7th Military Division (Vichy France)

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7th Military Division
Military Divisions of the Vichy Army. The 7th Division can be seen in the top right in orange.
Active12 September 1940 – 27 November 1942; 2 years, 2 months[1]
CountryFrance French State
BranchFrance Army of the Armistice
TypeMilitary regional command
Part of1st Group of Military Divisions
Divisional HQBourg-en-Bresse

The 7th Military Division (French: 7ème Division Militaire) was a regional army division of the Armistice Army, the Vichy France military permitted under the Armistice of 22 June 1940 after the defeat of France.


Under the terms of the Armistice of 22 June 1940, the old French Third Republic was disestablished, and with it, its lands were divided. In Northern France and Western France, the Wehrmacht took direct control of the country while the central and Southern regions were controlled by a new nation, Vichy France. The new nation was limited in the size of its armed forces, so a reorganisation of the region was ordered. The 1st Group of Military Divisions was formed in Avignon and covered the eastern parts of the country, while the 2nd Group covered the west.[2] The 7th Division encompassed the unoccupied portions of the departments of Jura, Saône-et-Loire, as well as all of Ain.[3][4]

On 12 September 1940, the 7th Military Division was stood up under command of Major General Louis Albert Pierre Robert de Saint Vincent [fr] (former Deputy Commander, 14th Military Division). Later that year he was replaced by Major General Maxime Jean Vincent Germain [fr], and in the same year replaced by Major General Marie Alphonse Théodore René Adrian Desmazes, and replaced again by Major General Louis-Marie-Joseph-Ferdinand Keller [sl]. In 1941, Keller was replaced by either Major General Pierre-Louis-Charles-Constance Hanoteau [sl] or Major General Jean-Marie-Léon Etcheberrigaray [sl]. In 1941, Major General Pierre Jules André Marie de La Font Chabert took command of the division, and following Case Anton himself and the division was demobilised on 27 November 1942.[4][1]


By 15 April 1941, the 7th Military Division was under the command of one of the two corps sized regional commands, the 1st Group of Military Division based in Avignon.[2] The below structure is that of the division on the division mentioned beforehand.



  1. ^ a b The term 'group' is used for support units, though equivalent to that of battalion.
  2. ^ The term 'regiment' is used for the Guard Legion (Gendarmerie), though equivalent to that of a battalion.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Sumner, p. 37–39
  2. ^ a b c Niehorster, Dr Leo. "Vichy Army in Metropolitan France, 15.04.1941". niehorster.org. Retrieved 2021-08-17.
  3. ^ a b Niehorster, Dr Leo. "7e Division Militaire, 1e Groupe de Divisions Militaires, L'Armée Métropolitaine, 08.11.42". niehorster.org. Retrieved 2021-08-17.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Pettibone, p. 492
  5. ^ Nafziger, George. "Organization of Vichy French Infantry Divisions 1941" (PDF). United States Army Combined Arms Center. Retrieved 21 August 2021.
  6. ^ Nafziger, George. "Vichy French Forces in France 1 March 1941" (PDF). United States Army Combined Arms Center. Retrieved 21 August 2021.
  7. ^ Nafziger, George. "Organization of a Vichy French Guard Legion 1941" (PDF). United States Army Combined Arms Center. Retrieved 21 August 2021.


  • Pettibone, Charles D. (2010). The Organization and Order of Battles of Militaries in World War II. Vol. VI: Italy and France. Victoria, British Columbia, Canada: Trafford Publishing. ISBN 978-1426946332.
  • Sumner, Ian (1998). The French Army 1939–1945. Vol. I: The Army of 1939–40 & Vichy France. Botley, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1855326668. OCLC 834172206.