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Division Leclerc
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'General Leclerc' was the nom de guerre adopted by the Gaullist officer Philippe de Hautcloque, to protect his family in occupied France. He became France's foremost fighting commander, and his armored division (the '2e DB') its most famous formation. Starting as a small scratch force of mostly African troops organised and led by Leclerc in French Equatorial Africa, it achieved early success raiding Italian and German positions in cooperation with Britain's Long Range Desert Group. Following the Allied victory in North Africa it was expanded and reorganised as a US Army-style armoured division, with American tanks and other armoured vehicles. Shipped to the UK, in spring 1944, it was assigned to Patton's US Third Army, landing in time for the Normandy breakout and being given the honour of liberating Paris in August 1944. Combining a thorough analysis of their combat and organisation with detailed colour plates of their uniforms and equipment, this is the fascinating story of Free France's most effective fighting force.
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Table of Contents

* Introduction: Philippe de Hautecloque becomes 'Francois Leclerc' * Gaullist mission to French Equatorial Africa, August 1940 * The Colonne Leclerc - seizure of French West Africa - raids on Italians in southern Libya - capture of strategic Kouffra Oasis, March 1941 * Co-operation with LRDG - link-up with Eighth Army, 1942 * Brigade-strength 'L Force' in Tunisia, February-May 1943 * Formation of division, May-August 1943 - equipment by US Army * Assignment to Patton's Third Army in UK, spring 1944 * August 1944: Operation 'Cobra', and liberation of Paris * Alsace/Lorraine - capture of Strasbourg, November 1944 * Into Bavaria, April 1945 * Occupation duties, and stand down, 1946.

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The battle history, men and equipment of the most famous Free French unit of World War II, led by France's best fighting general.

About the Author

MP ROBINSON is a Canadian author who lives with his wife and 5 children near Toronto, Canada. He has a BA (Hons) History from York University, and has authored or co-authored 8 books and numerous articles on armoured vehicles and armoured warfare. His historical interest in politics and warfare spans from ancient times right up to the present day. Colonel THOMAS SEIGNON, an active army officer, served in Armor branch from platoon leader to battalion commander. Having a passion for armored vehicles history, he has authored numerous articles plus a couple of books on the subject and is an active member of the French tank museum board and scientific council. He is married and has 3 kids, which does not prevent him from using the train on a weekly basis between the Joint Staff in Paris and his home in Saumur, along the Loire valley. Raffaele Ruggeri was born in Bologna where he works and lives with his wife. After studying at the Fine Arts Academy he worked in several areas of graphics and design before deciding to devote himself to illustration. He has long been interested in military history and has illustrated a number of books for Osprey.

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