|Date/Report Number ..052711.T70.51 Item: 1940-1954-WWII-VIETNAM-FRENCH-LANCET-PILOT-JUMP-WATCH|
|Description of item: VINTAGE
1940 WWII FRENCH LANCET PILOT-JUMP WATCH WITH HAND RESTORED ORIGINAL FLAT WHITE FINISH
DIAL WITH TRIPLE SILVER RINGS WITH FRENCH COLORS = BLUE SECONDS CHAPTER AND
OUTLINES RED LANCET, RED PROP PLANE, RED SUB-SECONDS REGISTER WITH OUTLINED RAISED LUME NUMERALS AND ORIGINAL STEEL LANCET HAND. SIZE IS 33.91 x 40 mm w/o crown. THE STAINLESS STEEL SCREW DOWN BACK IS SIGNED ANTIMAGNETIC INCBLOC SWISS MADE STAINLESS STEEL BACK WATER PROTECTED. THE MOVEMENT IS A 1940 15 JEWEL AS 984. THE AS 984 IS A ca. 1940 Fab. Suisse AND FEATURES manual wind sub second
DATA: 10.5''', Dm= 23.3mm H= 3.8mm 15 jewels f = 18000 A/h power reserve 40h. FAMILY 984, 1009, 1010, 1013, 1028, 1033, 1035, 1038, 1048, 1050, 1055, 1077, 1084, 1089, 1091, 1141, 1211, 1218, 1231, 1259, 1277, 1285, 1313, 1377, 1440, 1614. ATTACHED IS A 1940'S VINTAGE STYLE OIL-SKIN LEATHER LUXURY TAN CHRONO STRAP WITH MATCHING DOUBLE STITCHING & PADDING. CONDITION IS FINE.
Estimated Retail Replacement Value $1299.00
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THE FRENCH MILITARY & FREE FRENCH FORCE
Flag of France
Standard of the Kingdom of France
|Cross of Lorraine,symbol of Free French Forces.|
|Free French Forces Adrian helmet with the Cross of Lorraine replacing the 1939-1940 French Republic "RF" emblem.||Free French Naval ensign and French Naval Honour Jack.||The French flag with the Cross of Lorraine, emblem of the Free French.|
France, along with the United Kingdom, was one of the first participants in World War II after declaring war on Germany following its invasion of Poland in 1939. After the Phoney War from 1939 to 1940, the Germans conducted a brilliant campaign in the Low Countries and, in the Battle of France, managed to inflict defeat on the Allied forces. France formally surrendered to Germany and Italywho invaded in late campaignon 25 June 1940, and a collaborationist government, the French State, was established. On 18 June 1940, as an answer to Pétain's own June 17 appeal to "cease the fight" and to obey him on the French national radio, Charles de Gaulle gave a memorable speech to the French people on the English speaking London emitting BBC Radio, telling them that "France has lost a battle, but France has not lost the war" (the battle of France and World War II respectively). De Gaulle did not recognize the legitimacy of the Vichy government and went on to found the Free France (La France Libre) as the true government of France.
The number of Free French troops grew with Allied success in North Africa and subsequent rallying of the Army of Africa which pursued the fight against the Axis fighting in many campaigns and eventually invading Italy, occupied France and Germany from 1944 to 1945. On 23 October 1944, Britain, the United States, and the Soviet Union officially recognized de Gaulle's regime as the provisional government of France (GPRF) which replaced the in-exile French State (relocated at Sigmarigen, a short-living City State in western Germany) and preceded the Fourth Republic (1946).
Recruitment in liberated France led to notable enlargements of the French armies. By the end of the war in Europe in May 1945, France had 1,250,000 troops, 10 divisions of which were fighting in Germany. An expeditionary corps was created to liberate French Indochina then occupied by the Japanese. During the course of the war, French military losses totaled 212,000 dead, of which 92,000 were killed through the end of the campaign of 1940, 58,000 from 1940 to 1945 in other campaigns, 24,000 lost while serving in the French resistance, and a further 38,000 lost while serving with the German Army.
e Free French forces were drawn mostly from the French colonial empire, rather than from metropolitan France. French nationals from the tropical African colonies formed a large part of the forces at the beginning, as were nationals from French Algeria. Later, many combatants were drawn from the native populations of French colonies. Sixty-five percent were conscripts from French West Africa, primarily Senegal. Other contingents were natives of Morocco, Algeria, and Tahiti (the Tahitians served with particular distinction in the western Sahara). The Free French forces also included units of the Foreign Legion
Capitaine de corvette Thierry d'Argenlieu suggested the adoption of the Cross of Lorraine as a symbol of the Free French, both to recall the perseverance of Joan of Arc, whose symbol it had been, and as an answer to the Nazi swastika. In his general order ? 2 of 3 July 1940, Vice Admiral Émile Muselier, two days after assuming the post of chief of the naval and air forces of the Free French, created the bow flag displaying the French colors with a red cross of Lorraine, and a cockade, which also featured the cross of Lorraine
Paratroops of the Légion Étrangère
1st Foreign Legion Parachute Regiment was born on 1 July 1948 and embarked on the
"Shepherd" October 24 at Mers El-Kebir and arrived in Indochina on November 12
Though the regiment was stationed throughout the Indochina War theater, the main battles will take place in Tonkin (northern Vietnam).
