Lost Command

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Lost Command DVD Cover

Lost Command is a 1966 film shot in Spain and based on the book Les centurions by Jean Lartéguy. The plot concerns the French war in Algeria (although the film begins with the French defeat at Dien Bien Phu in Indochina). The film is often erroneously reviewed as depicting French Foreign Legionnaires when they are actually French Colonial Paratroops (and referred to as such in the film).

In the film the unit that is formed in Algeria that the film revolves around is the fictional 10ème Regiment de Parachutiste Coloniaux which, in the French military tradition, would be abbreviated 10e RPC. Of course, translated, it is the 10th Colonial Parachute Regiment. At the first of the film, during the attack at Dien Bien Phu, the unit that the characters belong to is not named.


The following weapons were used in the film Lost Command:

Contents

Pistols

Astra Modelo 600

The character of Capitaine Phillipe Esclavier (Alain Delon) is seen using an Astra Modelo 600 pistol in numerous scenes in the film. While not a standard issue French pistol, the major filming location was in Spain, hence the appearance of a Spanish made pistol in the film. This is also true of the dozens of Spanish Mauser rifles and Star submachine guns seen throughout the film. More than likely the film's production crew had easier access to Spanish made firearms than the correct French military issue firearms.

Astra Model 600 - 9x19mm
Capitaine Phillipe Esclavier (Alain Delon) with an Astra Modelo 600 pistol during the night ambush on the village of Rahlem.
Capitaine Phillipe Esclavier (Alain Delon) with an Astra Modelo 600 pistol (laying on the rock) and a MAT modèle 49 submachine gun during the terrorist attack in the village of Rahlem.

Colt M1911A1

The character of Capitaine Julien Boisfeuras (Maurice Ronet) is seen using a M1911A1 pistol throughout the film. The pistol is also seen in the hands of a number of other French paratroops as well as being used by Mahidi (George Segal). The use of the M1911A1 pistol by the French is not inaccurate as thousands were provided to the French military by the United States after the end of the Second World War. The pistol was used by the French in both Indochina and Algeria to supplement French manufactured (and issued) pistols.

Colt M1911A1 - .45 ACP
Mahidi (George Segal, on the right) being handed a M1911A1 pistol captured from the French paratroops by one of the Algerians.

Submachine Guns

MAT modèle 49

The French MAT modèle 49 submachine gun is utilized by the French paratroops throughout the film. In some scenes the Viet Minh, as well as the Algerians, can be seen using this submachine gun.

MAT-49 submachine gun - 9x19mm
French paratrooper with a MAT modèle 49 submachine gun during the attack at Dien Bien Phu. Note the OF 37 hand grenades laying to the right of the paratrooper. The paratrooper to the left is armed with a Spanish Mauser Modelo 98/43 rifle.
Lieutenant-Colonel Pierre-Noel Raspeguy (Anthony Quinn) seen changing the magazine of his MAT modèle 49 submachine gun. For a film made in 1966 there are numerous scenes with the French paratroops (and Algerians) changing their weapon's magazines. Something you do not even see in modern films.

Star Modelo Z-45

During different scenes throughout the film a number of Spanish Star Modelo Z-45 submachine guns (with folding stocks) are utilized. As with the Astra Modelo 600 pistol, the use of the Star Modelo Z-45 is probably attributed to them being easy to obtain by the production crew since filming was conducted in Spain.

Star Modelo Z-45 - 9mm Largo
A Viet Minh soldier, during the scenes of the attack at Dien Bien Phu, carrying a Star Modelo Z-45 submachine gun.
Weapons collected by the 10e RPC after the ambush on the way to Gafez. In the pile are numerous Star Modelo Z-45 submachine guns, Spanish Mauser Modelo 98/43 rifles, as well as the Browning M1919A4 machine gun being inspected.
The Algerian terrorist that attacks the paratroops in Rahlem is seen here with a Star Modelo Z-45 submachine gun.
Star Cam or First Person Shooter! A few scenes, during the final assault on the Algerian positions in the Aures Mountains, are filmed from behind a firing Star Modelo Z-45 submachine gun...this was somewhat revolutionary at the time to have a "gun camera" scene...way before The A-Team thought of it.

Rifles

M1 Carbine

Korean War vintage (with bayonet lug) M1 Carbines are seen being carried by French paratroops in a few scenes as well as being used by Mahidi (George Segal). Like the M1911A1 the appearance of this firearm in the film is not inaccurate. Thousands were supplied to the French by the United States after the end of the Second World War and used by the French in Indochina and Algeria to supplement French issued rifles. These carbines (along with the folding stock M1A1 variant) were, historically, ordered to be issued to the Colonial and Foreign Legion paratroops and proved to be extremely popular with them.

