1939 French Liaison Mission Orders to British Troops Including Mandatory Masking

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On offer is a fascinating General Order from the French government regarding British troops on French soil in the very early days of WWII.

The document was issued on October 31st 1939 by the Mission Francaise de Liason (French Liaison Mission) and marked Etat-Major (Condition – Important). This is 58 days after France declared war with Germany and 52 days after the first British soldiers began arriving in France. It bears the typed signature of General Raoul Voruz, Head of the French Military Mission to the British Expeditionary Force.

Les General Routine Ordre ... rappelllent ainsi qu'ii suit les regles a appliquer par les troopes britanniques venant occuper un cantonnement; ... [p 1]

[Translation: The General Routine Order ... reminding that the following rules apply to the British troops coming to occupy a community; ... [p 1]]

This Order addresses several issues such as Officers choosing their own accommodations without going through proper channels.

Regulation 1, Section 147 (7) qui precise que les Officiers charges du cantonnement ... devront a addresser directement au Maire, au Chef de Police locale... auxquelles ils demanderent des billets de logement. ... Certains Officiers ont choisi leur propre logement. ... Il est interdit de prendre aucun logement sans en avoir refere a ce magistrat. [p 1]

[Translation: Regulation 1, Section 147 (7) which states that the Officers in charge of accomodations ...must apply directly to the Mayor, the local Chief of Police ... to whom they will ask for accommodation tickets. ... Some officers have chosen their own accommodation. ... It is forbidden to take any accommodation without referring to this magistrate. [p 1]]

Other issues addressed include wearing of masks,

Port du Masque
Il doit etre entendu que le personnel de liaison detache aupres des Etats-Majors, troupes et services britanniques doit se conformer exactement aux regles edictees par le Commandant britannique. En particulier il doit appliquer strictement les ordres donnes par nos Allies en ce qui concerne le port obligatoire du masque. [p 2]

Wearing of Masks
It is to be understood that liaison personnel attached to British staffs, troops and services must conform exactly to the rules laid down by the British Commander. In particular, they must strictly apply the orders given by our Allies concerning the mandatory wearing of masks. [p 2]]

Another addresses the need for extreme care with personal communications:

Tout Officier ou hommes de troupe qui transmet des renseignements dans sa correspondence privee meme a destination de personnes en qui il peut avoir toute confiance au point de vue de la discretion, facilite inevitablemrnt la tache des agents de l'enemi. [p 3]

[Translation: Any officer or soldier who transmits information in his private correspondence, even to persons in whom he can trust in terms of discretion, inevitably facilitates the task of the enemy's agents. [p 3]]

For a historian, especially a military historian, this is a superb example of the efforts to maintain a sense of order and deal with organizational issues during the chaotic opening days of WWII.

This 16 page document measures 11.5 inches by 8.25 inches. It is typed, one side only and is bound by a single staple in the upper left corner.. The document is in excellent condition.

Please don't hesitate to contact us for more information or to request photos. (Kindly include the SKU, listed on this page above the price, in your e-mail so we can more easily answer your questions.)

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