Foreign Legion events: April 11 – 20

See interesting data of the French Foreign Legion’s history collected in a single post. Today, we will present the Legion’s important events which occurred between April 11 and April 20.

 

French Foreign Legion: April 11

1954, a counter-attack was launched by legionnaires from 4th Company, 2e REI to keep the Huguette stronghold, during the Dien Bien Phu
– a platoon of legionnaires was lost during that attack

– the same day, legionnaires from 2e BEP (future 2e REP) launched a successful attack against Viet Minh positions near the Eliane stronghold at Dien Bien Phu
– 2e BEP lost 3 men, 11 were injured

1959, an operation for legionnaires of 2e REP in the La Calle region, northern Algeria
– during the operation, several rebels were killed

1961, an operation for legionnaires of 2e REI at Djebel Aissa, Algeria
– almost 10 rebels were killed

2011, 3rd Company of 2e REI was sent to Abidjan, the capital of Ivory Coast, to maintain order in the streets because of an ongoing operation to arrest Laurent Gbagbo (ex-president)

– on the picture, legionnaires from 2e REI parading at Abidjan, Ivory Coast in April 2011

 

French Foreign Legion: April 12

1916, legionnaires from 2nd Battalion, 1er RE got involved in a battle with rebel groups at Ait Affi, Morocco
– 2 legionnaires were killed, 3 wounded

1923, Battle of Mismental, Taza region, Morocco
– 2nd Battalion, 3e REI participated in

1959, Operation Langousta started in the Douar Zenzach region, Algeria
2e REC legionnaires took part in

1960, legionnaires from 13e DBLE conducted operations in the M’Chatt region, Algeria

– on the picture, 2e REC legionnaires with captured rebel weapons during an operation in Algeria, April 1959

 

French Foreign Legion: April 13

1948, legionnaires from 2nd Battalion, 13e DBLE got involved in a battle with the Viet Minh
– the enemy lost 80 men, 20 rebels were imprisoned

1954, clashes with the Viet Minh around the Eliane stronghold during the battle of Dien Bien Phu
– during the clashes, 2e BEP (future 2e REP) lost 9 men, 26 were wounded

2015, an operation in the Salvador Pass of northern Niger ended
– it was launched to search and eliminate drug and arms trafficking gangs in this Saharan region located on the Niger’s border with Libya and Algeria
– legionnaires from 1st Company, 2e REP were involved in
– the operation started on April 7, when 2e REP legionnaires conducted a night combat jump over the Salvador Pass

– on the picture, 2e REP legionnaires preparing for the night combat jump over the Salvador Pass located deep in the Sahara, April 2015

 

French Foreign Legion: April 14

1908, legionnaires from 3rd Mounted Company, 1er RE got involved in a fierce battle to seize the “Ksar” of Bou Denib, Morocco
– legionnaires won the battle and fought off the enemy, but with a number of losses

1940, GRDI 97 (Infantry Division Recce Group), composed of legionnaires from 1er REC + 2e REC, was based at Carcassonne, France

1947, clashes with the Viet Minh near Ben Tre, Cochinchina (today’s southern Vietnam) for legionnaires from 3rd Battalion, 3e REI

1954, that day, the French made a review of military strenght at Dien Bien Phu
– because of large losses, 1st Battalions of 2e REI and 13e DBLE had about 360 men both (600-800 commonly)
– 1er BEP (future 1er REP) + 2e BEP parachute battalions had together a strenght of a single battalion

1956, an operation at Tizougarine, northern Algeria for legionnaires from 1st Battalion, 3e REI
– over 20 rebels were killed

1959, Operation Langouste in the Douar Zenzach region, Algeria for legionnaires from 2e REC
– several rebels were killed, 6 rebels imprisoned

– on the picture, the “Ksar” of Bou Denib, Morocco in the early 1900s

 

French Foreign Legion: April 15

1828, Jean Danjou was born at Chalabre, France
– he became an officer and was killed with the rank of captain while commanding 3rd Company of Foreign Regiment at Camerone, Mexico on April 30, 1863

1889, 2d Lt Beynet and his legionnaires from 1st Battalion, 1er RE attacked and fought off pirates near Dong Phy, Tonkin (the then title for today’s northern Vietnam), French Indochina

1933, Mounted Company of 4e REI became motorized and was retitled
– it became Motorized Mounted Company (CMA), based at Ighrem, Morocco

1954, legionnaires from 1er BEP, 2e BEP, 1st Battalion of 2e REI and 3rd Battalion of 13e DBLE were involved in defending the Huguette stronghold against the Viet Minh during the Battle of Dien Bien Phu; many legionnaires were killed

1957, Battle of M’Chatt, Algeria
– in the mountainous area of northern Algeria, legionnaires from 3e REI commanded by Lt Col Brochet de Vaugrigneuse, a provisional regimental commander of 3e REI, got involved in fierce fighting with a large group of local rebels
– that day, many 3e REI legionnaires were killed, including their commander de Vaugrigneuse

 

French Foreign Legion: April 16

1856, a decree ordering the dissolution of the 1st Foreign Legion (the original Legion) and 2nd Foreign Legion (called Swiss Legion, est. 1855, being composed of the Swiss only) was issued
– the decree also ordered to establish new 1st + 2nd Foreign Regiments (RE)
– 1er RE will be composed of the Swiss from the 2nd Foreign Legion
– 2e RE will be composed of legionnaires from the original Foreign Legion

