French Forces en Allemagne

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Le BABO (Bâtiment Administratif de Baden-Oos), the administrative building of the French armed forces stationed in Baden-Baden

With Forces françaises en Allemagne (FFA) (translated French Forces in Germany ), the French were troops referred to France as victors of the Second World War as part of the four-power status first in his zone of occupation in the occupied postwar Austria and, when established in the relevant field of Federal Republic of Germany had stationed. They were set up in 1949 as Troupes Françaises d'Occupation en Allemagne , abbreviated TOA ( Troupes d'occupation en Allemagne ), with headquarters in Baden-Baden . In 1950 the name TOA was replaced by FFA Forces Françaises en Allemagne . After the military integration of France into the structures of NATO was abandoned , a large part of the units was relocated to France from 1966 and the vacated properties were handed over to the Bundeswehr and other armed forces. On August 30, 1993, the remaining associations were renamed into Forces françaises stationnées en Allemagne (FFSA). In 1999 the company was renamed Forces françaises et éléments civils stationnés en Allemagne (FFECSA). Since then, they have been thinned out by withdrawal to the motherland, and in 2014 they have been practically dissolved by the withdrawal of the 110e regiment d'infanterie from Donaueschingen (June 24, 2014). Now there is a different staff of the Franco-German Brigade .

These military facilities existed from August 10, 1949 to 1993 and at the height of the Cold War comprised up to 50,000 men. The stationing area roughly corresponded to the states of Rhineland-Palatinate , Baden and Württemberg-Hohenzollern . Until 1955, the occupation troops in Austria , a comparatively small contingent anyway, were subordinate to the FFA.

After the end of the Saar protectorate and the accession of the Saarland to the Federal Republic of Germany in 1957, the French troops stationed there also belonged to the Forces françaises en Allemagne . The headquarters and a military hospital were located in Baden-Baden . An agreement concluded on October 25, 1960 allowed the Bundeswehr to store equipment in FFA military facilities and to test it in practice.

The French military presence in Germany during the Cold War

The French military presence began immediately after 1945 and did not change its structure during the Cold War either. The garrisons were located exclusively in the states of Rhineland-Palatinate , Baden and Württemberg-Hohenzollern, created by the French occupation forces, as well as in Lindau on Lake Constance , which although located in Bavaria , still belonged to the French zone. Only Karlsruhe and Pforzheim in the American-controlled Württemberg-Baden made an exception here.

Lindau 020.jpg

The Villa Wacker in Lindau (2003)

The first headquarters of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armée Rhin et Danube , General Jean de Lattre de Tassigny , moved into the Villa "Wacker" in Lindau . Here he received the Sultan of Morocco and the Bey of Tunis with oriental pomp in the summer of 1945 to honor the predominantly North African soldiers in his army. In the same year the headquarters of the occupation troops were relocated to Baden-Baden and General Pierre Kœnig , a Gaullist from the very beginning, assumed the duties of Commander-in-Chief of the French Armed Forces in Germany and the Military Governor of the French Zone in the Hotel Stephanie . Baden-Baden remained the headquarters of the 1st Armée and the 2nd Corps d'Armée until 1999 . In Baden-Baden there was also a Soviet Military Mission (SMM) , accredited to the Commander-in-Chief of the Forces Françaises en Allemagne (FFA) , until German reunification .

Important locations in Baden-Württemberg - the three countries of the occupation were united in 1951 - were Freiburg im Breisgau as the seat of a tank division and Offenburg , Konstanz and Tübingen , which were temporarily locations of the subordinate brigades. The Heuberg military training areas with the Stetten am kalten Markt garrison and Münsingen were primarily used by the French troops; German and Canadian troops later also practiced there. The French air force had active flying units in Germany until 1967 - without exception in Baden-Württemberg. Lahr served the 1st Commandement Aérien Tactique (1CATAC) as a command post, the operational airfields were Lahr with the Base Aérienne Opérationnelle (BAO) 139 and Bremgarten with the BAO 136. From 1967 Achern became the seat of the only symbolic element Air français en Allemagne .

In Rhineland-Palatinate, Trier and Landau were each a tank division, and troops were also stationed in Wittlich , Saarburg , Neustadt an der Weinstrasse and Speyer as well as in St. Wendel in Saarland . In 1951, France and the United States contractually agreed to deploy the respective troops independently of the zoning. The Americans, from whom the initiative came, urgently needed the French-controlled Palatinate as a location for their logistics and to build new airfields. In return, the French troops moved into Karlsruhe and Pforzheim and were thus able to close the geographical gap between the two parts of their zone in Rhineland-Palatinate and southern Baden-Württemberg. Karlsruhe was thus one of the few garrisons in Germany in which armed forces from three countries - USA, France and Germany - were stationed. Koblenz - location of an army corps - together with Diez , as well as the Hessian garrisons of Marburg , Wetzlar and Gießen , which were taken over by the USA in 1951 , were handed over to the Bundeswehr from 1956 .

