pierre Aulard.
- 19th Line Infantry Regiment
- 51st Line Infantry Regiment
10th company of the 6th Foot Artillery Regiment, with 8 troops.
- 50th Line Infantry Regiment
- 74th Line Infantry Regiment
- 78th Line Infantry Regiment
- 1st Algerian Tirailleur Regiment
2nd Infantry Division : General Martineau des Chenez
- 1st Brigade : General Dariés
- 5th Marching Battalion: Commandant Chamard
- 39th Line Regiment: Colonel Jouffroy
- Foreign Legion : Lieutenant-Colonel de Curten
- 25th Mobile Regiment (Gironde) : Lieutenant-Colonel d'Artigolles
- 2nd Brigade : General Rébillard
- 2nd Zouave Regiment: Lieutenant-Colonel Logerot
- 30th Marching Regiment: Lieutenant-Colonel Bernard de Seigneurens
- 29th Mobile Regiment (Maine-et-Loire): Lieutenant-Colonel de Paillot
- Artillery :
- 18th battery of the 9th Regiment: Captain Pariaud
- 18th battery of the 12th Regiment: Captain Grosclerc
- 14th battery of the Mounted Guard Regiment: Captain Chastang
- Engineers : 2nd section of the 19th company of the 3rd Regiment
First World War
Composition during the War
The 2nd Infantry Division was mobilised in the 1st Military Region in August 1914. It's infantry was originally organized as two brigades. In November 1916, the division was triangularized. The two regiments of the 3rd Brigade were sent to the 51st Infantry Division, while those of the 4th Brigade, and the newly attached 208th (which came from the 51st Division) went directly under divisional command.
- 3rd Brigade
- 33rd Infantry Regiment from August 1914 to November 1916
- 73rd Infantry Regiment from August 1914 to November 1916
- 4th Brigade
- 8th Infantry Regiment from August 1914 to armistice (under direct divisional control from November 1916)
- 110th Infantry Regiment from August 1914 to armistice (under direct divisional control from November 1916)
- 208th Infantry Regiment from November 1916 to armistice
- A battalion of pioneers from the 72nd Territorial Infantry Regiment from August 1918 to armistice
- 27th Field Artillery Regiment from the mobilisation to armistice
- 122nd battery from July 1916 to January 1918
- 101st battery from January 1918 to armistice
- 6th Artillery Group from 15 June 1918 to armistice
- 1st Squadron/6th Chasseur Regiment from mobilisation to armistice
- 3rd Engineers Regiment
- 1/2 Company from mobilisation to armistice
- 1/2 bis Company from January 1915 to January 1916
- 1/52 Company from January 1916 to armistice
- 1/71 Company from January 1917 to armistice
- Sappers from the 21st Regiment from January 1916 to January 1917
- Transport by railroad to the region of Auvillers-les-Forges and crossing the Meuse to reach Revin and Givet.
- Movement, via Olloy, to Dinant.
- 15 August, combat at Dinant, formed defence in front of the Meuse, via Dinant and Anbée.
- 22 August, movement towards Charleroi.
- Engaged in the Battle of Charleroi, via Saint-Gérard.
- 24 August, return, via Couvin, to the region of Guise
- 26 August, combat at Gué-d'Hossus.
29 August – 6 September
- Engaged in the 1st Battle of Guise ; combat at Sains-Richaumont.
- 30 August, return, via Crécy-sur-Serre, Pontavert and Baizil, to the South of Esternay.
- Engaged in the 1st Battle of the Marne.
- 6–10 September, Battle of Deux Morins : Combat in Esternay, Bergères-sous-Montmirail and Fontaine-Chacun.
- 10 September, continue, via Verneuil and Ville-Dommange, until Reims.
13 September – 12 December
- Engaged in the 1st Battle of Aisne : combat in the region of Bétheny, la Neuvillette.
- 16 September, movement along the road heading North-West ; combat at Cholera Farm and towards la Ville-aux-Bois. Stabilisation and occupation of a sector towards Gernicourt and Beau marais Forest, heading left, on 15 October, until the moulin Pontoy, and to the right, on 1 November, until cote 108
- 12–14 October, French attack on Cholera Farm and the Ville-aux-Bois Forest.
