Accueil > History of 1st RPIMa SAS > The units of 1940-1945 (part. 3)


The units of 1940-1945 (part. 3)


It's in January 1946 that the 1er Bataillon S.A.S was set up with elements of the 2ème R.C.P, and soon after followed up by a second. These Battalions operated in Indochina and were soon regrouped within the ½ Brigade S.A.S, in July 1946.

This D.B.S.A.S becomes in October 1947 the D.B.C.C.P. S.A.S. and this decision engendered a new tradition, the SAS was now linked to the Troupes Coloniales (French Army Colonial Marine Corps) thereby leaving the Infanterie Métropolitaine (French Regular Army)

The 2ème R.C.P. had been transferred to Algeria and then disbanded in September 1946. The D.B.C.C.P. S.A.S. was composed of the 1er B.C.C.P. S.A.S who was the result of the amalgamation of the 2 SAS Battalions and the 2ème B.C.C.P. who had come from the 5ème B.P.I.C, but that was not S.A.S.

In July 1948 the D.B.C.C.P. S.A.S. becomes the 2ème B.C.C.P and loses its SAS traditions that were transferred to the Demi-Brigade in Brittany who in turn had become the 1ère D.B.C.C.P.

From now on, the parachutistes coloniaux (Army Colonial Marine Corps paratroops) lineage is permanent.

The Battalions fight a terrible war against a fearsome enemy in Indochina. They earned their laurels and lost many Marsouins (nickname of French Army Marines).

The 1er B.C.C.P. had become "Non S.A.S " in December 1948 and was then disbanded in 1952. A new unit was set up in June, coming from the 1er G.C.C.P. and from the 1er B.P.C it underwent successive changes in the name of the 1er B.C.C.P.

The 1er Bataillon de Parachutistes Coloniaux was again in July 1953 in Indochina and involved in typical operations. Its 2ème, 3ème et 4ème Compagnies were parachuted into Dien Bien Phu at the height of the battle between May 2nd and 5th, 1954. The 1er B.P.C. was annihilated like all the other surrounded units.

As early as May 10, it was decided to set up a new 1er B.C.P. who would stay in Vietnam until July 1955 and then be transferred to Algeria and disbanded in September, to become the 2ème R.P.C.

The 1ère ½ B.C.C.P. was disbanded in June 1955 date at which the Brigade de Parachutistes Coloniaux was set up for administrative and training purposes since the régiments de parachutistes coloniaux were formed up in the 10ème and 25ème D.P (DP: Division Parachutiste)

In 1958, its role was redefined at the same time as it changed its name to become the Brigade École de Parachutistes Coloniaux (Army Marine Airborne School).

In December 1958 the term Colonial was banned from armed forces vocabulary, and the term Outre-Mer (Overseas) replaced it. The Brigade became the B.P.O.M, but with the independence of France's colonies the term Outre-Mer became a non starter. At the end of December 1961 B.P.O.M. became the B.P.O.M.. It was disbanded on September 30 1962. From 1955 to 1962 the airborne regiments of the army made a name for themselves in Algeria, Suez, Port Fouad and Bizerte.

Young draftees who were side by side with their elders of Indochina and the SAS perpetuated the spirit of these elite men. A page had been turned and an other opened in Africa, Lebanon, Iraq, and Kuwait. Eastern Europe would see the Marsouins parachutistes hard at work and operating there among them, the 1er R.P.I.Ma was created in November 1960 as an inheritor of such glory that he would teach and once again find in its missions the origin of its traditions.


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