Foreign Legion events: April 01 – 10

See important data of the French Foreign Legion’s history collected in a single post. Today, we will present the Legion’s interesting historical events which occurred between April 01 and April 10.

 

French Foreign Legion: April 01

1841, 1st Foreign Legion Regiment (1er RLE, later 1er RE) was officially established
– it was formed by three battalions and based in northwestern Algeria, under the command of colonel Mollenbeck (born in Germany, he had served the French empire since 1805)

1943, Autonomous Artillery Group (GAA) was formed at Fez, Morocco
– composed of 3 motorized batteries, GAA was administratively assigned to 3e REI

1948, Parachute Company of 3e REI (CP/3e REI) was established in French Indochina, southeastern Asia
– Lieutenant Jacques Morin took the leadership
– the company, based at Hanoi (northern Vietnam) became the very first airborne unit of the Foreign Legion
– a year later, it consolidated with 1er BEP (Parachute Battalion, future 1er REP)

1949, 6e REI was re-established
– nicknamed as Regiment of Levant (today’s Syria and Lebanon), it was deactivated in December 1941
– new 6e REI was based at Kef and Tabarka, Tunisia
– it was disbanded in July 1955, as the only Legion unit based in Tunisia during the First Indochina War

1954, a counter-attack of 1er BEP against Viet Minh positions around the Eliane stronghold, during the Dien Bien Phu
– during the counter-attack, 1er BEP lost 20 men, 27 were wounded

1959, a week-long operation near Messena, Chlef region in the north of Algeria started
– legionnaires from 1er REP (ex-1er BEP) were involved in

– also in 1959, severe clashes with rebels at Groun el Kebch, Biskra region, northern Algeria for 2e REC
– two legionnaires were killed, 6 wounded

1963, 2e CSPL + 3e CSPL (both disbanded a day earlier) consolidated with 4e REI and became its 1st + 7th Motorized Company
1er ESPL (Saharan Motorized Squadron) + 4e CSPL (both disbanded a day earlier) consolidated with 2e REI and became its 5th + 2nd Motorized Company

– on the rare image, Parachute Company of 3e REI at Hanoi, northern Vietnam during a ceremony, 1948…

 

French Foreign Legion: April 02

1917, severe clashes with rebels at Nadar, Taza region, Morocco
– legionnaires from 6th Battalion, 1er RE were involved in

1952, Operation Poivre ended
– 1st + 6th Squadron of 1er REC were involved in
– the operation took place in the Sadec region, Cochinchina (today’s southern Vietnam)
– 34 Viet Minh rebels were imprisoned during the operation

1954, 1er BEP, heavily outnumbered, conducted another counter-attack against Viet Minh positions at the Eliane stronghold
– during this action, 1er BEP lost 22 men, 23 were wounded

1956, an operation against local rebels in the Tlemcen region, Algeria for para-legionnaires from 1er REP (ex-1er BEP)

1957, a large group of legionnaires left Legion’s HQ at Sidi bel Abbes, Algeria for Madagascar
– in Madagascar in May, these legionnaires reinforced DLEM (Madagascar Detachment), which changed its title and became BLEM (Foreign Legion Madagascar Battalion)

1960, Operation Agathe in the Guelma region, northeastern Algeria, legionnaires from 5e REI participated in

– on the picture, BLEM legionnaires in Madagascar, 1957

 

French Foreign Legion: April 03

1841, 2nd Foreign Legion Regiment (2e RLE, later 2e RE and 2e REI) was officially established
– it was formed by three battalions (over 2,200 men, ex-Spanish Carlists in the vast majority) and based at Bone, northeastern Algeria, under the command of colonel de Senilhes
– paradoxically, these Spanish Carlists forming the 2nd Regiment of the “New” Foreign Legion fought in the First Carlist War (1834-39) against “Old Legion”, the original Foreign Legion created in 1831 and handed over to Spain in 1835

1948, the very first legionnaires of the Foreign Legion were officially awarded with a French Parachutist Badge (Brevet in French)
– these legionnaires belonged to Parachute Company of 3e REI and did their instruction in northern Vietnam, then French Indochina

