Foreign Legion events: February 22 – 29

The interesting data about the French Foreign Legion events sharing on our Facebook page will be posted also on this website now. All events from previous days will be collected and published as a single post here. Today, you can see Foreign Legion events which occurred in the history of the Legion between February 22 and February 29.


French Foreign Legion: February 22

1952, Operation Arc-en-Ciel in the Hoa Binh sector near RC6 (Colonial Road), Northern Vietnam
2e BEP, III/13e DBLE and I/5e REI took part in

– heavily outnumbered, the legionnaires and French soldiers had to break through the Viet Minh positions to withdraw from Hoa Binh after a long battle in which the French troops had been involved since November 1951

– during the operation launched in the evening of the 22nd, the legionnaires covering the French withdrawal were repeatedly attacked by the Viet Minh
– the withdrawal finished in the afternoon of the 23rd February
– however, some 2e BEP legionnaires had to fight their way to the French positions until February 24

– during the withdrawal, the Legion lost over 50 legionnaires
– 96 legionnaires were wounded

A 13e DBLE officer during the battle at Hoa Binh, early 1952


French Foreign Legion: February 23

1885, after heavy fights with the Chinese, the 2nd Battalion of 1er RE helped to seize Dong Dang in Tonkin (northern Vietnam now), Indochina

1894, two Legion companies (from 1er RE and 2e RE) took ship for West Africa to participate in the second phase of Dahomey Campaign (taking part in operations in Mali and French Guinea)

1955, having left Indochina after 9 years of combat operations conducted there, 2e REI landed at Bizerte, Tunisia

1991, Gulf War – on February 23, 1er REC crossed the Iraqi border to reach its objective at the D’As Salman air base
– for its action in the war, 1er REC was mentioned in the name of the Army and received a new palm on the regimental flag
– 2e REI, 6e REG (1er REG now) and commandos from 2e REP also took part in the conflict

1er REC legionnaires leaving France for the Gulf War in late 1990


French Foreign Legion: February 24

1940, a second battalion of future 13e DBLE (Demi-Brigade) was formed at Fez, Morocco
– it consisted of volunteers from 2e REI, 3e REI, 4e REI

1940, 12e REI was organized at Camp La Valbonne, France
– composed of 3 battalions (2,800 men), it consisted of French reservists (officers + NCOs), Spanish republicans (30%), German Jews (30%), foreigners living in France and 400 legionnaires-volunteers arrived from Africa
– the regiment participated in the Battle of France in May-June 1940
– it was disbanded on June 25, 1940

1953, Operation Nice
– II/2e REI was involved in heavy fighting in the Bac Ninh region, Indochina
– tens of Viet Minh soldiers were killed


French Foreign Legion: February 25

1884, 1st Battalion of the Legion (LE) seized Sept Pagodes in Tonkin (Northern Vietnam now), Indochina

1949, 13e DBLE took part in Operation Genevieve II in the Long-Hieu region, Indochina

1952, 4th Squadron of 2e REC was disbanded in Morocco after its arrival from Madagascar
– in Madagascar, IV/2e REC had maintained order since August 1949

1955, having left Indochina after almost 6 years of fighting, 1er BEP landed in Algeria
– later that year, the unit will become 1er REP

1er BEP in Algiers in April 1955
1er REP during a ceremony in Algeria, 1955


French Foreign Legion: February 26

1882, legionnaires were involved in operations at Bou Afra, Algeria

1950, 4th Battalion of 13e DBLE was established

1953, 3rd Battalion of 13e DBLE left southern Vietnam to be based at Na San, Tonkin
– in December, it moved to Dien Bien Phu (Tonkin), where the unit was annihilated in spring 1954, including the commanding officer of 13e DBLE

Beatrice, a stronghold at Dien Bien Phu occupied by 13e DBLE legionnaires (wearing khaki berets) from the 3rd Battalion, December 1953


French Foreign Legion: February 27

1952, Operation Crachin ended
– the operation took place in the Ninh Giang region, Tonkin, Indochina
– 3rd Battalion, 2e REI + 8th Squadron, 1er REC were involved in

1952, 4th Battalion, 2e REI fought at Bao Binh Thuong near Tourane, central Vietnam

1953, 1st Battalion, 3e REI was based at Sept Pagodes, Tonkin to take part in Operation Nice II


French Foreign Legion: February 28

1933, Battle of Bou Gafer
– the fierce battle occurred at Djebel Sagho, Atlas mountains, Morocco
– Motorized Company (CA) of 1er REI (ex-1er RE) participated in, with Mounted Companies (CM) from 2e REI + 3e REI
– a number of legionnaires + two commanding officers were killed

1948, heavy fights on RC4 (Colonial Road) near Cao Bang, Tonkin, Indochina
– 7th Company from 3e REI participated in
– during the fights, an officer + 12 legionnaires were killed

1954, 4th Battalion of 13e DBLE (Demi-Brigade) fought off the Viet Minh at Dong Lieu, Tonkin
– Viet Minh lost over 130 men

1955, 38th Dump Truck Company (38e CCB) was disbanded
– created in July 1947, it became an independent transportation company composed of legionnaires to support the Legion Engineer units based in Tonkin, Indochina


French Foreign Legion: February 29

1940, Lt Colonel Prince Aage, Count of Rosenborg died

    – Prince from the Danish royal family
    – he served in the Legion between 1922-25 and 1935-40
    – born 1887 in Denmark
    – in 1922, he joined the Foreign Legion
    – assigned to the Mounted Company/2e REI, Morocco
    – it was his dream, because in this company served lieutenant Selchauhansen, the Danish officer killed at El Moungar in 1903
    – Prince Aage served with 2e REI as an officer 1922-25, several times wounded
    – 1925-35, War school in France, French diplomacy and military career
    – in 1935, he rejoined the Legion and was assigned to the 3e REI, Morocco
    – 1st Battalion/3e REI commander since 1937
    – on February 29, 1940, he died in Taza, Morocco while he and his battalion were moved by train to take part in a military exercise
    – he was buried in Morocco and later (in 1947) at Sidi Bel Abbes (Legion’s HQ then), Algeria
    – in 1962, his remains were brought to the Legion’s new HQ in France (together with the remains of General Rollet, the “Father of the Legion” and legionnaire Zimmermann, the last killed man of 1er RE in the Algerian War)
    – during his French career, Lt Colonel Prince Aage received several military awards, e.g. the Legion of Honour award, two War Crosses or the Colonial Medal
3 REI - 3REI - 3rd Foreign Infantry Regiment - 3rd REI - Legion - Prince Aage
Lt Colonel Prince Aage, Count of Rosenborg while commanding the 1st Battalion/3e REI (1937-40).