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Posted: 4/17/2006 2:54:00 PM EST
I love to bash the goddamn Phrench more than the average guy, but seriousy, how well did they perform in the First Gulf War? Were their contributions on the battlefield at all meaningful, or were they little more than windowdressing to placate the left in America? Did they actually even see any real combat?



-K
Link Posted: 4/17/2006 2:58:35 PM EST
They were worse than useless… the only troops they had killed wre killed fucking about with some discarded ordnance
Link Posted: 4/17/2006 3:00:08 PM EST
From people I talked to who were there, they said most of the Phrench were lazy.

The Foreign Legion, on the other hand...
Link Posted: 4/17/2006 3:02:28 PM EST

Originally Posted By Ranger_SXT:
From people I talked to who were there, they said most of the Phrench were lazy.

The Foreign Legion, on the other hand...



Now those guys are badass.
Link Posted: 4/17/2006 3:16:45 PM EST
Their cheese turned to liquid, and got sand blown on it.
Link Posted: 4/17/2006 3:26:54 PM EST
I think the Legion had a light armored cav unit (Regiment maybe a Division) that operated with 18th Airborne corps that was supposed to be pretty good.
Link Posted: 4/17/2006 4:21:46 PM EST
[Last Edit: 4/17/2006 4:22:31 PM EST by Manic_Moran]
For a more serious answer...

The air forces sent two squadrons of Jaguars, if I recall. At least a half-dozen of them came back with holes in them from the first mission.

The ground forces had the Draguet light armoured division present, they were the coalition's left flank. They captured several objectives, including facilities protected by dug-in tanks. In the Last Hurrah of French AMX-30 service, the French tanks knocked out their Iraqi opposition to no loss. I have seen nothing to indicate that they did any less than their duty, and that they did it any less than competently.

NTM
Link Posted: 4/17/2006 4:54:32 PM EST

Originally Posted By Manic_Moran:
For a more serious answer...

The air forces sent two squadrons of Jaguars, if I recall. At least a half-dozen of them came back with holes in them from the first mission.

The ground forces had the Draguet light armoured division present, they were the coalition's left flank. They captured several objectives, including facilities protected by dug-in tanks. In the Last Hurrah of French AMX-30 service, the French tanks knocked out their Iraqi opposition to no loss. I have seen nothing to indicate that they did any less than their duty, and that they did it any less than competently.

NTM



Yep thats the unit I was thinkiing of.
Link Posted: 4/18/2006 12:29:12 PM EST

Originally Posted By Manic_Moran:
For a more serious answer...

The air forces sent two squadrons of Jaguars, if I recall. At least a half-dozen of them came back with holes in them from the first mission.

The ground forces had the Draguet light armoured division present, they were the coalition's left flank. They captured several objectives, including facilities protected by dug-in tanks. In the Last Hurrah of French AMX-30 service, the French tanks knocked out their Iraqi opposition to no loss. I have seen nothing to indicate that they did any less than their duty, and that they did it any less than competently.

NTM




Thanks for the reply. Seems like you can be pretty much counted on for informed opinions on military matters.

Regarding the AMX-30, how well did it stack up on paper? As I understood it, they were in the Leopard 1 class - well armed (even had a 20mm as a coax) but lightly armored for a tank in hopes of having a higher speed to out manuver (out retreat?) the enemy. How well would they have compared to the WarPac tanks?

And what about the AMX-10 IFV's? How well do/did they stack up to a Bradley, Warrior, or one of the BMP's?

-K
Link Posted: 4/18/2006 2:34:17 PM EST
[Last Edit: 4/18/2006 3:37:45 PM EST by Manic_Moran]

Originally Posted By Special-K:
Regarding the AMX-30, how well did it stack up on paper? As I understood it, they were in the Leopard 1 class - well armed (even had a 20mm as a coax) but lightly armored for a tank in hopes of having a higher speed to out manuver (out retreat?) the enemy. How well would they have compared to the WarPac tanks?



As is generally the French way with armoured vehicle designs, they took a slightly different tack to 'conventional' without being revolutionary. At least, not counting WWI designs which really were revolutionary because nobody else had anything to be considered conventional against.

You are correct that they took the balance of maneuverability and firepower over armour, much in the same way as the Leopard 1 or to a point the M60 took that balance. It was the lightest of those three tanks, with the lowest ground pressure, and had the highest horsepower-to-weight ratio of any of the Western MBTs, (30% better than M60) making it something of the sports car of the bunch, and able to go over terrain and hills that would stump any other Western tank.

As you point out, the French decided to have a slightly larger coax. Initially it was a .50 cal, but the majority had 20mm. A nice idea in theory, but didn't work out too well in the field: It was discovered that if any target out there was worth using the 20mm on, the crew thought it was probably worth using a 105mm HEAT or HE round instead. Hence they went back to the .50 cal again for the Leclerc, which really wasn't that bad an idea: Witness a number of countries putting .50 cals on the main gun now, to include the US and Israel. They built some 1,600 AMX-30s for 13 countries, it was a decent export success. Of note is the fact that there is no fume extractor on the gun, they use a jet of compressed air instead. Again, this was carried on to Leclerc, so must have been a successful design. The 105mm is also a little longer than the L7 mounted on the Leopard 1 and M60, so a touch more powerful. In the early 1980s, the last generation came about, with thermal imagers, laser rangefinders, and all the other modern conveniences.

Overall, and with the benefit of hindsight, I'd personally rate it the third best tank of the 1970s (After Chieftain and Strv-103), dropping to fourth with the appearance of the T-72.


And what about the AMX-10 IFV's? How well do/did they stack up to a Bradley, Warrior, or one of the BMP's?


They're old. It's a 1960s design, quite good for its time, possibly beating the BMP as the first IFV in the world, and the hull was converted for a range of uses, much as the M113 was. Anything from missile-armed tank destroyers through radar vehicles. I'll wager the French are looking for a replacement by now.

NTM
Link Posted: 4/18/2006 7:14:15 PM EST
The French penetrated the farthest into Iraq if I recall correctly. Probably got to not far from Najaf.
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