M1 Carbine - .30 Carbine
Paratroops of the 10e RPC during the scene prior to the night ambush on the village of Rahlem. The paratrooper second from the left is holding a M1 Carbine. In a wide shot of this scene a number of paratroops can be seen carrying carbines.
A wider shot of the paratroops of the 10e RPC during the same scene as above. At least three M1 Carbines are visible.
Mahidi (George Segal) seen with a M1 Carbine during the final assault in the Aures Mountains. In the scene he is being viewed by the French through a pair of binoculars!
After Mahidi's (George Segal) death, during the final assault in the Aures Mountains, the French paratrooper on the right is seen carrying a M1 Carbine.

Mauser Modelo 1916

The Spanish made Mauser Modelo 1916 rifle is seen being utilized by not only the French paratroops (erroneously) but also the Viet Minh troops at the first of the film and by the Algerians throughout the rest of the film. Like other Spanish firearms in the film these were probably easy to procure by the production crew due to filming in Spain.

Mauser Modelo 1916 - 7x57mm
A Viet Minh soldier seen at the first of the film armed with a Mauser Modelo 1916 rifle. It should be noted that the helmets that the Viet Minh soldiers are wearing are in no way acurate to real life.
Mahidi's (George Segal, left) second-in-command (right) seen with a Mauser Modelo 1916 rifle during the final assault in the Aures Mountains.
Algerians armed with Mauser Modelo 1916 rifles during the final assault in the Aures Mountains.

Mauser Modelo 98/43

The Spanish made Mauser Modelo 98/43 rifle is seen being utilized by not only the French paratroops (erroneously) but also the Viet Minh troops at the first of the film and by the Algerians throughout the rest of the film. Like other Spanish firearms in the film these were probably easy to procure by the production crew due to filming in Spain.

Spanish Mauser M43 - 7.92x57mm Mauser
A Viet Minh soldier armed with a Mauser Modelo 98/43 rifle during the march of the French paratroops into captivity after their defeat at Dien Bien Phu.
Algerians firing Mauser Modelo 98/43 rifles during the final assault in the Aures Mountains.

Machine Guns

Hotchkiss modèle 1914

In a brief cut during the attack on Dien Bien Phu scenes a French Hotchkiss modèle 1914 machine gun can be seen in a sandbagged emplacement.

M1914 Hotchkiss Machine Gun - 8x50mm R Lebel
To the left, in the sandbagged emplacement, a Hotchkiss modèle 1914 machine gun is seen during the attack on Dien Bien Phu.

Browning M1919A4 Machine Gun

The American Browning M1919A4 machine gun is utilized by the French paratroops during the Dien Bien Phu and Algerian scenes. The Algerian terrorists are also seen using the machine gun, one of which is captured, and is part of a sub-plot.

Browning M1919A4 - .30-06
French paratroops of the 10e RPC firing a Browning M1919A4 machine gun during the training scenes at Camp Foch in Algeria.
Algerians firing a Browning M1919A4 machine gun during the ambush of the 10e RPC motorized column on it's way to Gafez.
Lieutenant-Colonel Pierre-Noel Raspeguy (Anthony Quinn) seen carrying the Browning M1919A4 machine gun captured from the Algerian's during the ambush on the way to Gafez.
Algerians manning a Browning M1919A4 machine gun during the final assault in the Aures Mountains.

Browning M1919A6 Machine Gun

The American Browning M1919A6 machine gun is seen being utilized by French paratroops mounted on a jeep.

Browning M1919A6, late WWII manufacture - .30-06
A Browning M1919A6 machine gun seen mounted on one of the 10e RPC jeeps during the ambush on the way to Gafez.

Other Weapons

OF 37 Hand Grenade

OF 37 hand grenades are used by French paratroopers during the battle at Dien Bien Phu.

OF 37 hand grenade with F3 fuze.
Several OF 37 grenades are seen to the right of the paratrooper with MAT-49. The red color is typical for pre-WW2 manufactured grenades while postwar OF 37s were painted in dark green.

M-65 Rocket Launcher

A Spanish upgrade of the Bazooka, the M-65 rocket launcher is seen being used by the Algerians during the ambush of the 10e RPC motorized column on it's way to Gafez.

Spanish M-65 Rocket Launcher.
A M-65 rocket launcher being used by the Algerians to attack the 10e RPC.

81mm Valero Modelo 1933 Mortar

Mortars are seen being used by both the Algerians and French paratroops during the final assault in the Aures Mountains. These are Spanish 81mm Valero M1933 Mortars.

Spanish Valero M1933 mortar - 81mm
Mortars being used by the Algerians to attack the 10e RPC.


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