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XVeCA (65eDI and SFAM_) Battle for Nice_

Montagne_ general

On June 11, 1940, day of entry in war of Italy, the border of the Alps is entrusted to the Army of the Alps (General OLRY_). XVeCA is with the orders of the Lieutenant-general of Army MONTAGNE_. It has the role of defending Nice_ (*), since the sea to the valleys of high Tinée_ (*). This XVeCA (which recovers the SFAM_ of the time of peace) includes/understands:

It SFAM_ with the orders of the Brigadier general MAGNIEN_ (below), in the east of Nice_, between the sea and the solid mass of Aution (*)

it 65eDI with the orders of the Brigadier general of SAINT_JULIEN (below), in the north of Nice_, valleys of Vésubie_ (*) and Tinée_ (*).


This document was carried out starting from many sources of which, particularly, personal records of Mrs. Odile_DAVEAU, grand-daughter of the René_MAGNIEN general, and his husband, Philippe_DAVEAU, that we thank warmly.

The texts of René_MAGNIEN are referred R_M as that which is below.

R_M. On June 11 at 0 a.m., the hostilities were open between France and Italy. By order of the General Ordering the Army of the Alps all the destruction prepared in front of the P.R. (Position of Resistance) was at once implemented, with preventive measure, to prohibit with the enemy, as far as possible, an attack with massive support of armoured vehicles and to obstruct the movement in front of its artillery and of its supplies, if it would take the offensive. Only was temporarily deferred some destruction which would have obstructed the proper communications of the advanced elements of the S.F.A.M. They were implemented little by little thereafter, progressively of the development of the battle.

June 11 and 13, 1940. Days of observation

R_M. The days of June 11 and 13 were without history. To the contact, our patrols of Scouts Skiers announced that the Italians restricted themselves to arrange the peak border with networks and automatic weapons everywhere where we do not occupy it permanently. Our some advanced stations with the peak border continued to be occupied with their occupations without the Italians opening fire on them. Besides we did not seek to return in force at the usual points of observation of our patrols which had been occupied as of the beginning by the enemy, but we made this period of relative calm profitable to still prepare new destruction in front of the P.R.

June 11

Italian important activity on all the border, without shot. Italian planes fly over the French device and the backs of this device.

June 12

First exchange of shots in the valley of Tinée_ towards Cuson_ (*). First shootings of French artillery on an Italian detachment, with the entry of Gordolasque_ (*). First shooting of DCA Frenchwoman on an Italian flotilla, along the littoral.

June 13

65eDI: close to St_Martin_Vésubie (*), an Italian attack is stopped and a counter-attack, supported by artillery, makes it possible to seize Piagu (*), in Italian territory.

First bombardments of Italian aviation: on the station of Cannes_la_Bocca (*) (not of damage nor of victims), on the airfields of Cannes_ (without result) and, more in the west, on the airfield of Fayence_ (two killed and 10 wounded).

14 at June 17. Combat of study

June 14

65eDI: calm day. Some shots.

SFAM: Italian firmly occupies the northern border of the SFAM and tackles its southern part.

R_M. In the morning of the 14, abruptly, at the point of the day, the enemy tried the first actions of details on the border. On the one hand it tackled all the points accessible from the peak border of Tréitore_ (*) (northern of Grammondo_ (*)) with the sea (southern of Pont_St_Louis) (*). In addition, a patrol of Scouts Skiers which went up in the fog in Capelet_Supérieur (*) (northern area of Aution_) fell into a ambush which caused him some losses [1 dead, 1 missing, 2 wounded] and pushed back it. In the same way the patrol which assembled to the observatory of Anan_ (*) found it strongly occupied and, accomodated with shots, was to be folded up.
But at the beginning of the attack our superiority continued on two points:
it resistance and the value of our small groups of Scouts Skiers who inflicted losses very sensitive to the Italians before folding up in front of quite higher manpower of number.
it speed of release and precision of our artillery shootings on the peaks and the outlets of the border.
Italian 89e R.I and a Battalion of black shirts underwent during these attacks of the significant losses, especially as Officers and, continued by our artillery shootings, had finally to be folded up on the peak border in end of the afternoon, which made it possible the S.E.S. to re-occupy the majority of their preceding positions of parking [between Treitore_ (*) and Pont_St_Louis (*)] (Orméa_, Plan_du_Lion, Granges_Saint_Paul, Castellar_Vieil). They had undergone only negligible losses [no killed].
In the night of the 14 to the 15, the Italians occupied on the one hand: all the Northern peak, of Scandail_ (*) in Pas_de_la_Tranchée (*), where we did not have any fixed element, and in addition: the observatory of Campbel_ and Barns of Arrès_. (*)

June 15

65eDI: calm day. Some shots.

SFAM: Italian attacks in the projecting one of Saorge_ (*) and in the neighbourhoods of Breil_ (*).

Italian aviation bombards two airfields in the department of Var_ (not to be confused with the Var_ river (*))

R_M. On June 15, in the course of the day, the sector of Pointe_du_Lugo (*) saw the Italians going ahead in the Area Campbel_ (*), Lugo_ and also towards Mont_Ainé (*) and Granges_de_Zuaine (*). Our sections of Scouts Skiers, according to the orders given, were folded up as a combatant and clung on the slopes going down towards Roya_ (*) in the area from Pève_ (*) and above Breil_ (*) and from Giandola_ (*).

June 16

65eDI: some blows of automatic weapons and mortar towards Douanse_ (*).

