Foreign Legion events: June 01 – 10

See most important events in the French Foreign Legion’s history. Battles, deployments, operations, establishments or dissolutions of units… Today, we will present the interesting historical data of the Foreign Legion which occurred between June 01 and June 10.

 

French Foreign Legion: June 01

1884, during the Tonkin Campaign, two companies of 1st Foreign Legion Battalion sized the citadel of Tuyen Quang, an isolated settlement on the Clear River, which became the most western French outpost in Tonkin (then title for today’s northern Vietnam) at that time

1946, CDRE/EO (Far East Foreign Regiments Disciplinary Company) was formed in then French Indochina
– the company was based on the Tagne Island nearby the coast of central Annam (today’s central Vietnam)
– its mission was to discipline considerably undisciplined legionnaires
– CDRE/EO was assigned to 2e REI

1954, 3e BEP (Foreign Parachute Battalion, later 3e REP), having left Africa for Indochina on May 4 to support para legionnaires in the Battle of Dien Bien Phu, changed its designation
– both Legion’s airborne battalions (1er BEP, later 1er REP + 2e BEP, later 2e REP) were annihilated during the battle which finished on May 8
– 3e BEP became a new 2e BEP on June 01

– also in 1954, 4th Battalion of 2e REI and 4th Battalion of 3e REI became a new 1st Battalion of 2e REI + a new 3rd Battalion of 3e REI, both units annihilated in the Battle of Dien Bien Phu
– the same day, 3rd Battalion of 13e DBLE, another unit annihilated in the Battle of Dien Bien Phu, officially ceased to exist

1980, 2nd Foreign Regiment (2e RE), re-created at Bonifacio, Corsica in 1972, became 2e REI again

1983, 1er REC landed at Beirut, Lebanon to join the Multinational Force in Lebanon, an international peacekeeping force created in August 1982
– 2e REP and 2e REI participated in the Force too
– 1er REC left Lebanon in late September
– during the mission, at least 89 French soldiers were killed, including several legionnaires

– on the picture, a rare image of the CDRE/EO Disciplinary Company in French Indochina

 

French Foreign Legion: June 02

1837, Colonel Joseph Conrad was killed
– he was a commander of the remaining battalion of the Old Legion (1831-38) fighting in Spain against Carlists since 1835, during the First Carlist War
– Colonel Conrad was killed during the Siege of Barbastro in the Huesca region, northeastern Spain
– he has been recognized as the first commanding officer of the Legion killed in action

1949, Operation Jonquille started
– the operation took place at Plaine des Joncs, Mekong Delta, southern Vietnam
– 1st + 2nd Squadron of 1er REC (Cavalry Regiment) + legionnaires from 2e BEP were involved in
– that day, 2e BEP men jumped over Canal Legrange and destroyed a local Viet Minh camp

– also in 1949, 2nd Battalion of 4e REI left Morocco for Algeria to be shipped to French Indochina a few days later, to take part in the First Indochina War, as the only 4e REI unit

1960, Operation Pamphile
– the operation took place close to Bou Saada, in the M’Sila region, northern Algeria
– legionnaires from 1er REP participated in

 

French Foreign Legion: June 03

1859, Battle of Robecchetto
– the battle took place in northern Italy, close to the border with Switzerland, during the Second Italian War of Independence
– 2nd Brigade of the 2nd Division commanded by General Castagny participated in
– the brigade was formed by both Foreign Legion regiments + another regiment of the French Army of Africa

1940, at Baalbek of Lebanon, 6e REI (Infantry Regiment) was assembled as a whole, for the first time in its history
– the unit will participate in a large maneuver conducted by the French Army of Levant (then Syria + Lebanon)

1952, Operation Antilope started for legionnaires from 2e BEP in the Phu Ly region, Red River Delta, noerthern Vietnam, then French Indochina

1955, after 9 years spent in French Indochina, 3rd Battalion of 13e DBLE left then Saigon, southern Vietnam, to be returned to Africa, where the Algerian War started

1959, an operation close to Bou Achra, Ain Defla region, northern Algeria
– the operation was conducted by legionnaires from 3e REI
– 6 rebels were killed

