‘Playing at War’: French Army Mocked Online for ‘Great Nonsense’ of Orion-23 Drills

French and British forces practice urban warfare in the French town of Cahors as part of the Orion 2023 drills.InternationalIndiaAfricaFor weeks, France has been holding their largest ever Orion 2023 war games with allied forces. Some 7,000 troops are involved on air, land, and sea, and the drills come amid NATO anxieties about their ability to support Ukraine as a proxy force against Russia in the longer term.The war games scenario is a thinly veiled parallel to Russia’s special operation in Ukraine: a hostile power called “Mercure” has invaded a French ally named “Arnland,” and the French and allied troops must establish a bridgehead in Arnland and push out Mercure’s forces.One aspect of the drills involved urban combat exercises, held in Cahors, a city on the Lot River in southern France. The drills saw several hundred French and British troops practice fighting in narrow urban streets, including fighting house-to-house, and coordinating the evacuation of wounded.