French Allies
FFI Company Savoie French assault on Forbach
by Pierre Stutin

FFI Company Savoie , the only French unit which effectively took part in the liberation of east Moselle, and first entered enemy territory, was formed up in Nancy, by Captain Robert Gigleux, with the help of his resistance groups, which he brought together as soon as August 30th 1944. It was 135 men strong. The unit had an active part in the liberation of Nancy, Frouard and Champigneules; it was also used as military police in Metz after December 1st 1944. On Dec 24th, it was sent in Merlebach where it quartered at Sarre-et-Moselle coalmine #5. They were reinforced with 42 belgian pioneers. Strength : 165 men. The young boys were wild with delight when they learned that they would soon be put in line in the Forbach sector. They were fairly welcome by the population. Their great day was March 4th 1945. US CO assigned them the capture of Verrerie Sophie, little urban sector between Forbach and Stiring-Wendel. Command Post was established in a building rue Marie. The manoeuvre succeeds in smashing German resistance, with low casualties, against heavy resistance. 32 prisonners are taken by the company. But the guys got blues. US arty shot at them and they had no help in evacuating the wounded, who had to be sent back by night fall. After their successful operation, the unit was taken back and sent to Marienau in 3rd Battalion, 275th sector. During March 5th 1945 night, company went to Merlebach to guard Sarre-et-Moselle coalmine. On March 21st, it was back to Petite Rosselle to relieve 5th company french 146th Infantery regt. Sentries guarded St-Charles, St-Joseph, Vuillemin, de Wendel and Gargan pits.On March 23rd, it leaves french territory to enter Germany.

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