– on the picture, 6e REI legionnaires (from the ski-based Recce Platoon, specialized in mountain warfare) celebrating 1940 Camerone Day; the insignia of 6e REI includes columns of the Roman temple of Baalbek, Lebanon, the garrison of the 2nd Battalion

 

French Foreign Legion: June 04

1859, Battle of Magenta
– the battle took place in northern Italy, close to the town of Magenta, during the Second Italian War of Independence
– an important French-Sardinian victory under Napoleon III against the Austrians
– both Foreign Legion regiments were involved in
– Colonel de Chabrières, the commanding officer of 2e RE (Foreign Regiment), was killed while leading his legionnaires in the battle

1914, Battle of Sidi Bel Kacem
– 1st Battalion of 1er RE launched an attack against rebels at Sidi Bel Kacem, Taza region, Morocco
– during the attack, Major Met, the battalion commander, was seriously wounded
– his leg had to be amputated

1915, Third Battle of Krithia – Kérévés Déré
– the battle occurred during the Gallipoli Campaign (or Dardanelles Campaign) during World War I, when the French and British troops fought against Ottomans (Turks)
– Battalion Legion of 1er RMA (African Regimental Combat Team) took part in
– that day, the legionnaires with fixed bayonetes attacked Turkish defenders, equipped with machine guns, along the Kereves Spur on the Gallipoli peninsula
– during the attack, the battalion lost 52 legionnaires, 78 were wounded

1951, an operation near Nam Dinh in the Red River Delta, northern Vietnam, then French Indochina for legionnaires from 2e BEP against the Viet Minh
– during the operation, 2 legionnaires were killed

 

French Foreign Legion: June 05

1833, during the conflict with Abd El Kader, an Algerian rebel leader, legionnaires from 4th Battalion (Spaniards) + 5th Battalion (Italians) of the “Old” Foreign Legion (1831-38) seized Arzew, a port city in the Oran region of Algeria

1916, RMLE (Foreign Legion Regimental Combat Team, future 3e REI) received the Fourragère in colors of the Croix de Guerre (War Cross) 1914-18, for its actions in France, on the Western Front of WWI
– by the end of the war, RMLE became one of the two most awarded units within the French Army

1953, during Operation Myosotis, the 4th Company of 2e BEP got involved in fighting with a numerous Viet Minh group near Ban Leng, northern Laos, then French Indochina
– during the firefight, 1 rebel + 1 legionnaire were killed

– on the picture, a non-commissioned officer of 3e REI in Paris in July 2015, bearing the Fourragères of one of the two most decorated regiments within the French Army; the green one is the Fourragère in colors of the Croix de Guerre (War Cross) 1914-18, the unit was awared with on June 5, 1916

 

French Foreign Legion: June 06

1940, Battle of France of WWII
– 3rd Battalion of 12e REI (Infantry Regiment, a provisional unit composed of legionnaires, reservists and mobilized foreigners living in France) was annihilated while defending the bridges on the Aisne river in the Soisson region, northern France against advancing German forces

1959, legionnaires from the 1st Battalion of 3e REI conducted an operation near Champlain, Medea region, northern Algeria
– 37 rebels were killed

1960, an operation for two motorized squadrons from 2e REC (Cavalry Regiment) at Djebel Malleg (or Chebket El Malleg), in the Djelfa region of northern Algeria
– 30 rebels killed, 4 imprisoned; 1 officer + 2 legionnaires wounded

– on the picture, a platoon leader + legionnaires from 2e REC, during an operation in the Djelfa region in June 1960

 

French Foreign Legion: June 07

1855, French troops, headed by both Foreign Legion regiments, seized Russian fortification in front of the Malakoff redoubt, during the Siege of Sevastopol of the Crimean War (1854-55)

1947, legionnaires from 1st Battalion of 13e DBLE got involved in a battle with a large group of the Viet Minh near Cu Chi, Hoc Mon region, southern Vietnam, then French Indochina
– that day, about 150 rebels were killed, some 100 rebels were imprisoned
– 13e DBLE lost 1 officer + 4 legionnaires

1951, severe fighting between legionnaires from 2e BEP and the Viet Minh near Duc Hau, in the Ninh Binh region of northern Vietnam
– 57 Viet Minh rebels + 5 legionnaires were killed

