Saturday, 17 February 2018

French Indochina 15mm Squad Level Skirmish


Yet more reading on the French Indochina skirmish  theme, this time at squad to platoon level for simple patrol actions using No End in Sight, Some Corner of a Foreign Field and the like. As mentioned in previous posts, this would use my second hand Eureka Miniatures figures and a handful of vehicles on a 2' x 2' terrain board. I have played around with this skirmish concept for a while, although with a focus on Malaya, Aden and other post-colonial settings.

The French Indochina variation would involve a couple of squads of infantry, which equates to a platoon strength force after the De Lattre reforms of the early 1950's. These shifted the focus of the basic tactical unit from a squad of twelve men armed with an automatic rifle, a few SMG's and mostly bolt action rifles to a platoon of two twelve man squads, one with an automatic rifle and one with a rifle grenadier. I've also read that these were designated as Shock or Fire squads but exactly which was which is unclear:

The French moved the lowest level of tactical employment from the squad up to the platoon level as each squad was either an automatic rifle or a rifle-grenadier squad, with one of each per platoon. The interesting point about this final reorganization is that it was done to mitigate French losses in cadres, as well as accommodate the incorporation of indigenous personnel directly into all infantry units. By moving tactics from the squad to the platoon level, the number of leaders required was reduced from about six per platoon to two per platoon, or of eighteen per company down to eight.


Interesting stuff and I think it would make for some cracking patrol and ambush firefights, especially if I threw in some AFV's or soft skins to provide a bit more firepower, which otherwise might be thin on the ground. There were single squads of a 60mm mortar, MMG and 57mm RCL in the company support platoon, so these might make an appearance but would otherwise be unlikely to feature in a typical patrol type scenario. The big plus is that I would only need a handful of extra figures to do this sort of thing, so it wouldn't be hard to set up.

2 comments:

  1. The 'fire squad' was the one with the BAR.

    I'm struggling with picturing trying to lead a twelve-man squad with no assistant or team leaders below me and with the possibility that not every man in the squad even speaks my language, or I theirs.

    C'est le bordel!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Jim..that is what I thought, based on the US squad organisation, on which the French one was modelled.

    Good point about the leadership thing...bof!

    ReplyDelete

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