Company HQ (FR701)
with two Command Rifle Teams, one 60mm mortar team & two 81mm mortar teams.
On 5 May 1940, France fielded 71 infantry divisions. Of these 20 were active divisions—seven motorised Divisions d’Infanterie Motorisée (DIM), ten Divisions d’Infanterie (DI) marching on foot with horse-drawn supporting weapons, three were mountain Divisions d’Infanterie Alpine (DIA), and eight were colonial—four Divisions d’Infanterie Coloniale (DIC) and four North African Divisions d’Infanterie Nord-Africaine (DINA). The remaining 43 divisions were all reservists.
24 divisions were Type A, having most of their equipment, and 19 were Type B, with older men, and lacking in equipment and officers. The reserve divisions were placed in quiet sectors of the front. Unfortunately for France, Sedan, where the Germans made one of their breakthroughs, was deemed a quiet sector.
The French infantry divisions were easily the best equipped in the world for First World War-style trench warfare. Every battalion had a resupply section with Renault UE carrier. These could be used to carry or tow the battalion’s weapons into position across shell-torn ground under fire, but more importantly, they could resupply the battalion under fire.
An infantry battalion consumes immense amounts of food and ammunition, so every night in the First World War long columns of soldiers make their way up to the front-line trenches, laden down with supplies. Every night the battalion lost soldiers from these supply parties to artillery fire. Now, with the Renault UE carrier available, supplies can be delivered quickly and safely by an armoured vehicle.