SFAM: Italian continues their attack in the projecting one of Saorge_ (*) and the neighbourhoods of Breil_ (*).

R_M. The 16, the pressure Italian were accentuated. She appeared especially in front of Fontan_ (*), where two of our S.E.S. (in Scarassoui_ (*) and Pève_ (*)) contained the enemy, in the east of Breil_ (*) and in Cuore_ (*), where our S.E.S., which had occupied a little Italian territory, could maintain its positions.

June 17

65eDI: attacks with the automatic weapons and with the mortar in the vicinity of Insulated (*) and unhooking as of ITS.

SFAM: Italian continues their attack in the projecting one of Saorge_ (*) and the neighbourhoods of Breil_ (*).

R_M. The 17, these small actions ended in a real success of our S.E.S.:
- That of Scarassoui_ (105e B.C.A.) (*) released itself without loss by stopping the enemy, extremely Battalion;
- That of Pève_ (24e B.C.A.) (*) re-occupied the Barns and captured forty prisoners.
- That of Granges_de_Zuaine (*) and the Mount Groin (85e B.A.F.) (*) re-occupied its positions which it found covered with enemy corpses. Our artillery of work and position had just been the proof of the effectiveness from its shootings on the enemy columns or gatherings.
The French government having made known at Midi that he had asked the German führer which conditions one could cease the combat, of curious attempts at fraternization (?) were outlined by the Italians towards the end of the afternoon in Pont_St_Louis (*); in Restaud_ and Cuore_. They announced to us, under cover of white flags, that the hostilities were finished, but could make give up its mission with none of our advanced elements.

18 and June 19. Preparation of Italian attack

65eDI: attacks pushed back vis-a-vis the outpost of Conchetas_ (*).

SFAM: 19 with 9:00 the Italian artillery bombards the neighbourhoods of Aution_ (*), bombardment stopped by a French counter-preparation.

R_M. The 18 and June 19 were two days of complete lull. Our observatories, on the other hand, announced intense movements on the backs; especially around Vintimille_ (*); changings took place at the enemy whom one saw collecting and transporting of dead and of wounded extremely many.

20 and June 21. Attacks on all the face

June 20

65eDI: attacks pushed back vis-a-vis the outpost of Isola_ (*). Light advanced vis-a-vis the outpost of Conchetas_ (*) to the front of which ITS, extrèmement tired, one folded up.

SFAM. Resumption of the attacks since Aution_ (*) to the sea.

R_M. On June 20, the Italians with the favour of a strong fog took again as of the morning their attacks. In the East of Breil_ (*), they renewed their preceding attempts to arrive at Roya_ (*) while going down from Mont_Ainé (*) towards Breil_ and Granges_de_Zuaine (*), and from the Area of Pève_ (*) towards Saorge_ (*). In Aution_ (*), the artillery prepared in Raus_ (*) an attack which could emerge. Of Grammondo_ (*) to the sea a large attack was conducted by the 5th supported Italian D.I of shirts black and supported by a strong artillery action. Some of our works like certain positions of batteries (Monte-Grosso_ (*), Agaisen_ (*), Cap_Martin (*), in particular) were taken with part by heavy parts of 149,210 and perhaps even of higher gauges.
The failure was complete, our artillery of fortress and position having answered all the requests for support of the infantry by fast shootings, remarkably applied to the announced objectives and which had caused very strong losses with the enemy.
Only the Work of Pont_St_Louis (*) could have been overflowed but it always held and on the Cornices the Italian advance could have been stopped appreciably at the border. In Breil_ (*), the enemy had been able to arrive almost at the bottom of the slopes and our S.E.S. had been withdrawn on Right Bank of Roya_ (*).

June 21

65eDI: frequent fixings between Italian and ITS.

SFAM: maintenance of the Italian positions in the projecting one of Saorge_ (*). Retreat to the border everywhere else.

R_M. The day of June 21 was again employed by the enemy to collect wounded and killed, to gather the committed elements and to prepare the intrusion of new divisions between Breil_ (*) and the Sea. There our artillery on the occasion to still disperse large gatherings. During this time the French Command was concerned with obligation where XVe A.C. could be to carry out the fight on two opposed faces, Alpes_ against the Italians and Var_ (*) against the German motorized troops.


In spite of the average volunteers and the undergone losses, Italian did not succeed in fixing itself, except in certain marginal zones being neighbourly the border.

But these 10 more or less intense days of combat were only combat of preparation and test of French defense. Now that the German troops break on France and start to take with reverse the Army of the Alps, Italian will benefit from it to pronounce an attack of very strong power vis-a-vis XVeCA.

22 juin. Offensive générale italienne


23 juin




Col de Brouis

Avec artillerie. 3 blocs. 175 hommes.

Infanterie sous béton : 1 JM - 1 JM/AC 47

Infanterie sous cloche_ : 2 JM - 1 LG

Artillerie sous béton : 4.81

Observatoires : 3 GFM - 1 VDP


Principe du 1PJ60

Hugo Junkers

Armand Peugeot


Ingénieur allemand né à Paris le 18 mars 1858 et mystérieusement disparu le 20 septembre 1913 au cours d'une traversée de la Manche, à bord du paquebot Dresden.

Il fait ses études à l'école polytechnique de Munich.

En 1893 il dépose un brevet pour un moteur à huile.

En 1897 il construit un premier prototype, qui fonctionne à l'huile de cacahuètes. Et il présente ce prototype à l'Exposition Universelle de Paris en 1900. Il reçoit? à cette occasion? le Grand Prix de l'Exposition universelle.