Women in the French Army 1939/40.

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tigre
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Women in the French Army 1939/40.

Post by tigre » 19 Jul 2019 03:00

Hello to all :D; a little doubt...................

A women corps/unit in 1939/40.

AFAIK there was no women’s section in the French Army of 1939-40. However, several hundred women served as civilian volunteers in auxiliary ambulance sections, attached to the Army in the field. Is this the case? And what about the General?

Sources: Illustrierter Beobachter / Folge 2 Donnerstag, 11. Januar 1940, 15.Jahrgang
https://easternfront1941to45.wordpress. ... -services/

Trying to solve this. TIA. Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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Loïc
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Re: Women in the French Army 1939/40.

Post by Loïc » 19 Jul 2019 13:19

hello

there were several Auxiliary Sanitary Automobile Sections manned by French and foreign female volunteers drivers rattached administravely to the 19e Train of Paris, there were also in the Interior many regional Automobile Sanitary Sections where the male drivers were replaced by female drivers
https://journals.openedition.org/rha/2033

concerning this last picture it is a well known picture of the Sanitary Section for Finland gathered to receive his pennant from Général Weygand, some drivers of this Section were the only small part of the French Expeditionnary Corps to Finland who reach the country and was followed by the mixed Ambulance France Finlande also with some military men

Image
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French with Finnish origin lieutenante Henriette Mendelssohn receiving the Cross of Liberty at the Embassy of Finland in Paris in april 1940

French in Finland
viewtopic.php?t=211476

Below 11th may 1940 not yet with the French female drivers, a ceremony for the 20 Matford ambulances offered by ARGENTINA to France who will equip the newly-raised female 5401st Section the 20th may
the Section Auxiliaire de Transport Sanitaire 5401/19 "France-Argentine" from volunteers of Union des Femmes de France (one of the three branches of French Red Cross)
Mr. Martinez de Hoz in the name of the Comité Pro Francia of Buenos Aires and the Argentinian Committee in France to help the victims of the war solemnly handed 20 ambulances to Mr. Marcel Héraud Minister of Health Public representing the French government.

M. de Cascado Ambassador of Argentina to Paris, General Gouraud, General Herbillon and many personalities attended this ceremony

Monseigneur Beaussart, Vicaire Capitulaire blessed the cars and then Mr. Martinez de Hoz delivered a speech in which he reaffirmed the will of Argentina to remain faithful to the ideal of Latin civilization:
"In the hours of trial that the whole of humanity is undergoing, threatened with frightful servitude, our cause is the same, there is no neutrality for free consciences, they have all done their duty"
Mr. Marcel Héraud responded by expressing the gratitude of the French government, the 20 medical automobiles then marched to the accents of a military march.

Image
the 5401st Section operated in june 1940 around Normandy and western France

Saludos, y entonces gracias por la solidaridad fraternal Latina a La Argentina
Loïc

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tigre
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Re: Women in the French Army 1939/40.

Post by tigre » 19 Jul 2019 19:25

Thanks Loïc for your clear and full answer :wink:. Also many thanks for shedding light about that fine act of help related with my country. Cheers. Raúl M 8-).

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Re: Women in the French Army 1939/40.

Post by tigre » 07 Sep 2019 14:59

Hello to all :D; a little more..................

The Women's Sanitary Automobile Sections (SSA) 1940.

Birth of the SSA. Transportation of the wounded.

On September 19, 1939, two weeks after the declaration of war, Edouard Daladier, Minister of National Defense and War, also took over the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Created, to assist him in each of these functions, two undersecretaries of State, one in Quai d'Orsay, under the responsibility of Mr. Champetier de Ribes, and the other, in rue Saint-Dominique, entrusted to Hippolyte Ducos, for whom the reorganization of the Military Health Service is particularly important.

The importance given to the transport of the wounded comes from the memory of "catastrophies as distressing as those of 1914," he added, that tormented minds on the eve of a new conflict. In the line of fire, relief of the injured is provided by light means to the Regimental Aid Station (SRP). After first aid, the wounded are taken to the Divisional Emergency Station (DSS) in light sanitary vehicles of the motorized sanitary section of the division. The most serious and urgent are immediately driven by the automobile health sections to the ambulance group of the corps (GACA) to be operated (light surgical ambulance), while the others, whose urgency seems less, will be treated at the primary evacuation hospital ( HOE1). Therefore, the established system is based on the cornerstone of the transport capacity of the wounded.