The numerical strength of the French military presence depended less on events of the Cold War, but was determined by the protracted and heavily burdensome wars for decolonization. It must not be forgotten that France was continuously at war from 1939 to 1962, first against the German Reich, 1945 to 1954 in Indochina and 1954 to 1962 in Algeria . As a result, the garrisons were often thinned out. In order to let the tricolor blow over as many locations as possible, the regiments had to be spread over several barracks, so parts of the 4th Régiment de Tirailleurs Marocains (RTM) were not only in Donaueschingen , but also in Villingen , Constance and Radolfzell . In 1956, the newly established Bundeswehr took over some French garrisons, particularly Weingarten .

With the withdrawal from NATO integration in 1967, the French air forces were withdrawn from Germany, Lahr went to the Canadians, Bremgarten to the air force of the German armed forces. The French land forces were no longer subordinate to NATO staff, but were to be used as a CENTAG reserve in the event of war . France therefore did not take over the intended combat strip at the Iron Curtain and did not provide any formations in the integrated air defense. The Nike anti-aircraft missiles , which had already been deployed at the Heuberg and Münsingen military training areas and in Friedrichshafen , were withdrawn, and the German Air Force took over the space in the Hawk belt planned for France in Upper Bavaria .

From 1994 the French garrisons were dissolved step by step, and finally in 1999 the Baden-Baden headquarters. After that, only the garrisons of the German-French Brigade, which was set up in Böblingen in 1988 and relocated to Müllheim in 1991, remained in Baden-Württemberg . The 110e regiment d'infanterie (110e RI) in Donaueschingen was the last independent French unit in Germany until its dissolution in 2014. At the moment there is only the operation and support company of the Franco-German Brigade ( Müllheim (Baden) ) in Germany.

Territorial organization

In 1990 there were 30 garrisons with 75 barracks , which comprised 12,000 family apartments and 70 schools and were divided into three stationing zones:

  • Zone de Stationnement Nord (ZSN) Trier
    • Garrisons Saarburg (1945 to 2008), St. Wendel (1953 to 1999), Trier (1945 to 1999), Wittlich (1949 to 1999)
    • Military magazine "Les Carnets de la Moselle et du Palatinat" Zone de Stationnement North (at the same time for one re DB Trier), editorial EL 1 re DB Treves, Herzogenbuscher road, printed by Diekmann, Trier, Saarstr. 54, monthly, edition 6000
  • Zone de Stationnement Center (ZSC) Landau
    • Garrisons Baden-Baden (1945 to 1999), Böblingen (1989 to 1991), Kaiserslautern (1947 to 1992), Karlsruhe (1951 to 1991), Landau (1945 to 1999), Münsingen (1945 to 1992), Neustadt an der Weinstrasse ( 1945 to 1992), Pforzheim (1951 to 1999), Rastatt (1945 to 1999), Reutlingen (1945 to 1992), Speyer (1946 to 1999), Tübingen (1946 to 1992)
    • Military magazine "Mercure", Zone de Stationnement Center (also for 5e DB Landau), editorial office Baden-Baden with correspondent Landau, printed by Atelier d'Impression de l'Armée de Terre N ° 3, monthly, circulation 7000
  • Zone de Stationnement Sud (ZSS) Freiburg im Breisgau
    • Garrisons Breisach (1946 to 1999), Bühl (1956 to 1999), Donaueschingen (1953 to 2014), Freiburg im Breisgau (1945 to 1992), Friedrichshafen (1945 to 1992), Kehl (1945 to 1991), Langenargen (1945 to 1992) ), Müllheim (since 1945), Oberkirch (1959 to 1992), Offenburg (1945 to 1992), Stetten am kalten Markt (1945 to 1999), Villingen (1946 to 1999)
    • Military magazine "Carnets du Rhin", Zone de Stationnement Sud (also for 3e DB Freiburg i. Br.), Editorial office BL 3e DB, Friborg / Br, Friedrichstr. 39 and Fahnenbergplatz 39, printed by Atelier d'Impression de l'Armée de Terre N ° 3 Annexe Offenburg, monthly
  • Berlin (1945 to 1999)

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Initially 15,000 men strong, they were reduced to 7,000 men in May 1946. In October 1954, shortly before the end of the occupation, the French contingent amounted to 540 men; the main part is stationed in Vienna. 150 gendarmes were stationed in the Tyrol / Vorarlberg occupation zone.
    1946 in Klaus Eisterer: Austria under Allied Occupation . In: Günter Bischof, Michael Gehler, Rolf Steininger (Eds.): Austria in the Twentieth Century (=  Studies in Austria and Central European History and Culture . Volume 1 ). Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick / London 2009, ISBN 0-7658-0175-2 , pp. 201 (Articles 190–211) ( data set , limited preview in Google Book Search, edition 2003). ; 1954 in Gerald Stourzh: About unity and freedom: State treaty, neutrality and the end of the East-West occupation of Austria 1945-1955 (=  studies on politics and administration . Volume 62 ). 5th edition. Böhlau, Vienna 2005, ISBN 978-3-205-77333-7 , pp. 581 ( limited preview in Google Book search).