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french Army post WW2 night scopes

Printed From: The Carbine Collector's Club
Category: The Club
Forum Name: Infrared Scopes and Equipment, Night Vision
Forum Description: Sniperscope, Snooperscope, Metascopes, T3 carbines
Printed Date: Apr 14 2024 at 5:00am
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 12.01 -

Topic: french Army post WW2 night scopes
Posted By: PLN-TAP-7
Subject: french Army post WW2 night scopes
Date Posted: Apr 04 2020 at 10:08am
I wanted to start a post about the night scope used by the french Army post WW2.
I have to confess that I know nought about those devices but thought nonetheless that it could be of interest.
I will post pictures and some comments.

The night scope have been used during the Indochina war as there is testimony of use in 1954 at Diem-Bien-Phu by the 8BPC (read that in a book edited by the regiment).
Then during the Algerian war it went being used again as pictures of Commando Marine proves it.

Posted By: PLN-TAP-7
Date Posted: Apr 04 2020 at 10:14am
 Here is a picture from a website about Commando Marine stating this device was used by the Trépel Commando in 1959/60 in Algeria.

It may be a M3 device?

Posted By: sleeplessnashadow
Date Posted: Apr 04 2020 at 12:06pm
Welcome Frederic

The French likely did have Model M3 Infrared Sniperscopes and it will be interesting to see if anyoe else has info on them.

The photo you posted, though, is a toy replica. 1.6th scale I think. Usually available on EBay though not common anymore.

Click on the links below to see a large size image...

Toy Replica" rel="nofollow -

The real deal, for comparison ...

Model M3 Sniperscope, 20,000 volts" rel="nofollow -

I thought I had more pics of this particular toy but not finding them at the moment.

Any other pics your source has we'd be interested in seeing. Either here or via a link to his website.

Thanks much


Posted By: PLN-TAP-7
Date Posted: Apr 04 2020 at 1:26pm
Thank you for the info. I did not notice it was a toy even if I found the stock to have a plastic appearance.
I posted this in the picture of the day thread:
Commando TREPEL  Jean Pierre BUENO - Michel LEFAUVRE   Photo Raymond NENERT.

Posted By: slklmoore
Date Posted: Apr 04 2020 at 7:16pm
I hadn't noticed it before, but your photo of the real M3 in your reply above differs from mine in the area of the forward handgrip.

My handgrip is attached by means of a steel bracket with two 'fingers' on each side wrapping around the fore stock and upper handguard on each side, with a plate on the top that fits over the nut and bolt that attaches the forward end of the mounting bar to the carbine - similar to the photo of the toy version that was posted.  When the handgrip on my M3 is removed, you can clearly see the imprint of the 'fingers' on the side of the fore stock where it previously was.  I was able to find multiple photos on the web with this type of attachment.

Your photo seems to show some kind of attachment that does not require an exterior, 'wrap-around' type of attachment mechanism such as mine - perhaps one that penetrates the wood of the fore stock from beneath?  I was only able to find a few photos with this type of attachment, and none of them clearly showed exactly how the handgrip was attached. 

Here are some photos of my M3, showing what I'm talking about.

Any further information on this apparent difference is appreciated.

Posted By: New2brass
Date Posted: Apr 04 2020 at 7:36pm
take a look at the part of the grip that touches the bottom of the stock. More than likely there is 3 threaded holes. Some, presumably late would not have the threads. 
Screws would go through the inside of the stock into the grip.

I am sure you have seen this wooden template in some M3 chests

This block was a drill jig to put the holes in the correct location.
The issue being that it would stress and crack the stock.

Have you seen the Modified Work Order? It made this obsolete." rel="nofollow -

-------------" rel="nofollow - Club Survey Saginaw Receivers

Posted By: slklmoore
Date Posted: Apr 04 2020 at 9:02pm
Well, that pretty much explains it.  I have seen that work order before, but had forgotten about it.  Mine must be one of the later handgrips - here's a photo of the top inside

Thanks for the information.

Posted By: sleeplessnashadow
Date Posted: Apr 04 2020 at 9:59pm
Originally posted by PLN-TAP-7 PLN-TAP-7 wrote:

Thank you for the info. I did not notice it was a toy even if I found the stock to have a plastic appearance.
I posted this in the picture of the day thread:
Commando TREPEL  Jean Pierre BUENO - Michel LEFAUVRE   Photo Raymond NENERT.


The infrared scope in this photo was made by Philips USFA for the Dutch Army. In 1951 the Dutch Army tested 50 on U.S. M1 carbines. It was called the IROVI (InfraROodVizier). The Dutch Army decided the technology used in this scope was outdated. The scopes and the carbines they were on were provided to the Dutch Police and also exported to other countries.

Their are several variations of the IROV as it progressed in development and field tests. One is shown in War Baby III by Larry Ruth on pages 1266 and 1267,

Last year I was in communication with the curator of the Dutch National Military Museum" rel="nofollow - who shared info on the IROVI and was interested in the U.S. carbines and night vision scopes. They have one of the IROVI in their collection. There's another on display in a German museum I can't recall the name of at the moment. It was a prototype made for evaluation by the German Bundesheer.

I'm not familiar with the military uniforms and variations of the various European nations. Do you know which nation these soldiers were with?


Posted By: PLN-TAP-7
Date Posted: Apr 05 2020 at 3:18am
Those guy are French Navy Commando in Algeria. They belong to 'Commando TREPEL' and it has been recon they used the night device around 1959-1960.
I do not know whether other services used the same equipment (Army and Air Force).

Posted By: PLN-TAP-7
Date Posted: Apr 05 2020 at 4:35am
Earlier I reported the use of infrared equipped Carbine during Diem Bien Phu battle in 1954.
I found out where I read about it: it is stated in the testimony of a 8BPC veteran and printed in a book printed by the 8RPIMa veteran association title "Il y a cinquante ans, 21 novembre 1953 - 7 mai 1954, le 8e choc à Dien Bien Phu.'
So the veteran report that sometime his company would do a night out to protect a special unit equipped with Carbine with infrared. He add that this unit has never been mentioned in any book.
I do not think picture exist of such used.

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