- 4 November, attack and capture of Sapigneul.
- 11 November, capture of cote 108.
12 December 1914 – 12 January 1915
- Retreat from the front towards Fismes.
- 16 December, transport by van to Cuperly.
- 20 December or thereabouts, movement to La Cheppe, heading to Laval, to take part in the 1st Battle of Champagne: Engaged on 9 January 1915, North of Mesnil-lès-Hurlus.
- Retreat from the front and back to Bussy-le-Château.
20 January – 2 March
- Occupation of the sector towards Mesnil-lès-Hurlus
- 16 March, French attack on les Mamelles, leading to violent combat in the region (Battle of Champagne)
2 March – 5 April
- Retrait from the front and back to Courtisols (arriving 14 March)
- 20 and 21 March, movement to the region of Avize ; rest.
- 29 March, transport by van towards Vavincourt, then, at the end of 1st April, movement towards the South-East of Verdun.
- Retreat from the front (arriving on 18th) ; further movement, via Souilly and Les Hauts-de-Chée, to Commercy.
29 April – 11 May
- Movement towards the front ; 30 April, attack on Ailly Forest, leading to occupation of a sector towards Ailly Forest
- 5 May, German attack, and French counter-attack.
15 May – 3 September
- Movement towards the front and occupation of a sector of Berry-au-Bac and the moulin Pontoy, reduced to the right, on 18 August, to la Miette, then, on 31 August, up to la Ville-aux-Bois.
3 September – 2 October
- Retreat from the front, and rest at Guyencourt.
2 October 1915 – 12 February 1916
- Movement to the front, and occupation of a sector of Sapigneul and la Miette.
- 12 November, movement along the road, and occupation of a new sector between Berry-au-Bac and Temple Farm, extended to the left, on 20 November, up to the Pontoy windmill:
- Battle of Mines at cote 108.
- Retreat from the front and regrouping at Ville-en-Tardenois ; rest and instruction.
21 February – 8 March
- Transport by train, movement to the region of Verdun.
- 26 February, engaged by accident in the Battle of Verdun, at Douaumont (violent combat)
8 March – 14 April
- Retreat from the front and rest at Bar-le-Duc.
- 1st April, transport by van to the region of Dormans ; rest.
- 11 April, movement to Fismes.
14 April – 24 July
- Occupation of a sector between the road from Paissy to Chermizy-Ailles and Soupir, reduced to the right on 17 July up to Troyon.
24 July – 3 September
- Retreat from the front and rest at Ville-en-Tardenois.
- 7 August, transport by truck to the region of Conty.
- Rest south-west of Amiens until 25 August, towards Corbie.
3 September – 5 October
- Movement to the front ; engaged in the Battle of the Somme, towards le Forest and the Forest of Maurepas
- 14 September, capture of Priez farm.
- 19–26 September, capture of the 2nd line (further battles in the area, and the capture of Combles, on the 26th)
- 27 September, again engaged, towards Combles and Morval, leading to Combles and Frégicourt (former municipality reunited with Combles in 1834).
- Retreat from the front and rest at Conty.
16 October – 30 November
30 November – 14 December
- Retreat from the front, and rest at Possesse.
14 December 1916 – 6 January 1917
- Movement to the camp at Mailly, rest and instruction.
6 January – 27 February
- Gradual movement to the front, while occupying a sector covering Maisons de Champagne and la Courtine
- 15 February, violent German attack.
21 February – 6 March
- Retreat from the front, movement through the region of Sainte-Menehould, via Dampierre-le-Château, l'Épine, Sarry, Athis and Vinay.
6 March – 8 April
- Movement via Dormans ; instruction (work at the Aisne)
- Movement to the front and occupation of a sector covering Craonne and le Ployron.
- 16 April, engaged in the 2nd Battle of the Aisne : combat on the Craonne plateau; defence, and organisation of their captured positions.
19 April – 7 July
- Retreat from the front and rest at Ventelay ; from 25 April, rest at Viels-Maisons.
