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II Army Corps

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II Army Corps

2e Corps d'Armée
Active 1914 - 1918
23 August 1939 - 26 May 1940
16 August 1943 - 30 April 1946
Cold War - 1990s
Country France
Branch French Army
Type Corps
Engagements World War I
World War II
Edgard de Larminat
Joseph de Goislard de Monsabert

The 2nd Army Corps (French: 2e Corps d'Armée) was first formed before World War I. During World War II it fought in the Campaign for France in 1940 and during the 1944-45 campaigns in southern France, the Vosges Mountains, Alsace, and southwestern Germany. It was active under the First Army for many years after World War II.

World War I

2e Corps was one of five corps of the Fifth Army and upon mobilization consisted of the 3rd and 4th Infantry Divisions.[1] 2e Corps headquarters in 1914 was in Amiens.[2] Commanders were:[3]

  • At mobilization: Gen. Gérard
  • 24 Jul 1915: Gen. Herr
  • 10 Aug 1915: Gen. Duchêne
  • 29 Dec 1916: Gen. Buat
  • 2 Jan 1917: Gen. Cadoudal
  • 11 Jun 1918: Gen. Philipot

2e Corps received credit for participation in these battles:[4]

  • Aug 1914: Battle of the Ardennes
  • Aug 1914: Battle of the Meuse
  • Sep 1914: Battle of the Marne
  • Sep 1914: Battle of Vitry
  • Feb 1915: First battle of Champagne
  • Apr 1915: First battle of Woëvre
  • Feb 1916: Battle of Verdun
  • Jul 1916: Battle of the Somme
  • May 1918: Third battle of the Aisne
  • Jun 1918: Battle of Matz
  • Jul 1918: Second battle of the Marne
  • Sep 1918: Battle of Champagne and the Argonne

World War II

In 1940, the 2e Corps d'Armée Motorisé was one of three corps of the Ninth Army and consisted of the 4th Light Cavalry Division and 5th Motorized Division. In 1944-45, the 2nd Army Corps was subordinated to the First Army. During the campaigns in France and Germany, many divisions served with the corps but the 1st March Infantry Division, the 3rd Algerian Infantry Division, and the 9th Colonial Infantry Division spent several months under 2nd Army Corps command.

Cold War

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5th Armd Div
2nd Army Corps major unit locations in 1985
Source: Cordesman, p. 204

In 1989, 2nd Army Corps was headquartered in Baden Baden, Germany, and controlled the 3rd and 5th Armored Divisions, as well as the 15th Infantry Division.[5] The corps was probably disestablished in the early 1990s. With the end of the Cold War, the French Army underwent significant reorganization and no longer has any numbered corps headquarters.

Article sources and citations

  • Cordesman - Anthony H. Cordesman, NATO's Central Region Forces, London: Jane's Publishing Company Ltd., 1988.
  • GUF - Guerre 1939 - 1945. Les Grandes Unités Françaises. Armée de Terre, Service Historique. Paris: Imprimerie Nationale, 1967.
  • Les Armées Françaises dans la Grande Guerre. Army Corps. Armée Service Historique. Paris: Imprimerie Nationale, 1922.

Further reading

  • David G. Haglund and Olaf Mager (eds), Homeward bound? : allied forces in the new Germany, Westview Press, 1992. xi, 299 p. : ill. ; 22 cm. ISBN 0-8133-8410-9.
  • David Isby and Charles Kamps, Armies of NATO's Central Front, Jane's Publishing Company, 1985 (for c.1984 order of battle)
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