1954, Commando 510 (ex-Commando Le Lai) from 1er REC, composed of Legion NCOs and local guerrillas, was attacked at its camp located near Tourane, central Vietnam by a large group of the Viet Minh
– an important part of the commando was killed, between them several senior NCOs-legionnaires

1960, 1st Squadron of 2e REC conducted an operation at Djebel Mahregue, Algeria
– some 10 rebels were killed

– on the picture, legionnaires from 13e DBLE during the war in French Indochina

 

French Foreign Legion: June 08

1920, 1st Battalion of 1er RE, commanded by Major Lambert, seized El Bordj in the Khenifra region, located in the northern part of central Morocco
– during next days, the outpost of El Bordj was built by legionnaires, almost the only European military element present in Morocco at that time
– in November, the battalion became the 1st Battalion of a newly established 4e RE (4e REI in 1922)

1941, Syria–Lebanon Campaign started
– an operation of June-July 1941, during World War II
– the British attacked French forces in Syria and Lebanon
– on the French side, 6e REI (Infantry Regiment) of the Foreign Legion participated in and suffered heavy casualties
– on the British side, 13e DBLE (Demi-Brigade) of the Free French took part in
– 6e REI got involved in fightings with Australian troops mainly
– on July 14, the French were defeated

1949, Operation Jonquille (June 2-8) ended
– the operation took place at Plaine des Joncs, Mekong Delta, southern Vietnam
– 1st + 2nd Squadron of 1er REC (Cavalry Regiment) + legionnaires from 2e BEP were involved in
– during the operation, almost 80 Viet Minh rebels were killed by 1er REC legionnaires

– on the picture, the regimental colors of 6e REI in Homs, Syria (1940)

 

French Foreign Legion: June 09

1940, Lieutenant Colonel Paul Lacombe de La Tour was killed in action
– he commanded GRDI 97, a division recce group, during the Battle of France (May-June 1940) of WWII
– GRDI 97 was composed of legionnaires from 1er REC and 2e REC (Cavalry Regiments)
– the group consisted of four squadrons
– HQ squadron + Motorcycle squadron + Machine Guns squadron (motorized) + a horse squadron
– Lt Col De La Tour was killed when his GRDI 97 was attacked by German panzer forces near the woods of Noroy, in the Compiègne region, northern France
– during this severe attack, GRDI 97 lost its commander + two thirds of its strength (about 400 men of 650)

1941, Syria-Lebanon Campaign
– an operation of June-July 1941, during World War II, conducted by the British forces against French forces in Syria and Lebanon
– two platoons from 3rd Battalion, 6e REI got involved in fighting near Cheikh Meskine, south of Damascus, Syria
– several legionnaires were wounded

 

French Foreign Legion: June 10

1925, Siege of Mediouna
– 4 officers + 40 legionnaires from 6th Battalion, 1er RE were volunteers to help evacuate remaining defenders of the besieged outpost of Mediouna, located near Casablanca, western Morocco
– in the evening of June 10, they broke through the encirclement of Moroccan rebels and got involved in fighting with surprised rebels
– at the same time, the outpost defenders from a French colonial unit were evacuated
– however, the fighting stopped legionnaires inside the outpost
– within the next few hours, the outpost was severly attacked by rebel artillery
– in the morning of June 11, out of the 44 volunteers from the 6th Battalion, only 5 legionnaires survived these attacks
– for this action of bravery, the battalion received the War Cross award with a palm

1950, Operation Foudre ended
– the operation took place in the Nam Dinh region, in the Red River Delta, northern Vietnam, then French Indochina
– legionnaires from 1er BEP participated in
– during three weeks, more than 100 Viet Minh rebels were killed
– 1er BEP lost 4 legionnaires, 18 were wounded

1954, an operation for 7e GEA (Amphibious Squadrons Group) from 1er REC in the Tourane region, southern Vietnam
– 15 rebels were killed

1957, an operation ended for legionnaires from 1er REP (ex-1er BEP)
– the operation took place in the Kabylie region, northern Algeria and lasted three weeks
– during the operation, 34 rebels were killed

 

Related posts:
Foreign Legion events: May 21 – 31
Foreign Legion events: May 11 – 20
Foreign Legion events: May 01 – 10
Foreign Legion events: April 21 – 30
French Foreign Legion history