Foreign Legion events: August 21 – 31

Explore most important events in the French Foreign Legion’s history. Significant campaigns, battles, deployments, operations, the establishments or dissolutions of units… Today, the historical events which occurred between August 21 and August 31, will be published.

 

French Foreign Legion: August 21

1917, Battle of Verdun 1917 continued
– a battle on the Western Front of WWI
– it took place near Verdun-sur-Meuse in north-eastern France
– RMLE (Regimental Combat Team) of the Legion was involved in
– the French launched several successful attacks on German positions
– RMLE seized Oie and Regnéville
– 680 prisoners were also captured
– for that action of August 20-21, the RMLE (future 3e REI) gained its sixth mention in the order of the Army and received the Fourragère in the colors of Legion of Honour, the highest French military award

1941, 4e DBLE (4th Demi-Brigade of the Foreign Legion) was created
– it was organized at Casablanca (Morocco), formed by two battalions
– 4e DBLE received the old regimental flag of 4e REI and was sent to maintain order in Senegal, West Africa

1952, during an operation, clashes with the Viet Minh for 1st Battalion, 3e REI
– the operation took place in the Hai Duong region of the Tonkin Delta, northern Vietnam, then French Indochina
– 2 legionnaires (Corporals) were killed

1955, a two-week long intervention mission started for 4e REI in the Chaouia region of north-western Morocco
– 4e REI legionnaires had to evacuate French farmers and miners, violently attacked by local Berber tribes

– on the photo, the regimental color of 3e REI in French Indochina, late 1953

 

French Foreign Legion: August 22

1859, having left France, last Foreign Legion units landed in Algeria
– two battalions (1,300 men) of the 2nd Foreign Regiment (2e REI now) landed in Algeria, after participating in the successful Second Italian War of Independence (Apr-Jul 1859)
– they were based at Sidi Bel Abbes, for the first time

1895, a Legion battalion helped to seize the site of Andriba, Madagascar, during the Second Madagascar Expedition

1956, an operation for legionnaires from 2e REI at Moktadelis, Algeria
– during the operation, more than 5 rebels were killed

1957, an operation close to El Mezeraa, Tebessa region, north-eastern Algeria
2e REP (Parachute Regiment) took part in
– 35 rebels were killed

1959, 5e REI legionnaires liberated Pierre du Bois de Dunilac (a Swiss writer) and his wife
– they were captured by Algerian rebels and held for two months

– on the picture, 2e REI legionnaires during a patrol in Algeria, 1956

 

French Foreign Legion: August 23

1950, 3rd Company of 2e BEP (Parachute Battalion, future 2e REP) deployed from Saigon, southern Vietnam to the Barnia region in central Vietnam, then French Indochina, to take part in an operation against the Viet Minh

1952, a successful operation against the Viet Minh ended for legionnaires from Armored Mobile Platoon, 2e CREBLE (Foreign Legion Armored Vehicle Repair Company), which took place in the Phuc Yen region of the Tonkin Delta, northern Vietnam

1962, a new 3rd Foreign Infantry Regiment (3e REI) was established in Madagascar
– it was created by redesignation the reinforced BLEM (Foreign Legion Madagascar Battalion), a unit stationed on the island since 1957
– the original 3e REI was reduced and became 3e BMLE (Foreign Legion Task Force), an engineering unit tasked with building new Legion infrastructure in France

– on the picture, Camp Mehouas, the headquarters of 3e REI in Madagascar, 1963

 

French Foreign Legion: August 24

1854, a battalion formed by legionnaires from 1st Regiment + 2nd Regiment landed at Varna, Bulgaria
– it will participate in the successful Crimean War (1854-55)

1947, while returning from an operation in the night of August 23-24, the Heavy Company, 3rd Battalion, 13e DBLE (Half-Brigade) was attacked by the Viet Minh
– several legionnaires + 15 rebels were killed

1950, in then French Indochina, on August 24, European (white) legionnaires of the outpost of Bao An, located between Qang Nam and Touranne, central Vietnam, were found murdered
– the local Vietnamese auxiliaries, who served with the legionnaires, deserted with their weapons
– the killed legionnaires were members of the 2nd Company, 1st Battalion, 2e REI
– the incident occured in the night of August 23-24