1908, a French convoy was attacked by rebels at Menabha, Morocco
– legionnaires from 24th Company, 6th Battalion, 1er RE fought off the enemy

1941, General Paul-Frédéric Rollet died in Paris, France
– as a French officer, he spent 33 years in the Foreign Legion
– in 1931, General Rollet became the very first commander of the Foreign Legion Inspection, today’s Foreign Legion Command
– as the Foreign Legion commander, he changed many things to the better and launched several traditions
– because of this, he has been called Father of the Legion
– his remains are buried at the cemetery of the Legion at Puyloubier near Aubagne, France

1943, 1st Foreign Infantry Regimental Combat Team (1er REIM) was formed in Tunisia
– being composed of 3 battalions, the unit will successfully participate in fighting against the German Africa Corps of Marshal Rommel during the Tunisia Campaign of April-May 1943

1954, a fierce fighting with the Viet Minh at Vinh Truyen, Tonkin Delta, northern Vietnam for legionnaires from 5e REI
– 17 legionnaires were killed, over 70 wounded
– Viet Minh lost 160 men

 

French Foreign Legion: April 17

1917, legionnaires from RMLE (Foreign Legion Regimental Combat Team, future 3e REI) started to attack German positions near Auberive, France on the Western Front of WWI
– the fierce fighting lasted 4 days and the enemy was pushed 2 km (1,4 miles) back
– Lt Col Duriez, the commander of RMLE, was killed on the first day of the fighting, April 17
– for this action, RMLE was mentioned in the order of the Army

1954, hard fighting with the Viet Minh at the Eliane stronghold of Dien Bien Phu, northern Vietnam for legionnaires from 2e BEP
– that day, 2e BEP lost 8 men, 7 were wounded

1958, legionnaires from 3e REI took part in Operation Odette in the Beni Salah region, Algeria

1960, legionnaires from 1st Squadron, 2e REC participated in fighting with Algerian rebels in the Matmoura valley; almost 10 rebels were killed

– on the picture, Lt Col Duriez with his men of RMLE, April 1917

 

French Foreign Legion: April 18

1916, Bou Denib Mixed Battalion, an autonomous unit, was established at Ain Sefra, Algeria
– the battalion was formed by two French Army of Africa companies + two companies of the Legion (one formed by 1er RE legionnaires, the second formed by 2e RE legionnaires)
– the mission of the battalion was to operate in the Bou Denib region of eastern Morocco
– the battalion was disbanded in 1919

1952, legionnaires from 1st Battalion, 5e REI were attacked near Dai Vi Thuong, close to Hanoi, northern Vietnam during Operation Polo
– over 30 legionnaires were wounded

1954, legionnaires from 1st Company, 2e REI participated in a counter-attack as part of a French group of 300 men defending the Huguette stronghold during the Battle of Dien Bien Phu
– during that counter-attack against the enemy superior in numbers, the group lost 185 men, 50 were wounded

1959, legionnaires from 5e REI took part in operations near Air El Sib, Algeria
– almost 20 rebels were killed

1960, hard fighting for legionnaires of 2e REI at Djebel Chemarikh, western Algeria
– almost 30 rebels killed or imprisoned

– on the picture, 2e REI legionnaires with imprisoned rebels at Djebel Chemarikh, April 1960

 

French Foreign Legion: April 19

1859, legionnaires from 2nd Foreign Regiment (2e REI now) boarded two ships and left Algeria for Italy to join the Second Italian War of Independence
– during the war, 2e RE legionnaires excelled in the Battle of Magenta, in which the regiment lost its commanding officer, Colonel de Chabrières, and its flag has been inscribed with the battle honor

1927, legionnaires of a company from 2nd Battalion, 3e REI were attacked by rebels at Djebel Kaoulech, Morocco
– several legionnaires were killed, including their company commander, Captain Fontanel

1954, legionnaires from 2e BEP (future 2e REP) defended the Eliane stronghold during the Batlle of Dien Bien Phu, northern Vietnam, then French Indochina
– several 2e BEP legionnaires were killed and wounded

– the same day of 1954, also at Dien Bien Phu, legionnaires from 1st Battalion, 2e REI were under fire at Huguette, the stronghold they were occupying
– 2e REI lost 8 men, 6 men were wounded

1958, clashes for legionnaires from 1st Battalion, 3e REI in the Medjerda range, northern Algeria

– on the picture, 3e REI legionnaires in Algeria in the 1950s…

 

French Foreign Legion: April 20

1917, on the Western Front of WWI, legionnaires from RMLE (Foreign Legion Regimental Combat Team, future 3e REI) sized the village of Auberive, northeastern France after 4 days and 3 nights of severe fighting with the German forces
– during the fighting, RMLE lost several hundreds of men, including its commanding officer, Lt Col Duriez
– for this action, RMLE received its fifth citation in the order of the Army

1950, Operation David in the Quang Nguyen region, northern Vietnam, then French Indochina
– legionnaires from 1er BEP (future 1er REP) were involved in
– almost 140 rebels were killed, over 20 rebels were imprisoned

1954, while defending the Eliane stronghold against the Viet Minh during the Battle of Dien Bien Phu, that day 2e BEP lost 4 legionnaires, 11 legionnaires were wounded

1959, operations at Djebel Mekter, western Algeria for legionnaires from 2e REI
– several rebels were killed

– on the picture, legionnaires from RMLE, 1917…

 

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