One more photo before we leave le quatorze juillet -- There was a whole batallion of these guys with big guns, some with bayonets. I have never seen so many tanks, trucks, and weapons in a row, ever! The uniforms range from the simple as seen here to the elaborate. This guy was the only serious one in the crowd waiting for the parade to begin. Maybe he was Big Cheese's lookout.
From what I saw, every soldier, sailor, wheeled vehicle, horse, weapon (tout) that is part of the French military was there on Champs Élysées. The crowd was well behaved -- bien sûr, with all of that weaponry present!