The 1st Army Corps was first formed before World War I. The Corps saw service throughout the entirety of World War I, at the time of the Battle of Passchendaele, the Corps comprised the 1st Division, 2nd Infantry Division, 51st Infantry Division and 162nd Infantry Division. 1st Army Corps was constituted on August 27,1939, in Lille under the command of Major General Sciard as part of the French mobilization for war. Initially assigned as part of the French First Army, the corps was transferred to the French Seventh Army and moved to regions near Calais. On May 10,1940, the Corps commanded the 25th Motorised Infantry Division in addition to its organic units. With the German invasion violating the neutrality of Belgium and the Netherlands on May 10,1940, the 1st Army Corps moved into Belgium with the goal of gaining contact with the Dutch Army. This was achieved on May 12 near Breda, but the failure of the Allies to hold the German advance mandated early retreats so that the 1st Army Corps would not be cut off. Breda fell to the Germans on May 13 and the corps conducted a fighting withdrawal through Dorp and Wuustwezel to the zone of Antwerp. During May 15–17, the defended the Scheldt Estuary with the 60th and 21st Infantry Divisions. The period from May 19–26 saw the falling back to the line of the Somme River. Because of German advances, the 1st Army Corps had to deploy its divisional reconnaissance units to positions on the river that the slower-moving infantry divisions could then occupy. This required combat with the Germans, but the corps reached positions near Le Hamel, Aubigny, during May 24–25, troops of the corps seized and lost Aubigny twice. The Germans, however, had held onto a large bridgehead at Peronne, the Germans broke out of this bridgehead on June 5,1940, and continued their advance into the heart of France. A counterattack by armored elements of the corps on June 6 was halted by the Germans, from June 9, the corps was involved in a succession of withdrawals that were meant to form lines of defense along the Avre, Oise, Nonette, Seine, and Loire rivers. The crossing of the Oise River was made under German air attack, some bridges were destroyed by the Luftwaffe, after the Germans crossed the Loire River on June 18, the 19e DI of the corps was largely destroyed near La Ferté. This was followed by capture of the bulk of the infantry of the 29th and 47th Infantry Divisions on June 19 near Lamotte-Beuvron. The final week of the campaign was a constant retreat for the remnants of the corps, the following day, an armistice was declared and the corps assembled in the region of Miallet and Thiviers. On July 1, Brigadier General Trancart assumed command of the corps, the 1st Army Corps was demobilized on July 10,1940
Advance to Breda and retreat to the Somme.
Satellite view of Elba (bottom) showing rugged terrain.
Advance of U.S. and French forces after landing in southern France, August - September, 1944.
The Belfort Gap forced and the formation of the Colmar Pocket, November - December, 1944.