1953, severe clashes with the Viet Minh for legionnaires from 1st Battalion of 2e REI at Cho Ganh in the Tonkin Delta, northern Vietnam, during Operation Hautes Alpes, First Indochina War

1958, operations for legionnaires from 1st Battalion of 3e REI at Djebel Zellez, Algeria

– on the picture, legionnaires from 1st Battalion of 2e REI in the Tonkin Delta, 1953

 

French Foreign Legion: April 04

1916, an exchange of fire between legionnaires from 6th Battalion of 2e RE and rebel cavalry near Khenifra, Morocco
– in Morocco during WWI, this battalion (formed by Germans in the majority) made part of 1st Regimental Combat Team/2e RE

1917, a battle near El Kelad, Gzennaya region in Morocco for 1st Mounted Company of 1er RE

1951, clashes with the Viet Minh for legionnaires from 1st Battalion, 13e DBLE at An Hoa, Cochinchina then (today’s southern Vietnam)
– over 30 Viets were killed

1954, Eliane and Huguette strongholds at Dien Bien Phu were under large artillery fire

– the Eliane stronghold, defended by 1er BEP, had been attacked for more than 100 hours
– in the morning of April 4th, the attack was stopped and two Viet Minh regiments withdrew
– the Viet Minh had about 1,200 killed, the French lost about 300 men, including many legionnaires

– the Huguette stronghold, defended by 1st Battalion of 2e REI, was continuously attacked by five battalions of Viet Minh

1962, an operation at Sidi Larbi in the Tlemcen region, northern Algeria; legionnaires from 5e REI participated in

– on the screenshot, legionnaires from 1er BEP taking a pose during hard fighting at Dien Bien Phu, 1954…

 

French Foreign Legion: April 05

1945, 13e DBLE legionnaires started operations against German troops in the Authion range, the extreme southeast corner of France, close to the Italian border

1951, a Bai Tao outpost located in the Tonkin Delta, northern Vietnam and occupied by legionnaires from 9th Company, 1st Battalion, 3e REI was attacked in the evening
– the battle lasted all the night
– Viet Minh lost 80 men, 3e REI lost 15 men, 20 men were wounded

1952, first clashes with rebels in Morocco, North Africa for legionnaires from 1st Battalion (training & transit unit) of 4e REI; operations conducted in the M’Rirt region
– the same day, Motorized Company of 4e REI was based at Khenifra, Morocco

1954, the Huguette stronghold at Dien Bien Phu, defended also by 1st Battalion of 2e REI, had been continuously attacked by five battalions of Viet Minh since April 4
– before the noon of April 5th, the attack was stopped and the Viet Minh withdrew
– during the battle, the Viet Minh lost about 800 men, the French lost about 200 men, including many legionnaires

1956, clashes with rebels in the Chabet Kraled valley, Algeria for legionnaires from 1st battalion, 3e REI

– on this rare image, the entrance to the base of Motorized Company (CP) of 4e REI in Khenifra, Morocco, early 1950s

 

French Foreign Legion: April 06

1917, new severe clashes with rebels at Nadar, Taza region, Morocco
– legionnaires from 6th Battalion, 1er RE were involved in again (just as on April 2)

1918, Battle of Arba de Tahala in the Fes region, Morocco
– legionnaires from Mounted Company, 2e RE participated in

1951, several Foreign Legion outposts were attacked by the Viet Minh in the Tonkin Delta, northern Vietnam

1956, 2nd Battalion of 5e REI landed in Africa
– it was the last combat unit of the Foreign Legion having left French Indochina, where it participated in the First Indochina War (1946-54)

– the same day, legionnaires from 3rd Battalion of 5e REI encircled a group of rebels in the Tlemcen region, northwestern Algeria and killed 50 of them

1958, operations in the Oued Bou Diedra, Algeria for legionnaires from 1er REP
– 14 rebels were killed

1960, Operation Promethee
– on April 6, legionnaires from 2e REI got involved in fierce fighting with rebels in the Geryville region, Algeria during the operation (which occurred between April and June 1960)
– that day, 50 rebels were killed, 2 imprisoned

