The French Colonial Forces commonly called La Coloniale, was a general designation for the military forces that garrisoned in the French colonial empire from the late 17th century until 1960. They were recruited from mainland France or from the French settlers and indigenous populations of the French colonial empire. This force played a substantial part in the conquest of the empire, in bothWorld Wars as well as in the First Indochina War.
As the Great War continued to draw out, the French, desperate for man power, started putting their Colonial Troops in the front lines, but their African troops achieved the most fame as they fought and died just as bravely as France's white soldiers. Their fighting reputation during an offensive was such that German soldiers feared them.