Therefore, "it was essential to immediately and quickly transport the injured to a more or less long distance. (...) Wherever there were roads, good or bad, it was motor vehicles that should be used. For them, the Health Service has raised the most distressing problem of this war: insufficient stocks in army parks at the time of mobilization, setbacks caused by requisitions, tremendous difficulties encountered with builders, overwhelmed by orders of all kinds and beset by often irreconcilable orders have sometimes led us into despair to reach the goal. However, we have succeeded completely. Unfortunately, the manufacturing plan was delayed. The army had only 1,900 of these vehicles, 1,500 light and 400 heavy. But we had planned 5,000: 2,500 for each of the two categories "

In addition, these needs were increased in the early 1940. "To equip the 248 automobile sanitary sections planned for the armies by the mobilization plan (plus 25 sections inland), 7,000 sanitary vehicles, of which 6,075 are for the Armed Forces , were necessary for April 1, 1940. In the mobilization, the Military Health Service has only 2,788 sanitary vehicles (2,283 for the Armed Forces). "

The manufacturing plan prepared on December 1, 1939 already provided for the construction of 1,375 sanitary vehicles per month: 500 light (including 300 Renault AFB and 200 Chenard) and 875 heavy (125 Delahaye 140 and 750 Renault AGC3). It is reinforced at the end of December by the monthly production of more than 400 sanitary units by Citroën, which allows to reach 6,607 sanitary units (3,299 light and 3,308 heavy) on April 30, 1940.

Sources: Jean-Jacques Monsuez, "Les sections sanitaires automobiles féminines", Revue historique des armées [En ligne], 247 | 2007, mis en ligne le 23 juillet 2008, I consulted 19 juillet 2019. URL: http://journals.openedition.org/rha/2033
https://myntransportblog.files.wordpres ... .jpg?w=840

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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tigre
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Re: Women in the French Army 1939/40.

Post by tigre » 14 Sep 2019 14:16

Hello to all :D; a little more..................

The Women's Sanitary Automobile Sections (SSA) 1940.

The donation.

If during the First World War, many women volunteered for the role of nurses, the enactment of the Boncour law on July 11, 1938, which provides "the voluntary commitment and incorporation of women under the armies", modifies the prospects for action to which they can participate in the declaration of war against Germany in September 1939. Among them, the French Red Cross proposes the evacuation of the wounded from the front. to compensate for the lack of personnel available for the Health Service. "Can't men be replaced by nurses in ambulances? Isn't that their place? However, who has not understood that men soon become weird in the particular circumstances of the war?"

The French Red Cross, constituted at that time by three autonomous associations, each of which has legal personality, can acquire property, collect donations and legacies:

-The Society for the Relief of Wounded Soldiers (SSBM), founded on May 22, 1864 and recognized on the same day as the French National Committee of the Red Cross, became in 1870 the Society for the relief of wounded soldiers of the armies of Earth and Sea;
-The Ladies Association of France (ADF), founded in 1879 by Dr. Duchaussoy;
-The Women's Union of France (UFF), born from the previous one in 1881.

At the end of 1939, the SSBM proposed to the French government "the provision of French army personnel services and the use of automobile equipment, within the framework of donations", whose rules were codified by decree-Law of January 31, 1940 "On the acceptance of gifts made to the State for the needs of the Military Health Service, and in particular Articles 6 and 14".

