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  • French MP's

    Hi,
    Did the French Union Forces have any dedicated Military Police units in Indochina 1946-1954?
    Thank you,
    P.N.

  • #2
    Did the French Union Forces have any dedicated Military Police units in Indochina 1946-1954?
    The short answer is no. There were Gendarmes, who are French paramilitary forces and come under Defence, stationed in Indochina. However, most of the duties we consider to be military police duties, i.e., policing bars frequented by military personnel, enforcing discipline standards within units, breaking up brawls in town, and enforcing curfews, are performed by military members, generally NCOs, performing temporary Military Police duties and wearing a "P.M." brassard on their sleeves. Traffic control duties associated with U.S. MPs were performed by routing and transportation units in Indochina, some of which were formed within in the Foreign Legion. I believe these belonged to the "Train" branch, i.e., logistical support and transportation. I'll try to find their designation.
    dit: Lirelou

    Phong trần mài một lưỡi gươm, Những loài giá áo túi cơm sá ǵ!

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    • #3
      Maybe a better posting of this thread would be .....

      http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...ad.php?t=33714
      1st ID, 1/28th '67/'68 Phouc Vinh & Quan Loi
      Skirmishes Bu Dop Dec-67, An My, Thu Duc Feb-68
      Plt. Ldr - CIB, Purple Hearts, Silver Star
      What we write can be considered to be a reflection of our SOUL providing others to know our CHARACTER.

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      • #4
        Almost forgot the Foreign Legion Disciplinary Company, whose cadre performed the equivalent of MP prison guard duties. I assume there were equivalent disciplinary units for the other branches of the Army, as well as the Navy and Air Force.

        As for traffic control duties, below is an excerpt from an article I wrote with Dr. Mireille Nicoud.

        Transportation, Material and Logistics Units:
        In addition to purely Legion units, individual Legionnaire specialists could be found in such non – Legion units as the 171st, 253rd, 271st and 353rd Transportation Companies, the 71st and 73rd Traffic Control Companies, the 532nd Medical Transportation Company and the Far Eastern Provisional Brigade's Colonial Service and Transportation Company. While operationally necessary, such assignments were repugnant to the Legion's sense of solidarity and discipline. Thus the Legion took to organizing specific platoons and companies to accomplish such missions within mixed units, where a Legion chain of command could be maintained. The major difference was that such units existed in their own right and became Legion, or they dropped the title as troop composition justified.

        Also: Foreign Regiments Disciplinary Company – Far East (CDRE-EO):
        Organized on May 1, 1947 in Vietnam, with its installations on an island in Cam Ranh Bay, the company was attached to the 2nd REI for administration. It was inactivated on August 11, 1954.

        (http://www.historynet.com/foreign-le...-indochina.htm)

        Cam Ranh Bay. Who would have guessed?
        Last edited by lirelou; 25 Feb 10, 22:56.
        dit: Lirelou

        Phong trần mài một lưỡi gươm, Những loài giá áo túi cơm sá ǵ!

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        • #5
          MP's

          Gentlemen,
          Thank you for your, as usual, expert replies.
          P.N.

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          • #6
            Lirelou, I have been on that island, in 1972.

            It is called "Ap Binh Ba", the French called it "Ile de Tagne"
            There were four naval gun turrets, two six inch mounted
            on the island's lower slopes and two eight inch guns mounted
            on twin peaks of the island, 680 feet high. During the late
            Thirties the French replaced antique field artillery with
            turrets taken from obsolete WWI cruisers. Later I heard they
            were all connected to magazines via tunnels. The gun positions
            were visible from Google Earth as long as five or six years ago.

            The prisoners built a number of buildings, barracks, etc.
            that are still there. When I was there they were empty
            and kind of creepy. The locals didn't move in as they felt
            the buildings haunted. I'm sure some very brutal events
            took place. They are still empty.

            When the Legion left for Algeria a Naval Commando unit,
            Commando Jaubert moved in for training. They were the
            last French Military unit to leave Viet Nam. It is the most
            highly decorated unit in the French military and are very active
            in counterinsurgency today.

            In the mid-sixties a Naval unit was stationed there overseeing
            Vietnamese Junk patrols.

            I have some pictures from my visit I would love to post someday
            when I learn how.
            Last edited by avel; 19 Nov 13, 10:39.

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