13e DBLE: The strength of 1,300 men in 2018

During summer 2016, the 13th Demi-Brigade of the Foreign Legion (13e DBLE) of the French Foreign Legion would leave the United Arab Emirates to be stationed in mainland France.

Due to the reorganization of the French Army, the 13e Demi-Brigade would expand to a full regiment strength in 2018, numbering about 1,300 men. It will be stationed at Camp Larzac, Aveyron department, southern France. The camp is commonly used by French Army units, including the Foreign Legion, to conduct military exercises there. By the way, the 61e BMGL of the Legion was based at the camp between 1978-82 to modernize it.

At Larzac, in late summer of 2016, the unit is intended to have 450 men organized in 2 combat companies + a half of the HQ Company. In 2017, two additional combat companies + the rest of the HQ Company would reinforce the regiment. In 2018, another combat company + Recce Company would complete the unit to a full strength.

In France, the 13e DBLE will become a member of the 6th Light Armored Brigade (3 units of the Legion have already been part of – 2e REI, 1er REC, 1er REG).

Since 1940, the year of its establishment, the 13e DBLE hasn’t been based in mainland France. In 1944-55, when 13e DBLE legionnaires of the Free French Forces fought there, the unit had already been officially deactivated. In 1945, the unit was activated to be shipped to Indochina in February 1946 (70 years ago exactly). It participated in the First Indochina War for more than 9 years.

In 1955, it returned to Africa and was based in Algeria, where the demi-brigade joined the Algerian War. It was involved in the conlict up to 1962. This year, the 13e DBLE was reorganized and deployed to the Horn of Africa, to be stationed in the then TFAI (today’s Djibouti). It stayed in that country for next 49 years. In summer 2011, the unit was reduced in strength and left Africa for the UAE located in the Arabian Peninsula, along the Persian Gulf.

Camp du Larzac - military camp
Camp Larzac, the future HQ of the 13e DBLE.. © Image credit: Ministère de la Défense
Legionnaires - CTL - 61e BMGL - 61 BMGL - Larzac 1982
The 61e BMGL leaving Camp du Larzac (July 16, 1982)
13e DBLE - 13 DBLE - ERC-90-Sagaie - 2010
13e DBLE during the leaving ceremony, before its departure to the UAE (June 13, 2011)

Information source:
Légion étrangère.

Related posts:
13e DBLE: The history + images
40th anniversary of the Loyada Rescue Mission
13e DBLE: Djibouti 2008-09