Staff Sergeant Dimitri Voronine
of the 1st RPIMa in Chad - 1969
Don’t grind your millet with a ripe banana.
Chad 1971- 6th CPIMa-3rd CDO
Parachutist Dan Wawrzaszek
alias BanZaï en 6X6
with his MAS 56
Chad 1978 -
Chad, an arid landlocked country at the heart of Africa, with a surface area of 1,284,000 square kilometres and a population of a little over 5 million inhabitants (in 2004), was for centuries the close battle field of incessant confrontations between its various constituent kingdoms and sultanates.
Towards the end of the nineteenth century, these kingdoms and sultanates were themselves almost subdued by a Sudanese hegemony, if not of the victorious intervention of French forces along the banks of River Chari, in Kousseri.
Becoming a French colony in 1920, Chad, some twenty years latter, became the base of Division Leclerc, and gained independence on August 11, 1960.
In 1967, fierce tension started mounting between the various components of the country, notably between the Toubou and Ouaddaï populations, the Muslims in the north and the Christians in the south, the civil administration in the south and the chiefdoms in the north. This tension, which persisted till the late 1980s, sparked of insurrections and culminated in a coup d’état.
Chad - October 1971 - Operation Limousin
The 3rd Commando in the desert
Libyan army incursions
On several occasions, in keeping with the defence agreements signed in 1960, France was called up to carry out military operations to counter Libyan army incursions and to help restore the territorial integrity of Chad.
Some noteworthy dates :
February 1968: intervention of the French army at Tibesti, against Frolinat, supported by Algeria and Libya: marine troops and the Foreign Legion were engaged.
1969-1970: supervision of armed rebel groups by East European officers; interventions of the French army in the north of the country.
June 1977: France’s logistic assistance to the Chadian army, against Frolinat.
The 11th RAMa during Operation TACAUD, May 25 to September 21, 1978 -
Collection Pascal Lenoir
April 1978: another French military intervention; Jaguar fighter-bombers and Puma helicopters provided air fire backup to ground troops.
Airlifted combat group in the conflict zone
June 1983: France’s logistic assistance to the Chadian army fighting Goukouni Oueddeï, who, supported by Libyan troops, was approaching N’Djamena.
August 1983: operation Manta: over 3,000 French soldiers were deployed in Chad, supported by combat aircrafts.
February 1986: Opération Epervier (Operation Sparrowhawk): France set up a deterrent force in N’Djamena and carried out air raids against Ouadi-Doum; Chadian forces thus scored several resounding victories against Libyan troops which had occupied the northern region, under the supervision of East European officers. The Libyan forces were pushed back.
Chad - 1986 - Operation Epervier (Hawk)
Opération Epervier continued in Chad for over a decade.
Chad - 1971- Operation Limousin – 6th CPIMa
- 3rd Commando – Warrant Officer Chastanet in the grass
France, former administering Power, perfectly fulfilled its 1960 commitments and provided vital assistance to Chad, enabling this country to gradually regain relative internal stability and to preserve its territorial integrity along the Aouzou strip, hitherto occupied by foreign forces.
In 2004, France was still present in Chad with ALAT helicopters, air force aircrafts and detachments of Engineers, Chasseurs, Armoured Division and Infantry troops.
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