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EUROPE - LAW ENFORCEMENT BRANCH & RANK INSIGNIA

Vichy French Milice (1943 - 44)

Police, Security

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Vichy French Milice (1943 - 44)

Unread postby ChrisWI » Mon Nov 12, 2007 10:18 pm

Does anyone know their rank insignia system?
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Milice

Unread postby 60bill » Tue Nov 13, 2007 12:54 am

Will this help,

Franc-garde, plain strap.
Chef de main adjoint, one red bar.
Chef de main, one red chevron.
Chef de dizaine adjoint two red bars.
Chef de dizaine, two red chevrons.
Chef de groupe [Centaine], silver chevron.
Chef de groupe [Cohorte], gold chevron.
Chef de trentaine adjoint silver bar
Chef de trentaine, gold bar.
Chef de centaine adjoint, two silver bars.
Chef de centaine, two gold bars.
Chef de cohorte adjoint, three silver bars.
Chef de cohorte, three cold bars.
Chef de centre adjoint, one silver star.
Chef de centre, one gold star.
Chef departemental adjoint, two silver stars.
Chef departemental, two gold stars.
Chef regional adjoint, three silver stars.
Chef regional, three gold stars.
Delegue general de la milice de Zone nord (Max Knipping) four gold stars.
The two highest ranks [Dep Sec Gen and Sec Gen] didn't use rank insignia.



Special ranks for training school.
Eleve-aspirant, one red/ one gold bars.
Aspirant, one gold bar.
Chef du ler eschelon, gold sword.
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Unread postby ChrisWI » Tue Nov 13, 2007 2:08 am

Thank you so much Bill for the quick reply! What is the difference between the 2 different groups of insignia that you list? Also where was the rank insignia worn?
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Unread postby lordziba » Tue Nov 13, 2007 5:53 am

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Unread postby Miklós Lovász » Tue Nov 13, 2007 7:15 am

Chantiers de la jeunesse francaise

[url]http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chantiers_de_la_jeunesse_française[/url]

Uniformed service of mandatory work for the French youth during the Vichy regime.
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Unread postby lordziba » Tue Nov 13, 2007 8:24 am

Any English or Russian versions, my French is not that well!

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Unread postby ChrisWI » Tue Nov 13, 2007 6:50 pm

Hi Felix, I tried to look for the same page on English Wikipedia but I couldent locate it. It seems that the Chantiers de la Jeunesse Française was the Vichy version of the Hitler Youth.

As for the Milice, they were the paramilitary constabulary type force that was created and specially trained to hunt down and destroy the Maquis (the French Resistance) although I believe they did perform regular police duties as well in addition to occupation duties.
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MILICE Sorry done in haste

Unread postby 60bill » Tue Nov 13, 2007 8:12 pm

Hi
Rank insignia was worn on { as a general rule] shoulder of blue tunic with open collar, white shirt and blue berret.
I cocked up when I put school/training rank in the middle.
Lowest rank was Franc-garde.
Here's a scan from L & F Funcken
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Chantiers de la Jeunesse

Unread postby 60bill » Tue Nov 13, 2007 9:01 pm

hi
Chantiers de la Jeunesse was the Vichy Labour Service, Your man in charge was General Joseph de la Porte du Theil. His other cap was a Regional Commissioner in the French Boy Scouts. This may be where the link to the Hitler Youth was made, although the labour service wasn't a French Hitler Youth.
I believe [right or wrong] that this organization was just a means to occupy the thousands of ex servicemen while also getting down to rebuilding France.
I think before the war the french right wing had dreamed up a similar concept of enforced labour, for the unemployed.
The last link is the rank chart.
White and gold Commissariat General
Blue and gold Commissariats Regional
Red gold/white Groups.
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Milice Scool Rank

Unread postby 60bill » Sat Nov 17, 2007 7:58 pm

As far as I know this is the order of rank for Milice Francaise training schools.
Note that straps are light blue but the Chef de l'ecole according to regulations,
wore red shoulder straps, but my reference states that only blue staps were worn.
You may have more info.
I apologize to any french members for the very bad typing of the french names.
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Milice Rank and Cap Badges

Unread postby 60bill » Sat Nov 17, 2007 11:19 pm

List to go with chart Milice Rank and cap Badges, I believe them to be correct.


1 Franc-garde
2 Chef de main adjoint
3 Chef de main
4 Chef de dizaine adjoint
5 Chef de dizaine
6 Chef de groupe [Centaine]
7 Chef de groupe [Cohorte]
8 Chef de trentaine adjoint
9 Chef de trentaine
10 Chef de centaine adjoint
11 Chef de centaine
12 Chef de cohorte adjoint
13 Chef de cohorte
14 Chef de centre adjoint
15 Chef de centre
16 Chef departmental adjoint
17 Chef departmental
18 Chef regional adjoint
19 Chef regional
20 Delegue general de la malice en Zone nord
21 Collar badge of Groupe Special de Securite [silver deaths head on black]
22 Breast badge Franc Garde regulars
23 Breast badge Avant-Garde Milicienne [cadets/youth branch Milice]
24 Breast Badge other than Franc Garde & Avant-Garde [non regular & female]
25 Brassard khaki shirt summer & undress uniform


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Unread postby ChrisWI » Sun Nov 18, 2007 1:22 am

Excellent job Bill! Would you happen to have the translations for the ranks as well? Some of them are pretty clear such as "Chef departmental adjoint" is Assistant Departmental Chief but others are a bit harder ...
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Translation.

