“Bastille Day” is the name given in English-speaking countries to the French National Day, which is celebrated on 14 July each year. In France, it is formally called Fête nationale (The National Celebration) and commonly Le quatorze juillet (the fourteenth of July).
The French National Day commemorates the beginning of the French Revolution with the Storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789, as well as the Fête de la Fédération which celebrated the unity of the French people on 14 July 1790.
The Bastille Day Military Parade is the French military parade that has been held on the morning of 14 July each year in Paris since 1880. Previously held elsewhere within or near the capital city, since 1918 it has been held on the Champs-Élysées, with the exception of the period of German occupation from 1940 to 1944 (when the ceremony took place in London under the command of General de Gaulle).
The parade passes down the Champs-Élysées from the Arc de Triomphe to the Place de la Concorde, where the President of the French Republic, his government and foreign ambassadors to France stand.
This year some troops marched in WWI uniforms (to commemorate the 100th anniversary of WWI – seen here flanking airborne soldiers of the Troupe de Marine fresh back from operations in central Africa.
President Hollande also invited detachments of troops from 72 other countries to take part in the parade and attend as guests this year.
Exercise “Tears of the Sun”, took place a couple of weeks ago in Toulouse, France, as a key interoperability exercise between 16 Air Assault Brigade and 11e Brigade Parachutiste (11e BP), which is at the forefront of closer military co-operation between Britain and France.
Both brigades are rapid reaction forces, held at high readiness to deploy on operations anywhere in the world. They form the Intermediate Combined Joint Expeditionary Force (I-CJEF) for contingency operations, ranging from disaster relief to war fighting.
David Axe of the “War Is Boring” blog has written an excellent article about the career of legendary French mercenary “Bob Denard”, and the rise of the modern Contractor industry.
Check it out: One Man Private Army
A French Army sniper – somewhere in Africa…..
(hat-tip to Martel)
SOD Gear of Italy is renowned for making extremely high-quality clothing and gear for special operations forces. Now they also have released their Sniper System – comprising a boonie, parka, and “salopette” (ski-style trousers with built-in bib and suspenders.
The main fabric used for the suit is 50/50 NyCo, with Cordura nylon added at stress points for added durability. The suit also incorporates the Ghillie base of a para-cord web over the entire back of the torso, hood, arms and legs for the attachement of scrim and vegetation.
The Parka also has removable padding on the front for added protection and comfort when laying prone for extended periods of time. The Salopette also features added protection through a panel of 1000D Cordura nylon covering the entire front thigh and knee region on the legs.