THE PEACE THAT WASN'T----------------Wars following the Second World War
French CEFEO Weapons
The Malayan Emergency----------Britain: 1--CT's: 0
French Indochina 1945-1954 Au Revoir Colony!
Vietnam War Rations -Upheaval from Within
Russia in Afghanistan
Troublespots in the making----------------Upcoming Articles
Links More places to do a Recce' on the matter and more...

Even though the early period of the war showed the French forces equipped with a rare collection of mis-matched weaponry, as the war progressed, standartization took hold.

A Classic Trio of the Indochina Conflict:
MAS 36 Rifle, MAB (D) Pistol and US MkII Grenade

MAS 36 Bolt-Action Rifle


The standard French Service rifle of the war was the MAS Model (19)36 rifle in 7.5x54 caliber.

This rifle was the last bolt-action rifle to be adopted by any major nation, and served from just before WW2 until its replacement by the semi-automatic MAS 49.

With an awkward to operate mechanism, the design seemed doomed to failure, but came into its own in the jungles and plains of Indochina where the compact overall size (OAL 40.15 Inches and weight of 8lbs 5 oz)of the weapon,  coupled with the accurate and powerful 7.5x54 Mle 1924 round provided better-than-even odds in the hands of any but the least accomplished marksman.

MAS 36 Rifle, 7.5x54 M24 Caliber

One of the unique features of the MAS 36 is the spike bayonet mounted in a tube underneath the barrel, which was attached to the rifle by pulling it from its storage compartment and reversing it, thus seating the bayonet on the rifle. This odd-duck feature, incidentally, impressed German arms designers so much that a similar arrangement was installed on Germany's paratrooper rifle, the FG42.

MAS 36 Bayo out...

...MAS 36 Bayo fixed

MAS 36/51 Rifle with Integral Grenade Projector
For those times when you can't lug a 57mm recoilless

Click here to go to Jamie Mangrum's wonderful "" page about the MAS 36--Learn disassembly, history and more--Don't forget to come back to the Knackers, though!

MAB mdl. D


MAB Model 'D' Pistol


Another frequently seen weapon of the CEFEO, French-allied police and paramilitary forces was the MAB Model D pistol in 7.65mm (.32 ACP).

Even though this pistol was not what would be considered a viable combat pistol by today's standards, it was, nonetheless quite prevalent during the war. And although the MAS mle. 1950 pistol in 9mm Luger became the only French military sidearm in 1950, the MAB D and it's other pre-WW2 contenporaries would soldier on to the bitter end.


With its small caliber (.32 ACP) and fragile grips, the MAB D at first look seems frail. Well-maintained and in the hands of a decent marksman, it is a sturdy and relatively accurate service pistol, featuring single-action blowback operation, a 9-round magazine, manual, grip and magazine safeties. Even though they were withdrawn from general issue, many Legionnaires who could not lay hands on a Walther P-38 (or later, a captured VietMinh TT-33 Tokarev) would by hook or by crook hang on to their little MAB's as a defensive weapon, not only in combat, but also for more personal missions, such as trouble at the local watering hole or "entertainment" facility...