It was in Vincennes, between
1837 and 1840, that the first ten battalions of light
infantrymen were created by the Duke of Orleans.
Under Napoleon III, twenty battalions were deployed in various fighting grounds:
the Crimean War, Mexico, the pacification of North Africa, the 1870 War (where
the number of battalions had already gone up to thirty), Madagascar and the
During the First World War, the number of Chasseurs battalions
had gone up to seventy-eight. The enthusiasm and bravery
with which they fought made the Germans to nickname them
the « schwartz Teufeln »- black devils.
Deployed in Hartmannswillerkopf, on the Somme, on the Marne,
in Chemin des Dames, and even in Italy, they paid a heavy
price for victory.
Détachement d'artilleurs de montagne descendant un chemin
Louis Auguste Loustaunau - Musée de l'Armée - Paris
In the course of the XX century, with the advent of modern
sophisticated equipment, weapons and devices like tanks,
aircrafts and missiles, the role of the various units of
the armed forces changed remarkably. The Light
cyclist chasseurs units became modernized and mechanized.
In addition to the motorized chasseurs, which are still
found in the infantry today, there are the specialized units
of mountaineer chasseurs and parachutist chasseurs.
Chasseurs have fought for France at various fronts worldwide.
They equally distinguished themselves during the Second World
War, in Norway during the « phoney war », in
the Resistance, in the Liberation, as well as in Indochina
Nowadays, there are still several mountaineer chasseurs
battalions and one mechanized chasseurs battalion. Their
mission: intervention both on the national territory and
within the framework of overseas campaigns, notably in former
Yugoslavia and Africa.
Le 27e BCA en Afghanistan - nov. 2008
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There is a Chasseurs museum in the ancient fort of Vincennes