Bastille Day military parade

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Alpha Jet of the Patrouille de France for Bastille Day military parade 2013.

The Bastille Day military parade is a French military parade in Paris. It traditionally takes place every July 14th in the morning, on the famous Champs-Élysées. It celebrate the attack against the Bastille, the beginning of the French Revolution and the first federation commemoration on 14, July 1790.

Organization[change | change source]

The units that parade that day, "descend" the Champs-Élysées, from the Arc de Triomphe to Place de la Concorde. Front of the Luxor Obelisk a large temporary official stand is assembled. It allows to welcome the President of the French Republic, members of the government, and all foreign guests. The military parade was cut into several sequences, somewhat in the manner of a play.

Reviewing the troops[change | change source]

President François Hollande Citroën DS 5 official car on the Bastille Day 2012.

President of the French Republic leaves the Élysée Palace aboard his official car and joined the Arc de Triomphe, escorted by bikers of the Republican Guard. After that he boarded a military vehicle, his command car. From that moment, under the protocol, it fully embodies the role of "Chief of the Armies". Thus he reviews the troops stationed on the right side of the avenue. Aboard his military vehicle he rejoind and its place in the official gallery. A detachment of the Republican Guard makes military honors to the president.

Opening animation[change | change source]

An opening play then takes place. It usually lasts between 15 and 20 minutes. This is often the Band of the Republican Guard, accompanied by the choirs of the French army, and sometimes dancers and even a tenor. Usually musicians play La Marseillaise and the Chant des Partisans.

First flypast[change | change source]

The Bastille Day military parade begins really by the first flypast. The Alpha Jet of the famous Patrouille de France fly over Paris. They produce smokes of three colors, blue, white, and red, like of the Flag of France. Behind them marched combat aircraft, military transport aircraft, reconnaissance aircraft and training aircraft. These aircraft represent military and state components : French Air Force, French Navy, and French Sécurité Civile. In 2015 the most represented were Dassault Mirage 2000, Dassault Rafale, Casa CN-235M, Airbus A400M Atlas, and Bombardier CL-415.

Troop parade[change | change source]

Légionnaires on the Bastille Day 2013 military parade in Paris


After it's the moment for the troops to make the parade. In first the military schools and behind them the regiments and formed units. In addition of soldiers and officers (of the French Army, the French Navy, and the French Air Force) firemen of the Paris Fire Brigade and Sécurité Civile, and policemen of the Gendarmerie Nationale and Police Nationale make the parade.

The troops parade always ends with the famous Légion Étrangère. This elite unit of the French army walks more slowly than other soldiers, so it goes last.

Seconde Flypast[change | change source]

Anti-aircraft missile Aster at the Bastille Day 2015 military parade

Then comes the turn of the helicopters. From French Army, French Air Force, French Navy, Gendarmerie Nationale, and Sécurité Civile. In 2015 it was NH90 Caïman, Eurocopter EC725 Caracal, Eurocopter EC665 Tigre, and Aérospatiale SA-342 Gazelle.

Vehicles parade[change | change source]

In first, it's motorcycles of the Gendarmerie Nationale and Police Nationale. And after armored military cars, tanks, troops trucks, and specialized vehicles are in Paris. At the end of vehicles parade it's red cars, ambulances and fire trucks of Paris Fire Brigade.

Cultural impact[change | change source]

The Bastille Day military parade is very famous in France. All years more than 15 000 peoples come in Paris to see it. It is broadcast in live by two TV channels : TF1 and France 2.