During World War I, the division was formed (in July 1918) by the renaming of the Moroccan Infantry Division. At the time of forming, it was composed of the 32nd Territorial Infantry Regiment, the 7th Régiment de Marche de Tirailleurs (marching sharpshooters regiment), 8th Régiment de Marche de Zouaves (marching regiment of Zouaves), the Régiment de Marche Etranger (marching regiment of foreigners), the 12th Bataillon de Chasseurs Malgaches (light infantry of Malgache) and the Légion Russe (Russian Legion) .
The division was involved in many battles - such as the Second Battle of the Marne in 1918 (where, with the American 1st and 2nd Divisions, it was part of the French XX Corps).
During the Battle of France in May 1940 the division was made up of the following units:
1 Moroccan Tirailleurs Regiment
2 Moroccan Tirailleurs Regiment
7 Moroccan Tirailleurs Regiment
80 Reconnaissance Battalion
64 Artillery Regiment
264 Artillery Regiment
It was an active division which existed during peacetime. It mainly contained native troops from French Morocco.