1955, Operation Remy
– over 470 legionnaires from 2e BEP (Parachute Battalion, future 2e REP) were dropped in the Bau Long region, southern Vietnam

– on the picture, 2e BEP legionnaires in French Indochina in the 1950s

 

French Foreign Legion: August 25

1914, at its HQ of Saida, Algeria, 2e RE (Foreign Regiment, future 2e REI) formed two half-battalions designated for fights in France, on the Western Front of WWI

1941, having left Levant (Syria and Lebanon) after participating in the Syria-Lebanon Campaign, 6e REI landed in France to be stationed at Camp Idron at Pau, southern France
– in December, the regiment rejoined the Legion’s HQ at Sidi Bel Abbes, Algeria

1948, an operation for 2e REI in the Phan Rang region, in the sourhern part of central Vietnam, then French Indochina
– 10 Viet Minh rebels were imprisoned

1973, 3e REI left Madagascar for French Guiana
– it had been stationed on the island since 1962
– the regiment left its 2nd Company on the Comoro Islands (west of Madagascar)
– the company became DLEC and, in 1976, DLEM (Mayotte Detachment)

– on the picture, 3e REI leaving Madagascar for French Guiana, late August 1973

 

French Foreign Legion: August 26

1892, a Legion battalion landed at Cotonou, then Dahomey (today’s Benin, a country in West Africa)
– it was formed by elements from 1er RE and 2e RE (future 2e REI) and commanded by Major Faurax
– its legionnaires will participate in the successful Second Franco-Dahomean War (1892-94)

1946, during a patrol, a group of Capitain Georges De Belloc De Chamborant, comprising 20 legionnaires from 12th Company, 3rd Battalion, 3e REI, was attacked by the Viet Minh near the Canal of Cai Beo, in the Sadec region of the Mekong Delta, southern Vietnam, then French Indochina
– Capitain De Chamborant (12th Company’s commander), 2 another officers (Rincent, Thizon) + 13 legionnaires were killed
– for the 3rd Battalion, it had been the first such large loss since the unit landed in Indochina two months ago

1949, a three-day-long operation ended for 10th Company, 3rd Battalion, 2e REI close to Tinh Tho, in south of central Vietnam
– during the operation, over 90 rebels were killed

2013, Helie de Saint Marc died
– probably the most controversial officer of the French Foreign Legion in the 20th century
– the main Foreign Legion figure fully participating in the April 1961 Putsch of Algiers, the event aimed against then President De Gaulle, viewed by putschists as a traitor of France and French people in Algeria
– Major De Saint Marc served with the Legion 1948-61, in 3e REI, 3e BEP (later 3e REP), 2e BEP (Parachute Battalion, future 2e REP), 1er BEP, 1er REP (ex-1er BEP)
– 1er REP, the unit two times annihilated in French Indochina, commanded by Major De Saint Marc par interim in 1961, was disbanded because of the Putsch and never re-established
– as a French Resistance member, Helie de Saint Marc was imprisoned in a German concentration camp 1943-45
– he participated in the First Indochina War (three deployments), Suez Crisis, Algerian War
– because of the Putsch, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison in June 1961
– fully rehabilitated in 1978

– on the photo, 2e REP legionnaires rendering homage to Helie de Saint Marc in front of Lyon Cathedral on August 30, 2013

 

French Foreign Legion: August 27

1952, Operation Bolero II for 1st Battalion, 2e REI in the Xuan Nea region of the Tonkin Delta, northern Vietnam, then French Indochina

1958, clashes with rebels for 7th Company, 3e REI in the Souk Ahras region, north-eastern Algeria

1962, 3e BMLE (Foreign Legion Task Force, ex-3e REI of Algeria) took ship for France
– the unit will be stationed at Aubagne near Marseille, to build a new HQ of the Legion

– on the rare picture, the 3e BMLE at Aubagne, France, reviewed by Chief of the Foreign Legion on September 3, 1962

 

French Foreign Legion: August 28

1840, a royal decree was issued
– it granted the battle color to the Foreign Legion for its actions at Constantine and Djidjelli, Algeria

