Earlier this year we released version 1.0 of the mod, with the German Imperial Army and British Expeditionary Force as playable factions. This was after a long period of development during which we showcased various units of these two factions, starting with the announcement of the mod’s reactivation back in December 2009.
As back then, this update begins a new period during which we’ll make thematic previews of our new faction while the team keeps developing it. As with the previous factions this will not be finished overnight. We can already promise an interesting and well fleshed-out new faction with lots of new models, including weapons, vehicles, guns and more.
In the meanwhile we will also keep releasing balance updates for version 1.
With the fall of Imperial Russia in 1917, the French Army had become the biggest land force of the Entente and allied powers. Even with the prodigious expansion of the BEF during the war and the steady arrival of American troops, the French were still holding most of the Western Front by themselves, as well as sending expeditionary forces in the Balkans, Italy and the Middle East.
By 1918 the French Army had managed to close the tactical and technological gap with its main opponent, the German Army. New modern models of artillery were being produced en masse, tanks were seen in increasing numbers and the red trousers-clad infantry masses of 1914 had turned into heavily armed and well-trained specialists arrayed in squads and platoons.
It was however a spent and bloodied force that held the field in 1918. The offensives of the earlier years had been very costly in soldier lives, and even though Verdun had successfully been held it hadn’t been without a cost. By 1918 France had already lost about a million soldiers dead or missing and countless others wounded or disabled. The French soldier had remained stoic in his sacrifice until the failure of the Nivelle offensive and the mutinies of 1917. Nevertheless the decisive victory at La Malmaison had shown what the French army was still capable of under the right leadership.
Aimed at the BEF, the German spring offensive had spared the French in February 1918. However in May the German storm breached through their lines on the Chemin des Dames; it required every available reserve, US support and the first engagement of the Renault FT light tanks to plug the gap.
In July the French Army, with the support of British, US and Italians units, decisively halted the German offensive on the Marne for a second time. For the allies the tide of war had finally turned. Under the lead of the allied Generalissimo Ferdinand Foch and its commander Philippe Pétain, the French army would then launch a series of counter-attacks, never stopping until the armistice.
Despite its exhaustion, the French army of 1918 still consented to a further sacrifice of 300’000 lives.
The French Army is a new faction for The Great War 1918, a mod for Company of Heroes 1.
It will feature new units, new vehicles and its own set of doctrines and abilities.
As was historically the case in 1918 this faction will be technologically based, with steel making up for the blood it can no longer spare.
Models by The_Soldier, Cireva and B-Dizl
Textures by don_Durandal
(This is the first preview in a series. It is too early to ask why we didn't include such or such unit.)