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Chasseurs d'Afrique

The Chasseurs d'Afrique (literally Huntsmen of Africa although "African Light Horse" would be an alternative translation) were a light cavalry corps in the French Armée d'Afrique (Army of Africa). First raised in the 1830s from regular French cavalry posted to Algeria, they numbered 5 regiments by World War II. For most of their history they were recruited from either French volunteers or French settlers in North African doing their military service. As such they were the mounted equivalent of the French Zouave infantry. The other major cavalry element in the Armee d' Afrique were the Spahis - recruited from the indigenous peoples of Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco with mostly French officers.
The Chasseurs d'Afrique were until 1914 clothed in light blue tunics tucked into a red sash and red breeches. Their normal headdress was the same light blue shako as the equivalent light cavalry regiments (hussars and chasseurs à cheval) of the metropolitan army but worn with a white or light khaki cover. Per some sources, the casquette d'Afrique was worn with full-dress uniform. Red fezs were worn off duty or when in barracks. The light blue tunics had yellow facings and reportedly earned them the nickname of "Blue Butchers" amongst some of their opponents.
In addition to numerous campaigns in North Africa, these colorful regiments also served in the Crimean War, Franco-Prussian War, Indochina, France's invasion of Mexico and both World Wars. The Chass. d'Af. distinguished themselves by securing the flank of Lord Cardigan during the ill-fated Charge of the Light Brigade. On this and other occasions they used their characteristic African tactic of advancing rapidly in open order, in contrast to the rigid lines of the Light Brigade.
In 1933 the regiments de chasseurs d'Afrique (RCA) began the process of conversion to mechanised units. The first vehicles adopted were White TBC armoured cars, followed by White-Laffly 50 AMs. Both models were obsolete for European warfare but suitable for colonial campaigning. Other vehicles were provided for individual squadrons and in 1939 Hotchkiss H35 and H39 light tanks were received by the 1er RCA.
The M4 Sherman Ile de France of 12e RCA, landing in Normandy.

On the outbreak of World War II (September 1939) the five regiments of chasseurs d'Afrique were deployed as follows:

1er RCA in Morocco; 2e, 3e and 5e RCA in Algeria; 4e RCA in Tunisia.
Only the 1er and 4e RCA were full mechanised at this date, the other three regiments comprising a mix of mounted and mechanised squadrons. In the course of WWII the process of mechanisation was completed.
Algerian independence brought an end to the corps through a series of disbandments and transfers between 1962 and 1964, after over a century of service. However one regiment was re-raised in 1998 to preserve the traditions of this famous cavalry. The modern Chasseurs d'Afrique is one of the mechanised units of the French Army.
The name was also applied to the first all African-American regiment formed by the United States Army in New Orleans in 1862.

(Source Wikipedia)