– on the picture, 2e REI legionnaires during Operation Promethee, 1960…

 

French Foreign Legion: April 07

1948, legionnaires from 2nd Battalion of 3e REI were attacked near Dong Khe in the Cao Bang region, northern Vietnam (close to the border with China)
– two legionnaires were killed, 20 men were wounded

1954, 3rd Battalion of 5e REI faced severe attacks near Phu Ly, the Tonkin Delta, northern Vietnam
– the Viet Minh lost about 250 men; 5e REI lost over 40 men, almost 70 legionnaires were wounded

1957, clashes with rebels in the Messad region, central part of northern Algeria, for legionnaires from 3e CSPL (Saharan Motorized Company)

1960, an operation at Djebel Rhar El Baroud, Algeria for 2e REC (Cavalry Regiment)
– 7 rebels and 2 legionnaires were killed

– on the picture, the April 1957 Kepi blanc magazine cover showing an officer from 3e CSPL…

 

French Foreign Legion: April 08

1846, legionnaires from 1st Battalion of 1er RLE (1er RE now) got involved in a battle with rebel tribes close to Djebel Tendagh, Algeria
– after fierce fighting, the rebels were defeated

1918, Battle of Djebel Halib in the Taza region, Morocco
– legionnaires from 1st Mounted Company, 1er RE were involved in
– this action helped the company to obtain a citation in the name of the Army

1941, Capture of Massawa (Massaoua in French)
– on April 8, an important port town on the Red Sea coast of Eritrea with around 10,000 Italian troops was attacked by the British and the Free French (including 13e DBLE) during the East African Campaign
– in the afternoon, Italian forces surrendered and the Allied force took 9,590 prisoners

1953, an operation was finished for legionnaires of 2e BEP (2e REP now) in the Viet Tri region, Tonkin Delta, northern Vietnam
– almost 70 Viet Minh rebels were captured and imprisoned (50 of them on April 8)

1954, having suffered heavy losses in last few days while defending the Huguette stronghold at Dien Bien Phu, two companies of 1st Battalion, 2e REI had to be consolidated into one single unit on April 8

– the very rare image shows men from 13e DBLE in Eritrea, 1941

 

French Foreign Legion: April 09

1928, legionnaires from 2nd Squadron, 1er REC were involved in an operation to secure a French convoy attacked in the Zelmou region, Morocco
– the enemy was fought off

1954, a first half of 2e BEP (Parachute Battalion, 2e REP now) jumped over Dien Bien Phu to join the fierce battle
– 2e BEP legionnaires were dropped in the night from an airplane at a low altitude of 150 m (490 ft)
– because of the jump, 2e BEP lost 6 legionnaires, 3 men were injured

– on the picture, 2e BEP legionnaires during an operation in French Indochina, 1953..

 

French Foreign Legion: April 10

1913, legionnaires from 1st Battalion, 1er RE were attacked by rebels in the Nekhila region, Morocco; two corporals were killed, several legionnaires wounded

1917, Battle of Souk El Sebt in the Taza region, Morocco
– legionnaires from 6th Battalion, 1er RE were involved in

1948, legionnaires from 2nd Battalion of 13e DBLE fought off the Viet Minh rebels at Xuan An, Cochinchina (today’s southern Vietnam)
– the Viet Minh lost about 80 men

1950, two companies from 4th Battalion of 2e REI + a platoon from 4th Squadron of 1er REC got involved in fierce fighting with a Viet Minh regiment
– the Vietn Minh suffered heavy losses; also 2e REI lost many men

1956, clashes with a group of rebels close to the Estaya hill, Algeria for legionnaires from 2e REP; 6 rebels were killed

– on the picture, 1er REC legionnaires with their “Crabs” during an operation in French Indochina, 1950

 

Related posts:
Foreign Legion events: March 21 – 31
Foreign Legion events: March 11 – 20
Foreign Legion events: March 01 – 10
Foreign Legion events: February 22 – 29
French Foreign Legion history