1952, Operation Maurice ended for legionnaires from 1st Battalion, 13e DBLE (Half-Brigade)
– the operation took place in the Hoc Mon region of southern Vietnam, then French Indochina

1953, Operation Claude started in the Tien Lang region, northern Vietnam
– in the two-week-long operation, 2e GA (Amphibian Group) of 1er REC + 2e BEP (Parachute Battalion, future 2e REP) took part in

– on the photo, a Crab (M29 Weasel) of 1er REC in French Indochina in the 1950s…

– Photo credits: Ernst Haas / Getty Images

 

French Foreign Legion: August 29

1907, RM (Regimental Combat Team) of the 2nd Foreign Regiment was established to take part in the Pacification of Morocco
– it was formed by a mounted company + two battalions of 2e RE (2e REI now)
– in 1914, RM changed its title to 1er RM, because a 2nd RM of the 2nd Foreign Regiment was formed to fight in France in WWI
– 1er RM/2e RE, comprising 3rd Bn + 6th Bn + Mounted Company, fought in Morocco until 1918

1918, on the Western Front of WWI, fights near Terny-Sorny in northern France
– the French and Americans approached the Hindenburg Line
– RMLE (Foreign Legion Regimental Combat Team, future 3e REI) took part in

1952, Operation Sauterelles ended
– the five-day-long opeartion took place in the sand dunes between Hue and Quang Tri, central Vietnam, then French Indochina
– 1er GEA (Amphibious Squadrons Group) + 3e GEA + 7e GEA from 1er REC + a 5e REI battalion + a 13e DBLE battalion participated in
– during the large operation, the Viet Minh lost over 1,570 men

1953, during Operation Claude, clashes with the Viet Minh for legionnaires from 2e BEP in the Phu Khe region, northern Vietnam
– 9 rebels were killed, 12 imprisoned
– 3 legionnaires were also killed

– on the rare picture, the regimental color of RMLE at Nancy, France, in 1918, held by Lt Col Rollet, the then RMLE commander, who commanded the Mounted Company of 1er RM/2e RE in Morocco before WWI and who became the famous Chief of the Foreign Legion in 1931

 

French Foreign Legion: August 30

1914, a military camp occupied by 22nd Company, 6th Battalion, 1er RE, was attacked by local rebel tribes
– the camp was located near Taza, northern Morocco
– two legionnaires were killed when fighting off the attackers

1919, the standard of RMLE gained the Military Medal for the unit’s actions during WWI

1950, Operation Rouleaux started for legionnaires from 2e BEP in the Baria region, southern Vietnam, then French Indochina
– within a few days, several Viet Minh camps were destroyed

1953, during Operation Claude, new clashes with the Viet Minh for legionnaires from 2e BEP in the Phu Khe region, northern Vietnam
– 9 rebels were killed, 16 imprisoned
– 1 legionnaire was also killed

– on the photo, 2e BEP legionnaires with a captured Viet Minh rebel, during Operation Rouleaux in French Indochina, 1950

 

French Foreign Legion: August 31

1914, two half-battalions formed by 2e RE (Foreign Regiment) at its HQ of Saida, Algeria, designated for fights on the Western Front of WWI, embarked at Oran for France

1930, a fierce battle for 2nd Mounted Company, 2e RE at Tadighoust near Ksar Es Souk, Morocco
– the heavily outnumbered company had 21 men killed + 12 wounded
– for this action, the company was mentioned in the order of the Army
– in 1940, the unit became CSPLE (Saharan Motorized Company, 1re CSPL in 1946)

1946, during a patrol near My Duc Tay in the Sadec region of the Mekong Delta, southern Vietnam, then French Indochina, a group of legionnaires from 3rd Battalion, 3e REI, was attacked by the Viet Minh
– 2nd Lieutenant Bertrand was killed

1953, Operation Dampierre started for legionnaires from 2nd Battalion, 3e REI in the Pak Seng region, Laos, then French Indochina
– several french battalions also participated in

– on the picture, legionnaires from a mounted company of the Foreign Legion in Morocco, around 1930…

 

Related posts:
Foreign Legion events: August 11 – 20
Foreign Legion events: August 01 – 10
Foreign Legion events: July 21 – 31
Foreign Legion events: July 11 – 20
French Foreign Legion history