On February 17, 1940, Hippolyte Ducos signed the decree on "acceptance of donations consisting of personnel services and use of equipment offered to the State by the Charitable Women's Automobile Sections (SSBM), for the needs of the Military Health Service ( ...) These sections are attached to the train depot of Train No. 19. They are made available to the Commander-in-Chief of the Land Forces, or to the General Commanders-in-Chief of the theaters of operations located outside France, or directly of the Ministry of War. "

The director of the Women's Sanitary Automobile Sections, which is located at the SSBM, 19 rue François 1st in Paris 12, is insured by Countess Roussy de Sales, president (as a senior nurse, member of the Central Ladies Council of the SSBM). ), Miss Nicolle, Chief 13, Countess of Tocqueville (Deputy Chief), a six-member team (Baroness H. La Caze, Madame de Peyrimhoff de Fontenelle, Ms. Paul Reynaud, Ms. Colette Schwob [de Lure], Ms. Hélène Terré, Viscount of Villiers de la Noue), staff members (Countess Gaston de La Rochefoucauld, Mrs. Peretti de La Rocca, Mrs. Schreiber-Cremieux) and honorary members (Mrs. Jacques Lebon, Countess of Maublanc, Princess Jerome Murat , Viscount Noailles, Mrs. Trefusis).

The 1st Women's Sanitary Automobile Sections was formed shortly thereafter, on April 16, 1940, in Train No. 19 (Section 5 202/19), to which it was attached. Its composition is defined by the instructions of April 16, 1940. It includes French and foreign personnel subject to donations (a French officer, a section chief, a deputy section chief and thirty-eight female drivers) and personnel provided by the army (a sergeant, a brigadier and three drivers). The former are in charge of the liaison vehicle and the twenty sanitary vehicles of the donation, the latter: the liaison vehicle, the van and the kitchen truck provided by the army.

Sources: Jean-Jacques Monsuez, "Les sections sanitaires automobiles féminines", Revue historique des armées [En ligne], 247 | 2007, mis en ligne le 23 juillet 2008, I consulted 19 juillet 2019. URL: http://journals.openedition.org/rha/2033
https://www.ebay.it/itm/WWII-M-DE-LILLE ... Sw9idaE2Vb

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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Prosper Vandenbroucke
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Re: Women in the French Army 1939/40.

Post by Prosper Vandenbroucke » 15 Sep 2019 11:57

Hi Raul,
Since 1934 there was also the IPSA (infirmières pilotes d'aviation sanitaire)
The Ipsa was created in 1934 by three women:
Françoise Schneider,
la Marquise de Noailles
and Lilia de Vendeuvre
I think that the IPSA belongs to the French Red Cross but after that the IPSA was belonging to the Armée de l'Air (I think so but I am not sure at all)
Here below a pic dated from the 18th of august 1946.
image007.jpg
Germaine L’HERBIER-MONTAGNON is awarded by General JUIN of the French Légion d'Honneur

Kindly regards
Prosper :wink: :wink:
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Loïc
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Re: Women in the French Army 1939/40.

Post by Loïc » 15 Sep 2019 13:24

The IPSA Infirmières Pilotes (et) Secouristes de l'Air gathered Air activities of the three branches of the French ✚ Red Cross ✚ in 1939-1940, the Red Cross didn't belong to the French Army but supported the War effort of course due to its activities, in particular by Red Cross nurses and Auxiliary Hospitals

from what I have read they counted around 300 to 500 rescuers and 30 to 45 pilots and I doubt they served a lot like that in 1939-1940 if not in the Sanitary Trains, moral support etc...

the own Sanitary Aviation of the Armée de l'Air in 1940 was totally deficient from the first to the last day of campaign according to conclusions from the Aide-Major Général of Service de Santé adding lapidary the Sanitary Aviation had no history for the campaign of 1914-1918 and we can't affirm it has one for 1939-1940...

Image

Regards
Loïc
Last edited by Loïc on 15 Sep 2019 13:47, edited 1 time in total.

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tigre
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Re: Women in the French Army 1939/40.

Post by tigre » 15 Sep 2019 13:43

Hello to all :D; interesting indeed, thanks Prosper and Loïc for those complements :wink:. Feel free to improve the thread. Cheers. Raúl M 8-).

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Prosper Vandenbroucke
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Re: Women in the French Army 1939/40.

Post by Prosper Vandenbroucke » 15 Sep 2019 17:28

Yes indeed Loïc and that's the reason, i wrote:
IPSA was belonging to the Armée de l'Air (I think so but I am not sure at all)
Regards
Prosper :wink: :wink:

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