On the 17 and 18 of September 1950, the battalion jumped at That Khe to rescue French forces in Cao Bang (Battle of RC4) and was almost destroyed during the fighting taking place around Khe Dong  and was dissolved on December 31. It
Its losses included 21 officers, 46 NCOs and 420 legionaries whose commanding officer was the battalion commander Segrétain. Only a few survivors managed to reach the French lines, including the captain Jeanpierre, who would later, in Algeria, become the commanding officer of the 1st REP.
1st BEP was recreated 18 March 1951 from the remainder of the original battalion, along with reinforcements from the 2nd BEP and North Africa. The BEP then comprised 3 companies (CCB, 1st and 2nd Company) and Cipla (company Indochinese Foreign Legion paratrooper company-4e). A third company will be incorporated in November 1952.
On 1 September 1953 the 1st foreign company paratrooper heavy mortar (1st CEPML) was created from elements of the 1st and 2nd SEN. This unit was attached to the 1st BEP.
During the First Indochina War (194654), the Legion saw its numbers swell due to
the incorporation of Second World War veterans who couldn't adapt to civilian life. Even
so, although the Legion distinguished itself, it also took a heavy toll during the war:
constantly being deployed in operations, it even reached the point that whole units were
annihilated in combat, in what was a traditional Legion battlefield. Units of the Legion
were also involved in the defense of Dien Bien Phu and lost a large number of men in the
The Battle of Route Coloniale 4 was a battle of the First Indochina War. The battle lasted from 30 September to 18 October 1950. The French won the first battle of the RC4 on 9 October 1947.
Route Coloniale 4 (RC4, also known as Highway 4) is a road in Vietnam, bordering the Chinese border from Hanoi to Cao Bang. It is famous for a French military disaster in 1950 in which several units of the French army, including some battalions of the Foreign Legion, were decimated by the Viet Minh and essentially ceased to exist as fighting units.
During the French Indochina War (19451954), French forces attempted to re-establish colonial control of Vietnam, while nationalist forces led by Ho Chi Minh fought for independence.
Initially, the Vietnamese guerrilla forces, the Viet Minh, were unsuccessful in dealing with the better -trained and -equipped French forces. Their situation improved in 1949 after the Chinese Communist army of Mao Zedong defeated the Nationalist army led by Chiang Kai-Shek. This gave the communist Viet Minh a safe haven for organization and training, as well as an initially sympathetic ally to provide them with arms and logistical support.
Vo Nguyen Giap, the military leader of the Viet Minh, launched an offensive against the French in early 1950. From February to April, his operation Le Hong Phong I raged through the Red River Valley, largely giving the Viet Minh control of northwestern Tonkin, near the Chinese border. The area became a Viet Minh stronghold, except for the RC4 highway.
On 25 May, 2,500 Viet Minh troops overwhelmed the French fortress at Dong Khé, which lay at the strategic center of RC4, thus cutting the supply line between the French positions at Cao Bang and Lang Son. French parachutists retook Dong Khé on the evening of 27 May and a company of Legionnaires took charge of the fort.
Meanwhile Colonel Charton's group, led by the 3rd Battalion of 3rd REI, left Cao Bang on 1 October; contrary to orders he took with him his heavy equipment. The group's movement down RC4 was slowed by Viet Minh ambushes. After bitter fighting, they finally abandoned their heavy equipment and linked up with Groupement Bayard in the hills around Dong Khé on 5 October.
The French forces were driven into the Coc Xa gorge, where they were completely
annihilated by 7 October. Martin Windrow notes that: Some 130 of the Legion parachute
battalion out of the 500 that had jumped emerged from this breakthrough fight; they had
only escaped by clambering down lianas shrouding a 75 ft cliff with their wounded tied on
In an attempt to support the embattled troops the 1er BEP Replacement Company (120 men) under Lieutenant Loth had been merged with 268 men from 3e BCCP (Bataillon Colonial de Commandos Parachutistes, Parachute Colonial Commando Battalion) under Captain Cazeaux and they were parachuted into That Khe on 8 October, but over the course of the next week destroyed as well.
Only 23 survivors of the 1st BEP, led by Captain Jeanpierre, managed to escape to French lines: it became the first French parachute battalion lost in combat, followed by the 3rd BCCP, of which only 14 soldiers returned unscathed.