19th Army Corps (France)

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The French 19th Army Corps (French: 19e Corps d'Armée) was formed in 1873. Anthony Clayton writes that the title of the 19th Army Corps was given to the Army of Africa (Fr: Armée d'Afrique) in 1873.[1] Antoine Chanzy commanded the corps between 1873 and 1879, at which time the commander also held the post of Governor of Algeria.

It was active from 1873 through to the defeat of France in 1940. The Army Corps was located in the 19th Military Region which included the departments of Algeria, Algeria, Oran and Constantine. The garrisons were principally in Algiers, Algeria, Algeria, Mascara, Tlemcen, Ain,.[2] Elements were also in Tunisia, forming the Tunisian occupation division, located mainly in Tunis, Bizerte and Sousse.

The corps' Oran and Algiers divisions fought the Aït Khabbash, a fraction of the Aït Ounbgui khams of the Aït Atta confederation in the late 1890s. The conflict ended by the annexation of the Touat-Gourara-Tidikelt complex by France in 1901.[3]

The corps joined the Allies in late 1942 when Vichy French forces in north-west Africa went over to the Allies after Operation Torch and the German occupation of Vichy France.

The Corps order of battle in 1942 (as far as known) during this time was:
Division de marche d'Alger
1er régiment de tirailleurs algériens (Algerian native infantry regiment)
9e régiment de tirailleurs algériens (Algerian native infantry regiment)
3e régiment de zouaves (north African European infantry regiment)
2e régiment de chasseurs d'Afrique (north African European cavalry regiment)
1er régiment de spahis algériens (Algerian native cavalry regiment)
65e régiment d'artillerie d'Afrique (north African artillery regiment)
410e régiment d'artillerie de défense contre aéronef (anti-aircraft artillery regiment)

Division de Marche d¹Oran
2e régiment de tirailleurs algériens (Algerian native infantry regiment)
6e régiment de tirailleurs algériens (Algerian native infantry regiment)
15e régiment de tirailleurs sénégalais (African native infantry regiment)
1er régiment étranger d'infanterie (foreign legion infantry regiment)
Artillerie : 1e et 3e batteries 62e RAA, 2e 66e RAA, 1er 68e RAA.
Batteries A/C 47mm (2 ? 3? Š)
411e régiment d'artillerie de défense contre aéronef (anti-aircraft artillery regiment)

Division de Marche du Maroc :
Soit au 27 decembre 1942 :
7e régiment de tirailleurs marocains (Moroccan native infantry regiment)
3e régiment de tirailleurs marocains (Moroccan native infantry regiment)
4e régiment de tirailleurs tunisiens (Tunisian native infantry regiment)
3e régiment étranger d'infanterie (foreign legion infantry regiment)
1er Groupe de tabors marocains (Moroccan native infantry regiment)
1er régiment étranger de cavalerie (2 escadrons ? 1 groupe ?) (foreign legion cavalry regiment)
2 groupes de 75
1 batterie de 47mm
1 escadron d'automitrailleuses (GB)
1 company of light tanks (US)

NB sont mentionnés : Renforts d'artillerie de Montagne (2 ou 3 ou 4 batteries ?)

The 19th Corps fought as an Allied formation within the British 1st Army until the surrender of Axis forces in Tunisia.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Anthony Clayton, 'France, Soldiers, and Africa', Brassey's Defence Publishers, 1988, p.66
  2. ^ L'armée Française - 1901, Roger de Beauvoir, éditions Plon-Nourrit, pages 58 à 60
  3. ^ Claude Lefébure, Ayt Khebbach, impasse sud-est. L'involution d'une tribu marocaine exclue du Sahara, in: Revue de l'Occident musulman et de la Méditerranée, N°41–42, 1986. Désert et montagne au Maghreb. pp. 136–157: « les Divisions d'Oran et d'Alger du 19e Corps d'armée n'ont pu conquérir le Touat et le Gourara qu'au prix de durs combats menés contre les semi-nomades d'obédience marocaine qui, depuis plus d'un siècle, imposaient leur protection aux oasiens »

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