France, in French République Française, is a Western Europe country and one of the First nation involved in the First World War under the Third Republic. The country is bordering with Belgium, Luxembourg, Spain, Germany, Swiss and Italy.
France is with British Empire, Kingdom of Belgium, Russian Empire, Kingdom of Serbia, Kingdom of Italy, Kingdom of Romania, Kingdom of Greece and United States, a principal actor of WW1 in the side of the Entente, representing the main war effort, boring the brunt of the casualties and doing the most of the fighting in repelling the German invasion of their territory.
The Frenchs were mostly favorable to a military conflict with the German Empire in order to take their revenge following the defeat of the Franco-Prussian war of 1871. The president of the Third Republic Raymond Poincarré, advised by his minister of war Georges Clémenceau, decided to reply fast and strong to the declaration of war from German Empire, and to take as quick as possible the former French departments of Alsace-Lorraine. Even if they reached all of their objectives in the first weeks of their campaign, they were repulsed by the Germans, forced to retreating through south of Belgium at the battle of the Frontiers.
The German "Schlieffen plan" of invasion, moving through Belgium into northeastern France was then halted at the First Battle of the Marne, with the help of the Britsih Expeditionary Forces, at which both sides dug into trench lines that would dominate the war.
As the Belgians, the Frenchs were fighting on their own land and had to adapt themselves to this modern war, deploying new way of defend their trench and attack the ennemies's one, the french major-state (GQG, in french "Grand Quartier Général) weren't worrying about the heavy lost and applied the "Offensive à outrance" by forcing the mens to go up to the fire even if the germans had hidden machine gunner positions. Weapons research was one of the main war effort of the french army, their machine gun "Chauchat" equipped 5 army (which the Us Army and Belgian Army) not to mention the french one.
After bloodies breakthrough in Champagne's uplands, Argonne Forest, Vosges Mountains (were the Chasseurs Alpins got the nick-name of "Blue Devils") and Dardanelles Strait in 1915, the Frenchs fought bravely at the battle of the Somme in 1916 and conducted by their own the longest battle of the war : Verdun. Which was an intense defense of 9 months for three of their 28 stronghold strategically placed around the city of Verdun (Douaumont, Souville and Vaux). The french generals also tried to take the lost territory in Verdun and in the Aisne plains, the second battle of Verdun was an overwhelming success but the one in the Aisne plains (called "Chemin des Dames") was a disaster with nearly 187 000 lost for the entente and 137 000 for the central power, it conducted to a mutiny led by french soldiers.
In the year of 1918 and with the final months of the war, the french army pushed forward in every front, helping the Kingdom of Italy in their battle against the Austrian-Hungarian Empire but also in the East Front along with the Serbians, Romanians and Greeks to put off the Bulgarian-German offensives. It's by coordinating their attacks with the Americans troops that the victory was gained, taking all the sector they lost 4 years ago, and finally leading the offensive of the Third battle of the Marne, where they've successfully used the new weapon of this war : tanks.
Today France still bear the scars of the war, a lot of villages and hamlets were declared "dead for France" and totally striped of the map by the destruction of the artillery. The french army paid a heavy tribute for the victory and engaged approximatively 8 600 000 soldiers, with nearly 600 000 man from their colony as Maroc, Algeria, Senegal and a large part of all the country of the western Africa.
In-game, it is represented by two squads:
- French soldiers were the first one to use steel helmets to protect themselves from the explosion fragments, the first model was the "Casque Adrian" in 1915
- It's a french general that took the leadership of all the allies on the western front, his name was Ferdinand Foch and he used tactical superiority of the modern war to bring victory to the Entente
- Here are the name of the most famous poilus or generals who fought in the war : Georges Guynemer, Philippe Pétain, Joseph Joffre, René Fonck, Louis Murat (rear-back little nephew of the Emperor of the French Napoléon I), Roland Garros, Charles De Gaule, Guillaume Apolinaire, Emile Driant, Jean Hugo (rear little son of Victor Hugo)