3rd Colonial Infantry Division (France)
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The compagnie franches de la mer or French Marines were created in 1622 by Richelieu, and placed under the Ministry of the Navy in the early 19th century. These were reorganized into régiments d'infanterie coloniale in 1900 and placed under the Ministry of War. In 1958, all Colonial Infantry Regiments were retitled "French Marines", also known as the RIMa.
The 3rd Colonial Infantry Division fought in the First and Second world wars.
World War I
- 1er Régiment d'infanterie coloniale August 1914
- 2e Régiment d'infanterie coloniale August 1914
- 3e Régiment d'infanterie coloniale August 1914 - February 1916
- 7e régiment d'infanterie coloniale August 1914 - November 1918
- 21e Régiment d'infanterie coloniale August 1914 - November 1918
- 23e régiment d'infanterie coloniale end of 1914 - November 1918
- 58e régiment d'infanterie coloniale du Sénégal June - October 1916
- 88e régiment d'infanterie territoriale August - November 1918
As part of the French 1st Colonial Corps (French: 1er corps d'armée colonial, 1er CAC), at various times it was part of the French First Army, French Second Army, French Third Army, French Fourth Army, French Fifth Army, French Sixth Army, French Seventh Army, French Eighth Army and French Tenth Army.
1914: The division fought in the Battle of the Ardennes (where it lost roughly 11,000 men out of a contingent of 15,000), the Battle of the Meuse, the First Battle of the Marne and the First Battle of Champagne. 1915: Many small engagements, plus the Second Battle of Champagne. 1916: The Battle of the Somme (twice). 1917: The Second Battle of the Aisne, and many small engagements. 1918: The Third Battle of the Aisne, the 4th Battle of Champagne, the Second Battle of the Marne, and many minor engagements until the end of the war.