The AMD 5.56 Carbine

By Jean Huon

The AMD 5.56 carbine is an American rifle assembled in France and used by a branch of the French police named Compagnies Républicaines de Sécurité or CRS.



In 1921, the French government organised a special military unit designated as the Garde Républicaine Mobile, it is a subsidiary of the Gendarmerie used for anti-riot control to assist the regular police and avoid the use of the Army. After the disaster of June 1940, these units were located in the South of France in the part of the country not occupied by the Germans. After the arrival of the Allied Forces in North Africa in November 1942, all the French territory was occupied and the Garde Républicaine Mobile was dissolved.

After the riots in 1934 and strikes in 1937, the Garde Républicaine Mobile was not very popular regarding the roughness of its methods. To assist the regular police, three special units of policemen were organised to assist the city police.

In 1941, the French police were completely reorganized and on July 7, 1941, a new unit was formed: the Groupe Mobile de Réserve (or GMR). They were developed to avoid rioting in the cities, but were also employed after autumn 1943 to research Resistance groups by the Vichy government.

Historical research showed that the GMR were not very busy with this project. That anti-Resistance work was by the Germans or the French Milice (aka Milice de Vichy), a political/paramilitary police force dedicated to the orders of Pétain’s government.

After the country was liberated, the GMR was dissolved on December 7, 1944 and one day later, the Compagnies Républicaines de Sécurité was created. They assimilated former GMR and Resistance fighters, after a selection process. It was absolutely necessary to avoid any questionable people.

The CRS were immediately integrated in the armed forces and they fought against the German entrenchment on the Atlantic Ocean shore and in the East of France.

The unit was reorganized several times. The units were first used to secure the country during several strikes and restlessness in France just after WWII. At last, a cleanup took place within the units to...

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V21N3 (April 2017)
and was posted online on February 17, 2017


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