12th African Hunter Regiment - 12e régiment de chasseurs d’Afrique

12 th regiment of Chasseurs d'Afrique

Insigne du 12e RCA Type 2.JPG

Internal association badge
active 1941 to 1963
State French republic coat of arms.svg France
Armed forces Flag of France.svg French armed forces
Armed forces Flag of France.svg French Army
Branch of service Cavalry (armored force)
Type Regiment of hunters on horseback
Insinuation 2 th Armored Division
Location last: Camp de Sissonne
Motto Boldness is not unreason
equipment Tank destroyer AMX 13 - EBR-75
Awards Croix de guerre 1939–45 , two palm branches
Letzter: Lieutenant-Colonel Marsauche
A tank of the 12 e RCA is landed on Utah Beach on August 2, 1944
Denkmal of the 12 th RCA in Floing ( Ardennes Department ).

The 12 e régiment de chasseurs d'Afrique ( 12 e RCA ) [1] was an association of the French cavalry . It was set up in Algeria in February 1941 and dissolved in 1963.


On February 22, 1941, the " 1 he Régiment de Chasseurs d'Afrique " in Casablanca received the order to set up a "Groupe d'Escadrons Chars-motos" (armored car escadrons group) [2] for use in the French areas of West Africa was intended. It would be named Groupe Autonome du 1er Régiment de Chasseurs d'Afrique (Independent Group of the 1st Regiment of African Hunters). The formation was completed on March 16, 1941, the unit was stationed at Camp de la Jonquière in Casablanca. She was under the command of Chef d'escadrons [3]Paul Girot de Langlade. There was a staff and supply squadron and two combat squadrons. The 1st was equipped with motorcycles, for the 2nd Escadron as (heavy Escadron) battle tanks were provided. For this purpose, 23 Somua S-35 tanks were kept ready in a depot in the Dordogne department , which the German Wehrmacht had returned to the Vichy regime after the armistice . They were only intended for use in Africa and until then they remained under German guard. The vehicles, which were already in a very bad condition, were more or less cannibalized by the Germans for spare parts before they were shipped to Marseille .

  • Juli 1941: Umbenennung in 12 th Autonomous Group of African Hunters (12 th GACA).
  • Februar 1943 Umbenennung in 12 th regiment of Chasseurs d'Afrique (12 th RCA).

After a year and a half deployment in Senegal , the now free French regiment was embarked in Thiès on January 12, 1943 , to go ashore in Casablanca on January 21, 1943. From here it was sent on to Algiers , where it arrived on February 7, 1943. In the subsequent battles against the German Africa Corps it lost four of the 23 Somua tanks by May 20. Between September and December 1943, staff were appointed to re-establish the cadre 12 e régiment de cuirassierssubmitted. There was then a longer phase of training, as the regiment was now equipped with equipment and armored vehicles from the stocks of the US Army. The remaining 13 Somua tanks were handed over to the Guard Mobile in Oran.

A short time later, the French associations were relocated to Great Britain, where the hunters arrived in Swansea on April 22, 1944 .

After the invasion of northern France, the unit was set ashore on August 1, 1944, now equipped with M3 Stuart , M4 Sherman , jeeps and half- tracks in the Utah Beach section . On August 8th, the first contact with the enemy took place in the village of Sablé-sur-Sarthe:

After 1945

After the regiment had fought in the Algerian War, it was transported back to France after the peace treaty and disbanded there in 1963.


  • 1941–1944: Colonel (dt .: Colonel ) Girot de Langlade
  • 1944–1945: Lieutenant-Colonel (German: Lieutenant Colonel ) Minjonnet
  • 1945–1946: Squadron leader Gribius
  • 1946–1946 : Lieutenant-colonel Minjonnet
  • 1946–1946 : Lieutenant-colonel Marrion
  • 1946–1951 : Colonel Barrou
  • 1951–1953: Colonel de Fürst
  • 1953–1955: Lieutenant-Colonel Beaumont
  • 1955–1958 : Colonel Huot
  • 1958–1960: Lieutenant-Colonel Pourcher de Ruelle du Chéné
  • 1960–1961 : Lieutenant-colonel Blacas
  • 1961–1962 : Lieutenant-colonel Barras
  • 1963: Lieutenant-colonel Marsauche


It bears the following inscriptions in gold letters: [4] [5] :

  • Paris 1944 - for the liberation of Paris
  • Strasbourg 1944 for the liberation of Strasbourg
  • AFN 1952–1962 - for participating in the Algerian War

12th African Hunter Regiment - Drapeau.svg


Audace n'est pas déraison (boldness is not unreasonable)


The regiment's flag ribbon is decorated with the Croix de guerre 1939–1945 with two palm branches.

"Elite regiment which has not ceased, since the beginning of the campaign, to give proof of its ability and its magnificent fire resistance"

- General de Gaulle 1945

(An elite regiment, constantly on the move since the beginning of the campaign, which has constantly proven its excellent behavior in fire.)



  • Anonymous - 12e Régiment de Chasseurs d'Afrique, historical 1941–1962 , Paris, Chotel, nd

Individual evidence

  1. German: 12th regiment of African hunters
  2. Panzerbataillon
  3. So the major in the French cavalry as leader of a unit - otherwise his name is Commandant
  4. Regulation No. 12350 / SGA / DPMA / SHD / DAT of September 14, 2007 regulates the inscriptions on the standards of the troops of the army, the medical service and the fuel supply service (Service des essences des armées). The basis is the “Bulletin officiel des armées”, number 27, 9 November 2007
  5. Decree on the assignment of the inscription AFN 1952–1962 on the flags and standards of army units and services of November 19, 2004 (A) NORDEF0452926A Michèle Alliot-Marie