Unread postby 60bill » Sun Nov 18, 2007 10:35 pm

This is only a guess as my French in non!!!. And I’m sure it will only confuse (I'm in a permanent state of confusion) so:-
Going by the units of-
Main, Dizaine, Trentaine, Centaine, Cohorte, Centre
Centre the largest which had four cohorts, a rough equivalent would be a regiment.
Now I would have said under that rule the Chef de Centre [one gold star] would be a Lt. Col. Ah but we have too many sub ranks below to make that work, do we not!
Dizaine = dozen, Trentaine = thirty and Centaine = hundred.
So if a chef de trentaine adoint is in charge of thirty men, he wouldn’t necessarily be an officer, but could be a junior warrant officer. So I’ve done the comparison down from Chef de Centre as commander of a regiment.

Since the Milice have more grades of rank than the French army, unless someone knows of a comparison chart it’s hard to guess.
Also with the Adjoint/Assistant rank, I don’t know if the term adjoint relates to reserve status.
The Franc Garde (military section) were sub-divided into Franc Garde Permanente and Franc Garde Non- Permanente.
The Non-Permanente were a home defence section, made up of part timers and older men that could still be mobilized in an emergency.
Within the Milice you also had the Les Miliciennes or women’s section and the Avante-Garde Milicienne or youth section.

Therefore my equivalent ranks would be.
General Officer ranks I would say go more by appointment and department seniority.

Chef de Centre = Lt Colonel [1 gold star]
Chef de Centre Adjoint = Assistant Lt Colonel [1 silver star & no equivalent army rank]
Chef de Cohorte = Major [three gold bars, same as army capt.]
Chef de Cohorte Assistant Major [three silver bars & no equivalent army rank]
Chef de Centaine = Captain [two gold bars]
Chef de Centaine Adjoint = Assistant Captain [two silver bars & no equivalent army rank]
Chef de trentaine = Lieutenant [one gold bar]
Chef de trentaine Adjoint = 2nd lieutenant [one silver bar]
Chef de Groupe (cohorte) = Warrant Officer I
Chef de Groupe (centaine) = Warrant Officer II
Chef de Dizaine = Chief Sergeant
Chef de Dizaine Adjoint = Chief Corporal
Chef de Main = Corporal = Corporal
Chef de Main Adjoint = Private first class

If anyone knows any better please enlighten, it seem the Milice didn’t wish to conform to the normal French Military ranking system. This may be because they were politically poles apart from the military, seeing themselves as patriots rather than soldiers?
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Unread postby ChrisWI » Sun Nov 18, 2007 11:51 pm

Very very confusing! Hopefully one of our French speaking members can come to the rescue smilies-15
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Milice Translation

Unread postby 60bill » Mon Nov 19, 2007 2:26 am

Chris,
Problem with such organizations is that they didn’t last long, and history in general wasn’t kind to them.
What we could do with is a former member of the Milice to give some insight into organisation and rank structure.
I don’t think a straight forward translation of names would really help much.
With using a civilian style, a Chef de trentaine could mean anything from in charge of thirty sections, vehicles, people, departments or pencil sharpeners. We really need to know what the Dizaine, Groupe and trentaine etc. represented.
Maybe someone knows a former member of the Malice?
Trouble is not many people in France, even today, wouldn’t stand up and shout about membership to seemingly anti partisan organisations.

This is what I based the rank structure on,
On 30th January 1943 Service d’Ordre Legionnaire [S.O.L.] was transformed into the Milice Francaise.
There basic unit was a Main of 4 men and a 1 leader.
Two mains made a Dizaine, 8 men 2 leaders.
Three Dizaines made a Trentaine, 24 men 6 leaders.
Three Trentaine made a Centaine, 72 men 18 leaders.
Three Centaine made a Cohorte 216 men 54 leaders.
I based the ranks on a junior officer (2nd Lt) starting at trentaine with 24 men and 6 NCO’s.
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Unread postby lordziba » Mon Nov 19, 2007 6:44 am

I donno, but sounds like Italian fascist milita, or not?

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Italian Fascist

Unread postby 60bill » Mon Nov 19, 2007 8:44 pm

Yes it does,
The MSVN took the Roman eagle and had it's units organized in thee's.
Your legion [about the size of a Regt.] then within a legion three cohort's, with each cohort havinig three centuries and so on [this never really worked in pracise, as one legion could have five centuies and another only two].
Don't forget the King of Italy and the Italian ministers officially scanctioned the militia in 1922, only a few months after Mussollini became prime minister.
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