- 9 May, gradual movement towards the camp at Mailly ; rest and instruction.
- 15 June, gradual movement towards Provins ; rest and instruction.
- Transport by van to Flandres.
- 14 July, movement of the infantry to the front and occupation of a sector covering Het-Sas (under the orders of the 1st D.I.)
30 July – 4 August
- Retrait from the front ; rest in the region of Roesbrugge-Haringe.
- Mouvement towards the front and rest in the region of Bikschote
- 16 August, offensive against Martje Vaert and Broenbeck (Battle of Langemarck - part of the Battle of Passchendaele)
22 August – 6 October
- Retreat from the front; rest and instruction in the region of West-Cappel.
- Occupation of a sector north of Bixschoote and Langemark (together with the British Army) :
- 9 October, offensive in the forest of Houthulst, attack on Mangelaare (part of the Battle of Poelcappelle).
16 October – 21 November
- Retreat from the front, then rest, instruction and work at Bergues.
21 November – 7 December
- Occupation of a sector north of Langemarck and Kloosterschool (together with the British front)
7 December 1917-17 January 1918
- Retreat from the front (relieved by the British Army). Rest at Gravelines.
- 11 December, gradual movement to the region of Senlis ; rest.
17 January – 20 March
- Gradual movement to Soissons
- 22 January, work on the 2nd position in the region.
- 8 February, gradual movement towards Roucy ; then work on the 2nd position in the region.
- Movement towards the front and occupation of a sector in the region of Miette, Ployon.
31 March-20 May: Retreat from the front; movement towards Fismes, and, on 3 April, towards Écuiry ; rest.
- 14 April, bridging the Oise towards Choisy-au-Bac.
- 2 May, movement towards Warluis ; rest. Led to work on the 2nd position in the region of Beauvais.
- Movement towards Marseille-en-Beauvaisis.
- 28 May, transport by train south to Compiègne.
- Soon afterwards, to Montigny-Lengrain, to join the Third Battle of the Aisne.
31 May – 18 July
- Movement to the front and occupation of a sector covering Dammard and Troësnes: frequent local actions, particularly on 29, 30 June and 1 July, to the east of Mosloy.
- Engaged, at Troësnes to the south, in the Battle of soissonnais et l'Ourq (Second Battle of the Marne)
- Progression towards Épaux-Bézu and through the region of Rocourt-Saint-Martin northward.
27 July – 19 August
- Movement to Vic-sur-Aisne and occupation of a sector north of Autrêches.
- Engaged in the 2nd Battle of Noyon, at l'Ailette, via Pont-Saint-Mard.
29 August – 11 September
- Retreat from the front and rest at Pont-Sainte-Maxence.
11 September – 28 October
- Transport via van to Alsace ; from 15 September, occupation of a sector covering Burnhaupt-le-Haut and Leimbach.
28 October – 11 November
- Retreat from the front and gradual movement to Ceintrey ; preparing offensive.
The Second World War
Under the order of battle of 10 May 1940, the 2nd Infantry Division joined the Colonial Army Corps (with the 51st (Highland) Infantry Division and the 56th (London) Infantry Division), under the command of General Condé of the Third French Army.
Structure of the division in 1939:
- Chief of Staff, 2nd Infantry Division - Major Villate
- Components, 2nd Infantry Division
- 33rd Infantry Regiment
- 73rd Infantry Regiment
- 127th Infantry Regiment
- 34th Divisional Artillery Regiment
- 234th Division Heavy Artillery Regiment
Notes and references
- France, État-major de l'Armée - Service historique (1924). Tome X Ordres de bataille des grandes unités - Deuxième volume Divisions d'Infanterie, divisions de cavalerie. Les armées françaises dans la Grande guerre. pp. 11–19.
- The Organization and Order of Battle of Militaries in World War II: Volume VI Italy and France Including the Neutral Countries of San Marino, Vatican City (Holy See), Andorra, and Monaco. p. 403.
- The 2nd DI in the Battle of the Aisne (1917)
- "8e Regiment d'Infanterie Living History Group". armeefrancaise14-18.co.uk. Archived from the original on 4 September 2011.